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Posted 1/22/2016 3:48pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Farm sign in snow

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

As I write this, the swirling snow and sleet tap on the office window, accelerated by the blast of wind blowing snow across the road.  The road is eerily quiet -- more like early Sunday morning or late night instead of a Friday afternoon.  Welcome to winter! 

Weather forecasters are a true blessing for modern farmers.  Imagine if we didn't have the tools that we have at our disposal today -- yesterday's 50 degrees would not have prepared us for what we have today when the thermometer hasn't budged above 24.  Although I'm not sure that this is going to be the hyped SnowMageddon, I do know it's going to be a cold, wintry few days ahead.  We've been preparing for this for both the animals and the greenhouse.  Everyone is snugged into their respective shelters and have lots of hay, water & cat food to keep them happy.  A few photos from a brisk walk around this afternoon...

Brix in her shelter

A patient donkey that is getting used to her shelter (and I think she's grateful).

The upper pond

The frozen Upper Pond and its coat of snow.

The Tobacco Barn in snow

The Tobacco Barn and blackberries take their rest in the snow.

The greenhouse in snow

Ray checked out the greenhouse earlier today and had to knock the snow off the roof to make sure no harm came to it.  Cranked up the heat too!

AB & BB

AB & BB experiencing their first snow.  BB makes a much better weather-sheep than her brother!

Besides winterizing, we've had lots of other things going on.  Last Saturday, we went up to Borrowed Land Farm outside of Pilot Mountain for a mushroom workshop.  It was a great class where we learned about growing both oyster and shiitake mushrooms.  We came home with lots of great information, two buckets full of oyster mushroom spawn and 2 logs that are inoculated for shiitakes!  They are holding another class on February 6 and it is filling up fast!  Contact them through their Facebook page for more information.

At mushroom workshop  Drilling holes in the shiitake log

We harvested the last of the galangal (Thai ginger) yesterday and delivered it to Noble's Grille and Meridian!  Hard to believe that we will be starting ginger and turmeric pre-sprout in about 3 weeks!

Ray harvesting galangal

And speaking of 3 weeks, don't forget to mark your calendar for our Valentines Holiday Market on Saturday, February 13 from 10-2.  Three guest vendors will be joining us:  Greenberries Farm, Mystic Wolf's Den (formerly MW Herbs) and Steve's Pralines.  Our paperwhite narcissus are planted and are growing nicely and will be all ready for your sweetie!

Paperwhite narcissus growing in pots

On the subject of sweeties, we are still trying to find an indoor home for our rescued kitten, TK.  He is absolutely gorgeous and has the softest fur -- we think he is about 9 months old and has now been neutered.  Although he's a bit shy around new people, once he warms up to you, TK is a purring machine.  Please call or email if you are interested!  We need to find him a home soon.

TK on the desk

Stay safe and warm.  I think it's a great night for sweet potato soup and a movie!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 1/15/2016 12:05pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Even though it is only the second week of January, in many ways, it still feels like we are behind -- and we are hearing this from other farmers as well! 

As the pressure to grow crops year-round mounts, it makes it more difficult to use the winter months for the all-important planning, maintenance and restorative time that are essential for a successful farm.  That is one of the reasons that we decided not to participate in the new Cobblestone Winter Market that starts this Saturday (9-11 Downtown in the Chatham Building).  We felt that we would be better off using the time that it takes to prepare for market (not to mention the growing the crops!) to get ourselves really ready for the upcoming season.

And our planning has begun!  We spent a few hours the other day setting up a calendar of events for the farm -- we have 10 to 13 on-farm events planned for 2016!  We'll be doing more classes along with our popular Spring Open Greenhouse, Farm Tour and pick-your-owns.  Watch this space!

The greenhouse has had several projects on our to-do list this week.  Chris and Ray have been replacing the lower half of the end walls with plywood.  This will help provide better insulation (especially on the north end of the building) and will help reduce our propane use (saving $ and energy is important!). We will be putting new plastic on the upper half of the ends next.

Working on the greenhouse north wall  Working on the greenhouse south wall

We've also started seeding (and this is one thing that is earlier than the past 2 years!).  Thousands(!) of tiny onion, leek and shallot seeds are going into trays.  We make our own planting mix from our used coir from the ginger and turmeric grow bags and add a few other soil amendments for fertility and microbial activity.  It's a great way to use a ready resource that we have available -- and the good news is that it works great!  Once we seed the trays, they go into the "Inner Sanctum" of the greenhouse on heat mats until they germinate.  Think happy, growing thoughts!

Seed trays in the greenhouse

Speaking of special on-farm events, mark your calendar for Saturday, February 13 from 10-2 for our 2nd Annual Valentines Market!  We'll be in our warm greenhouse with several other farm friends and lots of goodies for your loved ones!  More information to come but we wanted to get the date on your calendar!

That's the news for this week!  But Brix, BB & AB, wanted to greet you before we sign off -- or maybe they wanted you to feed them!

Waiting for dinner

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 1/8/2016 3:17pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Braying Brix

Brix says "Happy New Year!!"  And so do we!

Here's hoping that your Holiday Season was filled with joy and all good things.  We really enjoyed the opportunity to take it a bit slower and relax a while.  A bit more cooking, a bit more reading and just hanging out -- good for the soul!

But our list of tasks is quite long so we can't sit back and get too comfy on the couch.....

We've been trying to work through some of the list over the past week.  With all of the rain that we had in late December, we've been doing a lot of work under cover.  We cleared the greenhouse of garlic(!) and installed what we fondly call the "Inner Sanctum."  We partition off about 1/4 of the greenhouse and create a "room" out of heavy plastic sheeting.  This contains the heat in a smaller space and helps us save money by not heating the entire greenhouse (especially the top 5 feet of so!).

Hanging the plastic up for the roof of the Inner Sanctum  Putting up the walls on the inner sanctum

New Year's Eve had us putting two layers of new plastic on the entire greenhouse -- along with a great group of friends!  Since the plastic becomes opaque over time, you really need to recover a greenhouse every 3-5 years.  Ours had a good long life (despite kittens climbing it) for 5 years but we knew it was time to change the cover.  The day was perfect -- warm and very calm -- and the hands were many so the load was lighter.  We got the job done in great time!  A huge thank-you goes to Orville Woodward, Ken Vanhoy, Annette Helsabeck, Matt Mayers, Kay Bergey, and Chris Overby!!

Removing the inner cover from the greenhouse  Attaching the cover to the north end wall  A job well done!

We haven't just been playing with greenhouse plastic, we finally got a temporary shelter built for Brix.  She's not really sure if she likes it but if there is food inside, then it's okay!

Setting the posts for Brix's shelter  Putting up the side walls  Brix checking it out (with hay incentive)  Covered and hay bag in place

Despite the rain, mild weather then cold weather, the plants are doing well!  Raz House is almost filled with lettuce, frisse, kale and chard and the garlic seems like it is growing an inch a day!

Raz House planting  Garlic in the field  Garlic is off to a good start

That's the news for this week!  Stay tuned for a few announcements and surprises next week!  And don't forget to save time in your day for a nap... it's winter, after all!

Detroit snozing on the roll of greenhouse plastic

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 12/24/2015 11:10am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Santa Ray & Cheryl with the lambs

Wishing you peace, love, happiness -- and lots of laughter -- in this special Season and into the New Year!

Your Farmer Friends -- Cheryl & Ray along with the lambs, BB & AB (plus the other critters!)

 

Posted 12/18/2015 12:10pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Yep, a White Christmas.  That's what we'll have this year!

Field blanket on strawberries

Well...PARTS of the farm will be decked in white, while most of the rest will be in winter brown and green.  But Bing Crosby's crooning was drifting through our heads this morning as we were putting the field blanket on the strawberries.  With temperatures predicted in the low 20's this weekend, it was time to tuck in the little guys.  The plants are looking really good and we want to keep them that way!

Strawberry plant in December  Stretching out the row cover  Holding down the edges with rock bags

The original plan for the day was to put a new cover on the greenhouse but the high wind prediction scrubbed that idea.  We'll try to get that done after Christmas. But this schedule shift allowed us the opportunity to take care of more pre-cold weather tasks (cover the wells, drain and move the pond pump, install heat lamp for the cat, etc.)

Most of the week has been spent on..wait for it...GARLIC!  With the beds all prepared, we were planting fools this week!  The three of us (Ray, Chris & Cheryl) got all of the bulb garlic in by Tuesday (18,088) and made a great start on spring garlic on Wednesday (6,539).  We have to crack a bit more garlic today in order to hit our goal of about 10,000 for spring and we'll get it planted on Monday!  YAY!!!!  And a HUGE shout-out goes to Chris Overby -- this guy can plant garlic faster than anyone, any where!  And he does it right!  Thanks, Chris!

Ray and Chris pulling the dibbler to mark the row for garlic  Chris the garlic planting machine!!  Ray laying out garlic  Detroit helps too  Garlic all tucked in and labeled

Last Minute Jam Needs?

If you find that you need a few more gifts to round out your lists, give us a shout - we are available for on-farm sales by appointment and we are happy to ship any of our jam or garlic products to your out-of-town friends.  Check out our website to order.  In addition, you now have a new place to pick up some of our gift-size jars of jam in Winston-Salem.  Organix Juice Bar (1318 S. Hawthorne Road) is now stocking several of our jams.  Stop by and get a terrific juice (The Dash features our turmeric!) and peruse the great gift items that George has stocked!

 

Jams at Organix Juice Bar

 

And to all a Good Night....

This will be our last edition for the year -- we're taking a few days off to relax over the Holidays.  Thank you for supporting our farm and for sharing what we are doing by reading our newsletter.  We really appreciate your words of support and encouragement as well as your business!  And most of all, we are grateful for your friendship and trust.

Here's wishing you the most wonderful Holiday Season ever!  Happy Hanukkah (belated wishes), Merry Christmas, Joyous Solstice and all good wishes for a Happy & Healthy New Year!! 

Until 2016,

Cheryl & Ray along with Gesti, Detroit, Brix, BB & AB

Posted 12/11/2015 10:26am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! (We're back on schedule)

It's a foggy morning here at the farm...

Foggy morning at the farm

With the temperatures this week feeling more like October than December, it has been a great week to get field work done.  Most of the focus has been on garlic (surprise!) but we also are getting other areas ready to planting.  We added leaves to the hoophouse in preparation for some of the winter greens we'll be growing there.  It's a tricky process -- we have to cut away part of the covering and dump in the leaves with the tractor bucket.  Since the tractor can't go inside the hoophouse, we have to rake out the leaves from one end to another.  We didn't need any help sleeping on Monday night, for sure!

Adding leaves to Raz House

For the garlic, we decided to use the beds that tomatoes were in this summer.  It gave us some ready-made planting beds in some fairly good soil.  We had planned on having that field in cover crops for about a year but it is so difficult to come up with open land for such a large crop like garlic.  It is especially difficult when you are trying to rotate crops and fields and not plant the same crop in a field more often than every 3 years. 

To get the field ready, we added leaves to the beds, amended with organic fertilizer and tilled with the walk-behind tractor (the Grillo).  Since we had such problems with grass in that field this year, we needed to burn down the grass in the aisles with the flame weeder before we added amendments.  The result?  Beds that are fluffy, gorgeous and easy to plant!  Take a peek!

Burning down the grass in aisles  Adding leacves in the beds to South  Chris tilling up the garlic beds with the Grillo

So now with the beds nicely prepped, all we have to do is finish cracking garlic and plant!  We've already got about 5,000 in the ground (only 14,000 plus the spring garlic left to go!)  Easy-peasy!

Holly Jolly Jam-boree! 

Don't forget!  One last chance to pick up a few last minute farm-fresh Holiday gifts at our Pop-Up Market at the farm greenhouse tomorrow (12/12) from 9-noon.  We'll have lots of Jams (Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle, Raspberry-Cranberry, Yam's Jam Sweet Potato Butter - several in stocking stuffer sizes), our Famous Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce, Jam Gift Boxes, Garlic Lovers Gift Boxes, beautiful garlic braids, and fragrant Paperwhite Narcissus.

Close-up of paperwhite narcissus flower

We'll have a few veggies including Sweet Potatoes (Garnet and Covington), fresh Baby Turmeric and Garlic Powder & Granules, Garlic Sampler bags and culinary garlic.  

Fresh Organic Baby Turmeric

So mark your calendar and take care of your Holiday shopping list at the farm.  This is our last event until January.  We sure appreciate you shopping local!

And remember that we are happy to ship any of our jam or garlic products.  Check out our website to order and let us take care of the hassle of shipping your gifts.  A taste of Plum Granny Farm is a mighty tasty way to send Holiday greetings to your loved ones. Jam ready to ship

We know the Holiday Season is an especially crazy time of the year but make sure that you take the time to celebrate the traditions that are important to you.  Ray and I have been trying to do a few more things this year to make the Season more real. Last night we were fortunate to be able to attend the Candle Tea in Old Salem. It was Ray's first visit and I hadn't been since elementary school. Very special service in an incredible place.  The volunteers do an amazing job!  This is the last weekend for the Candle Tea - go check it out!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 12/5/2015 2:53pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Saturday!

It's been a busy week here at the farm and we are running a bit behind.  It took a couple of days to clean up and recover from our Small Business Saturday Holiday Market.  We had a fabulous turnout -- thanks to so many of you for coming out to support small, local businesses!

Greenhouse after Holiday Market

One of our main tasks as 2015 winds down is to get the garlic planted. After spending a couple of days cracking garlic (while it rained), we started planting on Friday. Hurrah! We are going to be a bit squeezed for space this year and we will be planting a bit less than last year.  You'll just have to make sure that you don't wait until the end of the season next year to get your garlic since we may run out sooner!  Here are a few pictures of the process to date:

Ray smoothing the tops of the garlic beds  Detroit gets a scratch from the dibbler   Ray and Chris planting garlic

BB Update:  Our new addition arrived last week; BB's brother Abernathy joined the herd on Wednesday.  They've settled in pretty well together (barring a post-dark breakout of the pasture last Friday night -- VERY scary!)  AB is definitely a big boy and we have to keep coming up with ways to make sure BB gets her fair share of food.  We did a weigh-in yesterday (probably AB's first and last with us!) -- BB was 43 pounds and AB was a whopping 58!  Enjoy a few pictures:

Laura & AB checking out the hutch on Day 1  Ray makes sure that both lambs get a meal  Chowing down on tasty Plum Granny Farm hay

Holly Jolly Jamboree! To give you a chance to pick up a few more last minute Holiday gifts, we are having a Pop-Up Market at the farm on Saturday, December 12th from 9-noon.  We'll have lots of Jams (Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle, Raspberry-Cranberry, Yam's Jam Sweet Potato Butter and Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce) - several varieties will be available in stocking stuffer sizes.  There will be Jam Gift Boxes, Garlic Lovers Gift Boxes, beautiful garlic braids, fragrant Paperwhite Narcissus, and Mistletoe (each bunch tested and guaranteed to work!)

We'll have a few veggies including Sweet Potatoes (Garnet and Covington), fresh Baby Turmeric and Garlic Powder & Granules, Garlic Sampler bags and culinary garlic.  

So mark your calendar and finish your Holiday shopping at the farm.  Come shop small, ya'll!

Annette with garlic braid

If you have family and friends out of the area, we are happy to ship any of our jam or garlic products.  Check out our website to order and let us take care of the hassle of shipping your gifts.  A taste of Plum Granny Farm is a mighty tasty way to send Holiday greetings to your loved ones.

 Jame gift boxes

In closing, we have some sad news to share.  Our wonderful farm cat, Ajo, was killed by a car on Tuesday.  He was such a loving and sweet cat.  Many of you had the opportunity to meet him at various farm events -- including last Saturday.  Ajo was part of the litter that was born here 2 1/2 years ago to Mama Meow. We are going to miss our fluffy buddy so much. May you find many sunny nap spots, our friend.

Ajo in the garlic planting crate  Ajo on Small Business Saturday

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/24/2015 10:29am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Tuesday!

Since many of you receive your newsletter at work, we wanted to make sure that you got all of the news before you head out for your Thanksgiving holiday.  We aren't trying to confuse you!

What a busy week it's been already. We're trying to do the juggle of getting real farm progress made with getting things ready for Saturday's Small Business Saturday Holiday Market!  Clearing and rearranging the greenhouse, harvesting vegetables and turmeric, making jam, setting up the deer fence for the strawberries and getting ready for garlic planting, the week has a very packed to-do list.

Before we dive into a sneak peek at our Small Business Saturday event, we wanted to pause for a moment to say a heart-felt Thank You!  Thanks for being a part of the Plum Granny Farm family. Together we’re building a community that shares a passion for sustainable, organic agriculture and together, we CAN make a difference in our food system. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.   

BB Update:  More of an update next week but BB's brother, Abernathy (soon to be called AB) will be coming to live with us on Wednesday.  Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well with the transition!

Here are the details of our 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday event on Saturday, November 28 from 10-4 at the farm greenhouse.  We've got a terrific line-up of vendors offering beautiful, handcrafted products that are perfect for your Holiday giving:

    • Bunny's Trees will provide beautiful and fresh white pine roping perfect for decking the halls
    • Chad's Chai and Tea Company will be making his delicious hot chai.  Have a cup while perusing the market and check out his packaged teas to take home -- extra special gifts for the tea lover on your list!
    • FarmGirl Arts will offer a variety of gifts and hand-sculpted art made from her homegrown, handspun wool including yarns, hand knit bracelets, animal sculptures and ornaments, and wool Dryer Balls. 
    • Greenberries Farm has upcycled wine cork birdhouses, trivets and coasters, window herb boxes, framed farm prints on canvas, and delicious packaged dried veggies.
    • Jewelry by Wonder creates affordable, handcrafted earrings for every style and budget!  From simple gemstones to more elaborate designs, you'll find the perfect gift for the earring lover on your list.
    • MW Herbs will bring an array of handmade soaps, candles, pain relief and healing salve, lip balms, lotion bars and more.  She'll be offering special Holiday pricing on her soaps and gift boxes.
    • Rail Fence Farm will provide beautiful wreaths made from Norway Spruce trimmings - with or without a bow! Perfect for gracing your door for the Holidays.
    • Truffles NC will bring all things truffle for the foodie on your list -- truffle salt, honey and butter.  Both the regular and stocking stuffer sizes will be available.

What's on our Table?  In addition to the great products that our guests will be bringing, we'll have gift items and fresh veggies for your Holiday and home needs.  In the gift department, we'll have lots of Jams (Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle, Raspberry-Cranberry, Yam's Jam Sweet Potato Butter and Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce) - several varieties will be available in stocking stuffer sizes.  There will be Jam Gift Boxes, Garlic Lovers Gift Boxes, garlic braids, fragrant Paperwhite Narcissus, and Mistletoe (each bunch tested and guaranteed to work!)

Since we know you also need to eat, we'll have lots of fresh veggies including Sweet Potatoes (Garnet, Covington and Sweetie Pie), greens (Salad Mix, Friseé, Senposai, Kale - baby & bunches, Swiss Chard), Powdered Turmeric along with fresh Baby Turmeric and Thai Ginger (Galangal), Garlic Powder & Granules and Garlic Sampler bags and culinary garlic.  There will also be HorseradishKohlrabi, Fresh & Roasted Green Chile -- all Certified Organic!

Come shop small, ya'll!

SBS image

 

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  We have many blessings to count as we begin to close out 2015 - and you are among them.

In appreciation,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/20/2015 10:26am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

The sun is out and it's a beautiful day!  Yesterday the clouds and gloom gave way to a clearing sky -- it's always so gorgeous when Cook's Wall starts to break out of the cloud cover and shine through.

Clouds lifting over Cook's Wall

What's Been Going On?:  Our first order of business in the week was our organic inspection on Monday.  Even though we didn't have all of our records as neat and transcribed into electronic files as we would have liked, we were still had it together for our meeting.  The inspector said that our audit was the best one she had ever done -- so I guess we did okay.  Thanks for all of your well wishes!

Once we passed that milestone, it was off to get shallots planted and fields prepped before the rain came in.  We are excited about our shallots -- we have more than doubled our planting this year -- so all of you shallot lovers, keep your fingers crossed!

Shallots ready to be planted

We did get several more beds amended with leaves and fertilizer and shaped for planting.  They are now ready for garlic -- they are quite nice this year.  A far cry from the heavy, sodden (frozen) stuff we planted in for our first couple of crops.  We'll be able to start planting next week!

Ray disking the garlic field  Beds ready for garlic

And our leaf piles are starting to shrink a bit! (Thanks again to all of you leaf-rakers in Winston-Salem!  We LOVE your leaves!)

Shrinking leaf piel

BB Update:  Well, it finally happened -- BB moved outside.  She spent her first night in the pasture on Tuesday and did quite well.  Brix has really connected with her and has determined that taking care of BB is her job.  Just what we wanted!  Although she didn't have a weight gain this week, BB definitely looks a bit different than when we got her in August.

Baby BB  Not so Baby BB

Small Business Saturday is just a week away!!  We are SO excited about our 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday event here at the farm on Saturday, November 28 from 10-4.  We've just added one more vendor -- Chad's Chai.  You'll be able to get great gifts from jam to jewelry, soap to sheep's wool, truffles to tea and cork birdhouses, wreaths and roping and so much more!  Watch for your email next Wednesday with more details about what all of our vendors will be bringing.  You can also check out our Facebook page for more details.  Shop Small, Ya'll!

Small Business Saturday

Market Updates:  Hard to believe, but tomorrow is the LAST day for the Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-noon).  And we've got the goods for your Thanksgiving Feast!  We'll have lots of Sweet Potatoes (Garnet, Covington and Sweetie Pie), lots of green for your side dishes and salads (Salad Mix, Friseé, Senposai, Kale - baby & bunches, Swiss Chard, Pac Choy, & Tatsoi).  For cooking, there's our Powdered Turmeric and our new Powdered Ginger along with fresh Baby Turmeric, Baby Ginger (last of the crop) and Thai Ginger (Galangal).  Here's a hand of the pine-scented Galangal -- an essential for Asian cooking.

Thai Ginger

In the garlic department, we've got Garlic Powder & Granules and Garlic Sampler bags and culinary garlic.  There will also be HorseradishKohlrabi, Fresh & Roasted Green Chile, and Aji Dulce (sweet habanero) peppers - and maybe some green beans.  For hostess and other gifts, we'll have our jams, Jam Gift Boxes, Garlic Lovers Gift Box and Garlic Braids.

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. Friday evening.

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we want to let you know how thankful we are to you for your business, your encouragement, your cheerfulness and your friendship.  We could not do this thing we call Plum Granny Farm without you -- and we are most grateful.

In appreciation,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 11/13/2015 9:58am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

We always enjoy putting together these newsletters for you each week.  It's great to take a minute or two to reflect on the week and write about some of our activities.  But did you know that it was a whole farm activity?  Here Brix and Ray review a draft of last week's edition!

Ray and Brix reviewing the newsletter

Orange is the New Black:  The moment that SO many of you have been waiting for has finally arrived!  Turmeric!  Yes, we have started our harvest of gorgeous, juicy and healthful turmeric and can't wait to share it with you at market!  What is it about turmeric that makes it so good for you?  Turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound.  It is a great pain reliever and has been studied for the prevention of Alzheimer's Disease and cancer.  Stop by our table tomorrow and check out the orange!

Baby turmeric

What's Been Going On?:  All the rain this week gave us some serious desk time to get ready for our organic inspection next Monday.  This is our 6th inspection and it always brings with it a lot of intensive effort to get all of our paperwork in order.  This year is made more difficult by the fact that we had a computer crash in April but had no back-up since early December (that won't happen again, thanks to the cloud back-up now!).   The on-site inspection is very thorough and involves a complete farm walk as well as reviewing our documentation -- half a day at least.  One of the parts that we have to be prepared for is to show our all crops from seed to sale -- a complete audit of when we seeded, when and how much was planted, what was harvested and how much we sold.  

Paper, paper, paper!

So why do we go through this every year?  We believe it provides an important assurance to our customers regarding how we grow our crops.  Unlike vague terms like "naturally grown" or "no spray", what we produce is regulated through an extensive Federal certification process. From the seed we plant to our tent at market, we have specific requirements that we must meet to ensure that the food you enjoy from us is grown in a way that nourishes the land (and you!).  We deeply appreciate your trust in us and thank you for supporting a Certified Organic farm!

BB Update:  The lamb is on the loose!  Sort of.  She is now exploring her new pasture and hutch -- at least during the day.  And much to her dismay, her bottle feedings are becoming less generous.  She weighed in at 34 pounds yesterday and she is really starting to look more like a sheep and less like a lamb.

BB's new pasture  Chwing down in her new digs

 

Just 2 Weeks 'Til Small Business Saturday!  Plans are really coming together for our 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday event here at the farm on Saturday, November 28 from 10-4.  Here's our vendor line-up:  Greenberries Farm, Jewelry by Wonder/Tree of Life Crafts, MW Herbs, Truffles NC, Farmgirl Arts and Rail Fence Farm.  And once again we are teaming up with Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery to make your Holiday shopping so much more pleasant!

Shop Small Welcome mat

Help Us Find T.K a Home!  One rainy night about 2 months ago, we found a starving, frightened kitten here at the house.  We took him in and built his trust in humans but now he needs a home.  Unfortunately the barn cats don't like him and Gesti isn't good around cats.  If you are interested or know someone who would want an affectionate, shy kitten (with a purr like a semi!), please let us know.  

T.K. playing with a pen   T.K.

Market Updates:  Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day for market -much better than last week! Only 2 more markets remain for Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon).  Oh the bounty we'll be bringing!  That beautiful Baby Turmeric will be there along with Baby Ginger (nearing the end of the crop!)  We'll have more Sweet Potatoes (Garnet and Covington).  There will be lots of greens (Senposai, Kale, Swiss Chard, Pac Choy, & Tatsoi) for your stir-fry and salads.  We'll also have Salad Mix and FriseéIn the garlic department, we've got Garlic Powder & Granules and Garlic Sampler bags and there's still time to stock up on our culinary garlic -- although some varieties are running out.   There will also be Kohlrabi, Fresh & Roasted Green Chile, and Aji Dulce (sweet habanero) peppers - and maybe some green beans -- all Certified Organic.  And don't forget our tasty jam -- think about the upcoming holidays!

Bounty o' sweet potatoes

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. Friday evening.

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Wanna Grow Garlic?

Want to know how to grow great garlic in your backyard?  Join Farmers Cheryl & Ray as they share their garlic growing tips based on their 9 years of experience.  This popular, hands-on workshop will give you the essentials of home production, as well as an opportunity to plant garlic in a raised bed.  Great garlic is easy to grow—if you know the basics, such as choosing the right seed; when to plant; and how to harvest and cure your crop!  The cost of the workshop is $32 which includes ½ pound of Certified Organic seed garlic.  Space is limited to the first 15 paid registrants.  Click here for a registration form.

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Ray talks ginger with Lisa

Check out the terrific feature that Flavor, NC did on Plum Granny Farm!  You can view the episode at http://video.unctv.org/video/2365069548/  They did a great job showing our garlic, ginger & berry production - plus a few other surprises! We are paired with Chef Jay from Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen who makes some wonderful garlic recipes!  Enjoy!

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