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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 

Posted 11/6/2015 10:04am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

November brings two challenges for farmers.  The first is the end of daylight savings time -- even though it happens every year, it does always seem to catch us by surprise when it is getting dark at 5 p.m.! 

The second is the weather (isn't it ALWAYS the weather?).  November is always such an unpredictable month weather-wise.  In my head the month is beautiful, sunny and cool -- but in reality, we get a lot of rain.  And this year is no exception.  All this rain makes for challenges in getting the garlic in the ground.  We always want to have it planted by mid-November but it seems the fates conspire against us.  I guess we need to make the best of what we are given (it's great weather for harvesting or organizing!) and enjoy the sunshine when it comes (like Detroit - although we can't exactly lounge around!)

Detroit lounging in the sun

But we do not stand still on rainy, cloudy days -- we are getting our seed ready to go for planting.  We have a nice batch of seed garlic this year -- most of it is ours but we did order some from other organic farms.  Our final order of seed garlic came in this week -- got some beautiful, big bulbs and BB inspected each one!

BB inspecting the seed garlic

BB Update

And speaking of BB, she has finally passed the magic 30-pound mark which signals when we will start weaning her.  Today's weight is 31.6 pounds!

BB is also transitioning to becoming an outdoor lamb.  Ray has been working on a shelter for her-- a simple Quonset-hut style that will be covered with a tarp.  The fencing arrived yesterday and she is starting to get used to the whole idea of NOT touching the fence - that might take a while.  She will also be getting a companion in addition to Brix - her brother will come to live with us in the next week or so!

Setting up the BB shelter  First time in the fence

Mark Your Calendar!

We are getting really excited about our 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday event here at the farm on Saturday, November 28 from 10-4.  We have our list of vendors finalized and it's a great line-up:  Greenberries Farm, Jewelry by Wonder/Tree of Life Crafts, MW Herbs, Truffles NC, Farmgirl Arts and Rail Fence Farm.  Even Gesti is getting in the spirit for the event!

Gesti with her Small Business Saturday bandanna

Help Wanted!  We are looking for a few volunteers to help us put new plastic on our greenhouse.  We anticipate taking care of that task on Thursday, November 19 in the morning. If you are interested in helping, send us a note at farm@plumgrannyfarm.com.  We need about 10 people for a couple of hours.

Market Updates

We had a great time at Cobblestone Halloween last week -- we even decided to go in costume!  And we had a great visitor at our tent -- a beautiful Golden Retriever with the same costume idea as us!

Ray and the Golden Bee

Even though the weather forecast isn't great for tomorrow, we will be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon).  Our tables will be brimming with goodness!  We'll have even more Sweet Potatoes (Garnet, Covington, Sweetie Pie and Stokes Purple).  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 are restocked with Garlic Powder & Granules and have garlic sampler bags and still have good supply of most of our garlic -- although some varieties are running out.  We are getting near the end of the crop for our Baby Ginger. There will also be Green Beans, Kohlrabi, Fresh & Roasted Green Chile, and Aji Dulce (sweet habanero) peppers -- all Certified Organic.  And don't forget our tasty jam -- Old Fashioned Raspberry is back!  Come on out and support your local farmers!

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

On Wednesday, please take a moment to remember our veterans and say a word of thanks. Both Ray and Cheryl's fathers were part of the Greatest Generation, serving their country during World War II. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of our veterans.  Thank you for your service!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 10/30/2015 9:39am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

And Happy Halloween Eve!  Your farmers won't be out trick or treating tomorrow but we are getting ready for a scary good market for you!  More details below!

We had a pretty good rainfall this week -- 1.25 inches -- so things rehydrated and settled in.  And Brix got her curls back.

Brix and the curly coat

Knowing that the rain was coming, on Monday we prepped the area for the shallots.  We removed the remaining grass, added fertilizer and lots of leaves.  Ray was able to get out on Tuesday morning to form the beds  -- just in time before the rain began to dump.  Now the beds are all ready for planting shallots.  We added more French Red shallots to our seed order this year so hope to have a bigger crop in 2016!

Loading leaf mulch for the shallot beds    Spreading leaves in the field  Shallot beds all prepped and ready

After the rain, Chris and Amy tackled the older strawberry field to clear out the weeds and the old leaves and runners.  Check out the before and after shots -- Great job, guys!

Strawberry Field Before  Strawberry Field After

Garlic Planting

We had a great time yesterday at Old Salem Museum and Gardens talking to a group of about 30 garlic lovers on how to grow garlic at home.  Thanks so much to Vonnie Hannah for making this possible!  We have a VERY limited amount of seed garlic available.  If you are interested, please email us and we can bring it to market.  We will not be bringing seed garlic to market for general sales.  

BB Update

BB is turning into quite a young lady.  Today's weight is 29.6 pounds! And as she edges near the 30 pound mark, she is closer to weaning.  Yep, these bottle days are coming to an end, girl!

BB and the bottle

She got her ear tag this week (required of all sheep and goats through the National Scrapie Eradication Program, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.)  Scrapie is a terrible disease similar to mad-cow.  It is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats for which there is no cure or treatment.  BB is now enrolled in this tracking program and has the pink tag to prove it!

BB's new ear tag

Mark Your Calendar!

Plans are firming up for our 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday event here at the farm on Saturday, November 28 from 10-4.  Once again we are teaming with our friends at Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery for the event. We have 4 vendors confirmed and are working on a couple more.  Stay tuned for more information!

Market Updates

Looks like we'll have a nice day for market tomorrow!  We will be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon).  

Baby Ginger

Lots of delights of the season on our table.  Our fresh, Organic Baby Ginger is looking really good and is available.  You'll be able to see a sample of our Baby Turmeric -- it isn't available for sale yet because we want it to grow out a bit more before full harvest in mid-November. 

We'll have the first of the Sweet Potatoes - we have 4 varieties:  Garnet, Covington, Sweetie Pie and Stokes Purple.  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 FriseéWe are restocked with Music Garlic Powder and have a good number of packets of Garlic Granules.  We have a new mixture in our culinary garlic sampler bags and still have good stock of most of our garlic -- although some varieties are running out.  We'll also have Green Beans, Kohlrabi, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Fresh & Roasted Green Chile, Aji Dulce (sweet habanero) peppers, and  a wee bit of Okra -- all Certified Organic.  And don't forget our tasty jam!

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

Happy Halloween -- be safe out there!

Scary cat in ttreeUntil next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 10/23/2015 10:05am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Plum Granny Farm -- you either signed up at a market or on our website.  We are glad to have this brief opportunity to share some news of the farm with you!  If you no longer wish to receive these weekly newsletters, please see the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of this email.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Tomato plants after the frost

We had an early visit last weekend from our friend, Jack.  Yes, Jack Frost planned his fall trip to the farm a bit earlier than in the past several years.  We have been a bit lucky because frost hasn't really hit until later in November for the past 3 years but the dice rolled up a frost last Saturday morning.  Three mornings of frost and a low of 31 really knocked down some plants -- the tomatoes (pictured above) have very few leaves anymore.  It will be a while to see the complete impact -- warmer temperatures may help us stretch out the harvest a bit longer.

It's funny how some plants are so much more frost tolerant -- the sunflowers just keep on smiling!

Sunflowers after the frost

The frost gave us a good excuse to dig the sweet potatoes.  Wow, what a harvest!  We got over 720 pounds of the prettiest sweets we've ever grown!  This year we have 4 varieties:  Garnet, Covington, Sweetie Pie and Stokes Purple.  They will start coming to market next week -- the sugars really develop once you let them cure, so they are warming themselves in the greenhouse.  Get your recipes ready! 

Here's a tour of the harvest process:

Sweet potato vines after the frost -- blackened top leaves -- okra plants are to the right

Mowing the sweet potato vines

Mowing the vines and raking them out of the way so we can plow

Sweet potato harvesting  Amy mowing the sweet potatoes

The potato plow did a great job of raising the tubers

Potato plow and the potatoes

Sweet potato roast, anyone?

Big sweet potato

Some of the bounty on its way to the greenhouse for curing

Crates of sweet potatoes

Garlic Planting

We've been busy selling our seed garlic and helping others learn about growing one of our favorite crops.  We donated seed to the Stokes Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers' SEED Garden in King.  Cheryl taught them about planting and helped get their bed ready for winter.

Planting garlic with Master Gardeners

And the garlic from the Workshop here at the farm has started to emerge!

Garlic sprouts

Don't forget we will be doing a lunchtime talk on growing garlic at Old Salem Visitors Center on Thursday, October 29 at noon as part of the Old Salem Horticulture workshop series.  The session is free and attendees may bring a lunch; beverages are provided.  To pre-register, please email vhannah@oldsalem.org or call 336-721-7357.

 

BB Update

Maybe BB stands for Bigger and Bushier!  Today's weight is 27.5 pounds! Perhaps all of the sweet potato vines she ate helped this week!

BB and the sweet potatoes

Mark Your Calendar!

We are working on plans for our 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday event here at the farm on Saturday, November 28.  We'll have more vendors than last year and hope to have a few surprises!  More to come!

Market Updates

Looks like a another good week ahead for market weather!  We will be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and at the LAST of the season King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1).

For those of you who have been asking -- our Garlic Powder and Granules are BACK!!  Also in the garlic department, we are taking orders for seed garlic and have our popular culinary garlic sampler bags.  We still have lots of greens -- Senposai (a Japanese hybrid of cabbage and komatsuna), Kale, Pac Choy, & Tatsoi for your stir-fry.  We'll also have Salad Mix and Friseé.  There are still a good number of green beans (Jade round pod, haricot verts, Romano, and beautiful cream & purple-streaked Dragon Tongue), winter squash, kohlrabi, tasty Muscadines and Scuppernong Grapes, Baby Ginger, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Fresh & Roasted Green Chile, and  Aji Dulce (sweet habanero) peppers -- all Certified Organic.  And don't forget our 6 varieties of jam -- just made a batch of Old Fashioned Blackberry this week!

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Enjoy the sunshine -- Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 10/16/2015 9:42am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

I love October.  Maybe because it's my birth month, but I think it is mostly because the days are so beautiful.  The air is clear and crisp and the sky can be a deep, piercing blue.  October's beauty is a wake-up call to me to enjoy the colors and smells of this special time of year -- enjoy it before it fades into winter's cold and grey.

On my way to the pond yesterday, I noticed that the persimmon trees were completely bare save a few persimmons hanging on at the top.  This little grove of very tall trees is quite interesting.  When Ray was bushhogging last year, he noticed that there were wild blackberry bushes encircling the grove but there was a small area where it was clear -- almost like a door.  When he went into the clearing, there was nothing but grass that was bent down like bedding.  This is where the deer sleep!  We imagine that they roll over in the morning and open their mouths, waiting for a nice juicy persimmon to drop in.  Funny thing that we haven't gotten any fruit for the past several years -- hmmm...

Bare persimmon trees

It has been a week filled with lots of miscellaneous tasks -- some seeding, some planting, clearing, weeding, lots of harvesting -- a bunch of little but important things.  We had a great find this week when we were in the strawberries and found our fall treasure!  This post on Facebook created quite a flurry of activity!  We thought about having an auction of berries at market! ;-)

Handful of strawbberies in fallHere are some other photos of our week's activities:

Chris planting onions in the bagster  Ray with a nice hand of baby ginger  Sunflowers in test bed

It's garlic planting time!  We had a great time on Sunday at our Garlic Growing Workshop here at the farm.  Twelve folks came out and explored the wonders of garlic and then got to plant some!  We will be doing an abbreviated version of this talk at Old Salem Visitors Center on Thursday, October 29 at noon as part of the Old Salem Horticulture workshop series.  The session is free and attendees may bring a lunch; beverages are provided.  To pre-register, please email vhannah@oldsalem.org or call 336-721-7357.

Growing Great Garlic Workshop at the farm

BB Update

BB seems to be on a steady growth pattern, gaining about 3 pounds per week.  Today's weight is 24 pounds!  This week BB got to go back to visit Farmer Laura and BB's twin brother, Abernathy.  We were expecting a grand reunion with lots of play -- but not so much!  It is obvious that BB has been with dogs and people a lot more than she has been with sheep.

Laura and Abernathy with Ray and BB

Market Updates

Looks like a good week ahead for market weather!  We will be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and at the King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). New this week is powdered turmeric!  We will still have lots of green on the table.  Try some Senposai -- a Japanese hybrid of cabbage and komatsuna -- or Kale, Pac Choy, or Tatsoi for your stir-fry.  We'll also have Salad Mix and Friseé.  There are lots of green beans (Jade round pod, haricot verts, Rattlesnake pole, Romano, and beautiful cream & purple-streaked Dragon Tongue), tasty Muscadines and Scuppernong Grapes, lots of cured garlic along with Baby Ginger, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Roasted Green Chile, and a few Summer Squash, Snow Peas, Aji Dulce (sweet habanero) peppers and Shishito Peppers -- all Certified Organic. And don't forget our 6 varieties of jam!

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Today is Dictionary Day in honor of Mr. Noah Webster's birthday.  What new word will you learn today?

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 10/9/2015 8:55am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

And Good Morning, Sunshine!

Sunflowers in the sunshine

What a difference a week makes!  We have had a gorgeous week here at the farm -- such a pleasant change from last week's bluster.  By the time the storm rode out of town, we had about 5.5 inches of rain -- still nothing like some of our fellow farmers did, but it was a lot.  Thank you all so much for understanding our decision last week to not be at Cobblestone Farmers Market -- given the way the rain and wind persisted, we know we made the right decision!

We have tried to take full advantage of the sunny, warm weather.  A major task has been to get the strawberries cleared and ready for winter and to plug in some of the holes.  We got the larger field finished this week -- yay!!  Special thanks goes to Chris who finished up the task on Wednesday! 

Clearing out the strawberries

And sometimes you get rewarded for your work!  Here's Amy enjoying a fall strawberry.

Amy with strawberry

Another task was to get the drip tape out of the potato fields so that we can get them prepped for garlic.  Have you ever tried to roll up drip tape with help from a lamb?

Ray and BB rolling up drip tape

BB Update

Speaking of BB, today's weight is 21 pounds!  She has decided that Gesti is part of the herd and has begun to teach this poor dog sheep etiquette (Gesti thinks it needs to be the other way around).

BB and Gesti  Buddies - sort of

Market Updates

We are back to normal with markets this week  -- we will be at  Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and at the King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). And JAM is back!  We have restocked and have Old Fashioned Raspberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle, Raspberry-Cranberry, Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint and a special edition Blackberry Caramel Jam!

There will be lots of green on the table.  We'll be bringing a new green to market this week -- Senposai -- a Japanese hybrid of cabbage and komatsuna.  It is like a tender, sweeter collard - give it a try!  It will be joined by Kale, Swiss Chard, Pac Choy, Tatsoi, Salad Mix, and Friseé.  We still have lots of green beans (Jade round pod, haricot verts, Rattlesnake pole, Romano-type, and beautiful cream & purple-streaked Dragon Tongue), tasty Muscadines and Scuppernong Grapes, lots of cured garlic along with Baby Ginger, Okra, Summer Squash, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Roasted Green Chile, Cucumbers, and a few Snow Peas, Aji Dulce (sweet habanero) peppers and Shishito Peppers -- all Certified Organic.  

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Tomorrow is National Angel Food Cake Day!  Enjoy -- perhaps with a bit of ...jam?

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 10/2/2015 11:25am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Let's get the main news out of the way first -- we will not be at Cobblestone Farmers Market tomorrow.  With a predicted storm and especially the accompanying wind, we feel that it is wise to not be there.  We feel that the risk for our products, tents, and especially our customers just isn't worth it.  As of now, the market is scheduled to go on as usual but that may change.  To know the latest about the market, check out their Facebook Page.

It's another windy, chilly and rainy day here at the farm.  The wind has been howling all night and a constant mist has been swirling all morning.  We've had nearly 3.5 inches of rain since last Thursday and it sounds like there is a good chance of a couple more inches before this thing is past us.  Our rain totals aren't as high as some of our fellow farmers -- In Season Gardens in Danbury had over 5 inches as of Wednesday and Ridgecrest Farm in Lawsonville had over 7".  Lots of water!

WXII-TV was interested in hearing about the impact of the rain on farmers, so they came up and interviewed us for last night's news.  Thanks to Veronica White for visiting us!  We've already heard from a few of you that you saw it!

The rain is definitely having an impact on the crops -- development of bean pods and okra has slowed a lot and we are starting to see mold on squash plants.  We keep on trudging out into the field in our rain gear and picking away!  Several crops are still pouring in -- we harvested over 50 pounds of muscadines and scuppernongs yesterday and today!

Ray and Chris picking snow peas  Harvesting in the rain

We finally were able to get to Camp Hanes to make some jam!  It was good timing with the rain -- Cheryl brushed off her jam-making skills and replenished our stocks!  We now have Old Fashioned Raspberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle, Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint and a special edition Blackberry Caramel Jam!  So for those of you who have been waiting, come and get it!

Jams cooling at Camp Hanes

BB Update

Today's weigh-in: 18.5 pounds! Her new favorites are snow peas and sugar snap peas -- vines, flowers, peas...yum!  And she and her kitten friend have become roommates -- the kitten is in a crate next to BB in the living room (the house is starting to feel like a barn!).  BB is a very comforting and calming influence on the kitten -- it has begun taking food from our hands! The kitten will soon be moving to its new home with Chris & Summer!

BB is innately curious and finds all kinds of things to explore -- she found the soap suds from the drain when we were washing buckets the other day!

BB and the suds  BB in repose in the grass

Garlic Growing Workshop

A few more slots remain for our hands-on garlic growing workshop here at the farm on Sunday, October 11 from 2-5.  If you are interested, get your registration in soon!  Attendance is limited to 15 people.

Market Updates

Again, we WON'T be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon).  We WILL be at King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). We'll have lots of green beans (Jade round pod, haricot verts, Rattlesnake pole, Romano-type, and beautiful cream & purple-streaked Dragon Tongue), tasty Muscadines and Scuppernong Grapes, lots of cured garlic along with Okra, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Roasted Green Chile, Pickling Cucumbers, Kale, Swiss Chard, Snow Peas (few) and Shishito Peppers (few)-- all Certified Organic.  And don't forget the JAMS!

 

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Stay warm & dry -- and be safe!  Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Mark Your Calendar! Holiday Market on November 25!

It won't be long until our 4th Annual Small Business Saturday Holiday Market!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 25 from 10-3.  This event, now in its 4th year, has become the destination for many visitors to kick off the Holiday Season.  We'll be teaming up again with our friends from Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery in Germanton.  There will be lots of vendors at both locations who will offer locally grown and produced items for the perfect gift for Holiday giving.  Feel good about supporting your local small business owners!


 

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Watch Us!

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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