Farm description

Welcome to Plum Granny Farm!

We're glad you stopped by for a (virtual) visit to our farm and to see what we are up to these days.

Plum Granny Farm is a USDA Certified Organic small family farm located in the north central piedmont area of North Carolina. The farm is set on 54 beautiful acres of rolling countryside just south of Hanging Rock State Park in the Capella community.

We are building on our heritage as a NC Century Farm, as the farm has been in the Ferguson family for over 140 years.  We grow raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, garlic, ginger, specialty veggies, herbs and cut flowers.

Although full-time farming is fairly new to us, we both have deep connections to our farming heritage.  Cheryl grew up on this farm and her father, grandfather and great-grandfather all practiced the art of cultivation on this soil.  Ray has his farming roots in Kansas where his mother grew up amid some of the most beautiful soil that has ever been seen.

Our approach to farming is to nurture the soil and the land to return it to its optimal state.  Building the soil with cover crops, compost and manure will help us produce better, healthier crops and is an essential part of our sustainability.

We hope you'll stop by frequently to check out our blog and check on the crops.  Our website will continue to grow and develop just as our farm continues to do.  So join us in our adventure!

Here's to good growing and good eating!

Cheryl & Ray

Ray & Cheryl, owners of Plum Granny Farm

Photo:  Walt Unks, Winston-Salem Journal

 

 

 

News and blog

Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update -- So What *Do* Farmers Do in the Winter?

Posted by Cheryl :: Friday, January 12 :: 12:19pm

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday
Hope you made it safely and warmly through the polar plunge earlier in the week!  Our low was 3 on Sunday.  Don't recall getting that cold before.  We're not complaining though -- our sales rep at High Mowing Seeds was at -30 earlier in the week!  But as our wacky NC winters do, we're up to 65 right now.  Our ice bucket sculptures in last week's newsletter are now completely gone.  But we are looking to drop 40 degrees by tomorrow night down to 24.  It's enough to make your head spin!

 

So what DO farmers do in the winter?  We get asked this question a lot.  Many folks think that we nap a lot, read books for fun and watch a bunch of movies.  Of course we did do some of that in December.  And I'm reading Instagram posts (with some envy) about farmers taking vacations in Ecuador, Mexico and even just the beach.  But now for us, as Ray says, "Break time is over!"  We are flat-out in gear and preparing for the season ahead.  And we've are planning a great one for you!

The warmth this week has given us the opportunity to get some fields ready for spring planting.  Although we don't want to shape beds yet, prepping the soil now will make it easier to get things in the ground come March. 

Jonny is learning how to use the Grillo walk-behind tractor and is using it here to prep the beds in Raz 1.  There are 6 empty beds there now -- we removed fall-bearing raspberries a few years ago once the fruit flies (spotted wing drosophila) became such a problem for late fruit.  We'll be adding 2 more rows of blackberries and 2 rows of raspberries here along with trellised peas and beans.  Plants are ordered and they'll get planted in late March!

We are also doing lots of clean-up of the field margins to remove low hanging branches and to clear trees that have fallen.  That generates a LOT of debris that we need to burn.  We've had a couple of great days to do that -- no wind makes for perfect conditions.  Here's Chris with what is left of several trailer loads of brush!

Since we have so many downed trees and brush to get rid of, we are researching making bio-char as a possible soil amendment. Stay tuned!

We are also tending our overwintered crops.  Unfortunately several field crops didn't make it with the frigid temps.  We hit the point of no return with our chard, kale, broccoli and even collards.  Most of these will take a pretty good freeze uncovered but it appears that 3 degrees is just too darn cold!

   

But the good news is that plants in the hoophouse and even under cover in the field are doing pretty well!

   

Farming in the winter is a bit like having your home remodeled on one of those HGTV shows -- waiting for the "reveal" can be a bit nerve-wracking!

So see, farmers do a LOT in winter!  We haven't even talked about putting together crop plans, ordering seed and planning events -- ALL of which we have been doing!

So the next time you hear someone wondering aloud about "What DO farmers do in the winter?," you'll have an answer!


That's about it for the news from the farm for now.  We'd better get back to more crop planning and then over to the greenhouse to start seeding onions!

Have a great weekend!  Let's celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday and honor his memory by doing something to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.  It seems like we need something positive now more than ever.

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

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Our Online Store is OPEN!

Our online store is fully stocked and waiting for your orders! Click here to go right to the shelves.  You'll find our popular fruit-forward Jams (regular and gift-size jars), Garlic Powder and Granules as well as our new Ginger Powder ands Lavender Sachets!  These would make great gifts for your favorite Valentine!  Plus we can even take care of the shipping!

Do you want the latest news from the farm? How about the opportunity to reserve items for pick-up at market? Join our mailing list for our "Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update"!




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Certfied Organic by QCS since 2010

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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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