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
Photo: Walt Unks, Winston-Salem Journal
Posted by Cheryl Ferguson :: Friday, March 27 :: 1:04pm
Hello Farm Friends! Happy Friday!
The grey sky and wet roads outside the window are contrasted with the green of the garlic field and the red fuzz of the the red oaks in the distance. Spring has set the plant world into overdrive -- getting everything blooming, leafing and growing. Blackberries are leafing out and the flowering bulbs are growing like gangbusters. The hives are full of bees hauling in spring pollen and nectar. And as usual, we will get our early spring freeze to stunt some of the growth.
We are trying to be prepared for the predicted freeze on Saturday night. The strawberries are covered along with the baby lettuce plants in Daddy's Garden. And as a precaution, we'll add some row covers to the tomatoes in Raz House. Farming is done best when it is proactive -- try to anticipate what might happen and prevent any harm. This works for dealing with the weather, pests, disease -- just about anything. Of course, we can never prevent everything but by actively managing the farm, we can hopefully reduce the harm. Not easy for sure.
Speaking of the strawberries, there were a LOT of flowers on the plants when we covered them on Wednesday. The general wisdom is that it is 30 days from flower to fruit. Based on that calculation, we should start harvesting strawberries around April 25! The plan for strawberries this year is to have them at market and as a pick-your-own crop. Stay tuned for details! And send warm thoughts to our little plants!
Another blooming thing we are protecting is our little peach tree. We got scions from our wonderful tree in Albuquerque and had them grafted. We are babying it and hoping to enjoy some peaches this year. It will be under a row cover tent with a light, for sure!
In case you wonder if farmers get much exercise, the answer is, "Yep!" The week started with an intense aerobic and weight-bearing workout for Chris and Cheryl. We have been coordinating a group order of supplies from Seven Springs Farm Supply for fellow farmers. It arrived a bit early and Ray was at his PT appointment. Unfortunately a lift gate, which would have made it easier to unload the 5 pallets of soil amendments and seeds, was not on the truck. So we, with the help of the friendly driver, unloaded the entire load one bag at a time. And then we moved each bag again to sort by farms! That would be 10,000 pounds x 2 = 10 tons!! The amazing thing is that we did the initial unload in 30 minutes! Whew- an extra dose of ibuprofen was on the menu for sure!
More planting this week. English shelling peas went in alongside the garlic and the first batch of bunching, green top and bulb onions were transplanted. We'll be planting the seed shallots next week -- this isthe first time we have tried to grow shallots from seed! We have planted the seeds in trays just like onions so will be setting out the transplants into the field. Here's Jen & Chris planting onions in yesterday's fog:
And while we are on the subject of alliums, don't forget we are now accepting memberships in our bi-weekly Allium Adventure Club! More information and applications are available on the website! The Adventure will begin on May 2nd and will run through November 14. Thanks so much to those of you who have signed up already!
It's just a month away! Plans (and plants!) are being readied for our Open Greenhouse on Sunday, April 26. We have will have hundreds of Certified Organic plants available including tomatoes (36 varieties), tomatillos (4 varieties), peppers - hot and sweet (6 varieties), eggplant (3 varieties), herbs (11 varieties) plus baby ginger and turmeric plants and other veggies such as kale, swiss chard and lettuce! If you are interested in a particular variety, let us know -- we may be growing it for you!!
Until next week,
Cheryl, Ray & Gesti