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Plum Granny Farm Update for February 7, 2020 -- 💜 A Labor of Love 💜

Posted 2/16/2020 3:40pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Welcome February!
I'm just gonna put it out there and not sugarcoat it -- I am sick of rain.  Yesterday hit a new high (low?) here at the farm.

Yep, that's over 5 inches of rain in one day.  I've decided that the Groundhog didn't see his shadow because he had water in his eyes.  Okay, rant over...the sky is clearing and the wind is starting to howl.  Stay safe out there, folks!

Earlier in the week, we had a chance to get some outside stuff done.  Our farrier, Dave Ogburn, came by to give Brix a hoof trim so she got all gussied up for the event!

Needless to say, her curls are a bit muddier now.

We also got to try out a "new" measuring tape that Cheryl found during her Winter Purge.  

This measuring tape lets you approximate the weight of a cow based on her girth.  It even has a scale that is breed-specific.  Cheryl's dad must have gotten this at one of the Cattlemen's Association dinners that he went to -- but it is specific to dairy cows and he only had beef cattle.... My bet is that since it was likely free, he used it anyway!  Daddy always loved free things!

So during breakfast, we got the opportunity to measure Cara and Mia -- any guesses?  Ask Farmer Ray at Market tomorrow!

While we were at it, we measured Jonny, too!  Mia thought that was funny -- but she was too busy eating to laugh.

Back To School on Ginger!
A project that we have had underway for the past couple of years is working with Dr. Gouchen Yang at NC A & T University.  One of Dr. Yang's research interests is developing tissue culture production of ginger plants as an alternative to the traditional seed rhizome.  We partnered with him to provide seed ginger of as many varieties as we can find, and last year we started growing a few of his tissue culture plantlets alongside our regular crop. 

Our tiny trial was promising and mirrored what Dr. Yang is seeing so far -- that tissue culture gives at least an equivalent yield and significantly better quality than rhizome-grown ginger.  That could be a winning combination!

Se we're repeating the experiment this year with more plantlets.  Ray picked up some at Dr. Yang's greenhouse this week and potted them right away. 

They're very tender, so he asked Cindy Lu, Dr. Yang's key lab technician, to show him how she plants them with such great success.  She is amazing, and Ray came away with some really helpful tips.

It's Pruning Time!  Join Us for a Workshop!
February is a key month for pruning all kinds of fruiting trees, bushes and vines.  You want to get the plant cut back during dormancy in the late winter.  Regular pruning ensures a healthier plant and better fruit production.

On Saturday, February 22 from 2-4, we'll be hosting a Blackberry and Grape Pruning Workshop with NC Cooperative Extension.  Bryan Hartman, the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Stokes County, will be leading the workshop and demonstrating the proper way to prune.  Participants will be able to prune both grape vines and blackberries and will receive a free pair of pruners!

Registration is $12 and you must register by February 21 in order to receive the pruners.  Bryan is also conducting another workshop on Blueberry Pruning at Mabe's Berry Farm in Walnut Cove on February 29.

This workshop is the first of several events that we have planned here at the farm in 2020.  Stay tuned for more information!

Cobblestone Winter Market Update
We warned ya!  The sweet potatoes are all gone!  This is all that is left of 2,500 pounds....

Thanks SO MUCH for loving our sweet spuds!  We've planned even more for this year!

This week you'll find our signature Fancy Pants Salad Mix -- all aglow with tasty edible flowers.  Won't this be great for your Valentines dinner?

And speaking of Valentines, show your Sweetie or your BFF Gal-Pal that you care with a gift of our incredible Jam!  Unlike most jam, the focus is on the FRUIT (because we don't grow sugar cane!)  We'll have Old-Fashioned Raspberry, Old-Fashioned Blackberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Cranberry, Raspberry-Lavender, and Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint.  And head's up!  This will be the LAST week for jam until we return to Old Salem in April.  Get it while you can!  

Note:  This photo is from w-a-y back (at Krankies Farmers Market in 2010!) when we were working on our recipes for Old Fashioned Raspberry jam.  We had folks taste our 3 variations and vote on their favorite!  How's that for product research?

Here's what other Certified Organic delights we'll be bringing:

  • Luscious Lettuce
  • Fresh Turmeric (LAST week!)
  • Snacking Cucumbers
  • Sweet Baby Collards
  • Arugula
  • Tomatoes (just a few)
  • Fresh Dill (a little)
  • Frozen Baby Ginger
  • Fire-Roasted Green Chile (Vacuum-packed and frozen.  Think Quesadillas or Green Chile Stew!
  • Garlic Powder & Granules
  • Ginger Powder & Granules
  • Turmeric Granules

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

Market is located at Wise Man Brewing  (826 Angelo Bros. Avenue in downtown W-S -- at the corner of Martin Luther King Avenue and Trade Street).  Market hours are 9:30-11:30 a.m.  Hope to see you there!

And remember that Spring is still 41 days away (no matter what that groundhog says....)

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

PlumFresh Is Full but Get in Line for 2021!

The 2020 Season for PlumFresh is currently SOLD OUT!  But to make sure you get an early place in line for 2021, please fill out the registration form so that we may contact you when registrations open in January.

This program is our own twist on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  It is flexible and customizable -- and you don't have to pay for the entire season upfront.  Click here for more information!  Ready to sign up now?  Click here!

Our Online Store is Ready to Serve You!

We've been really jammin' so now 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 and Lavender Sachets!  

NEW!  Local customers can order online and arrange to pick up their items at the farm or at the Cobblestone Farmers Market Winter Market.


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"!