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Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update -- Brrrrr!

Posted 12/9/2016 12:58pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Even though Winter's official arrival is 12 days away, the temperatures didn't seem to get the email -- it's cold out there!  The morning temperature was 28 degrees -- and it will be colder tomorrow.  And I'll remember to turn the faucet off.

Frozen water hydrant  Icicle at sink

Ray and Chris worked on getting things winter-ready on Wednesday (covering wells and draining water lines) and yesterday morning, the strawberries put on their winter coat.  They seemed to appreciate it this morning!

Covered well  Well #2 covered  Strawberries with field blanket

Before the cold came in, we were able to get more bulb garlic planted -- there's only Nootka Rose left to go!  The field is really starting to sprout tags (each step-in post marks a change in variety)...

Step in posts in Bee Field

... and garlic!  Some of the earlier planted varieties already have gotten quite tall -- the Shandong (planted November 11) has a 3" top and the Lahontan, which was planted on November 29, has a 1" stem and 1" roots but it hasn't emerged yet.  Here's some of the Shandong this morning:

Shandong garlic emerging

Much of the week was spent in pulling together files and records for our organic inspection.  Because of Tuesday's rain, we rescheduled it for yesterday -- a much better day to walk all over the farm.  From the inspector's comments, it seems that everything was fine and that we passed.  We'll be getting their final determination in a month or so.

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.  

For the newer readers of our newsletter, you may ask, "why do you do this?"  Great question.  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!  

Files of materials for the organic inspection

With the inspection behind us, we can now breathe a little bit.  We are trying to get in the Holiday Spirit by doing some special things.  We took a break last Sunday afternoon to go to Mitchell's Greenhouse and Nursery in King for their annual Poinsettia Open House.  They are the largest grower of poinsettias in the Triad (over 9,000!) and grow 81 varieties.  Because of their prolific poinsettia passion, they are one of 33 greenhouses in the U.S and Canada to participate in the North American Poinsettia Trials.  Go check them out -- they still have beautiful flowers for your home or office!

Poinsettias at Mitchell's

This week, we hope to move our Christmas tree from the greenhouse (where it has been since the Holiday Market) to the living room and deck the farm sign with our traditional purple lights!  It's so much fun getting in the spirit!

Christmas tree in the greenhouse

And, yes, it's time to take a nap or two.  Brix recommends it highly.Brix lying down on the job

Need a few more gifts?

Don't head out to the Big Boxes! We make it easy to shop local without leaving your house!  Our jams, garlic braids and gift boxes are ready for giving and are perfect as a hostess gift, a teacher, or even for yourself!  Looking for a custom option?  Give us a call (336-994-2517) or send us an email (farm@plumgrannyfarm.com) and we can put something together for you!  We'll even take care of the hassle of shipping them!  Check out our updated online store and see what we have to offer. 

Jam gift boxes

And we'll leave you with a mystery... sort of.  Our dear little black lamb, BB, has a secret.  She's not really black... she's GREY!  It really is a weird thing!  She started getting lighter and lighter after she was sheared but now she is getting really grey!  We've heard that some black sheep turn grey or even white as they age because of genetic factors.  We suspect it might be Big Brother Tony that is causing those darn grey hairs!  What do you think?  Should we change her name to GB (Grey Beauty)?

Grey BB

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Elves at Work! 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"!