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Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update -- Hail to the Chefs

Posted 9/2/2016 10:50am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Welcome to September!  It sounds like we are going to be spared Hermine's impact here in the Triad.  But it sure is nice to be looking at a day with high temps in the 70's!  Been a while!

Local food.  We hear and see those words a lot these days.  And what the term means varies wildly.  In the definition used by some grocery stores, it can mean up to 300 miles (or more!) away. Some even consider Florida to be "local."  I can't accept that.

We had the opportunity to attend a celebration of Local Food in its true sense on Sunday evening.  Michael Hastings invited us to attend the Winston-Salem Journal's "Farm to Fourth Harvest Dinner."  This event was an amazing celebration of local farms, local chefs, local flowers, local music, local wine and beer and local supporters of all of these things. Michael's vision to pull this event together highlighted the fantastic food community that we have right here in Winston-Salem.  We were honored to be included in the guest list AND to have some of our products included on the menu (thanks Chef Harrison and Chef Jared!)

Farm to Fourth Harvest Dinner

And "on the menu" is at the crux of the local food discussion.  Since "local food" is a buzzword these days, there are many restaurants that talk about serving it.  Some chefs buy a local item here and there, and then substitute a non-local item.  As farmers, we are fortunate to have relationships with a number of local chefs who truly support local farms and highlight local food on their menus.

Our first restaurant client was Meridian back in 2009. Chef and Owner, Mark Grohman bought garlic scapes from us and we've been selling him produce consistently ever since.  He even suggests things for us to grow.  And he just doesn't buy from us.  He supports several other farmers in our area -- everything from meat to mushrooms.  Mark is a true believer in local.  Can he get this stuff cheaper from other places?  Absolutely.  Is it easier just to place a big order with a distributor?  Totally.  But Mark values the quality, freshness and variety that he can only get from us and our fellow farmers.

Chef Mark Grohman and Cheryl at Meridian Restaurant

Other Winston-Salem area chefs and restaurants with a strong commitment to local farms include Chef Travis Myers of Willow's Bistro, Chef Harrison Littell of The Honey Pot, Chef Jared Keiper of The Tavern in Old Salem, Chef Curtis Hackaday of 1703 Restaurant, Chef Mary Haglund of Mary's Gourmet Diner, and Chef John Bobby of Rooster's: A Noble Grille.  We are honored and grateful to have the opportunity to work with each of them.

But there's a third side to this triangle:  You!  For these chefs to take the risk to work with local farms, they need the support of local customers.  Dine out at one of these great restaurants and let them know how much you appreciate their commitment to local food.  Let them hear it from their most important voice -- their customers.  Without local support, our terrific local restaurants cannot last.  And that will have a big impact on the local farming community.  Let's all work together to keep our local food economy humming!

W-S chefs and Cheryl & Ray after the Farm to Fourth dinner

Market Update

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including boatloads of fingerling (LaRatte) and standard POTATOES (German Butterball, Bintje and the last of the Nicola and Russet), boxes of Creamer Potatoes, CURED GARLIC (Red Toch, Music, Georgian Crystal, Purple Italian, Metechi and Lorz Italian), Okra (Heirloom Burgundy and Cajun Jewel), Concord Grapes, Papalo (a Mexican herb similar to cilantro), Basil (Genovese), and a few Beets.  We'll also have Garlic Braids plus we are now taking orders for your Holiday gifts!  Don't forget the Garlic Scape Pesto -- brush some on what you are grilling for the Holiday Weekend! 

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

In the spirit of Labor Day, we can't think of anything that works harder than bees.  Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Weekend -- get out there and enjoy (and smell) the flowers!

Honeybee on a sunflower

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Get Ready for PlumFresh 2021!

Registration for the 2021 Season is NOW OPEN!  PlumFresh 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!

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"!