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Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update -- Preparing for Spring

Posted 1/31/2015 1:06pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Saturday!

Thank goodness for a calm, relatively windless day today!  The past few days have been brutal with winds gusting into the 30+ mph range -- a lot!  The farmhouse is sited on a bit of a rise so we really get the brunt of wind coming off the mountain.  Brrrr!

Even with all the wind, our strawberry field blanket held on nice and tight!

Strawberry field blanket after wind

Yes, our newsletter is a bit late this week.  No, we aren't turning into lazy farmers again but rather yesterday we were focused on Ray's shoulder surgery and getting him home and settled.  He had been dealing with increasing pain since August so we finally got it done.  It went well and he should have full range of motion again after he goes through lots of physical therapy and exercise to keep it loose.  There's never a good time to have these things done but winter is far better than any other time of the year for a farmer.  Here is Ray resting with his faithful buddy, Gesti.

Ray recuperating with Gesti

Before we headed off to surgery, we were able to check off a few more things on the to-do list this week.  The raspberries were mowed down and raked.  Most of our red raspberries are primocanes which mean that they fruit on this year's growth.  In order to do that, they need to be cut down to ground level.  We use the sickle bar for most of this but sometimes we have to go back for a little extra pruning.  Here's Chris using a hedge trimmer to tackle the last bits of stubble in a row of Caroline.

Chris trimming the raspberry canes

It's seed-starting time!  So we got the greenhouse all ready for the hundreds of trays that will be planted over the next couple of months.  We have found that instead of using the entire greenhouse for starting seeds, we can keep the seed-starting area warmer and more moist if we partition off a portion (17' x 23') of the greenhouse as a germination chamber.  We lower the ceiling by putting up a sheet of plastic and then enclose the rest of the area with plastic walls as well.  It works great! Take a look at the process:

Putting up the ceiling of the germ chamber    All sides up but one    Completed germ chamber

Our crops in the hoop house are doing pretty well.  We are harvesting frisée every week.  Chef Mark at Meridian Restaurant makes a terrific salad with itUnfortunately most of the lettuce was hit with a bumper crop of aphids so we had to pull it out.  We will be plating beets, salad turnips and spinach in their place.

Frisee in the hoop house

Just 2 more weeks until our Valentine's Day Holiday Market on Saturday, February 14 from 10-2! The paperwhites are growing and even starting to form the first buds and the potted herbs are looking good!  In addition to our products, we'll also have three other vendors joining us:  BeNutty Bakes and Butters, Greenberries Farm, and Susan Williamson of Triad Farm-to-Table with her new book!  Next week we'll have more information on what everyone will have.  Take a peek at the paperwhites:

Paperwhites growing in the greenhouse

As the calendar turns to February tomorrow, enjoy the fact that we're getting one month closer to Spring!  And while many of you will settle in to watch Super Bowl XLIX, I'm sure a few of you may be more like Ajo.  He's resting up for Kitten Bowl 2015.

Ajo napping in the cart

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Growing Garlic at Home!

People ask us all the time about how to grow garlic.  Here's your chance to learn from our 11+ years experience of growing this essential crop.  If you have always wanted to grow garlic but need some advice to get going or want to improve your skills, this is just the ticket!  Register now for our Growing Great Garlic at Home workshop.  It will be held here at the farm on Sunday, October 13 from 2-5 -- just in time for planting. The class fee is $35 and includes a 1/2 pound bag of seed garlic. To register, use our online form.

Our Online Store is Ready to Serve You!

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.


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"!