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Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update -- Summer Solstice Edition

Posted 6/19/2015 8:20am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

There's only one word that describes this week.  Garlic!  (I'll bet you thought I was going to say "Hot!") Yep, garlic has been on our minds, hands and backs as we have harvested, trimmed, sorted, cleaned and hung some of the 35,000+ bulbs that await us in the field.  The crop is looking good and many of you have already tasted the results with our fresh garlic that is available at market.

Garlic harvest is not a simple task.  We have developed methods and tools over the years to make it easier -- like the undercutter bar on the tractor -- but it is very time-consuming and detail-oriented.  Growing the number of varieties that we do (24 to be exact), you can't casually pull garlic out and throw it all together in a pile.  We want to know how many of a variety that we've harvested (and frequently by source of seed) and then keep the variety together for curing and sale.  There's lots of counting and labeling.  But those of you who know us, probably aren't surprised by that, right? ;-)

We have been blessed with a group of terrific volunteers that have come to our rescue along with our great team members, Jen, Chris and Matt.  A special thanks go to Sandy & Orville Woodard, Annette Helsabeck, Sally Hirsh and Jack Stack for helping us bring in the garlic!  These folks were absolute Rock Stars coming out to volunteer on the hottest days we have seen this year!!  Mil Gracias!

Take a look and see what a grand time we had!

Harvesting garlic  Matt pulling samples as Ray undercuts garlic bulbs    Jen & Annette harvesting    Annette cleaning Chesnok    Sandy hanging Elephant garlic in the Yam Barn    Monday's "Mob"

The sweet potato slips we told you about last week are doing great!  Check out the vigor of the plants -- and these great roots in just 2 weeks!  We'll be taking orders for slips at market starting this week.  Now is the time to plant sweet potatoes!

Sweet potato slips in tray   Sweet potato slip roots growing out of tray cells

Berry Update:  The later variety of black raspberries is starting to ripen as are the blackberries!  We hope to have them available soon.  As a reminder, we are not open for pick-your-own days on an ongoing basis.  These are special events that we plan based on berry availability and our other farm schedules.  We don't want to disappoint someone who is planning to come out for a picking day only to find that we are not open for PYO.  We will always announce these events in this newsletter, on our website, on Facebook ("Like" us if you haven't already!) and our phone message.  If you don't see something in these locations, we do not have berries available.  We appreciate your understanding!

Market Updates

Find us under the purple tent at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (Saturday, 9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA (Wednesday, 11-1). There will be lots of Fresh Garlic (Music and Chesnok), garlic scapes (last week), Black Raspberries, Swiss Chard, artichokes, lamb's quarters, frissé, Allium flowers and garlic granules -- all Certified Organic!  There MAY be a couple of additions and surprises on the table as well -- you'll just have to stop by and check it out!  You can also order Organic Sweet Potato SlipsAnd don't forget that Dads Love Jam -- Father's Day is Sunday so surprise your Dad with one of our tasty jams!

This weekend marks both the Summer Solstice  -- the longest day of the year -- and Father's Day -- a great confluence of two bright spots!  According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, the timing of the summer solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator. This year, it occurs exactly at 12:38 P.M. EDT on June 21.  It is also, coincidentally, the best time to see a conjunction -- the triangle of the crescent moon, Jupiter and Venus in the western sky near the horizon around 9 p.m. on Saturday evening.  For more information on this celestial event, click here.

Happy Summer!  And 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"!