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Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update -- The Law of Averages

Posted 4/15/2016 9:24am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Today is that magical day that gardeners look forward to -- no, not Tax Day -- Frost-Free Day!  This is the day that everyone sets as the day that it is okay to plant out frost-sensitive plants such as tomatoes and peppers.  What gets forgotten is that April 15 is the average frost-free date, not the absolute frost-free date.  Since it's an average, there's is a 50% chance that we may get some freezes before we move into consistently warmer weather.  Having said that, the long range forecast shows the weather through the end of the month as looking pretty warmBut it's always a good idea to give your transplants a chance to get used to being outside before planting. And be prepared for a cold snap.  Old-timers always said that May 10 was the best date to be sure.

This will be a great weekend to get transplants and get your garden ready to go.  We'll have some tomato plants and strawberry hanging baskets at Cobblestone Farmers Market but will have most of our plants at our on-farm Open Greenhouse and Plant Sale on Sunday (4/17) from 1-5 p.m.  We'll have hundreds of tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, herbs, kale, and chard transplants along with blackberry and black raspberry plants and strawberry hanging baskets -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have soil amendments and some fresh veggies.

Perfect transplant

This week we finally got the potatoes planted -- nearly 500 pounds of spud heaven!!  The first step is to cut the seed potatoes into smaller pieces -- and boy, we sure got some lunkers this year!  Chris and Andrew have fun racing each other to see who can finish planting a row first and they have turned laying out the driptape into a competitive sporting event!  It's Team Plum Granny Spring Training!  They planted 3,000 feet of potatoes (15 rows) and hopefully, we'll be harvesting about 3,500 pounds of potato-y deliciousness starting in late June!


  Planted row of potatoes  Chris running out the driptapeDetroit gets in on the act of cutting potatoes  What a big potato

Last weekend's freeze (and wind!) were quite brutal.  We were able to get a double field blanket on the strawberries so they could be protected.  A HUGE thank you to Deb, Don, Matt, Andy & Lisa for coming out on such a blustery and cold afternoon to help us get the berries covered.  A challenging task with 30 mph winds but we got it done handily.  When we went to remove the cover on Sunday, the verdict was good -- all the flowers looked just fine!  And the proof was in the tasting...

Ray tasting a strawberry after the freeze  Victory in the berries!

Market Updates!

Thanks to all of you who braved last Saturday's less than ideal conditions for the opening of the Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem!  We didn't completely blow away (but our tent collapsed!). We'll be back this week in our repaired purple tent packed with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including spring garlic, purple and green asparagus (limited amounts), swiss chard, kale, salad mix, red and green lettuce, Pink Beauty & White Icicle radishes, garlic powder and granules, tulips, heirloom tomato transplants, and strawberry hanging baskets!  And we will also have lovely irises and delectable jam!  We hope to see you there from 9-noon -- it's supposed to be a beautiful (and not windy) day.


The King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA will open on Wednesday, April 20 at 11:00 am!  The market has several new vendors this year and has moved to the lower parking lot at the Y.  We should have the same items as are listed for the Cobblestone Market.

We had a great time with our friends at Old Salem Museum and Gardens yesterday for our talk on growing small fruit.  Thanks to Vonnie Hannah for the invitation and for making us feel so welcome!  As I was walking to the greenhouse after we returned, I got a glimpse of why we love to grow berries -- seeing the first buds of blackberry flowers!  Stay tuned, folks -- it won't be long!

Ouachita blackberry flowers

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"!