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Posted 2/2/2021 1:33pm by Cheryl.

Farm update for January 29, 2021

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!  
It was a lovely frosting on the mountain yesterday morning.  Cook's Wall looks so pretty with a dusting of snow.  Gesti thought it was pretty nice weather to take a walk too!

Let's talk SEED!
I know that we discussed seeds in last week's newsletter but at this time of year on the farm, seeds are on our minds a LOT!  Orders are coming in nearly every day (kind of strange -- more later) and we are working our crop plans which will necessitate getting even more.

The strange thing this year is that it is somewhat of a repeat of 2020 in the seed business.  Last year, the sheer number of orders nearly shut down many seed companies -- the coronavirus pandemic created an explosion of folks who wanted to start gardens at home.  The companies prepared for that again in 2021 but still weren't prepared enough for the crush of orders.  Shortages, combined with shipping delays, are creating some real challenges for farmers and gardeners alike.  At least 1/3 of the seeds we have ordered this year have been backordered -- and we have been ordering seeds earlier this year than usual.  We are getting our orders divided into multiple shipments -- something we hadn't expected.

So if you are wanting to order seeds, you had been hop to it and get in line.  Make sure you are patient and have a back-up plan.  Some companies like Johnny's Selected Seeds,  High Mowing Seeds and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange are limiting hours or are only taking orders from commercial growers.  Even very small seed companies are experiencing shortages and shipping delays.

We have a pretty good stock of seeds that we will will be growing out for our Plant sales, so definitely keep this in mind as you are planning your garden.  So far, we have more than SIXTY varieties of tomatoes for you!  As you can see, we are well-stocked with tomato seeds.

So mark your calendar for March 26 and 27 AND April 30-May 2 for our TWO Spring Plant Sales here at the farm.  The first one will focus more on early crops like kale, chard, cabbage and lettuce.  The second sale will have tons of tomatoes, peppers, ginger, turmeric and lots more!  

A huge part of successful seed-starting is finding the best media for your seeds.  While we know that certain seeds have preferences, we are always looking for a general purpose medium that meets most of our needs.  A couple of new (to us) products have come to our attention recently so we are doing a trial to compare them alongside the product we used last year, Dirtcraft Organics Levitation Blend.  Growers across the country have raved about Vermont Compost Fort Vee and Purple Cow Organics Seed Starter Mix so we'll be trialing these to see which one works best for us.  We are doing a test of all 3 mixes with peas to see which has the best root formation.  We'll keep you posted!

So, yes, the greenhouse is very busy these days -- only to get busier!  Seeds are starting to pop and more trays are being filled every day.  Detroit is a bit worried that he's going to lose all of his resting spots!

It's really not all about the greenhouse these days.  Jonny prepped some beautiful beds for carrots in Wally (it will be a total carrot tunnel soon!) and work on the pad for the greenhouse extension is nearly done.  Ray even got some tractor time in over the weekend -- prepping some fields and making sure that Cara and Mia have plenty of hay (they called in an order).



That will do it for this week!  Make sure you go out tonight to see the first full moon of the year -- the Full Wolf Moon.  Although Thursday was the full moon, it will still be quite a beautiful show on a cold, clear January night. We won't think badly of you if you decide to howl!

Remember to be kind, love your neighbor and wear a mask.
Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/15/2020 12:02pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!
Well, THAT was a soggy 24 hours!  The rain gauge was so full that it broke the strap!  Plus, we need a bigger rain gauge!

What a deluge -- we hope that you made it through the rain safely.  It was a deadly storm in parts of the state.  And we've seen so many pictures of farms that are flooded -- and our hearts go out to all of them.  Everything survived okay here -- it's just super soggy.

The good news is that Ray was able to make great progress on prepping the field for the 2021 Garlic Crop before we got 5.75 inches of rain.


The garlic field has been fertilized and plowed so now we just need to get the beds shaped before we can plant.  If things dry out and we don't get another major rain event, we should still be on target for planting by Thanksgiving.  Fingers crossed!

We also nearly finished the sweet potato harvest before the rain.  We got 3/4 of the way through the field on Tuesday.  While the harvest was respectable, it is no where near last year's records. We kind of got spoiled by that.  A late planting and intense deer pressure played a role in reducing this year's yield.  Dastardly Deer!

The sweet potatoes are now curing in the greenhouse and should be available by the last Cobblestone market on November 21.


A Visit from Roy's Folks!  DVR Alert!

We had a wonderful visit from Chad Tucker and David Weatherly of Fox 8 News this week!  They told us that they had heard about  our garlic and that they wanted to learn more about the farm.  We had a grand time walking around on a beautiful day showing them around the place -- everything from our garlic field preparations, seed garlic and the barn where we cure garlic to our ginger and other crops.  David even got drone footage of the farm!

Mark your calendar for this episode to air on Monday, November 16 at 8:55 a.m. and at 5:20 p.m.  After that time it will be on the Fox 8 News Roy's Folks page. Thanks so much, Chad and David!

Speaking of News.... 
We've got lots of updates to share with you!  First of all, we will not be hosting our annual Small Business Saturday Holiday Market this year.  It would have been our 7th year for this event.  Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, our space is too crowded for us to host this event safely.  While we are disappointed, we hope to be back at it in 2021!

 Cobblestone Farmers Market Update

BREAKING NEWS!  We will NOT be at Cobblestone tomorrow.  

Our market van won't start and we're having to get it towed.  We will be back for the final market of the season next Saturday (November 21) with lots of goodies for your Thanksgiving table.  We are sorry to miss you tomorrow!

We also wanted to let you know that we will not be an on-site vendor at Cobblestone next year.  After doing markets for 11 years, we want to take a break to focus on our PlumFresh Harvest Subscription Program, online ordering, and an on-farm market.  We will continue to be part of Cobblestone as a Drive-Thru vendor in 2021.  So you'll still be able to enjoy our Organic fruits and veggies by ordering for Drive-Thru convenience!  And we will likely be a seasonal vendor when we have large quantities of fruit or veggies.

We've been planning and building these areas of our business for a couple of years, but with Covid-19 we've felt an increased urgency.  Demand for PlumFresh and interest in non-farmers market purchasing have been booming.  Given our size, we can't grow these options while continuing to participate in market as an on-site vendor.

We have long been a strong supporter for farmers markets -- and we still are.  We were part of the original Krankies Farmers Market which was the predecessor to Cobblestone.  Our very first farmers market was at the King market in August 2009.  We are grateful for all of you that we've met through these markets!  We have enjoyed our conversations about garlic varieties and ginger and shishitos and so many of the other new products that we introduced to the community through farmers markets.  We are appreciative of the Cobblestone Farmers Market management team that has worked so hard to keep Cobblestone alive during a pandemic -- a tip of the face mask to all of you!

So stay tuned for more details about how you'll be able to continue to get our products.  This winter we will be working on our on-farm market and we hope to have our online store ready by mid-December (tomatoes are on the way!). And registration for PlumFresh subscriptions will open in January. 

Whew!  That was a lot of news for one week, don't you think? 

We can't sign off without letting you know that today is World Kindness Day.

Let's remember to be kind and supportive of our fellow humans (and 4-footers).  In this time of divisiveness and discord, let's remember that kindness matters more than ever.

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

Posted 4/25/2020 7:53pm by Cheryl.

We're hearing from fellow farmers around the country that the interest in growing a home garden is more popular now than it has been in decades.  In fact, some are calling it the Victory Garden of the Covid-19 era.

We've been hard at work getting a plethora of plants ready for YOUR Victory Garden!  And they will be ready for you at next weekend's plant sale!  Here are the details on the dates:

  • Friday, May 1 -- 10-noon reserved for seniors and those at-risk; noon-4 pm open to all
  • Saturday, May 2 -- 10-noon reserved for seniors and those at-risk; noon-4 pm open to all
  • Sunday, May 3 -- 1-4 pm (open to all)
  • Monday, May 4 -- 10 am - 3 pm  (open to all)

UPDATE!  Thanks to the tremendous response of the community, we have sold out of quite a few items!  For a complete list of all the transplants we still have available, please click here.  We strongly encourage folks to visit on Sunday for best selection.

We will have procedures in place to ensure adequate social distancing such as limiting the number of people in the greenhouse at any time, asking visitors to bring and wear masks and maintaining 6' spacing in checkout lines, etc. 


Posted 2/16/2020 3:40pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Welcome February!
I'm just gonna put it out there and not sugarcoat it -- I am sick of rain.  Yesterday hit a new high (low?) here at the farm.

Yep, that's over 5 inches of rain in one day.  I've decided that the Groundhog didn't see his shadow because he had water in his eyes.  Okay, rant over...the sky is clearing and the wind is starting to howl.  Stay safe out there, folks!

Earlier in the week, we had a chance to get some outside stuff done.  Our farrier, Dave Ogburn, came by to give Brix a hoof trim so she got all gussied up for the event!

Needless to say, her curls are a bit muddier now.

We also got to try out a "new" measuring tape that Cheryl found during her Winter Purge.  

This measuring tape lets you approximate the weight of a cow based on her girth.  It even has a scale that is breed-specific.  Cheryl's dad must have gotten this at one of the Cattlemen's Association dinners that he went to -- but it is specific to dairy cows and he only had beef cattle.... My bet is that since it was likely free, he used it anyway!  Daddy always loved free things!

So during breakfast, we got the opportunity to measure Cara and Mia -- any guesses?  Ask Farmer Ray at Market tomorrow!

While we were at it, we measured Jonny, too!  Mia thought that was funny -- but she was too busy eating to laugh.

Back To School on Ginger!
A project that we have had underway for the past couple of years is working with Dr. Gouchen Yang at NC A & T University.  One of Dr. Yang's research interests is developing tissue culture production of ginger plants as an alternative to the traditional seed rhizome.  We partnered with him to provide seed ginger of as many varieties as we can find, and last year we started growing a few of his tissue culture plantlets alongside our regular crop. 

Our tiny trial was promising and mirrored what Dr. Yang is seeing so far -- that tissue culture gives at least an equivalent yield and significantly better quality than rhizome-grown ginger.  That could be a winning combination!

Se we're repeating the experiment this year with more plantlets.  Ray picked up some at Dr. Yang's greenhouse this week and potted them right away. 

They're very tender, so he asked Cindy Lu, Dr. Yang's key lab technician, to show him how she plants them with such great success.  She is amazing, and Ray came away with some really helpful tips.

It's Pruning Time!  Join Us for a Workshop!
February is a key month for pruning all kinds of fruiting trees, bushes and vines.  You want to get the plant cut back during dormancy in the late winter.  Regular pruning ensures a healthier plant and better fruit production.

On Saturday, February 22 from 2-4, we'll be hosting a Blackberry and Grape Pruning Workshop with NC Cooperative Extension.  Bryan Hartman, the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Stokes County, will be leading the workshop and demonstrating the proper way to prune.  Participants will be able to prune both grape vines and blackberries and will receive a free pair of pruners!

Registration is $12 and you must register by February 21 in order to receive the pruners.  Bryan is also conducting another workshop on Blueberry Pruning at Mabe's Berry Farm in Walnut Cove on February 29.

This workshop is the first of several events that we have planned here at the farm in 2020.  Stay tuned for more information!

Cobblestone Winter Market Update
We warned ya!  The sweet potatoes are all gone!  This is all that is left of 2,500 pounds....

Thanks SO MUCH for loving our sweet spuds!  We've planned even more for this year!

This week you'll find our signature Fancy Pants Salad Mix -- all aglow with tasty edible flowers.  Won't this be great for your Valentines dinner?

And speaking of Valentines, show your Sweetie or your BFF Gal-Pal that you care with a gift of our incredible Jam!  Unlike most jam, the focus is on the FRUIT (because we don't grow sugar cane!)  We'll have Old-Fashioned Raspberry, Old-Fashioned Blackberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Cranberry, Raspberry-Lavender, and Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint.  And head's up!  This will be the LAST week for jam until we return to Old Salem in April.  Get it while you can!  

Note:  This photo is from w-a-y back (at Krankies Farmers Market in 2010!) when we were working on our recipes for Old Fashioned Raspberry jam.  We had folks taste our 3 variations and vote on their favorite!  How's that for product research?

Here's what other Certified Organic delights we'll be bringing:

  • Luscious Lettuce
  • Fresh Turmeric (LAST week!)
  • Snacking Cucumbers
  • Sweet Baby Collards
  • Arugula
  • Tomatoes (just a few)
  • Fresh Dill (a little)
  • Frozen Baby Ginger
  • Fire-Roasted Green Chile (Vacuum-packed and frozen.  Think Quesadillas or Green Chile Stew!
  • Garlic Powder & Granules
  • Ginger Powder & Granules
  • Turmeric Granules

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

Market is located at Wise Man Brewing  (826 Angelo Bros. Avenue in downtown W-S -- at the corner of Martin Luther King Avenue and Trade Street).  Market hours are 9:30-11:30 a.m.  Hope to see you there!

And remember that Spring is still 41 days away (no matter what that groundhog says....)

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 12/8/2019 3:28pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Happy December!
It feels like months since we've had a "normal" weekly update -- but it actually has only been two weeks!  The Holiday time-warp is beginning and it is easy to lose track of time.  Well, let us do whatever it takes to get things back to normal, shall we?

First of all, a
HUGE THANK YOU to those of you who braved the elements to come to our Small Business Saturday Holiday Market last weekend.  The weather wasn't nice but your presence brought warmth to our hearts and a smile to our faces.  It was so wonderful to see so many Farm Friends who wouldn't let rain stop them from kicking off their Holiday season by shopping small here at the farm.  We are most grateful for your support.  Here are a few photos from the day:


Again, we want to thank our terrific vendors:  Borrowed Land Farm, Bunny's Trees, Chad's Chai, FarmGirl Arts, Greenberries Farm, Momma Wolf's, Monteith Homestead and Vitality Bodywork and Wellness/RavenRidge Hemp & Herbals.  A big thank you goes to our additional door prize donors, Mitchell's Nursery and Greenhouse and Piemonte Kitchen & Garden.  And finally, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner once again with our friends at Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery.  

Gittin' That Garlic in the Ground!
Although we didn't make Ray's deadline of Thanksgiving for all of the garlic to be planted, we aren't too far off the mark!  Thursday was a busy planting day and we got a majority of it in the ground.  We hope to finish things up today -- before next week's rains come.  In the winter, it takes so long for the ground to dry out after a rain.  It's very different than summer when a heavy rain can be absorbed in a day or so.  In the winter, it takes almost a week (2-3 times as long) for the ground to become workable -- and then it rains again!

The good news was that the conditions were pretty good yesterday after the weekend's rains and we took advantage of this opportunity.  Eight thousand cloves of garlic went into the ground, one clove at a time...  For those of you keeping score at home, we now have 9,900 cloves of garlic planted along with 1,100 shallots. Not too shabby!


The garlic that we planted back ion November 7th has popped up and is looking great!  The shallots are looking mighty good, too.

Greenhouse Growings
As the weather gets colder, our greenhouse and hoophouses become more important to our production.  This year, with Winter Market, we'll be producing tomatoes and cucumbers earlier than normal.  We have new plantings of cucumbers that are looking great (and are ready to be trellised)  and the tomatoes aren't doing bad either.  We've got new tomato plants waiting in the wings to be planted next week.


Cobblestone Farmers Market Update -- Winter Edition!
We haven't done the Holiday Pop-Up markets in several years but this year we committed to do all of the Winter Markets that Cobblestone is sponsoring.  This Saturday, December 7, is the first market at Fiddlin' Fish Brewing Company (772 Trade Street NW) and we are so excited to be there!

We'll have a smaller space than our normal Old Salem location but we'll still have lots of terrific things!   Fresh Baby Turmeric and Baby Ginger will be there for your health and Holiday cooking needs. 

In addition to these, you'll find

  • Sweet Potatoes (Garnet)
  • Fire-Roasted Green Chile (Mild and Medium)
  • Horseradish Root
  • Snow Peas
  • Pea Shoots
  • Sunflower Shoots
  • Roasted Poblano Peppers and Roasted Aji Dulce Peppers (both are vacuum-packed and freeze great!)
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Ginger Powder and Granules

In the JAM department, we'll have Old-Fashioned Raspberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Old-Fashioned Blackberry, Raspberry-Cranberry, and Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint in both full and gift-size jars.  We'll also have gift boxes -- we take the trouble out of packing up your gifts!  And if you have friends and family who live elsewhere, we are happy to ship!

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

As we move into the Holiday Season, it is so wonderful to have traditions that we return to every year (or at least if we are awake!).  Unfortunately, we missed Mitchell's Nursery and Greenhouse Poinsettia Open House last Sunday (too long of a snoozzzzze… after Holiday Market) but we are looking forward to another tradition -- Tuba Christmas!

This is the most wonderful concert -- Christmas music played solely on tubas and euphonia -- dozens of them! It is tonight (Friday, December 6th) at 6:30 PM at First Presbyterian Contemporary Worship Center (200 N. Cherry St.). And it's FREE! This year marks the 46th anniversary of Tuba Christmas concerts which are held in over 300 cities throughout the United States to celebrate those who enjoy, play, teach, and compose music for instruments in the tuba family. Harvey Phillips created this annual event to honor the tubist, William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day, 1902.
We hope to see some of you there!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/25/2019 7:29am by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

This is the view that Cheryl has had a lot this week.  LOTS of driving.  Probably about 700 miles worth.  I and the trusty Possum (our silver Subaru) headed up to the DC area for a 2-day Masterminds farming think-tank.  What a mind-blowing experience!  This was the inaugural session and I walked away feeling inspired and overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible work that my fellow farmers are doing in their communities.  We were hosted by Ellen Polishuk of Plant to Profit, an amazing farmer with 30+ years experience.  It was indeed an honor to be invited to participate in this group of 13 farmers from around the country -- and now we have built a tremendous network for support in this crazy (but honorable) endeavor known as market farming.

But SOMEBODY had to get some work done around here while Cheryl was off gallivanting and schmoozing!  And work did get done!  

The horseradish, which we are trialing a second year in reused fish emulsion barrels, has done very well and we had our first harvest this week.  We'll have some at market on Saturday.

It's getting mighty bare in the barn loft -- where did all of the garlic go?!  Although we didn't get more garlic planted this week, we are getting the bulbs cracked, sorted and ready to go in the ground.

The new round of cucumbers is getting started in the greenhouse.  They are popping -- here's to snacking cukes at Winter Market!

Taters, Taters, Get Your Sweet Taters!
Want to know an  a-m-a-z-i-n-g  factoid?  We have sold over 1,500 pounds of Sweet Potatoes in the past 6 weeks!  Wow!  You guys have definitely been loving them -- and we are very grateful!


And how about a nice vegetarian turkey for Thanksgiving?  A Sweet Poturkey!

Our Holiday Market is Just 1 Week Away!

Don't forget to mark your calendar and set your clock for NEXT Saturday, November 30 from 10-3 Gifts, fresh veggies, Holiday decorations and MORE will be found right in our high tunnel!  We'll be decking the halls with wreaths, ribbon and trees to create a festive scene for your relaxed shopping experience.  Come kick off your Holiday shopping with us and support local small businesses!  Here's who we'll have here:   Borrowed Land Farm, Bunny's Trees, Chad's Chai, FarmGirl Arts, Greenberries Farm, Momma Wolf's, Monteith Homestead, and Mtn. Momma Spoons.  Next week's email will have all the details about what folks are bringing!

Don't forget that our friends at Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery will have a bunch of vendors too!  Plan for a great day of FUN!  Pick up a flyer at market for the details and get ready to SHOP SMALL!

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update 
It was indeed a blustery day at market last week -- and we appreciate everyone who came out to support local farms!

Tomorrow will be the last market at Old Salem for the decade.  Yeah, there may be rain but we'll be there with bright, sunny smiles and some terrific produce to chase your rainy day blues away.  You won't want to miss it!  And besides, it's always one of the greatest days at market because there are so many wonderful things to find for your Thanksgiving cooking!

We'll have two things that people have been asking about for months:  Fresh Baby Turmeric and a new batch of Jam!

We'll also have 3 varieties of our delicious Sweet Potatoes.  Folks have been gobbling (PUN Alert!) them up every week and keep coming back for more!  And there will be more Baby Ginger for your Holiday cooking needs (cranberry sauce, ginger cookies, …). 

Stock up for your winter soups and stews!  Our Fire-Roasted Green Chile is vacuum-packed and freezes great for meals (salsa, quesadillas, enchiladas...) this winter.

In addition to these, you'll find

  • Carrots (super sweet -- our BEST yet!)
  • Fennel (BIG beautiful bulbs!)
  • Horseradish Root
  • Rosemary Bunches
  • Watermelon Radishes
  • Pea Shoots (a few)
  • Japanese Shishito Peppers (a few)
  • Aji Dulce Sweet Habanero Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Roasted Poblano Peppers and Roasted Aji Dulce Peppers (both are vacuum-packed and freeze great!)
  • Daikon Radishes
  • And more!

In the JAM department, we'll have Old-Fashioned Raspberry and Raspberry-Baby Ginger.  We'll have a limited selection of full and gift-size jars.  The full array of jams will be at our Small Business Saturday event, at Winter Markets and available for online ordering.

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

We'll definitely raise a cup for National Espresso Day tomorrow -- actually any Saturday calls for espresso!

According to the National Espresso Day official site, espresso made its debut in Italy in the early 20th century although coffee was already very much a part of Italian life for centuries. Espresso lovers owe their thanks for the tasty brew to Italy’s Luigi Bezzera, the owner of a manufacturing plant who wanted to speed up the time it took to make coffee. It’s unclear whether he was motivated to hasten the process by frustration over how long his morning coffee took or whether he wanted to speed up the time his employees took for their coffee breaks  Regardless, there are two farmers here at Plum Granny Farm who are grateful for his efforts!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/14/2019 3:38pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!
Folks are frequently surprised when we tell them that we are planting at this time of year.  "What in the world would you plant now?!," they exclaim.  Well, actually LOTS!

Yesterday Jonny and Sarah planted 1,100 bulb shallots (the seeded ones will be planted next spring) and got a good start on the garlic.  We're getting our "early risers" in the ground now -- the Asiatic garlics -- because they are the first to come out in late May-early June.  These varieties will be followed by the softneck Artichokes (Red Toch, Inchelium Red) and hardneck Rocamboles and Purple Stripes (Chesnok, German Red, etc.)  It sure feels good to be getting garlic planted this early after last year's challenges!

We also finished up the strawberry planting this week!  Hooray!!!

We had a tough taskmaster keeping us on track for planting the strawberries -- this guy is relentless!

For those of you keeping score at home, we planted 2,847 plants, which was a bit less than what we had hoped.  Unfortunately some of the plants weren't strong enough to be planted out in the field. The weaker plants will be going to winter camp in the greenhouse to get healthy for hanging baskets come Spring.

After the berries were all tucked in the ground, we had to make sure that they had a good drink of water as well as a shot of nutrition -- fish emulsion and compost tea.

We are SOOOOO happy to have this task behind us (another checkmark on this list!) so that we can jump into garlic planting.  Ray wants to have it all in the ground by Thanksgiving.

In addition to this, we planted lots of lettuce in one of the high tunnels and seeded more tomatoes and cucumbers for the greenhouse.  It never ends!

Doing the Pre-Freeze Hustle -- Part 2
Last weekend was cold, but this weekend (and next week) will be MUCH colder!  We still haven't been able to get the endwalls closed on Tabby (the newest hoophouse), so we covered the snow peas with a frost protection blanket.  Gotta keep these babies comfy and warm!

We will also be covering the strawberries if the temperatures dip below 20 (they are bouncing all around that mark.)  Winter Is Coming, My Friends...

What a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!
On Sunday, we held our 4th Annual Thank You Party for our PlumFresh members and wonderful farm volunteers.  What a perfect Fall afternoon!  Kids got to run around, meet the critters and take a hayride around the farm to see where their food comes from.  We enjoyed lots of great food by the fire, too!

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update 
Just 2 more weeks of market at Old Salem after tomorrow!  Yep, it's going to be cold but it will be clear and sunny.  So bundle up and we'll greet you with a warm smile and some wonderful produce!

Our delicious Sweet Potatoes have been Rock Stars!  We have 3 varieties that work with sweet AND savory dishes.  They also pair well with our Baby Ginger -- ask us for a recipe!  And don't forget the Green Chicken Chile Stew!  It was a big hit at our party on Sunday -- and it will be great for you, too!  Grab a bag of our fire-roasted green chile (Mild and Medium) and a recipe and you'll be on your way to bring a little bit of New Mexico to your kitchen!  The Chile is vacuum-packed and freezes great for meals (salsa, quesadillas, soups and stews) this winter.

In addition to these, you'll find

  • Sweet Peppers
  • Japanese Shishito and Fushimi Peppers
  • Not-Hot Aji Dulce and Trick or Treat Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Roasted Poblano Peppers and Roasted Aji Dulce Peppers (both are vacuum-packed and freeze great!)
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Culinary Garlic -- just a little bit
  • And more!

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

Monday is Veterans Day.  This is the 100th Anniversary of the national designation of this day, originally known as Armistice Day, which marked the end of World War I.

We offer our thanks and deep appreciation to all of those who have served our country.  As the children of two World War II vets, we have a special connection to this day.  If you are a Veteran, THANK YOU for your service!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/4/2019 12:40pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Happy November!

October roared out like a lion!  What a blustery day!  Yesterday's weather wasn't perfect for many outdoor tasks but there we were...planting strawberries!  More than 2.5 inches of rain, heavy wind, mud... at least it wasn't cold.  It was a mess -- and we've got the laundry to prove it!

While we didn't get all of the strawberries planted, we made a very good dent.  Ray tried to burn more holes in the landscape fabric but it was too wet and the wind kept blowing out the flame!  So we planted everything that would fit in the holes that we had from the old landscape fabric.  1,500 down, 1,300 to go!

We've had a lot of deer pressure this year and they love a strawberry plant salad bar.  So we had to do a lot more than just hope that the deer wouldn't find the plants.  We went all-in and constructed a pretty amazing heavy-duty fence around the field.  It is a double 3-strand electric fence with a top line of wire tape with the outer section angled out.  That top line will improve the visibility of the fence for the deer so they will know that something is in their way -- and will mess with their depth perception.  The top outer line is then baited with peanut butter on foil -- the lead doe will be attracted by the smell of peanut butter and will reach out for a taste and -- zap!  Here's Jonny demonstrating how the fence works (no employee was harmed in the making of these photographs...):


Doing the Pre-Frost Hustle
We will be scurrying around today getting ready for the first frost.  The next four days are supposed to have low temperatures between 29-31 degrees with clear skies.  Perfect frost conditions!  There are still lots of peppers and a few tomatoes in the field that need to be harvested before the freeze comes.  Plus we've got to get the ginger and turmeric out of the high tunnel and squeeze it into the greenhouse!  It's time to batten down the hatches, close the windows and get ready for some frosty air.  I don't think I'm ready for this! Yikes!

And speaking of covering up things, we got our most recent hoop house, Tabby, covered this week.  Today we have to get the end wall and doors in place so that our tender snow peas and snap peas are protected.


Some Days....

Tuesday wasn't Detroit's best day.  A couple of roaming dogs wandered through the farm and decided that it would be great to chase Detroit.  He did what any self-respecting cat would do -- climb a tree.  Unfortunately he climbed so well that he was out of reach of any ladder that we had on the farm!  He was about 35' up and our tallest ladder is about 19'.  There was no way to climb the tree beyond the ladder since there were no other branches to hold on to -- and we don't have tree climbing gear. And cats can't climb down trees... those claws just don't work that way.

After about an hour, Detroit decided that he had enough.  He jumped down!  That was scary!  But thankfully he was alright.  He needed to go rest after that ordeal (in hiding, of course!) but came out a few hours later walking just fine.  Whew!  I think he used up one of his 9 lives!

Mark Your Calendar!  Small Business Saturday on November 30!
The vendors are lined up!  The invitations are printed!  We're getting ready for our sixth annual Small Business Saturday Holiday Market!  More details will be coming over the next few weeks but we wanted to get this date on your calendar.  It's a great opportunity to support small businesses in the community -- and actually have fun doing your Holiday shopping in a relaxed, festive environment.  We're teaming up with our friends at Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery once again for this big event.

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update 
Just 3 more weeks of market at Old Salem after tomorrow!  It's going to be a sunny, chilly morning but bundle up and get the goods for some tasty meals.  That nip in the air will be perfect for getting you ready for some warm and comforting foods.  And we've got you covered!  

Our delicious Sweet Potatoes and Baby Ginger pair well in lots of yummy dishes -- pick some up and ask us for a recipe!  And as the weather gets colder, it's time to make a big ol' pot of Green Chicken Chile Stew!  Grab a bag of our fire-roasted green chile (Mild and Medium) and we'll give you a recipe to bring a little bit of New Mexico to your kitchen!

In addition to these, you'll find

  • Peppers Galore!  Chile, Hot Peppers, Mild Peppers, Sweet Peppers (Lunchbox and Jimmy Nardello)
  • Roasted Poblano Peppers and Roasted Aji Dulce Peppers (both are vacuum-packed and freeze great!)
  • The last of the beautiful Heirloom Eggplant
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Pea and Sunflower Shoots
  • And lots more!

Please note that we will NOT have garlic this week.  We hope to have the last of our culinary garlic next week.

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

That's a wrap for this edition!  

This weekend holds a favored day among your farmers -- Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning which means we get an extra hour of S-L-E-E-P!  Happy Snoozing!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 10/27/2019 1:46pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 
Oh, the frightful things of Halloween.  How about scary cats?

No?  How about this...

Didn't think so...


How about this?

As you can see, we really don't go too much into the huge inflatables and massive Halloween decorations.  We're a bit more subtle and into enjoying the beauty of Fall.  But trust us, there's plenty of scary stuff lurking around.  There's a very active platoon of spiders that work overtime from summer to fall to decorate the boxwoods and the front porch.  Have you ever seen spider eyes at night?  Scary!


We'll let our natural creatures take care of the décor and we'll probably buy a bag of candy in case we have a trick-or-treater!  It's about time to have one!

Oh Deer!
Our resident deer population seems to be increasing and they are pretty hungry -- the heat and drought of the summer eliminated a lot of their food sources.  We've heard from other farmers that deer have become more brazen -- even going into greenhouses and covered high tunnels!  While we haven't had that level of damage, they are hopping over our fence and even strolling into our uncovered tunnel to munch on beans and peas. 

We decided to get more aggressive with blocking their path.  We added lots more twine to block their access -- and a van and ladder for good measure.

It seems to have done the trick -- at least for now!

Strawberry Fields...Still Continued!
A moment of extreme optimism must have gripped me when writing last week's newsletter.  We just finished covering the beds in the strawberry fields yesterday and hope to get the all important deer fence up today.  And finally THEN we can plant next week.  It takes a lot of landscape fabric and sod staples to cover a quarter-acre (and it sure feels like more than that!)!  Since we grow strawberries as a multi-year crop (the last ones were in for five years), this isn't an annual chore (thank goodness!)

Quick Field Walk

The garlic planted at our workshop two weeks ago has already started popping out of the ground!  The warmer temperatures and rain have really helped wake up the cloves!

Our sweet potato crates are finished and are in use!  This will be a great way to store them through the season.

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update 
The weather forecast for Saturday is looking pretty good -- a cloudy but mild day -- perfect for strolling through the market!  As the temperatures start to drop and the days get shorter, we really start to crave warm and comforting flavors.  We've got what you need!

Last week's soup sample was a big hit so we'll be doing it again with another sweet potato soup -- Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew.  YUM!  This delicious soup features two of our current offerings -- delicious Sweet Potatoes and Baby Ginger!  

In addition to these, you'll find

  • Peppers Galore!  Chile, Hot Peppers, Mild Peppers, Sweet Peppers (Lunchbox and Jimmy Nardello)
  • Roasted Green Chile, Roasted Poblanos and Roasted Aji Dulce
  • Beautiful Heirloom Eggplant
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Pea Shoots
  • Green beans (the crop is slowing!)
  • A little bit of garlic
  • And lots more!

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

That does it for this week's news! Tomorrow is a B-I-G day at the farm -- Mia's Birthday!

Yep, our little baby turns ONE tomorrow.  Hard to believe but she's almost as big as her mom now.  Cara did good!

Have a great week!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 10/17/2019 9:56am by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Do you see it?  Look closely, now.  It's a whole field of strawberries!

Okay, it takes a farmer's imagination to turn a completely blank field into something that resembles this:

But that is what WE see!

This week, preparing for the 2020 Strawberry harvest started in earnest.  We headed off to Pittsboro to visit our friends at Country Farm and Home Supply to get the strawberry transplants we ordered a couple of months ago.  We packed up Junior the Van with a whole bunch of bulb crates so we could carefully stack 44 trays of plants.

After we loaded up with strawberries, we had to stop for a quick cup o' Joe from our favorite Pittsboro coffee shop, Davenport's Café Diem.  It's a great place to grab a delicious cup to go (or stay, if you prefer).

Once we got back to the farm and unloaded our 2,200 plants,

it was time to get moving on getting the landscape fabric up in the old field.  This has been our strawberry field for 5 years and it was really strange to watch the fabric come off and see the soil.  This little corner of the farm looks a LOT different now -- just wait until it is filled with garlic later this fall!

The next step is getting the new field prepared.  Ray spread fertilizer and manure on the field (courtesy of our hay-burners, Cara and Mia) and we'll get the beds shaped and then covered with the reused landscape fabric from the old field.  Hopefully we will be able to start planting next week.

We'll be heading to Banner Greenhouses in Nebo early next week to get another 800 plants.  Our aim is for 3,000 strawberries for next season.  Can you see it (or taste it?) now?!

Sweet Potato Harvest -- A Record!
We finished the majority of the sweet potato harvest last Friday and it was a doozie!  As we had hoped, we ended up with over 2,300 pounds and, once we re-plow one of the rows, we should top 2,500!  Go Team Plum Granny!


The first harvest of sweet potatoes from a couple of weeks ago is now cured and ready to go -- and we'll have them at market on Saturday!

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update -- ORANGE, GREEN and PINK!
Oh the colors that await you under the Purple and White tents at Cobblestone Farmers Market on Saturday!  We've got  Certified Organic BABY GINGER

We've got delicious Green Beans (in all shapes and sizes).

And an amazing selection of PEPPERS including our delicious Roasted Green Chile.

And don't forget those DELICIOUS Sweet Potatoes!

What a WONDERFUL time of the year!  And we'll have loads of information and recipes to help you make the most of these seasonal favorites!

Details?  Here you go!  In the Pepper Department, we'll have New Mexico (Hatch-type) Green Chile -- fire-roasted or not, beautiful Poblanos, a wide variety of hot peppers (Cayenne, Chinese Five Color, Calabrese/Devil's Kiss, Aji Amarillo, Aji Limo and Serrano) as well as the mild Fushimi and Shishito Japanese Frying Peppers and Sweet Aji Dulce, plus the adorable little Trick or Treats -- they look hot but they are very sweet like a more flavorful bell pepper!

We'll also have a variety of other Certified Organic veggies including Eggplant, Okra, Daikon Radishes, and MORE!  And don't forget Garlic Powder and Ginger Powder!

Just a reminder -- no garlic this week.  Hopefully next week we will have the last of our garlic at market.  Also, it is VERY unlikely that we will have Seed Garlic for sale this year.  Our total crop was just too small.  We are sorry to disappoint those of you who want to buy seed garlic!

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

That does it for this week's news.  Hope you have a great weekend -- keep yourself open to all kinds of invitations!  Ray helped our friends Andy and Lisa with their industrial hemp harvest last weekend -- isn't this what you are supposed to wear to a hemp party?

Oh, and don't forget the Full Hunter's Moon on Sunday!  It's the only moon of the month that is visible from sunset to sunrise.

Until next week,

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"!

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Certfied Organic by QCS since 2010


Watch Us!

Ray talks ginger with Lisa

Check out the terrific feature that Flavor, NC did on Plum Granny Farm!  You can view the episode at  They did a great job showing our garlic, ginger & berry production - plus a few other surprises! We are paired with Chef Jay from Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen who makes some wonderful garlic recipes!  Enjoy!

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