News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 2/14/2014 3:02pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Plum Granny Farm -- you either signed up at a market or on our website.  We are glad to have this brief opportunity to share some news of the farm with you!  If you no longer wish to receive these weekly newsletters, please see the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of this email.

Happy Snowy Valentine's Day, Farm Friends!
 
It's been an interesting couple of days around the farm!  The snow was been more intense and longer lasting than we really expected.  We had snow for more than 24 hours and had over 11 inches -- haven't seen one like that in a long time!

Plum Granny Farm sign in snow

With the snow and sleet, one of our major concerns was keeping the load off of the greenhouses.  The heated greenhouse had us most concerned because rounded roofs tend to have more snow build up which can cause collapse.  We started the heater to raise the internal temperature to encourage melting.  Happy to report that it worked!  Unfortunately several farmer friends were not as lucky as we were....a crushed greenhouse is a very sad sight.

Greenhouse with lots of snow

Even with the snow, we have things growing in the greenhouse.  Here are some onion seedlings that we are getting ready for the Allium Adventure Club! 

Watering Onion seedlings

There's also a lot of kale, lettuce and endive in the field.  We did a count on Monday and it looked pretty good for a mid-March harvest.  Kinda hard to believe that now, though!

Field of dreams - and kale!

If you need a burst of spring, we have our wonderful potted paperwhite narcissus at Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery in Germanton and Let It Grow Produce in Winston-Salem.  The heavenly fragrance will be a great boost on these cold and sometimes dreary days.

Thanks for the great response to our Allium Adventure Club!  Check out the information on our website!

Allie the Allium Adventure Club Mascot

Talk to you next week.  Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Bee Mine Valentine

Cheryl & Ray

 

Posted 2/4/2014 12:21pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Tuesday, Farm Friends! Welcome to February!
 
Last week was a busy one!  We got all of the raspberries and blackberries pruned and cleared the canes. That is a record for us!  Now only the black raspberries, grapes and apples are left to prune.  Hopefully those will be done soon (if it ever stops raining!)

The greenhouse is almost ready to fire up.  Thank goodness we shut everything down before it got really cold -- the cost of filling the propane tank is over $1,100 and when the weather's really cold it can take less than a month to run through it (Yike$).  To conserve heat (and propane), we have made a cozy little room within the greenhouse for starting seedlings.  It's about 1/4 of the greenhouse and we even lowered the ceiling to trap as much warm air as possible.  Here's what it looks like as Elliot and Cheryl try to figure out how to hang the side curtains:

Building Greenhouse germination room
Speaking of warming...thinking about warming your sweetie's heart for Valentine's Day?  On Saturday, February 8, come see us at Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery in Germanton from 10-2 for a very special Valentine's event.  We'll have our heart's delight and lovingly made raspberry, blackberry and strawberry jams for sale.  In addition to the jam, we'll have some lovely and fragrant potted paperwhite narcissus.  And Buffalo Creek's goat cheese is out of this world and pairs great with jam!  Quite nice gifts for your sweetie!  Stop by and take care of your Valentine’s Day shopping - locally!

And finally, last week we left you with a teaser of some good news to share -- well here it is!  We just launched a new program called the Allium Adventure Club! The club is for those of you who absolutely LOVE garlic, onions, shallots and all things allium!  It's our version of your neighborhood book club -- you'll get a weekly (or biweekly) bag of organic delights and we'll guide you through a tasty adventure in the world of allium!  No other farm in the country has anything like this -- so join us on a very exclusive (and yummy!) trip through the land of our favorite genus -- Allium!!  More information and applications are available on the website!

Allie the Allium Adventure Club Mascot

Talk to you next week.  Here's to enjoying six more weeks of winter!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 1/27/2014 1:19pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Plum Granny Farm -- you either signed up at a market or on our website.  We are glad to have this brief opportunity to share some news of the farm with you!  If you no longer wish to receive these weekly newsletters, please see the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of this email.

Happy Monday, Farm Friends! 
 
It's time for our break from e-newsletters to end!  Even though we have been off-line for a while, we have been quite busy getting ready for this new season.  Winter gives us the opportunity to reflect on last year's crops and to plan for the new year.  Maybe because of our backgrounds, we are BIG believers in whiteboards, flip charts, and Excel spreadsheets.  It was a very happy day last fall when Cheryl found a 5' whiteboard at ReStore at a great price!  Our living room looks like a scene out of a project planning meeting for the space shuttle - that is if they had a dog curled up on her bed!

Planning the season

The results of all of this planning will be more crops, more on-farm events and better outcomes in the field.  We know that weather and pests and weeds will trip us up -- but with a strong plan, we will be more ready to respond.  But the great thing about farming is that at the beginning of every year it is sort of like being a baseball fan (especially the Cubs!) -- on opening day, we are gonna win the pennant!

The cold weather has been a challenge but welcome.  We have seen the lowest temperatures that we can remember (or many other folks around here too) -- it was 2°F on January 6th! The good thing about it is that many of the pests that have been able to overwinter will not be able to survive - very good news!  Also our raspberries and garlic enjoy a good cold winter.  So see, there is a bright side to these frigid temps!

The polar vortex hasn't kept us out of the field though.  We have kale, endive, lettuce and chard under low tunnels.  This week we are mowing the raspberries and last week we put straw on the shallots and the spring garlic to insulate them a bit more.  Here's Elliot blowing out the straw and Chris wrestling with raspberry canes:

Blowing straw on Spring Garlic in Ruth's fieldChris with raspberry canes

We'll be back in touch next week.  We have some really exciting news to share!

Looking forward to another great partnership in 2014!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 12/19/2013 11:11am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

OOPS!  Forgot to put the time of our event at Let It Grow Produce on 12/21 -- we'll be there from 10-1!

Happy Thursday, Farm Friends! 
 
Hard to believe but this is our last farm newsletter of the 2013!  We have enjoyed keeping you in touch with the farm -- the good news and the sad -- during the year.  We really appreciate you letting us pay a virtual visit.  It really does feel like a conversation because so many of you tell us so!  We also are very grateful for your support at markets, restaurants and here on the farm.

Trimming the Plum Granny Farm sign

As the calendar moves closer to the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve, the pace for Holiday shopping quickens!  Here we have been busy boxing and shipping jams to send far and wide for Holiday giving!  Our office looks somewhat like a gift wrapping/shipping store gone haywire (think Martha Stewart without a maid!)  We really do enjoy putting gifts together for you -- we are honored when you want to share a bit of Plum Granny Farm with your friends and family.

Market Updates:
This Saturday will be our last off-farm opportunity of the season.  We'll be at Let It Grow Produce (4825 Country Club Rd in Winston-Salem) on Saturday, December 21 for a jam tasting and sales.  Three Sisters Artisan Bakery will also be there with their yummy breads and other baked goods.  What can be better together than jam and bread?!  Stop on by and take care of your last minute Holiday needs!

Here's what we'll have on Saturday: 
  
      -- Powdered and Granulated Organic Garlic (new varietials available!)

      -- Garlic braids  (only 2 remaining!)

  
      -- Jam Gift Boxes  --three of our gift-sized jams all packaged up and ready for giving! 

       -- Lots of jam (Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger. Raspberry-Chipotle, Raspberry-Cranberry, & Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint)
      
      -- 
Raspberry-Chipotle Molè Sauce! 

Hope to see you on Saturday!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.  We also welcome folks to come by the farm - but please call us to set up a time so we'll know to expect you (336-994-2517).
 

Make the most of this beautiful Holiday Season!  We'll see you in 2014!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 12/12/2013 1:51pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Plum Granny Farm -- you either signed up at a market or on our website.  We are glad to have this brief opportunity to share some news of the farm with you!  If you no longer wish to receive these weekly newsletters, please see the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of this email.

Happy Thursday, Farm Friends! 
 
We got a very exciting package last week -- one that had been anxiously awaited for over a year!
PGF new jam labels
Our new jam labels!!!  We are so excited to have these now - makes labeling the jam so much easier (not to mention giving us waterproof labels!). We worked with a terrific designer, Betty Faulk Hastings, who was VERY patient and super creative. Yay!!!  Come take a peek at market!

As we move into winter, we are starting our annual planning process.  We'll keep you informed about some of the changes that we have planned for the next season as well as some new opportunities.  Lots of great things in store for 2014!  We think you'll like them!

Market Updates:
This Saturday will be the last Cobblestone Farmers Market Pop-Up of the year.  It will be behind the Millennium Center (5th and Trade) from 10-noon. Don't let the predicted rain discourage you from coming out to shop for Holiday goods and produce from some fine local farms and producers.  We'll be on the covered back deck so we'll be nice & dry!

And just to put a bug in your ear for next weekend, we'll be at Let It Grow Produce on Saturday, December 21 for a jam tasting and sales.  More info next week!

Here's what we'll have at market on Saturday: 
  
      -- Powdered and Granulated Organic Garlic 

      -- Garlic braids   

  
      -- Mistletoe

Our new jam gift boxes were a big hit last week -- three of our gift-sized jams all packaged up and ready for giving!  They are specially priced at just $14.  And we'll even ship them to friends and loved ones for you!  How's that for service?   (Shipping charges will apply)

Gift boxes of jam

In addition we'll have lots of our 7 fruit-forward varieties of jam as well as our yummy 
Raspberry-Chipotle Molè Sauce! 

Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Enjoy the sun and stay warm!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 12/5/2013 12:45pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Thursday, Farm Friends! 
 
We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family last week.  It was nice for us to get a little break.  As Ray and I counted our blessings, you were definitely among them.  Your encouragement, kind words at market and purchases of our products helps make this life we have chosen worthwhile.  We are most grateful for your friendship!

This week we celebrated another gratitude -- the garlic is in the ground!!!!  Tuesday we finished up planting ALL of the garlic.  And the number is...70,192 cloves!  Whew!!  We'll be tucking a few more into Daddy's Garden for special care but we are so thankful to have this major milestone past us.  It's the most garlic we've ever planted!  Here is Ray taking the PVC plugs off of the dibbler -- won't need this piece of equipment until next fall!

Ray removing metal pirces off a tractor accessory

Market Updates:
On Saturday, we will be at the Cobblestone Farmers Market Pop-Up Market behind the Millennium Center (5th and Trade) from 10-noon. We will also be there on 12/14.  Unfortunately we have had to cancel our planned Holiday Open (Green)House on Sunday due to the yucky weather that is predicted.  We'll try again next year!

Here's what we'll have at market on Saturday: 
  
      -- Powdered and Granulated Organic Garlic 

      -- Garlic braids   

  
      -- Mistletoe

      -- Fresh Holiday Greens for decorating

 
In addition, we will have our new jam gift boxes -- three of our gift-sized jams all packaged up and ready for giving!

Box of gift-sized jams

W
e'll have lots of stock of those as well as our other yummy jams and Raspberry-Chipotle Molè Sauce! 

Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Here's to dreaming of next year's garlic & shallot crop!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/22/2013 1:21pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Plum Granny Farm -- you either signed up at a market or on our website.  We are glad to have this brief opportunity to share some news of the farm with you!  If you no longer wish to receive these weekly newsletters, please see the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of this email.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends! 
 
Thanks to so many of you congratulating us on the recent episode of "Flavor, NC"!  We are so happy to hear that you liked it as much as we did!  In case you missed it,  you can always watch the broadcast at http://video.unctv.org/video/2365069548/

At last!  The time we have been getting ready for for soooo many weeks is finally here!  Garlic planting!!  We started Wednesday and now have about 26,000 cloves in the ground.  One-by-one, by hand!  Here's Jen helping Ray make sure the dibbler on the tractor is straight.  We use this dibbler that Ray designed to mark the beds to make planting easier and more consistent.  Even though the old saying is "you can get more plants in a crooked row," we like to keep them straight so that we might be able to use the tractor to cultivate them.

Planting garlic

It's hard to believe but tomorrow is the last regular day for the Cobblestone Old Salem Farmers Market.  We will still be participating in 2 more pop-up markets that Cobblestone Farmers Market will be doing on December 7 and 14 at the Millennium Center (5th and Trade). More info on that next week.  We also have an on-farm Open House in the works as well!

Here's what we'll have at market tomorrow: 
  
Certified Organic Produce: 

      -- Powdered and Granulated Organic Garlic 

      -- Garlic (Inchelium Red, Gesti Jumble)  The absolute end of the crop!!  

       -- Garlic braids   
  
      --  Tomatillo Salsa Kits

       -- Baby Turmeric
 

Jar of Raspberry-Cranberry Jam
Our new gift-size jams have been a hit!  We have 4.5 ounce jars of Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry and Raspberry-Cranberry ready for Holiday giving!  These jams are $5 per jar.  W
e'll have lots of stock of those as well as our other yummy jams and Raspberry-Chipotle Molè Sauce! 

Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Here's to dreaming of next year's garlic crop!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/13/2013 8:40am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

 

Happy Frosty Wednesday, Farm Friends!  DVR Alert!!
 
Sending out our email a little early this week to remind you of our upcoming "15 minutes of fame" on the UNC-TV series, "Flavor, NC" on Thursday (11/14) night at 10 p.m. (rebroadcast on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.).  For our friends out of the viewing area, you can always watch the broadcast at http://video.unctv.org/video/2365069548/

The crew at Blue Water Media did a wonderful job at making the farm look great and they really took the time to talk with us to understand what we grow and how we grow it.  The focus of the episode is our garlic but they also spend time talking about our ginger, turmeric, lilies and blackberries.  After the visit to the farm, host Lisa Prince and the crew head over to Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro where our friend and great customer Chef Jay Pierce whips up some amazing garlic-focused recipes. Yumm-o!  We can't wait to get your feedback on the show!!
  
 Basket full of Plum Granny Farm productsFlavor, NC logoChef Jay Pierce and Lisa Prince on Flavor, NC

Don't forget! Friday, November 15 is the deadline for comments to the FDA on the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act.  If you haven't already, please take a moment to learn more about the rules at http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/fsma-issues/ This is really important and we really need for the FDA to hear from consumers who appreciate local food.  Thanks!

Here's a quick roundup of what we’ll have on our table on Saturday at the Cobblestone Old Salem Farmers Market:
  
Certified Organic Produce: 

      -- Powdered and Granulated Organic Garlic 

      -- Garlic (Inchelium Red, Gesti Jumble)  Supplies are running low!!  Better get it while you can!  

       -- Garlic braids   
  
      --  Tomatillo Salsa Kits
 

Jar of Raspberry-Cranberry Jam
Our new gift-size jams have been a hit!  We have 4.5 ounce jars of Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry and Raspberry-Cranberry ready for Holiday giving!  These jams are $5 per jar.  W
e'll have lots of stock of those as well as our other yummy jams and Raspberry-Chipotle Molè Sauce! 

Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Here's to eating garlic-flavored popcorn while watching Flavor, NC!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/8/2013 11:08am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!  
 
As the the leaves are whirling around and talk of snow is in the air, we are busy trying to finish getting our winter crops in the ground.  We pushed back the garlic planting to next week so we could finish getting in the winter greens.  LOTS of kale, swiss chard, frissé endive, lettuce, radicchio, arugula and bok choy has gone into the new raised beds.  Can you say 1,486 kale plants?!
 Newly planted chard on raised bed

We also want to bring a very important item to your attention -- comments on the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act are due to the FDA by November 15.  Food safety is a very important issue and we take it very seriously here at the farm but as the propsed regulations are written, they could force many farms (including ours) out of business.  These regulations are written with large farms and processors in mind but they will apply to all farms. The rules place an unfair burden on small family farmers and especially target sustainable and organic farming.  Please take a moment to learn more about the rules at http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/fsma-issues/ This is really important and we really need for the FDA to hear from consumers who appreciate local food.  Thanks!

Don't forget!  WUNC-TV (Channel 4) will be airing the episode of Flavor, NC that features the farm on Thursday, November 14 at 10 p.m.  Set your DVRs now!!
 
Here's a quick roundup of what we’ll have on our table on Saturday at the Cobblestone Old Salem Farmers Market:
  
Certified Organic Produce: 

      -- Powdered and Granulated Organic Garlic 

      -- Garlic (Red Toch, Inchelium Red, Nootka Rose, Lorz Italian, Gesti Jumble)  Supplies are running low!!  Better get it while you can!  

       -- Garlic braids   
  
      --  Tomatillo Salsa Kits
 

Rows of gift-sized jam jars
Don't forget our new gift-size jams.  We have 4.5 ounce jars of Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry and Raspberry-Cranberry ready for Holiday giving!  These jams are $5 per jar.  Our
Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint
jam has been a great hit as well as our seasonal Raspberry-Cranberry Jam  -- we'll have lots of stock of those as well as our other yummy jams and Raspberry-Chipotle Molè Sauce! 

Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Here's to anticipating the first snow,

Cheryl & Ray



Posted 11/1/2013 1:43pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Plum Granny Farm -- you either signed up at a market or on our website.  We are glad to have this brief opportunity to share some news of the farm with you!  If you no longer wish to receive these weekly newsletters, please see the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of this email.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!  Happy November!

Another page has turned on the calendar and our attention is still focused on getting the garlic into the ground!  Ray finished getting all of the beds prepared in Ruth's Field and we will begin planting next week.  Today's rain has been welcome as it has been enough to soften the soil without obliterating the nicely shaped beds.
Beds ready for planting
We continue to crack and sort through our garlic to ready all those little cloves for planting.  Even though it is a sign of progress, it is always so sad to have the barns clear of garlic -- here is Chris taking down the last of the hanging garlic earlier this week.

Taking down the last of the garlic in the barn 
Just a reminder that WUNC-TV (Channel 4) will be airing the episode of Flavor, NC that features the farm on Thursday, November 14 at 10 p.m.  Set your DVRs now!!
 

Here's a quick roundup of what we’ll have on our table on Saturday at the Cobblestone Old Salem Farmers Market:
  
Certified Organic Produce: 

      -- Powdered and Granulated Organic Garlic (Music, Spanish Roja, Lorz)

      -- Garlic (Red Toch, Inchelium Red, Nootka Rose, Lorz Italian, Gesti Jumble and Elephant)  We are nearly out of stock for MOST varieties so you better get it while you can!  

       -- Garlic braids -- new batch and don't forget that you better hurry to place orders for braids for the Holidays!  
 
      --  Tomatillos and Salsa Kits
 
New in the jam department this week are our new gift-size jams.  We have 4.5 ounce jars of Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry and Raspberry-Cranberry ready for Holiday giving!  These jams are $5 per jar.  Our Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint jam has been a great hit as well as our seasonal Raspberry-Cranberry Jam  -- we'll have lots of stock of those as well as our other yummy jams and Raspberry-Chipotle Molè Sauce! 

Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Here's to celebrating the bounty of Fall,

Cheryl & Ray



Pick-Your-Own Update!

Come and get some berries before they are gone!  Last week was the peak of production for our incredible blackberries -- but we still have lots.  So come out to the farm for a Twilight Pick-Your-Own on Monday, July 17 from 4:30-7:30 p.m.

These delicious blackberries are Certified Organic and are No-Spray! And they are even thornless!

Price is $5.50 per pound.  Please bring a container to take your berries home as well as a cooler.

Other produce will also be available.

We are located at 1041 Flat Shoals Road outside of King.  Take US Hwy 52 North of Winston-Salem, Exit 122 RJR - Moore Rd.  Turn left at the ramp and continue straight on Moore Road (which then becomes Mountain View Road).  Drive 4.3 miles to intersection with NC Hwy 66.  Turn left and drive 4.3 miles to Flat Shoals Road which branches off to the right.  Take Flat Shoals Road – parking for the PYO field is the first driveway on the right – across the road from the farmhouse.  Look for signs.  

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USDA Organic logo

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 http://video.unctv.org/video/2365069548/  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!

Flavor NC logo

 

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