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Posted 5/8/2015 6:40am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

We've really been enjoying the gorgeous weather this past week -- haven't you?  It's nice to have a real spring!

In case you are wondering, we made it through Garlic-a-palooza relatively unscathed!  We actually got through the entire process and had the boxes ready to go before 8:00 p.m. on Monday evening -- a far cry from last year's marathon session that went deep into the night (and wee morning hours).  We owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Chris & Jen -- the A+ team really knocked it out of the park this year!!  Go Team Plum Granny!!

Chris & Ray washing garlic      Boxes of garlic in walk-in

Left:  The power washing duo of Chris & Ray -- these guys can wash 25+ pounds per hour each -- a good thing when you have to wash over 525 pounds!  Right:  If someone was looking for cabbage in these boxes, they'd be in for a garlicky surprise!


It always takes a day or so to recover from the 'Palooza but we have been filling our time in harvest mode -- picking strawberries!  Last week, the season was just beginning but now we are really in the midst of it.  We'll have more berries at markets this week and have scheduled a Mother's Day Pick-Your-Own Strawberry & Open Greenhouse Day for Sunday, May 10 from 1-4.  This is bound to be a popular event so come early!  Our berries are Certified Organic AND no-spray -- and incredibly delicious! 


Big strawberry in hand

The strawberries will be a main attraction but we still have lots of plants, so our Greenhouse will be open as well!  We have a great selection of heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, herbs, berry plants, other veggies and a few ginger plants.  Now is the time to plant these warm weather favorites!  How about an herb garden for your Mom?

If we're not out picking, we're noticing that lots of things are happening in the fields -- here's a preview of coming attractions (from left:  sugar snap peas, Prelude raspberries, artichokes, Ouachita blackberries, garlic scapes)

Sugar snap pea flower  Prelude raspberries  Tavor artichokes  Ouachita blackberries  Elephant garlic scapes


Market Updates

The tables will be full of fresh Spring favorites this week with some items taking a final bow.  There will be asparagus (green & purple--likely the last week), spring garlic (last week), salad mix, baby beets, baby kale, White Russian kale bunches, strawberries, garlic powder and granules, along with basil, tomato, pepper and herb transplants, and blackberry and black raspberry plants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams (don't forget:  Moms LOVE jam!).

Take advantage of "Eat What You Want Day" on May 11 -- chocolate-dipped strawberries perhaps?

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Ajo in strawberries

Cat?  What cat?


Posted 5/1/2015 8:50am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday -- and welcome to May! 

The beginning of May usually has one consistent date for us here at Plum Granny Farm -- Garlic-a-palooza!  For our newer readers, this event is a all-hands-on-deck spring garlic harvest/clean/bundle process that lasts about 5 days.  Why?  We provide upwards of 2,000 bunches of our organic spring garlic to our friends at The Produce Box in Raleigh.  They, in turn use it in some of their wonderful boxes of NC produce that is delivered across the state (including the Triad).  We love working with our friends there -- and even though we are one of the smallest farms they purchase from, we have developed a garlic niche with them.  Here are Chris and Ray harvesting some of the spring garlic -- we use the undercutter bar to cut the roots and then pull the garlic out cleanly. Twelve down, 11,988 left to go....

Chris & Ray harvesting spring garlic

Before the 'Palooza began, we started planting ginger.  We will be growing the white "Big Kahuna" and the new (to us) yellow "Khing Yai."  We will also grow Galangal and turmeric.  The greenhouse is starting to fill up again --with different stuff!

Chris & Cheryl planting ginger

Forecasted warmer days and nights have us anxious to start getting the tomatoes in the field.  Ray got the beds made and we started covering them with plastic (a new method for us this year).  The plan is for about 850 plants in addition to the  tomatillos.  We have a few new varieties that we are trialing this year -- heirlooms and some new introductions. We are excited about bringing those to market.  Meanwhile, in the hoophouse, the early tomatoes are doing great -- there are flowers on several plants!

Strawberries!  Yes, the beginning of the strawberry season is here!  The first couple of weeks will be a bit sparse but we hope to have a good crop this year.  We'll even have a few on our tables at market this week and will have a pick-your-own event very soon.  Our berries are Certified Organic AND no-spray!  One of the benefits of working here is that you get to sample the crops before they start to come in -- here is Chris getting the first dibs at the berries!
Chris eating his first strawberry of 2015

Thanks so much to so many of you for coming to our Open Greenhouse and Plant Sale last Sunday.  Even though the weather wasn't great, we had a great day talking with folks and helping them find the perfect plants for their garden.  We are likely to have another Greenhouse Day, so stay tuned!


Market Updates

Check out Amy Dixon's great article in today's Winston-Salem Journal about the King Farmers Market.  Thanks for giving a shout out to this hidden gem in the farmers market world!

We'll have lots of fresh Spring favorites on our tables!  There will be asparagus (green & purple), Spring garlic (likely the last week), salad mix, baby beet greens, cilantro (small amount), baby kale, White Russian kale bunches, rapa, strawberries (a few!), garlic powder and granules, and basil, tomato, pepper and herb transplants, blackberry and black raspberry plants, and strawberry hanging baskets -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams (and samples).

All kinds of early May happenings -- Derby Day, Cinco de Mayo (and anniversary day for Cheryl & Ray!), and National Teachers Day (5/6).  And it sounds like sunshine will be in abundance -- get outdoors and plant something!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 4/23/2015 11:11am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Thursday! 

Wow!  As Ray says, "it's like being shot out of a cannon!"  Yep, that pretty much sums up this week (and next, and next...). With the beginning of the market season, our schedules take on a new rhythm and intensity.  We are governed by the absolutes of our market and restaurant delivery days and must work everything else around it.  Gets to be a high wire balancing act at times!  Thank goodness for lists!

Opening days for both markets were terrific!  The crowd-counters at Cobblestone Old Salem Market said that we had nearly 3,500 shoppers and at the King Farmers Market we had well over 150 folks coming through.  Great way to begin the season -- thanks to all of you who came out and supported local farms!

In addition to market prep, we've started our ginger planting process.  When finished, we should have around 300 bags of ginger and turmeric in the greenhouse and under shadecloth outside.  The task this week was to get the coir (coconut husks) fluffed and mixed with fertilizer and to sanitize and fill the grow bags.  We hope to get some of the ginger planted today before we fall into the market/plant sale vortex!  Here's Chris & Ray setting up the bags and the view of the greenhouse with some of the filled bags in place:

 Ray & Chris setting up ginger bags  Ginger bags ready for planting

More field planting is underway - new artichokes are filling in the holes from last year's crop and more kale, chard and radicchio is going into the field. On the fruit front, things are looking promising!  Some of the strawberries are beginning to show some color and the Ouachita blackberries are starting to flower!  Won't be too much longer but keep your fingers crossed on the weather - may have to cover the strawberries again tonight!

Ripening strawberry    Ouachita blackberry flowers

Don't forget our Open Greenhouse and Plant Sale on Sunday, April 26 from 1-5 p.m.  From the comments we've heard, we are expecting a good turnout!  Lots of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, eggplant, plus 4-packs of chard, kale, lettuce, pac choi and sunflowers!  There will also be blackberry and black raspberry plants, strawberry hanging baskets, ginger and turmeric plant starts!  We'll also have organic soil amendments for sale.  Here is Jen getting labels in a few of the many plants we'll have for sale.    Jen tagging plants in greenhouse

Final Call!  Allium Adventure Club!

Registrations are due by Monday, April 27!  Don't miss this tasty adventure into the Land of Allium.  For more information and a registration form, click here.

Allium Adventure Club logo

What's on Our Table at Market?

Just a reminder of the times of market:  Cobblestone is 9-noon and King is 11-1.  We'll have lots of fresh Spring favorites on our tables!  There will be asparagus (green & purple), Spring garlic, salad mix, cilantro, baby kale, White Russian kale bunches, purple iris bouquets, garlic powder and granules, and tomato and pepper transplants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams (and samples).

Spring garlic at market  

Today is "Take Your Daughter or Son to Work Day."  Our furry four-footed kids work with us everyday so we're not sure what we are supposed to do.  Take them on vacation?

Up-close view of Brix

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 4/16/2015 11:55am 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.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Thursday! 

Rainy, busy week!  The rain has been a godsend though as things were starting to get rather dry.  We've been trying to get as many plants as possible in the field to take advantage of this cooler, wet weather -- things like lettuce, pak choy and broccoli raab enjoy it (even if farmers sometimes don't).

The last of the potatoes got in the ground on Tuesday.  Unfortunately Ray bore the brunt of the rain as he covered them with the Cub.

Ray covering potatoes

The cats aren't too sure about all the rain but they are pretty good at finding a comfy place to curl up.

Cats in the barn

We've been getting lots of plants ready for our upcoming Open Greenhouse and Plant Sale on Sunday, April 26 from 1-5 p.m.  At last count, we have over 1,100 individual transplants plus 4-packs of chard, kale, lettuce, pac choi and sunflowers!  This is in addition to the blackberry and black raspberry plants, strawberry hanging baskets, ginger and turmeric plant starts!  It will be a very full greenhouse and great opportunity to choose from a terrific selection of certified organic plants. We won't be taking as many plants to market this year so this will be your chance for the best selection!

Strawberry baskets  Short Stuff Sunflower plant  Lettuce transplants

The deadline is closing in for your opportunity to join the Allium Adventure Club!  Don't miss this tasty adventure into the Land of Allium.  Registrations must be in by Monday, April 27 as the program begins on May 2.  For more information and a registration form, click here.

Allium Adventure Club logo

Markets Open This Weekend!

The moment that so many of you have been waiting for arrives on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the opening of the Cobblestone Old Salem Farmers Market!  It's sure to be a busy, bustling market (who knows what the weather is - let's prepare for everything!).  This market is in Old Salem at the corner of West and Salt Streets and free parking is available around the market site.  Check out Cobblestone's new website too!

On Wednesday, 4/22 (Earth Day), the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA has its grand opening at 11:00 a.m.  This market is located at 105 Moore Road in the parking lot of the Stokes Family YMCA.  Opening day will feature music, Earth Day giveaways and information, free coffee and lots more!!

We'll be at both markets with all kinds of fresh Spring favorites on our tables!  There will be asparagus, Spring garlic, baby kale, daffodil, iris and tulip bouquets, garlic powder and granules, and tomato and pepper transplants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams.  Here are some of the tulips we'll have:   Tulips for market

Enjoy the beauty of the season!

Dogwood tree flowers

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 4/10/2015 10:43am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

Before we get started with details on the pop-up and other farm doings, we must make an important introduction.  Please meet Brix (nee Bree)!

Cheryl & Brix day 1

Brix is our new donkey (jenny) who came to us from Stacy Martin at Yellow Wolf Farm.  She is a beautiful 7 year-old with a sweet personality and we have been spending the week getting to know each other.  Look for her in the pasture next time you are in the neighborhood!

Besides hanging out with the donkey, we've been hanging out with plants.  Getting ready to plant and planting have been the words of the week.  Potatoes, raspberries, bramble transplants and rhubarb have all been on the list this week.  We got about 450 pounds of potatoes in the field and will finish up with a couple hundred more LaRatte fingerlings next week. Today Ray and Chris are replacing the Joan J red raspberries.  The planting that we did 2 years ago was not producing so we are replacing them with fresh plant stock.  Look for them in late summer!

Chris planting potatoes    Ray covering potatoes   Ray setting out flags for planting

   Planting Joan J

Pop Up Market Tomorrow!

We are still a GO with our on-farm Mini-Market on Saturday, April 11 from 10-noon. There will be asparagus (limited quantity - get here early!), baby kale, daffodil bouquets, pick-your-own tulips and daffodils, garlic powder and granules, and tomato transplants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams.  It's supposed to be a beautiful day -- so take a drive up to Stokes County for some super fresh produce and to welcome the newest Plum Granny Farm family member!

Take a peek at our PYO flower bed in this morning's fog:

PYO tulips and daffodils


Just a few reminders:

  • Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem Opening Day - Saturday, April 18
  • King Farmers Market Opening Day -- Wednesday, April 22
  • Deadline for sign-up for the Allium Adventure Club -- Saturday, April 25
  • Open Greenhouse Plant Sale -- Sunday, April 26

Just 5 more days until the official frost free date and our lilacs are starting to bloom!

First lilac flowers of spring

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 4/3/2015 9:42am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

We made it through last weekend's freezing temperatures with very little damage to the plants.  Thankfully it wasn't as cold as predicted and the plant covers worked well.  A couple of the tomatoes in Raz House got a little nip but they are recovering nicely.  The strawberries look amazing -- a few blossoms were killed but for the most part, they are looking better and stronger!  See for yourself -- lots of strawberries on that plant!

Strawberry plant loaded with blossoms

Working through our list of Spring to-do's always feels good.  One of the first tasks is to get the pump going for irrigation.  It's never a simple task -- more a process of trial and much error.  But finally (after replacing the housing on the engine) the pump cranked and water started flowing to the thirsty strawberries and onions.

Ray flusing the pond pump filter

In addition to water, our young plants need food.  Now is the time to give the garlic and shallots a good shot of their favorite energy drink:  fish emulsion.  Ray got the tank rigged up on the Cub and set forth with his trident to provide a tasty meal. Mmmmm....

Ray fishing the garlic     Ray's garlic fishing pole

Another plant we coddled through the winter was the artichokes.  We had noticed the plants starting to push their way out of the hay.  Yesterday we removed the mounds of hay that had protected them through the cold.  Some loss -- but lots of them were looking strong and healthy! Artichokes, anyone?

Cheryl with artichoke

Even though it is two more weeks until our markets open, we are starting to get a few crops.  Asparagus and kale are beginning to come in!  To celebrate spring, we will have an on-farm Mini-Market on Saturday, April 11 from 10-noon. Stay tuned for more information -- check out our Facebook page for any breaking news.

Early asparagus

Our fencing project is almost done (for now) and we'll have a new member of the Plum Granny Farm family to introduce you to next week!  We are very excited!!!

Ray putting the finishing touches on the fence

A few quick reminders:

  • Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem Opening Day - Saturday, April 18
  • King Farmers Market Opening Day -- Wednesday, April 22
  • Deadline for sign-up for the Allium Adventure Club -- Saturday, April 25
  • Open Greenhouse Plant Sale -- Sunday, April 26

We wish you many blessings for Passover and Easter.  Enjoy the special beauty of this season -- the time of renewal and rebirth.

Violets of spring

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 3/27/2015 1:04pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

The grey sky and wet roads outside the window are contrasted with the green of the garlic field and the red fuzz of the the red oaks in the distance.  Spring has set the plant world into overdrive -- getting everything blooming, leafing and growing. Blackberries are leafing out and the flowering bulbs are growing like gangbusters.  The hives are full of bees hauling in spring pollen and nectar.  And as usual, we will get our early spring freeze to stunt some of the growth.

We are trying to be prepared for the predicted freeze on Saturday night.  The strawberries are covered along with the baby lettuce plants in Daddy's Garden.  And as a precaution, we'll add some row covers to the tomatoes in Raz House.  Farming is done best when it is proactive -- try to anticipate what might happen and prevent any harm.  This works for dealing with the weather, pests, disease -- just about anything.  Of course, we can never prevent everything but by actively managing the farm, we can hopefully reduce the harm.  Not easy for sure.

Speaking of the strawberries, there were a LOT of flowers on the plants when we covered  them on Wednesday.  The general wisdom is that it is 30 days from flower to fruit. Based on that calculation, we should start harvesting strawberries around April 25!  The plan for strawberries this year is to have them at market and as a pick-your-own crop.  Stay tuned for details!  And send warm thoughts to our little plants!

Field blanket on the strawberries

Another blooming thing we are protecting is our little peach tree.  We got scions from our wonderful tree in Albuquerque and had them grafted.  We are babying it and hoping to enjoy some peaches this year.  It will be under a row cover tent with a light, for sure!

Peach tree in bloom

In case you wonder if farmers get much exercise, the answer is, "Yep!"  The week started with an intense aerobic and weight-bearing workout for Chris and Cheryl.  We have been coordinating a group order of supplies from Seven Springs Farm Supply for fellow farmers.  It arrived a bit early and Ray was at his PT appointment.  Unfortunately a lift gate, which would have made it easier to unload the 5 pallets of soil amendments and seeds, was not on the truck.  So we, with the help of the friendly driver, unloaded the entire load one bag at a time.  And then we moved each bag again to sort by farms!  That would be 10,000 pounds x 2 = 10 tons!!  The amazing thing is that we did the initial unload in 30 minutes!  Whew- an extra dose of ibuprofen was on the menu for sure!

Chris with the 7 Spring order

More planting this week.  English shelling peas went in alongside the garlic and the first batch of bunching, green top and bulb onions were transplanted.  We'll be planting the seed shallots next week -- this isthe first time we have tried to grow shallots from seed!  We have planted the seeds in trays just like onions so will be setting out the transplants into the field.  Here's Jen & Chris planting onions in yesterday's fog:

Jen & Chris planting onions in the fog

And while we are on the subject of alliums, don't forget we are now accepting memberships in our bi-weekly Allium Adventure Club!  More information and applications are available on the website!  The Adventure will begin on May 2nd and will run through November 14.  Thanks so much to those of you who have signed up already!

Allium Adventure Club logo

It's just a month away!  Plans (and plants!) are being readied for our Open Greenhouse on Sunday, April 26.  We have will have hundreds of Certified Organic plants available including tomatoes (36 varieties), tomatillos (4 varieties), peppers - hot and sweet (6 varieties), eggplant (3 varieties), herbs (11 varieties) plus baby ginger and turmeric plants and other veggies such as kale, swiss chard and lettuce!  If you are interested in a particular variety, let us know -- we may be growing it for you!!

Tomato transplants in the greenhouse

Until next week,

Cheryl, Ray & Gesti

Gesti on the bench

Posted 3/20/2015 10:24am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

A warm welcome to Spring, indeed! At 6:45 p.m. EDT, we will mark the Vernal Equinox.  According to The Old Farmer's Alamanac, "the word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning 'equal night.' All over the world, days and nights are approximately equal. Today, the Sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west. Starting in spring, the days become 'longer' than our nights."  To us, it means that the work days are definitely longer and the farming season starts to kick into high gear.  Yippee!

Things are starting to pop around the farm!  Between the warmer weather and the rain, green is busting out all over!  The garlic field is a sea of green (got some weeding done to take care of the weed part of that green).  And the sugar snap peas are starting to pop out -- especially in Raz House.

Sugar snaps in Raz House

We did get the rest of Raz House planted out with tomatoes -- plus frisée, cilantro, beets, carrots, basil and rapini!  It will be chock-full of growth before long!

Jen & Chris planting tomatoes in Raz House    Perfect tomato transplant    Maximizing space in Raz House

In addition to planting the hoop house and greenhouse seeding (we are running out of room!!), Ray was able to hop on the tractor and do some plowing.  Here he is getting the tomato field ready:

Ray plowing South to prep for tomatoes

We are now accepting memberships in our Allium Adventure Club!  This year's adventure will provide you with a 15-week tour in the Land of Allium!  Our Inaugural Voyage was a hit last year ("opening every bag was like Christmas!," said one member).  The club is for those of you who love garlic, onions, shallots and all things allium!  If garlic or onions are the first ingredient of every dish, then this is for you.  Your biweekly bag will include the very best of what we have to offer including limited edition varieties and special items that you won't see at market.  More information and applications are available on the website!  The Adventure will begin on May 2nd.

Allium Adventure Club logo

Today is a very special day on the farm -- Ray and Cheryl are both decked out in our favorite cardigans in honor of one of our heroes -- Mr. Rogers.  Fred Rogers was born this day in 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  His wonderful PBS show ran an amazing 33 years -- 1968 to 2001.  It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 3/14/2015 10:57am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Saturday!

Another Saturday edition of the newsletter...guess we are getting winter lazy, huh?  Well we actually have an excuse this time.  Just got back last night from Petersburg, Virginia and their 8th Annual Berry Production & Marketing Conference.  We were honored to have this opportunity to share a bit about what we do here at Plum Granny with our berry-growing colleagues in Virginia.  The organizers were specifically interested in our production and marketing as a Certified Organic farm.  Here's a terrible picture of us during the presentation -- and we really were more excited and happy than the photo shows!  Here's a link to the overall conference proceedings.  Some good stuff there.

Back on the farm, the week's nicer weather helped us check off several things on the to-do list.  The good news is that we have started getting some things in the ground!!  Sugar snap peas, kale, lettuce & frisée all got planted this week!  The photo below shows some of the plants waiting outside to harden up a bit before planting -- it's not really deer bait!  In addition to growing the peas in the field, we are testing a row in the hoop house.  The warmer soil temperature in there should speed up the crop - or at least that's what we hope.  Get ready for some crunchy, sweet snap peas!

    Seedlings ready to go

This coming week we will be planting tomatoes in the hoop house.  The beds have been fertilized and reshaped and additional drip irrigation has been added.  This is a totally new thing for us and we are very excited about the prospect of having early tomatoes.  Last year was our first year growing tomatoes in the hoop house but we didn't plant them until late May.  We can get about 160 plants in there.  Here's Chris showing of the beautiful beds he created in the hoop house -- ready for those tomatoes!

Chris in Raz House with reshaped beds

The greenhouse has now gotten its full baseboard repair.  Chris and Jen worked their magic on the baseboard and with the exception of putting down a wider strip of landscape fabric, it is good to go for several years.  The old wood was pretty rotten so the newly installed PureWood should do the trick for quite a while.

Rotten baseboard wood from greenhouse horth wall    Chris & Jen with finished product

We have a couple of events this week that might be of interest.  On Tuesday (3/17), Cheryl will be speaking at the Sedgefield Garden Club on growing baby ginger & turmeric.  The club meets at 7:00 p.m. at the Griffin Recreation Center (5301 Hilltop Road, Jamestown, NC 27282).  On Thursday (3/19), we will be hosting the Stokes County Extension Office for a Pruning Demonstration at 2:00 p.m. here at the farm.  Randy Fulk, our Extension Agent, will be demonstrating the best way to prune apples and grapes.  Both of these events are free and are open to the public. 

In honor of Pi Day, we'd like to share one of our favorite recipes -- Yam's Jam Cheesecake Pie!

No-Bake Yam's Jam Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie
1 cup Yam's Jam Sweet Potato Butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2T lemon juice
2 cups vanilla whipped cream or whipped topping
Cookie or graham cracker pie crust
Extra whipped cream for serving
Whip together cream cheese and lemon juice until creamy and fluffy.  Add Yam's Jam and mix well.  Gently fold in whipped cream, stirring until just mixed.  Spoon into crust and put in fridge to set for a couple of hours.  Top with more whipped cream and serve.  Can be made ahead and frozen.


Only 1 more week until Spring Equinox!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 3/7/2015 11:46am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Saturday!

Yes, with March comes the Madness.  The ACC Tourney (and those other also-rans too), the weather (in like a lion -- or is it like a lamb?), the farm chores...

March is when things really get kicked up a notch or two here on the farm.  Plants start growing more rapidly as the day length increases (weeds as well) and the daily to-do list takes on a whole new heft.

And the weather.  Bouncing from 74 on Wednesday to snow and a high of 34 on Thursday.  Ah, late winter!

Right now, the busiest place on the farm is the greenhouse.  We are starting to run out of space in our "inner sanctum" for seed trays.  Not surprising given that there are 8,959 onions, 1,061 tomatoes, 929 peppers, 808 shallots, 731 leeks, 438 artichokes, 432 lettuce, 384 kale, 384 frissé plus basil, cilantro, sorrel, spinach and eggplant (and I'm probably missing some).  And we are just getting started!!

Tomato sprouts in greenhouse

A new item that we'll have this year will be hanging baskets of strawberries for Mother's Day.  The seedlings that we planted this fall from our cuttings are doing very well.  In fact, we have to frequently trim off the flowers because we don't want them to fruit so young.

Strawberry plants

A "just in time" task this week was to get a gutter on the side of the hoophouse.  We have been plagued with water running into a corner of the house due to bad drainage along the north side.  This was actually one of the reasons we lost our original planting of raspberries there.  Ray and Chris did a great job in getting the gutter in place just before the deluge on Thursday!

Drainage problem at Raz House    Chris and Ray work on gutter    Chris attaching downspout

Another big project this week has been to get the ginger, turmeric and galangal going for pre-sprout. Our friends Andy & Lisa came over on Sunday and helped us cut the rhizomes into properly sized pieces for planting.  Before they are planted in the grow bags in the greenhouse, the rhizomes spend about 4-6 weeks in a warm and humid environment to wake up the growing points and get them ready to grow.  Now the milkhouse is all cozy and our little plants are starting their adventure.  Harvest is only 7-8 months away!

    Turmeric ready for presprout

Spring keeps getting closer.  On Tuesday night, I heard the peepers down by the lower pond and the robins arrived yesterday!  Only 2 more weeks until Equinox!

Don't forget to spring forward tonight -- more daylight into the evening!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray (and Biker Dude Ajo)

Biker Dude Ajo

Get Ready for PlumFresh 2021!

UPDATE!  We are almost sold out!  Just FIVE spaces remain!

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!

Flavor NC logo