News and blog

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Posted 1/27/2019 5:17pm by Cheryl.

 Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Is it a good thing to have ice in your rain gauge?!  The thermometer has been doing quite the gymnastics routine this week -- from 15 to 55.  From howling winds and driving rains to dense fog.  But putting on our optimist hat, we are finding some real advantages to the lower temps -- particularly when it comes to working in the pasture.  Frozen ground means that you don't sink to your knees in mud!

Frozen ground also means that we can clear our big "poop pile" without getting a truck or tractor stuck in the mud.  This morning, Jonny and Ray were rocking it getting a pile that was w-a-y past due to be moved.  While Mia supervised (of course!)

When we're not outside, we are either in the greenhouse or in the office planning for the season.  Jonny has been a grow-bag-making machine this week. We are trying to have all of the 165 grow bags ready to go for cucumbers and tomatoes in the next week or so.

 

 We definitely have something to look forward to with our greenhouse growing.  We are down to just 3 tomato plants (our private stock) but look at this beauty we harvested yesterday!

Office work is a dominant feature of a farmer's life in the winter.  We are planning our seed and equipment orders as well as making detailed crop plans by variety.  This year we are trying out a new tool that can hopefully help us do a better job of keeping all of the balls in the air.  More on that later.

Another key part of our planning is to set our calendar of on-farm events.  Having visitors come to the farm is one of our favorite things to do!  We are blessed with a beautiful piece of land in a great location and we love to share this with you.  So grab your calendar and a pen and jot down some of the things we have planned in 2019:

March 16          Bluebird House Building Workshop
March 30          Ginger & Turmeric Growing Workshop
April 14             Plant Sale
April 19             Plant Sale
April 28             Plant Sale and Growing Brambles at Home Workshop
June 2               Northern Triad Farm Tour
September 8     Growing Fall Veggies & Season Extension
September 15    Fall Plant Sale
October 13        Garlic Workshop
November 30    Small Business Saturday Holiday Market

It's a mix of new things and old favorites!  We'll definitely be adding pick-your-own events along with some other new activities to check out on the farm.  Watch this space for more information as we get closer to each event.

   

That's all the news for this week.  Bundle up for the next cold snap (and be thankful for frozen pastures!).

And keep dreaming of warmer days ahead.  Only 54 days until the First Day of Spring!

 

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 1/19/2019 6:07pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!
Last Sunday was definitely an icy winter wonderland around here!  We are grateful that we kept power through the storm and had no major damage -- we know that many of you weren't as lucky.  But the event definitely kept us on our toes -- our greenhouse and high tunnels can deal much better with a snow load than they can with ice.  Ray worked throughout Saturday night/Sunday morning checking all of the high tunnels every hour to make sure that there wasn't a build-up of ice on the surface.  Kerosene and propane heaters were set up to make sure that the inside temperatures would be sufficient to reduce any ice build up.  It worked!

Since the greenhouse is heated, Ray opened up the plastic dropped ceiling to allow heat to rise to keep the top of the greenhouse warmer.  Our decision is that it is better to burn a bit more propane than risk losing the greenhouse.

Despite the anxiety an ice storm causes, it sure was pretty!

   

The persistent muddy conditions are making it difficult for our hooved creatures so we needed to get a bit of work done on Tony and BB.  Tony has issues with his rear feet and they need to be tended pretty frequently.  Ray set up a new platform for doing hoof and other "doctoring" work and it's working great!  And a nice, sunny day made the task more pleasant.  We can't say that they sheep are happy about being there but it sure beats trying to take care of these things on the ground in the pasture.  Our backs are much happier -- and so are the sheep.

 

Greenhouse work continues.  The plan is to get lots of seeding done this weekend and next week.  Artichokes, shallots and leeks are on the menu.  And the tomatoes and cucumbers that were planted last week are already popping up!

We had a bit of a surprise when we saw a small herd of deer in the raspberry and blackberry field the other morning --  they were munching away on the new planting of raspberries.  Not good!  That definitely raised the priority level on our fencing project.  We had installed 8' deer fencing around the berry and other fields when we moved here in 2009 and it has done a good job.  But the elements (and weedeaters) have taken a toll on the fence and the time was here to replace large sections of it.  Jonny and Ray are gittin 'er done!

This section of fence had been spliced back together many times and finally broke open.  What you can't see are the fresh deer tracks going under the fence!  The orange baling twine was a temporary fix before we were able to install the new fence the next day.

A new line of well-secured fence should do the trick!  Sorry deer!

 

That does it for this week's news!  On Sunday, hopefully we are in for an astronomical treat with the coincidence of a total lunar eclipse and a full Super moon!  If the skies cooperate, we might be treated to a large full moon that looks orange-red!  This month's full moon is known as the Wolf Moon.  Let's hope that we have clear skies because this will be the last total lunar eclipse visible from North America until 2021.

Monday is when we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In these difficult times, let us reflect on his words and his call for peace.  Let's be reminded of the need to take action -- go out and make a difference for someone less fortunate.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr at Oberlin College's Commencement address in 1965
 
Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray
Posted 12/23/2018 10:28am by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Photo credit:  Buffalo Creek Farm & Creamery Facebook page

When life gives you mud puddles.... you keep on trudging on if you are a farmer!  After a bit of sunshine this week, we are back to rain.  Going on 1.75 inches...  and it's pouring now.

Unfortunately all of this precipitation has had a serious impact on one of our main crops:  GARLIC!  Since the fields are so saturated, we aren't able to get the beds formed and the garlic planted.  Ray got the fields tilled and fertilized before the snowstorm but beds still need to be formed in order to plant.  We've had about 6 inches of rain and snowmelt since then.  We hope that we can get into the fields just after the first of the year.  Keep your fingers crossed (and do a little sun dance) -- unfortunately we are seeing predictions of rain late next week.  Heavy panicked sigh...

But let's look on the bright side shall we?  Brix says that her curls really pop with all this moisture! (Work with me, folks ...I'm trying here!)

Beyond slipping and slogging along, things are getting done around here!  If we can't plant garlic, at least we got some flower bulbs in the ground!

And Mia has been giving Ray tips on milking Cara.

And the cats are most grateful for these lessons (especially RingBob!)

More hay has been mowed to keep our hay-burner (and her baby) happy.  Cara comes running when she sees the truck pull in with a load of fresh-mown grass.

4, 3, 2, 1 .... Attention Procrastinators!

We are now just FOUR days away from Christmas!  Although shipping deadlines have passed, we can still arrange for you to come by the farm to pick up any last-minute gifts. Lots of choices remain on our website -- tasty jams, delicious garlic and ginger powders, a few braids and lavender sachets and more!  Please note that if you order on the website and want to pick up at the farm, please choose the "Invoice Only" option.

 

This is our last Weekly Update for the year -- we're taking a few days off to relax over the Holidays. We are decking the halls, clearing away the clutter of the season and kicking back to watch some favorite films (Miracle on 34th Street and other Christmas classics, anything with Fred Astaire... Thank goodness for Turner Classic Movies!)  And a nap or two is probably in order.

As we close out the year, we would like to say thanks for reading this newsletter and passing it along to your friends.  We are so grateful of your support of our farm and your interest in what we are doing.  Your comments about these newsletters and our products really help us do what we do -- especially in a challenging year like this one.  We cherish your words of support and encouragement as well as your business!  And most of all, we are most grateful for your friendship and trust.

Here's wishing you the most wonderful Holiday Season ever!  Joyous Solstice, Merry Christmas and all good wishes for a Happy & Healthy New Year!! 

Until 2019,

Cheryl & Ray along with Gesti, Detroit, Brix, BB, Tony, RingBob, Cara and Mia





 

Posted 12/12/2018 9:49am by Cheryl.

 

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Happy December!

What a beautiful Autumn snow!  It's hard to believe that it's still Fall when you have 15 inches of snow on the ground -- but it's true.  The Winter Solstice is still a week away!

The snow was gorgeous -- creating beautiful scenes across the farm.  Have a look around:

   

Even a few beautiful surprises.  Such a fragile thing as a flower can be amazingly resilient.

The good news is that even with such an incredible load from heavy, wet snow, our greenhouse and high tunnels came through just fine.  In the picture on the right, snow was piled up more than 5 feet on the side of the greenhouse and had covered the inflation fan (not good).  But Ray was able to clear it and make sure that the structure wasn't impacted.

 

It was good to have several days notice before the storm.  It gave us a chance to get ready.  No matter what the weather, we still have hungry mouths to feed.  We loaded up Mama Meow with freshly cut grasses (from areas that we weren't able to hay) as well as the cabbage and kale plants that we pulled out while clearing our Flat Shoals field.  Both seemed to be pretty good selections for our hooved friends.

   

Unfortunately the pure, clean snow has now turned to slush and even more mud... Yuck.

10, 9, 8, 7, .... The Holiday Countdown Continues!

Although Hanukkah has ended, we are just TEN days away from Christmas!  Do you need a few more gifts to complete your shopping list?  We would love to help!  We've just loaded up our website with our tasty jams, delicious garlic and ginger powders and lavender sachets and more!

 

We'll even take care of shipping your gifts to friends and family!

That does it for this week's news.  We had a great time at TubaChristmas and Mitchell's Nursery and Greenhouse's National Poinsettia Open House a couple of weeks ago.  And if you need more decorations or gifts, Jim and Judy Mitchell still have a lot of beautiful poinsettias left -- so go check them out!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/12/2018 7:39am by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  
The weather forecast is causing some shivers around the farm!  Time to get stuff buttoned up for a freeze.  With lows predicted in the 20's over the next week, we needed to get a few tasks complete.

One of the major items on our to-do list was to get our newest high tunnel (Mama Meow) covered.  It will be the site of our Small Business Saturday Holiday Market on November 24 so the time was right to make that happen.   We got it mostly complete yesterday despite some pretty strong wind gusts.  Have you ever tried holding a 53' x 30' sheet of plastic with 15 MPH wind gusts?  NOT EASY!  Now we just need to get the back wall window sealed and the other roll-up complete and we will be good to go!

 

Testing...1-2-3, Testing
It's test time around the farm!  As part of the ongoing review of our soils and water, we get soil tests from all of our fields as well as water tests from our wells and pond.  We have to do this as part of our Organic Inspection (which got postponed to next week).  But we also do it to monitor our soil health and water quality as we improve and sustain our fields for healthy food.  It's all part of ensuring that we are doing the right stuff!  Home gardeners should also make sure to get their soils tested -- that way, you'll know exactly what nutrients are needed for your garden.  Soil tests are free until November 30.  Here is a link to the form.

We had a wonderful day at the farm on Sunday!  We held our 3rd Annual Thank You Party for our terrific volunteers and PlumFresh members.  There was lots of eating, talking, sitting around the fire and hay-riding.  But the biggest start of the show?  Three guesses... Mia!  (Of course, Cara was a star, too.)  And the walk in the Pepper Forest was very tasty (despite finding a hot pepper!)

 

Small Business Saturday Holiday Market!
It's just TWO weeks away!  Saturday, November 24 from 10-3 is our 5th Annual Holiday Market!  We have a great line-up of vendors here at the farm:  Borrowed Land Farm, Bunny's Trees, Chad's Chai, Greenberries Farm, Monteith Homestead, Mystic Wolf's Den and Scattered Seeds Farm.  More details on what folks will be bringing are coming soon.  We will also have a great food truck, Almost Home Cooking that will be serving up biscuits, burgers and more!  For ongoing updates and breaking news, please check our Facebook Event page.

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 all the details and get ready to Shop Small!

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update

Pink, Pink, Pink!  It's Baby Ginger season!  Just think of the wonderful creations you can have for your Thanksgiving meals with this healthy delicious crop.  Check out our recipe sheet for instructions on how to make candied ginger -- an easy and tasty after-dinner mint!

For the next to the last Cobblestone market, we'll also have Green Beans, the first of our Green Chile and Poblano Peppers, Shishitos, Sweet Red Peppers, Trick or Treat (no heat habaneros) Peppers, Kohlrabi, Kale, Daikon Radishes, Garlic, Sunflower Shoots and MORE!  All of our products are Certified Organic and we grow everything we sell.

A Note about Jam:  Several of you have asked about our jams -- where are they?  We will have a very few jars next Saturday but we will have a full selection at our Small Business Saturday event and online.

Sunday is Veteran's Day.  It is also the 100th Anniversary of 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 10/11/2018 9:49am by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Welcome October!
I know you aren't supposed to pick favorites but I can't help it.  October is my favorite month.  I'm just like my Poppa Johnny Ferguson -- it was his too.  That's what happens to us Fergusons on our birthday month -- we extend the celebration out for a good 30 days!  Let's call it the Birthday Interval (which is a phrase that one of my dear Albuquerque friends used).

Here's Cheryl's grandfather, Poppa Johnny, in the mid-1960's.  He is celebrating his 140th birthday in Heaven!

But it's not just about birthdays.  There's something about October that is special:  it's crisp and colorful.  The light shifts and humidity drops.  Ah, October!

But Augtober is a different story.  I just learned this word yesterday but it's apt.  It's hot and sticky and the colors just aren't there yet.  But I can't complain too much or too loudly.  We've got tomatoes, squash and beans in the fields nearing harvest so we need some nice warm temps.  And Maine has gotten frost. Aargh!

Strawberry Fields...Forever?
This week was filled with lots of driving with trailers.  On Monday, we headed over to Banner Greenhouses in Nebo to pick up our strawberry plants. 

Sourcing organic strawberries is always an adventure and this year is no exception.  We ordered our plants back in August (a bit late) -- we were getting 3000 plugs in trays.  This would enable us to expand our production so that more of you could get our yummy strawberries next Spring.  Unfortunately we got a call last week telling us that we would not be able to get plug trays but instead they had baskets that we could break apart for planting....  okay. Knowing the additional time and labor this would take, we reduced our order size.  We would need 480 baskets. Okay...

We rented the largest U-Haul cargo trailer we could get and set off for the 2 hour trip to Nebo.  Ray had rigged up some ropes so that we could hang baskets in addition to putting them on the floor so we could get as many as possible.  When the packing was done, we had a grand total of … 150 baskets.  A bit shy of our needs.  The manager offered to use some spare space on their delivery truck on Tuesday to get us some more.

By the time we got back to the farm Monday night, a couple of the rows of baskets had collapsed (the rivet popped on one of the tie-offs!), so some of the plants were a little extra squished.  We pulled out our headlamps, unloaded the trailer and placed them on the floor in the Mama Meow hoophouse.

After the Banner delivery driver left Tuesday, we had Mama Meow pretty loaded with baskets on the floor and hanging on the purlins.  But unfortunately we only have a total of 290 baskets -- instead of the 460 we needed.   And we still have to figure out a method to separate the plants and actually plant it -- the roots will not be nicely contained like a plug would be.  LOTS of extra work.

So prepare yourselves... we are likely to have far fewer berries come next April than we had this year.  And they will have come with an exceptionally challenging beginning (and Lord only knows what the winter and early spring will bring weather-wise!)  We were musing about charging by the berry -- say $1?!  Such are the realities of farming.

Monarch Update
After last week's article on the Monarchs munching on our carrots and dill, we got a very sweet note from Pat, a friend of one of our subscribers.  She kindly pointed out that we had misidentified our lepidoptera.  She wrote, "I was happy to read that you are letting the caterpillars eat some of your plants! Just wanted to point out, however, that the caterpillars on your carrot and dill are not Monarchs but are Black Swallowtail caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed (Asclepias). Black Swallowtail caterpillars eat the family of plants which include dill, carrot, fennel, bronze fennel, parsley, Queen Anne’s Lace. Black Swallowtails overwinter as chrysalises in their local habitat by hanging on stems somewhere, so you have them somewhere on your farm (and unfortunately probably get rid of them if you clear out dead plants, etc.)  I’ve included pictures below for comparison of the 2 different butterflies and caterpillars.  Thanks for feeding the caterpillars!"  Thank you, Pat for educating us!  We really appreciate it!  

The images below are those of the Monarch caterpillar and butterfly (top row) and Black Swallowtail (bottom row).

Last Call!  Garlic Workshop on October 14
Just a couple of slots remain for our Growing Great Garlic at Home workshop.  It's on Sunday, October 14 from 2-5 here at the farm. The class fee is $35 and includes a 1/2 pound bag of seed garlic. To register, use our online form.

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update
We are at an in-between time with our crops -- but still lots of goodness!  Peppers of all sizes are coming in by the bucket-full.  
Picnic/Lunchbox Peppers -- perfect size for snacking or for packing in your lunchbox! Sweet Red Peppers including the Italian Roaster Marconi, Pimento, Lipstick, Red Bell and MORE!  Shishito Peppers -- great on the grill, seared in a skillet or cooked up Tempura-style.  Trick or Treat Peppers -- the sweet, not hot Habanero-type.

We'll have the last of our Muscadine and Scuppernong Grapes along with the last of the Bintje Potatoes and boxes of tasty Creamers.  We are also starting to run low on garlic -- so you had better hurry!  We'll have at least 5 varieties of Bulb Garlic along with Garlic Sampler Bags and Garlic Granules. Rounding out the table will be Daikon Radishes, Pea Shoots, Sunflower Shoots, Parsley, Okra and maybe some tomatoes.  ALL of our produce is Certified Organic and we grow everything we sell!

If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. tonight and it will be ready for pick-up tomorrow.

 

That's all we've got this week.

With all of the craziness and turmoil in the world right now, let's celebrate National Do Something Nice Day   -- deal?

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/30/2018 12:20pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Happy Fall Ya'll!
The foggy mornings and intense spider activity are conspiring to advance the calendar to Halloween -- or at least it seems.  The front of the farmhouse looks like a stage set for some mighty spooky stuff!

 

This week was a continuation of clearing downed trees and branches from the storm -- feels really good to get them up and out of the way (safer too!)  But we've had a slightly different week because Ray's sister, Linda, was in for a brief visit.  Lots of laughter, talking and we even went to see a movie!  But of course, we put her to work...

Got some planting done -- escarole and frisse have taken over where the beets were.  Have to keep those beds flipping!

And a new crop of cucumbers is planted in the greenhouse.  Fingers crossed that these don't succumb to disease.

 

Have you seen the Monarchs?
We are seeing lots of Monarch Butterflies swirling around the farm recently.  Now is the time for the annual migration from Canada to Mexico and the Triad is on that migration path.  There was a great story on WFDD this week about how a couple of area researchers are helping track the migration and more precisely count the numbers of these endangered butterflies.  It's really cool how this technology is being employed!

What has been really interesting to us here at the farm is the number of Monarch caterpillars that we are finding -- don't recall ever seeing so many.  They are all over the carrot foliage and dill -- I counted as many as 10 on a single plant.  The caterpillars have pretty much eaten all of the carrot tops but that's okay if it gives them what they need to turn into beautiful butterflies!

Don't Snooze and Lose!  Garlic Workshop on October 14

We still have a few slots left for our Growing Great Garlic at Home workshop.  But hurry -- the workshop is limited to just 15 people.  It will be held here at the farm on Sunday, October 14 from 2-5 -- right in time for planting. The class fee is $35 and includes a 1/2 pound bag of seed garlic. To register, use our online form.

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update
Many of our market offerings are moving from Summer to Fall -- just like the seasons!  This week we'll have bunches of our crisp and delicious Daikon Radishes.

Don't forget the Picnic/Lunchbox Peppers -- perfect size for snacking or for packing in your lunchbox!  Almost seedless and VERY delicious. We'll have sweet red peppers including the Italian Roaster Marconi, Pimento, Lipstick, Red Bell and MORE!  And if you are looking for the perfect appetizer, try Shishito Peppers -- great on the grill, seared in a skillet or cooked up Tempura-style.  Yum!

Many of you got your first taste of sweet, juicy Scuppernongs and Muscadines last week.  We've got more this week!  Come grab a pint of this quintessential Southern treat. 

We'll also have Bintje Potatoes, Russets and boxes of tasty Creamers -- try roasting them on the grill.  We are starting to run low on garlic -- so you had better hurry!  We'll have at least 5 varieties of Bulb Garlic along with Garlic Sampler Bags and Garlic Granules. Rounding out the table will be Pea Shoots, Sunflower Shoots, Parsley, Okra and maybe some tomatoes.  ALL of our produce is Certified Organic and we grow everything we sell!

If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. tonight and it will be ready for pick-up tomorrow.

That's all the news from the farm this week.

Lots of things happening over the weekend in the Triad:  Hops and Shops on Saturday and Sunday, the Black Walnut Festival in Bethania (Saturday) and don't forget the Dixie Classic Fair (today through 10/7) -- you'll see us there sometime next week!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/23/2018 7:55pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

The storm is past and the sun is out.  And we are counting our blessings that we were spared.  We only had some very minor damage with downed trees, a torn door on a hoophouse and tomatoes damaged from the wind -- VERY lucky indeed.  

  

  

  

Unfortunately for many farmers in eastern North Carolina, they are dealing with crops underwater, dead livestock and months worth of clean-up. Our farmer friend, Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm in Graham put it this way, "There will be a lot of money raised, donations and time given but most of the farming community will not be the focus of all that generosity.  Our friends at the Rural Advancement Foundation International are already working on helping farmers in the disaster area and need your donations to support their work.  This is one of the main things that RAFI does, come to the aid of farmers in crisis and assist them through all the red tape involved when their farms are in danger of being lost."  

Our preparations last week paid off but we did not face the violent winds and torrential rains that were predicted.  Better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.  We only got about 4.5 inches with most of it coming on Sunday and Monday.  For sure there will be some impact to the crops -- storms bring plant diseases and insects. The critters weathered the storm just fine -- a bit lonely because we weren't out as much but they were sheltered and safe.  In addition to all the bad things that storms bring, they also bring the need to be flexible.  Just like this spider that I saw on Monday hanging on to a zinnia while the wind was gusting all around.

We are now back to somewhat normal (whatever that means!), harvesting, mowing, trellising and planting.  

Don't Forget!  Garlic Workshop on October 14

People ask us all the time about how to grow garlic.  Here's your chance to learn from our 10+ years experience of growing this essential crop.  If you have always wanted to grow garlic but need some advice to get going or want to improve your skills, this is just the ticket!  Register now for our Growing Great Garlic at Home workshop. It will be held here at the farm on Sunday, October 14 from 2-5 -- just in time for planting. The class fee is $35 and includes a 1/2 pound bag of seed garlic. To register, use our online form.

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update
Thanks for understanding the market being closed last week.  We think it was a good call!  Cobblestone is BACK tomorrow and we'll be ready to see you with lots of great veggies!

It's Pepper-Palooza!  We are celebrating Sweet Peppers this week at market!  Our perfect Picnic/Lunchbox Peppers will be out in force.  Sooooo sweet and delicious!  We also have lots of sweet red peppers including the Italian Roaster Marconi, Pimento, Lipstick, Red Bell and MORE!  

We'll also have our wonderful Shishito Peppers -- great on the grill, seared in a skillet or blended up in a tasty cold soup!  

 

It's the first week for our sweet, juicy Scuppernong Grapes (and maybe a few Muscadines)!  Come grab a pint of this quintessential Southern treat.  At the Potato Bar, you'll find the Famous Bintje Potatoes -- the original French fry potato from the Netherlands.  We'll also have low glycemic Nicola, Russets and boxes of tasty Creamers -- roasted potatoes on the grill or yummy Potato Salad anyone?

In the Garlic Department, we'll have at least 6 varieties of Bulb Garlic (Red Toch, Spanish Roja, Lorz, German Red, Lahontan Early, and Elephant)  along with Garlic Sampler Bags and Garlic Granules. 

We'll also have beautiful Bunching Onions, Dill, Parsley, and maybe some okra and tomatoes.  ALL of our produce is Certified Organic and we grow everything we sell!


That will do it for this week.  If you think there is starting to be a touch of Fall in the air, you'd be right!  Tomorrow (9/22 at 9:54 p.m.) marks the Autumnal Equinox.   And not to be outdone, the moon will be full on Monday (9/24 at 10:54 p.m.).  This is known as the Harvest Moon or the Full Corn Moon.  Enjoy both of these astronomical events!

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

 

Posted 9/9/2018 2:00pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Welcome September!

Ah ha!  Our Ace detective, Inspector Brix has it a-l-l figured out.  Over the past few weeks the repairs to the fence, adding new gates and spiffing up the barn have kept Brix more than a bit intrigued.  She hadn't been able to suss out much from the humans and the sheep were clueless.

Well on Sunday, all of the puzzle parts started to fit together.  As Inspector Brix was possibly coming up with a conclusion for The Great Pasture Caper, a big trailer pulled in.  Out stepped this huge cow!

Oh my!  Given Brix's interactions with the last cow on the farm, she was a bit dubious.  The last cow chased her out of her hutch and was very scary with her horns.  This cow seemed calmer and less threatening.  But still, a donkey can't be too cautious, right?

*************

Yes, on Sunday we welcomed the newest member of the Plum Granny Farm herd:  Cara! She is a Brown Swiss dairy cow -- no, we are not starting up a new enterprise!  But she will be calving in about a month, so some form of milking is on the horizon.

Cara comes to us from Black Hollow Dairy in Dublin, Virginia which is newly certified organic (yay!).  Her owners, Kim and Blair Sanders have always considered her to be the perfect "PR Cow" -- she is very friendly, loves attention and is interested in humans and their activities!  Their daughter, Grace, raised her and has taken her all over the place -- from daycare center visits to living nativities at her church!  Cara is a very special cow.

 

Cara is getting settled in to her new life (without her 350 fellow cows).  She seems like she is getting the hang of life around Plum Granny Farm and she looks forward to meeting you at one of our future events!

It hasn't been all about The Cow around here this week.  BB and Tony said they are on their 2nd new pasture area since Sunday (burp!) and they are quite content. (Did somebody say something about a cow?  We didn't notice!)

They did notice their new collars today, though!

 

And BUNCHES of stuff got planted and the new beans and peas are popping out of the ground!  And tomatoes are developing on the new plants in the greenhouse.  That was fast!

   

And we just built the world's best raised bed for carrots!  Super deep and fluffy and it's getting planted today.

Save the Date!  Garlic Workshop on October 14

Mark your calendar for our popular Growing Great Garlic at Home workshop!  If you have always wanted to grow garlic but need some advice to get going or want to improve your skills, this is just the ticket!  It will be held here at the farm on Sunday, October 14 from 2-5!  The class fee is $35 and includes a 1/2 pound bag of seed garlic. For more information and a registration form, check out our website.

 

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update
Peppers are definitely on the docket this week at market!  Our perfect Picnic/Lunchbox Peppers will be out in force.  Sooooo sweet and delicious!

We'll also have our wonderful Shishito Peppers -- great on the grill, seared in a skillet or blended up in a tasty cold soup!  Back by popular demand, we'll have samples (and recipes) of our delicious Creamy Shishito Soup.

At the Potato Bar, you'll find the Famous Bintje Potatoes -- the original French fry potato from the Netherlands.  We'll also have Russets and boxes of tasty Creamers -- roasted potatoes on the grill or yummy Potato Salad anyone?

In the Garlic Department, we'll have at least 6 varieties of Bulb Garlic (Red Toch, Spanish Roja, Lorz, German Red, Lahontan Early, Elephant and the last of the Chesnok) along with Garlic Sampler Bags and Garlic Granules.  We'll have Sunflower and Pea Shoots, Dill, Parsley, a very few cucumbers and tomatoes.

Whew!  That's it for this week!

Wishing our Jewish friends a very blessed and happy Rosh Hashanah! This year, Rosh Hashanah -- the Jewish New Year and anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve -- falls on September 9. Rosh Hashanah, which translates from Hebrew to the “head of the year,” is a two-day celebration. In 2014, we had the privilege of having congregants from Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem celebrate the 2nd day with us as they contemplated caring for and healing the earth.  That was a very special day at the farm.  Happy New Year!

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

 
Posted 9/9/2018 1:04pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

A misty, foggy start to the last day of August.  I remember reading somewhere that there is a correlation between the number of foggy August mornings and the number of snows in the winter.  While I haven't been keeping exact count, I'd say that we are in for a snowy winter!

But after the refreshingly cool weather last week, we have been back at the mid-90's all this week and have been swimming through the humidity.  As one farmer friend put it, "September can’t come soon enough as long as the heat and humidity break soon too.  I think the worst air of the summer has come this week, even more brutal after the delicious weather of last week!"  Couldn't agree more!

August has been called the "Tipping Point" between Summer and Fall.  Despite the muggy, steamy conditions, we've been keeping up our march to get ready for autumn.  We are tipping our crop mix to the cooler season veggies like kale, cabbage and carrots.  Lots of planting and prepping of fields -- check out the newly planted cabbage (left) and the super deep bed for our late fall carrots (right).

 

It was out with the cucumbers in Mama Meow!  These cukes kept getting knocked down by disease and pests and the yields were just getting too small to justify the expensive real estate.  But we sure learned a lot about lower and lean with this crop -- pricey tuition!  The grow bags will soon be filled with lettuce.

The heirloom Seminole Squash are setting a lot of fruit and keep on
g -r- o- w- i -n- g!  The vines must be at least 30 feet long now.

The Mystery Continues...

Inspector Brix has not been able to get to the bottom of The Great Pasture Caper.  Tony and BB are too busy eating grass in their newly expanded paddock and humans, well...what can she say?  She is hoping for some answers VERY soon -- and will work overtime to file a full report next week.  But donkeys always work overtime, right?

Pick a Peck of Pretty Picnic Peppers!
The peppers are starting to roll in -- definitely not at peak but we are getting larger harvests every day. These Picnic Peppers are definitely a farm favorite.  All of us love munching on these sweet little gems.

The Pepper Palace (aka Raz House) is pumping out beautiful sweet red pimentos, Marconi, red bells and the delicious Shishitos too.

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update
We will be featuring our wonderful Shishito Peppers this weekend.  They are great on the grill, seared in a skillet or blended up in a tasty cold soup!  We'll have samples (and recipes) of our delicious Creamy Shishito Soup at market tomorrow.

The Potato Bar will be back -- but we are running low on spuds!  We still have plenty of the delicious Bintje Potatoes -- the original French fry potato from the Netherlands -- and we'll have the last of the Russet and Huckleberry Gold.  We'll also have boxes of tasty Creamers -- think Potato Salad for your Labor Day picnic!   The perfect potato partners -- Rosemary and Italian Parsley -- will also be available.

Have you tried Pea Shoots?  If not, you should!  These tasty little nutritional powerhouses have a pea-like taste and can be eaten raw (salads, sandwiches) or lightly sautéed. We'll have bunches of pea shoots along with Sunflower Shoots (another yummy, crunchy treat).

In addition to the Shishito Peppers, we'll have the favorite sweet and nearly seedless Picnic/Lunchbox Peppers and Sweet Red Peppers.  In the Garlic Department, we'll have at least 6 varieties of Bulb Garlic (Red Toch, Spanish Roja, Lorz, Lahontan Early, Elephant and the last of the Music and Chesnok) along with Garlic Sampler Bags and Garlic Granules.  We'll have Microgreens, Dill, a few cucumbers and the last of the Basil (for now).

Here's wishing you a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  Enjoy those last beautiful days of Summer.

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Spring Plant-a-Palooza!

3 Days! Saturday, April 27 (10-3); Sunday, April 28 (1-5) and Monday, April 29 (10-2)

Looking for the perfect heirloom tomato for your garden or an unusual herb? Come up to the Farm and pick out plants for your garden! We will offer a wide assortment of Certified Organic transplants including heirloom and hard-to-find varieties. There will be hundreds of plants available: tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers - hot and sweet, eggplant, herbs plus ginger and turmeric plants. The farm also will sell farm-grown blackberry and black raspberry plants along with veggie starts such as kale, lettuce and swiss chard. In addition to plants, we will also have organic soil amendments to keep your plants healthy and productive.

PlumFresh is Now Open for Sign-Ups!

UPDATEWe now have a waiting list for the season.  If you are interested, please register using the online form noted below -- no deposit is necessary until we know that we have a space available for you.

Our popular PlumFresh Harvest Subscription Program is now open for sign-ups for the 2019 season!  Get Certfied Organic veggies and fruit delivered or pick up at the farm or at Cobblestone Farmers Market.  PlumFresh is not your typical CSA -- flexibility is our watchword.  You can trade out items you don't like and skip a week if you need.  For more information, click here.

Our Online Store is Ready to Serve You!

Our online store is fully stocked and waiting for your orders! Click here to go right to the shelves.  You'll find our popular fruit-forward Jams (regular and gift-size jars), Garlic Powder and Granules as well as our new Ginger Powder and Lavender Sachets!  

NEW!  Local customers can order online and arrange to pick up their items at the farm.

 

Do you want the latest news from the farm? How about the opportunity to reserve items for pick-up at market? Join our mailing list for our "Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update"!




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Certfied Organic by QCS since 2010

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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!

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