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Posted 8/4/2011 5:16pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Come on out for another great day at Plum Granny Farm's Pick-Your-Own raspberry field on SATURDAY (8/6).  Picking hours are 8:00 a.m. until noon.  The weather is supposed to be cooler and there is a chance of rain later in the day -- sounds like good picking.

There are lots of beautiful red berries out there -- Caroline and Heritage varieties.  

In addition to pick your own, we will have garlic, potatoes, and tomatoes.

If you can't come out to the farm on Saturday, come see us on Friday (8/5) night from 7-9 at the Winston-Salem Journal's "Slice of Summer" Tomato Tasting at Sixth and Trade streets downtown, during the Gallery Hop.  At this free event, sample tomatoes from a variety of growers.  Tasters will be asked to choose their favorite tomato varieties  -- we are submitting 9 of our faves for sampling (you like Plum Granny tomatoes, right?!). The event also will include a farmers market and sampling of tomato dishes from local restaurants.  We'll be there selling tomatoes!

Here's to happy eating and staying cool,

Cheryl & Ray

 

Posted 7/22/2011 8:24am by Cheryl Ferguson.

The raspberries heard your pleas to hurry up and get back in production -- so they returned from their July vacation early!  Red, rested and ready to go home with you!

Last weekend's cooler weather helped to push the berries into gear so we will be opening the Plum Granny Farm Pick-Your-Own raspberry field on SATURDAY ONLY (7/23).  Picking hours are 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.  We will be closing early because of the extreme heat that is expected for the day.  The hot weather isn't good for you or the berries.

Raspberries are $5 per pound.  We provide picking containers but please feel free to bring your own container to take your treasures home. 

There are lots of beautiful red berries out there -- Caroline and Heritage varieties.  

In addition to pick your own, we will have garlic, potatoes and tomatoes (the "fruit" varieties).  Thanks for your interest and we hope to see you on Saturday!

Cheryl & Ray

 

Posted 7/9/2011 2:42pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Well, two days earlier than last year and we got the 2011 garlic crop out of the field!  Hurray! This year our secret weapon was the undercutter that Ray had fabricated to cut the roots off of the garlic so that it is easier to lift out of the ground by hand.  Ray estimates that this nifty tool saved about 200 hours in harvest time since we didn't have to use a digging fork to loosen the soil around each bulb.


Tractor with undercutter bar for garlic

We harvested nearly twice of what we planted last year (almost 40,000 bulbs) and are now scurring around trying to get it ready for curing.  We'll be storing our seed garlic in the barn while the market garlic will be cut and placed in the "garlic hammocks" in the old tobacco barn and the old log barn.  We are very pleased with how the garlic sized up this year -- the largest bulbs we have ever grown.  Of course that can be attributed to the extra time spent in soil preparation -- all that leaf mulch does really make a differnce!

Thanks to our great Plum Granny Farm team for working together to make the harvest happen:  Nick, Austin, Chad, Jen, Derrick, and Zach. 

After we finished the harvest, we brought in the terrific volunteers from the Society of St. Andrew to glean the remaining bulbs.  A great team of seven volunteers and the Triad SOS Coordinator, Jen Garrison, spent several hours this morning getting out the garlic we had left in the field.  This garlic will be put to good use at food banks and soup kitchens.  And we had quite a load to share!  

 

SOS Volunteer Gleaners

Tags: Garlic
Posted 7/1/2011 2:29pm by Cheryl Ferguson.
Our raspberries have decided to take their summer vacation and won't be back 'til August. That also means that our Pick-Your-Own is closed until later in the summer as well. :-(   Sorry to disappoint!
However, our yummy organic blackberries are available at Cobblestone Farmers Market, King Farmers' Market at the YMCA and the Reynolda Village Farmers Market. On-farm sales are welcome too -- please call first to make sure we have what you want picked.
Check our website for updates on PYO!
Have a Great 4th of July weekend!
Cheryl & Ray
Posted 6/23/2011 5:01pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

We had a terrific inauguration of the Plum Granny Farm Pick-Your-Own raspberry field last weekend!  Thanks so much to the nearly 50 people who came out!  This weekend we will be open for picking on SATURDAY ONLY (6/25).  Picking hours are 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.  The weather forecast calls for a beautiful day. 

Raspberries are $5 per pound.  We provide picking containers but please feel free to bring your own container to take your treasures home. 

The spring berries are less prolific than the fall ones so it is a little more difficult to pick now than it will be in August – but there is a lot of fruit out there!

In addition to pick your own, we will have pre-picked blackberries, freshly harvested garlic and beautiful oriental lilies.  Thanks for your interest and we hope to see you on Saturday!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 6/15/2011 7:56pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

After many requests from our raspberry-loving customers, we have decided to open up our field for PYO raspberries!  Red raspberries (Caroline and Heritage) will be available depending on weather and growing conditions. 

Raspberries on the cane


Please call (336-994-2517) or check our website (www.plumgrannyfarm.com) to make sure berries are available before you come.  Feel free to bring a picnic, sit under the apple trees and enjoy the view!  We're just 9 miles south of Hanging Rock State Park so you can make a wonderful day trip out of it!

When:  Saturdays 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and Sundays 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. (starting June 18 and 19)

Where:  1041 Flat Shoals Road – Take US Hwy 52 North of Winston-Salem, Exit 122 RJR - Moore Rd. Turn left and 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.

How Much?  $5 per pound – picking containers provided

We hope to see you at the Farm!

Cheryl & Ray

 

Posted 5/16/2011 8:11am by Cheryl & Ray.

Things are really hopping around Plum Granny Farm!  Plants are getting in the ground, weeds are growing...well, like weeds, and the garlic is beginning to form scapes!  Never a dull moment here! 

Last week we had some very interesting visitors -- a swarm of bees (maybe even two) decided that our empty hives in the garage would be a great place to live.  It started with several hundred checking out the place on Monday and then on Tuesday an entire swarm moved in!  What an amazing sight!  At nightfall, we moved the hive in with our others at the orchard.  On Wednesday, another group of bees decided that the other empty hive might be a great place to set up shop -- so now we have two new hives joining our two.  Wow -- what an honor to be adopted by bees -- an honor for a beekeeper, anyway!

Tags: Bees
Posted 4/25/2011 7:35pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Just wanted to let our great customers know that we will be absent at markets until May 3. We are making the final transition of our New Mexico lives to a NC one! Believe me, we'd rather be at market than packing up our house!!!! See you all very soon! And start getting your tastebuds primed for some new products (salad mix and more) as well as old favorites. Won't be long until our spring raspberries start to come in!!  Also, check out the recipe section for the recipe for out yummy Roasted Spring Garlic!!  This was a hit at the Reynolda Village Farmers Market!

Tags: Garlic
Posted 4/9/2011 2:26pm by Cheryl & Ray.

While many in this part of the world spent their winter dreaming of their days of glory playing the hoops in the ACC Tournament or the NCAA Final Four, we here at Plum Granny Farm had a few hoop dreams of our own.  Now that all the hoopla is behind us (sorry about that George Mason!), we wanted to share a few photos of how we turned our dreams of The Big Dance into reality!

 

Some teams work with just one goal in mind.  Not us!   Nope, Team Plum Granny toiled over the winter to bring not just one but TWO greenhouses into being this year!  And we are happy to say that we did it!  We constructed an unheated high tunnel (or hoophouse) for season extension for a few of our raspberries (thanks to the NRCS Organic EQIP funding – our hats are off in thanks to our awesome agent, Dede DeBruhl!)  Our other construction project was a conventional heated greenhouse which we are using for plant starts and ginger production.  Take a look and see what you think!

Hammering in the ground stakes for the hoophouse

The very first steps in building the hoophouse (1/1/11)

Ray connecting center pole and purlins

Blue sky but cold steel!

Hoophouse skeleton

We're raising the roof!

Greenhouse detail work

Getting all the details right on the greenhouse before it is covered.

Wheelbarrow and greenhouse

Ceremonial entry

Ceremonial entry through the new greenhouse door! (Mocha appreciated the ride!)

Covering the greenhouse

What a way to spend a chilly February morning! Thanks so much to our great friends and family for helping!!  (2/1/11)

Plants in greenhouse

What a difference a couple of months make! (4/3/11)

Ray watering plants

A happy man and his plants!

 

Posted 1/9/2011 8:26pm by Ray.

I checked on the bees today.  We rarely open hives in the winter, but I was worried about their food stores, and the 10-day weather forecast is for cold and breezy, with a few days of rain/sleet/snow.  So feed them today or wait a couple of weeks.

The Pink Ladies are doing O.K.  I always check them first because they’re so encouraging  - a neat & clean hive with straight comb and a healthy population.  That gets my visits going on a good note.  Today was no exception.  Bars 10 and up were empty but I found bees between 8 and 9, along with a bit of capped honey.  A quick peek between 7 and 8 indicated a good population, so I left some crystallized honey to help them out and closed the hive back up from the cold.

The Artists and the White Room are O.K. as well.  They both had me worried when I first opened the hives - - quite a few dead bees on the floor and roach-like bugs roaming some comb.  But I found good populations between bars 7 and 8, and they still have capped honey.  And although the White Room’s population seemed smaller, it was still lively enough that one bee flew up to my face and challenged me, so they’re O.K.  Both colonies have always been a bit messy.  Especially the Artists.

But the Green House died.  I don’t know why.  A couple hundred dead bees on the floor.  Honey and nectar in some comb.  A tiny bit of capped brood - - just a small ring on two combs.  And a hundred or so dead bees clustered between combs 5 and 6.  It looks like they lost their queen and the population shrank until the last 100 froze one night in a huddle.  Maybe she absconded.  Maybe she died.  I don’t know.  I’ll look through the hive more closely tomorrow in the comfort of my shop.  For now I’m too cold and a bit saddened.  I put the hive on the tailgate of my truck and drove it back to the farmhouse.  Driving slowly so the hive wouldn’t fall off, and still wearing my black veil, I felt like a mini funeral procession.  Winter is hard on us all.

Ray

 The Green House In Summer

The Green House In Summer

Tags: Bees, Winter
Mark Your Calendar! Holiday Market on November 25!

It won't be long until our 4th Annual Small Business Saturday Holiday Market!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 25 from 10-3.  This event, now in its 4th year, has become the destination for many visitors to kick off the Holiday Season.  We'll be teaming up again with our friends from Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery in Germanton.  There will be lots of vendors at both locations who will offer locally grown and produced items for the perfect gift for Holiday giving.  Feel good about supporting your local small business owners!


 

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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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