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Posted 10/7/2016 10:23am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

As farmers, we are pretty attuned to the weather.  So as you might imagine, we are watching the path of Hurricane Matthew closely.  The most recent predictions show that we will most likely be spared the brunt of the storm but we are watchful.  And we are especially keeping those who are in the storm's path in our thoughts and prayers -- we have family in Florida and Charleston.  And our hearts go out to those in Haiti who have endured so much --

As we watch the weather reports, farm life continues on.  So what's been happening this week?  We began on Sunday evening with quite a start.  Getting a knock on the door with someone saying, "Your donkey is out of the pasture!" is never what you want to hear -- especially after dark. It seemed that Brix had gotten her hoof tangled in some fence wire which spooked her, causing her to get out of the fence.  She really didn't want to be out, but she really didn't think she could get back in (donkeys have a strong sense of boundaries).  So after 5 (FIVE!!) hours, we finally got her in the pasture.  We are incredibly grateful to our dear friends, Jenny and Bob Bates.  They answered the call (despite it being a weird 505 area code!) and came out at 10 p.m. to help us.  And they didn't leave until she was safe in the pasture (eating the carrots that Jenny brought her) at 1:30 a.m.  Those two are destined for Donkey Owner sainthood!  They are definitely on the Plum Granny Farm saint line-up!

So after all of that craziness on Sunday night/Monday morning, we spent most of Monday getting the pasture back in shape.  We repaired the fences, mowed the pasture, readied some of the unused pasture for the new grazing area, and even picked up Brix' "gold."  The fence is now very secure (and quite hot electrically!) so she should be safe.  Whew!

Mowing pasture

[Sorry for the lack of pictures this week -- we are having difficulty with our email program!]

The strawberries are getting closer to being planted -- the beds have been shaped and have drip-tape so all we need to do now is to get the fabric on them. That will be a quick task after the rain -- and then we plant!

Garlic Growing Workshop - only 2 more slots!

We've had a great response to our Garlic Workshop which will be held here at the farm this Sunday (October 9) from 2-5.  The workshop will provide extensive information on garlic growing as well as an opportunity to plant garlic in a raised bed.  In addition to instruction, participants will receive 1/2 pound of seed garlic and the cost is $30.  Please email us at farm@plumgrannyfarm.com for a registration form or pick up one at market.

Garlic in the field

Market Update

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness!

On Saturday, pull on your galoshes and join us under the dry and cheerful Plum Granny Farm Purple Tent!  You'll find several NEW Certified Organic items this week including BABY GINGER, GARLIC POWDER, GARLIC GRANULES and GARLIC SAMPLER BAGS!  We'll also have our tasty Bintje potatoes, LaRatte fingerlings, garlic (5 varieties), Swiss Chard, tomatoes, escarole plus a few other items.  Don't forget the Garlic Scape Pesto to remind you of an early May dinner as the nights start to cool!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

Save the Date!

It's hard to believe, but it won't be long until our annual Small Business Saturday Holiday Open Greenhouse and Market will be here!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 26 from 10-3 -- that's the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We'll have several vendors and lots of great NEW things to share this year!  We will be partnering once again with our friends at Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery in Germanton -- stay tuned!

Welcome mat

Today is World Smile Day!  It celebrates the ever popular yellow smiley face. It also offers us an opportunity to do an act of kindness. According to the World Smile Day website, a proclamation of this day was made by the U.S. Congress. The intent of World Smile Day is to do an act of kindness or help one person to smile. Why not do both!?

 

 Keep on smiling, our friends!  Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/30/2016 12:32pm 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 Friday!

Boots in a mud puddle

Yep!  We got rain!  And hail, and lightning, and LOTS of rain.  Not the gentle shower that we were hoping for, but as always, we'll make do with the hand we are dealt....

Detroit looking at the world from a new angle

Sometimes you need to just look at the world from a slightly different perspective and shake things up a bit!  This week we have definitely shaken up our normal routines with LOTS of driving!  I think we have logged more than 600 miles since Monday!  Not our typical week.

We now have the strawberries!  Cheryl picked up the 2,100 plants from the Cottle Nursery driver on Monday and now they are tucked into the greenhouse awaiting their new permanent home when the field dries out!

Ray with boxes of strawberries

The landscape fabric is now all clean and sanitized and is ready to go out on the new field.

Strawberry landscape fabric

Don't you think this would make a great Slip-and-Slide?

On Tuesday, we headed down to Newton for a workshop on growing ginger and turmeric in high tunnels.  It was great to see the hoophouse where some of the Hmong farmers in Catawba County are growing ginger - very impressive!
 
Ray with ginger from hoophouse

Der in the high tunnel with ginger

And sometimes fate just hands you a gift... when we were heading back from Newton, we passed a caravan of trucks carrying what we thought were the Budweiser Clydesdales -- which was confirmed by a VERY large horse nose popping out the side window!  Cheryl had always wanted to see the Clydesdales so when we found out that they were going to be in Rocky Mount, NC for a special appearance (the only one in the area!), we decided to hit the road!  We got to see the horses in their Mobile Stables by the local distributor's warehouse (even got to see the inside of one of the transport horse trailers!) and then headed over to their "Full Hitch" event at a local Harris Teeter store.  A wild hair that we didn't have time for?  Yes -- but it was a lot of fun!  Enjoy a few of the hundreds of pictures that we took!

Cldesdales in Roucky Mount  Clyde in the horse trailer  In full hitch  Okay, we are getting antsy  Clyde on his perch  Cracking up at the pump

Garlic Growing Workshop Filling UP!

We've had a great response to our Garlic Workshop which will be held here at the farm on Sunday, October 9 from 2-5.  The workshop will provide extensive information on garlic growing as well as an opportunity to plant garlic in a raised bed.  In addition to instruction, participants will receive 1/2 pound of seed garlic.  Class size is limited to 15 participants and registration and prepayment is required.  Cost of the course is $30.  Please email us at farm@plumgrannyfarm.com for a registration form or pick up one at market.

Garlic in the field

Market Update

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness!  It's a BEAN-ANZA!  We'll have those great BEANS (French Filet, Italian Flat pod, Jade, and Dragon Tongue), LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes, Bintje Potatoes, Teensy Weensy Taters Boxes, boxes of Creamer Potatoes, Garlic (Red Toch, Chesnok, Georgian Crystal, German Red, Lahontan and Lorz Italian), heirloom Okra (Burgundy and Cajun Jewel), Tomatoes (Fruit Boxes plus a few slicers), Sunflower Shoots, Garlic Braids and more.  We'll also have our Garlic Scape Pesto which adds garlicky goodness to your early fall soups!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

Detroit has really gotten into the beans this week!

Detroit in the green beans

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/23/2016 9:11am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Colorful leaf
 
Happy Fall, ya'll!  The cooler, cloudy days definitely announce a season change but probably nothing makes so clear a statement as the shorter days!  It's a bit hard to get used to not having daylight until 8:45 p.m.!  But the lambs and Brix are glad to be getting their dinner sooner.
 
Probably the biggest news on the farm this week has been the arrival of BEANS!  We finally get a crop of one of our favorite veggies!  These poor plants probably have a bit of a complex because we have been watching them so closely -- but they didn't get stage fright and have started producing bunches of beautiful, tasty goodness.  We are growing some really wonderful varieties this year including a couple of new ones.  There's round pod (Jade), French filet (green Tavera and gorgeous dark purple Velour), Italian flat pod (Pension, sweet Northeaster and the purple-flecked Dragon Tongue).  Look for them at market this week!
 
Chris picking beans  Hands full of beans
 
The next big thing is planting strawberries.  We are moving them to another field this year so we have to get the beds prepped and covered in landscape fabric.  We are reusing the fabric from the strawberry field -- this will be its 3rd year of use!  Before we move it, we have to remove all of the plant materials and sod staples and then sanitize it to make sure we aren't carrying any disease to another field.  This is a very important step especially since we don't use fungicides like conventional growers do!
 
Empty field where the strawberries were
Where did the strawberries and pumpkins go?!
 
We are also continuing work on the shed we are building on the greenhouse. Slowly but surely, it is getting done.  And it is going to be SO useful!  Right now it is at an awkward stage -- looking somewhat like a cross between a school bus shelter and a confessional booth....
Ray working on the shed  Chris working on the shed  Current state of the shed

Our little RingBob is doing great!  He is gaining weight and is becoming very socialized.  We hope to be releasing him from his crate next week.  Then he and Detroit will be able to roam the farm freely as co-Chief Rodent Control Officers!

RingBob

Garlic Growing Workshop -- Register Soon!

We've had a great response to our Garlic Workshop which will be held here at the farm on Sunday, October 9 from 2-5.  The workshop will provide extensive information on garlic growing as well as an opportunity to plant garlic in a raised bed.  In addition to instruction, participants will receive 1/2 pound of seed garlic.  Class size is limited to 15 participants and registration and prepayment is required.  Cost of the course is $30.  Please email us at farm@plumgrannyfarm.com for a registration form or pick up one at market.

Garlic

Market Update

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness!  We'll have those great BEANS, LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes, Bintje Potatoes, Teensy Weensy Taters Boxes, boxes of Creamer Potatoes, Garlic (6 varieties -- we are starting to run out of some of our most popular varieties including Music and Lahontan!), heirloom Okra (Burgundy and Cajun Jewel), a few squash, Garlic Braids and more.  We'll also have our Garlic Scape Pesto which adds garlicky goodness to your early fall soups!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

Enjoy the break in weather -- and delight in rainbows wherever you find them.  This one popped up yesterday evening over Cook's Wall - such great light!

Rainbow over Cook's Wall

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/16/2016 9:03am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Tonight is the Harvest Full Moon, so we are trying to do our part by harvesting as much as possible -- at least the hay!  The recent dry weather has created terrific conditions for making hay, so it was time to get some out of the field this week.

Typically we devote at least a week to the process of mowing, tedding (fluffing the hay so it dries better), raking, baling and getting it in the barn.  We really don't have that much time to devote to hay now (a VERY long to-do list -- strawberry plants are on the way!), so we decided to approach the task in smaller chunks.

After spending most of Monday trying to fix the sicklebar attachment for the tractor (unsuccessfully), we went to Plan B on Tuesday.  Chris mowed about 2 acres using the walk-behind tractor with its sicklebar attachment. He powered through that in about 2 hours -- Way to go, Chris!  With the warm, dry conditions essential for getting quality hay, we were able to get it all raked, baled and in storage by yesterday afternoon!  And our little livestock family is 53 bales better for their winter feed!

Raking hay

Raking hay

Picking up hay behind the baler

Chris and Andrew picking up hay behind the baler

Detroit on the baler

Everybody has to get in on the act

Ray with a sample of some of the grasses

We even have some purple grasses in our hay mix -- how appropriate!

 

We are still getting more fall crops seeded and transplanted to keep the pipeline full as we move into the fall.  And we are excited to report that the green beans are almost ready!

Green beans in hand

Garlic Growing Workshop

It's time to think about planting garlic!  Mid-October is the traditional start date for garlic planting in this area.  We are holding our 2nd Annual hands-on garlic growing workshop here at the farm on Sunday, October 9 from 2-5.  The workshop will provide extensive information on garlic growing as well as an opportunity to plant garlic in a raised bed.  In addition to instruction, participants will receive 1/2 pound of seed garlic.  Class size is limited to 20 participants and registration and prepayment is required.  Cost of the course is $30.  Please email us at farm@plumgrannyfarm.com for a registration form or pick up one at market.

Planting garlic

Market Update

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness!  It's Okra-Palooza under our purple tent at Cobblestone tomorrow!  We'll have special LOWER pricing on lots of heirloom okra (Burgundy and Cajun Jewel) along with samples of some the tasty pickles you can make with the okra!  If you are thinking about canning pickles, NOW is the time!

We'll also have other Certified Organic goodness including LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes, Bintje Potatoes, Teensy Weensy Taters Boxes, boxes of Creamer Potatoes, Garlic (6 varieties including the amazing Lahontan), Tomato Fruit Boxes, Sunflower Shoots, a little bit of summer squash, Garlic Chives and Garlic Braids.  We'll also have our Garlic Scape Pesto which adds garlicky goodness to your early fall soups!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

And don't forget -- today is the Harvest Full Moon and it is even a Lunar Eclipse! And I dare you to keep a certain song out of your head...

Almost full moon over the farm

"Shine on, shine on Harvest Moon, up in the sky. I ain't had no loving since January, February, June or July...."

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/9/2016 8:23am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Hints of Fall tease us with delicious tastes of cooler weather -- ah!  And then we get blasted with 96+ degree temps!  What?  I guess we just have to be patient, huh?

As the temperatures swing, we are at an in-between time in terms of crops.  Most of the pumpkins came out of the field on Monday and are curing in the barn -- we couldn't leave them in the field since the place was crawling with squash bugs! All in all it was a respectable harvest for a first year's effort. 

Harvesting pumpkins

Here are some of the pumpkins putting on their final color in the sun -- the rest are tucked away in the barn loft.

Pumpkins curing in the sun

While some things are coming out of the field, others still wait for their harvest moment like this Delicata Winter squash...

Delicata winter squash

And green beans -- LOTS of flowers hopefully mean LOTS of beans!

Green bean flowers

We've even got Snow Peas planted in the hoophouse -- tucked alongside of the Ancho peppers and some Rosie basil.  It's an experiment for a fall crop.

Snow peas in the hoophouse

Waiting in the wings are lots of transplants of kale, chard, beets, frisse and lettuce to be planted out soon.

Transplants in the greenhouse

In addition to seeding, planting, weeding, mowing and harvesting, there are lots of building and repair projects underway here at the farm.  It seems that we have had the circular saw and other tools out a lot over the past couple of weeks -- and that is good!  One of our projects is to build a storage shed on the greenhouse for storing seed trays and supplies.  It's amazing how much space is taken up by these things inside the greenhouse!  We hope to knock this one off the to-do list early next week!

Ray working on the greenhouse shed

And we can't forget out Kitten Rehab project!  We were able to get Ringbob Grey Pants (we keep adding to his name!) in a crate and have been working to acclimating him to people (he's eating out of my hand now).  He's doing very well and Detroit has been a great help to this process (especially since it means that he gets canned cat food as a reward!)

Ringbob and toy

Market Update

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness!  It's a great time for POTATOES!  Try roasting our fingerlings (LaRatte) or standard POTATOES (German Butterball and Bintje) on the grill.  You'll also find Teensy Weensy Taters Boxes, boxes of Creamer Potatoes, Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Georgia Crystal, Purple Italian, the amazing Lahontan and Lorz Italian), Summer Squash, Baby Heirloom Okra (Burgundy and Cajun Jewel), Tomato Fruit Boxes, Sunflower Shoots, a little bit of chard and several herbs:  Rosie Basil, Garlic Chives and Papalo.  For those who are thinking ahead for the Holidays, we’ll be taking orders for Garlic Braids and will have several options to choose from.  Snag a taste of our yummy Garlic Scape Pesto – mangia bene!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

That's it for this week!  Sunday is Grandparents Day, if you are fortunate enough to have them in your life, be sure to pay them a visit or at least give them a call.  Our grandparents were very important as we were growing up.  Both of us owe our farm connection to grandparents -- Ray to his maternal grandparents in Kansas and Cheryl to her paternal grandparents who farmed the land that we farm now. We miss them and sure wish we could have them here -- we'd definitely be asking them millions of questions!

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/2/2016 10:50am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Welcome to September!  It sounds like we are going to be spared Hermine's impact here in the Triad.  But it sure is nice to be looking at a day with high temps in the 70's!  Been a while!

Local food.  We hear and see those words a lot these days.  And what the term means varies wildly.  In the definition used by some grocery stores, it can mean up to 300 miles (or more!) away. Some even consider Florida to be "local."  I can't accept that.

We had the opportunity to attend a celebration of Local Food in its true sense on Sunday evening.  Michael Hastings invited us to attend the Winston-Salem Journal's "Farm to Fourth Harvest Dinner."  This event was an amazing celebration of local farms, local chefs, local flowers, local music, local wine and beer and local supporters of all of these things. Michael's vision to pull this event together highlighted the fantastic food community that we have right here in Winston-Salem.  We were honored to be included in the guest list AND to have some of our products included on the menu (thanks Chef Harrison and Chef Jared!)

Farm to Fourth Harvest Dinner

And "on the menu" is at the crux of the local food discussion.  Since "local food" is a buzzword these days, there are many restaurants that talk about serving it.  Some chefs buy a local item here and there, and then substitute a non-local item.  As farmers, we are fortunate to have relationships with a number of local chefs who truly support local farms and highlight local food on their menus.

Our first restaurant client was Meridian back in 2009. Chef and Owner, Mark Grohman bought garlic scapes from us and we've been selling him produce consistently ever since.  He even suggests things for us to grow.  And he just doesn't buy from us.  He supports several other farmers in our area -- everything from meat to mushrooms.  Mark is a true believer in local.  Can he get this stuff cheaper from other places?  Absolutely.  Is it easier just to place a big order with a distributor?  Totally.  But Mark values the quality, freshness and variety that he can only get from us and our fellow farmers.

Chef Mark Grohman and Cheryl at Meridian Restaurant

Other Winston-Salem area chefs and restaurants with a strong commitment to local farms include Chef Travis Myers of Willow's Bistro, Chef Harrison Littell of The Honey Pot, Chef Jared Keiper of The Tavern in Old Salem, Chef Curtis Hackaday of 1703 Restaurant, Chef Mary Haglund of Mary's Gourmet Diner, and Chef John Bobby of Rooster's: A Noble Grille.  We are honored and grateful to have the opportunity to work with each of them.

But there's a third side to this triangle:  You!  For these chefs to take the risk to work with local farms, they need the support of local customers.  Dine out at one of these great restaurants and let them know how much you appreciate their commitment to local food.  Let them hear it from their most important voice -- their customers.  Without local support, our terrific local restaurants cannot last.  And that will have a big impact on the local farming community.  Let's all work together to keep our local food economy humming!

W-S chefs and Cheryl & Ray after the Farm to Fourth dinner

Market Update

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including boatloads of fingerling (LaRatte) and standard POTATOES (German Butterball, Bintje and the last of the Nicola and Russet), boxes of Creamer Potatoes, CURED GARLIC (Red Toch, Music, Georgian Crystal, Purple Italian, Metechi and Lorz Italian), Okra (Heirloom Burgundy and Cajun Jewel), Concord Grapes, Papalo (a Mexican herb similar to cilantro), Basil (Genovese), and a few Beets.  We'll also have Garlic Braids plus we are now taking orders for your Holiday gifts!  Don't forget the Garlic Scape Pesto -- brush some on what you are grilling for the Holiday Weekend! 

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

In the spirit of Labor Day, we can't think of anything that works harder than bees.  Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Weekend -- get out there and enjoy (and smell) the flowers!

Honeybee on a sunflower

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/26/2016 10:29am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Kind of a hodge-podge week here at the farm.  A bit of this and a bit of that.  Perhaps it started with us trying to rid our pantry of miller moths and ending up with a complete makeover of the shelves!  Yes, it was a bit of an extreme approach to clearing the pantry, but it is SO much better now!

Ray cutting shelves for pantry

We had a great visit from the Mount Airy Garden Club on Tuesday.  We toured the farm and they got to learn about some of the crops that we currently have growing as well as our history and farming practices.  These ladies were really fascinated by the okra!  Most of them had not seen our heirloom Burgundy okra before!  If you are part of a garden club or some other organization, we are always happy to give tours or presentations at your group's meeting.  Just drop us an email and we can work out the details!  We are already booking dates in 2017 now!

Burgundy okra flowers

Our little kitten is still around the farm!  We have taken to calling him, "RingBob" (don't ask me why -- because I really don't know!).  He and Detroit are becoming pretty good buddies.  Now the task is to try to trap him so we can have him neutered and start the process of getting him more acclimated to us.

Detroit & Ringbob

Summer's waning days bring different light and a different feel to the air.  The past few days of cooler weather have been a balm but we can't get too comfortable yet!  Being on the cusp of Fall (just 25 more days!), we are between worlds -- some summer, some fall.  A few photos of both...

Beans in Daddy's Garden

Cucumber plants on a trellis

Butterfly on mailbox planter

Rows of okra, squash and covered cauliflower

Sunflowers

Dogwood berries turning red

Market Update

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including boatloads of fingerling (LaRatte) and standard POTATOES (German Butterball, Bintje and the last of the Nicola and Russet), CURED GARLIC (Red Toch, Music, Georgian Crystal, Purple Italian, Metechi and Lorz Italian), Okra (Heirloom Burgundy and Cajun Jewel), Tomato Fruit Boxes with our prize-winning Cherry Blossom tomatoes, Concord Grapes, Papalo (a Mexican herb similar to cilantro), Basil (Genovese, Rosie and Lemon), and a few Beets.  We'll also have Garlic Braids!  Don't forget the Garlic Scape Pesto -- have you tried it on a crusty baguette with a slice of tomato? 

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

Today is National Dog Day which recognizes the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. We've had a grand total of 6 dogs in our lives together - each one has been a very special member of our family.  Our last two, Mocha and Gesti came to us as shelter pets -- don't forget your local shelter when you are looking to adopt a dog.  Who rescued who?

Farm dog Mocha  Farm dog Gesti

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/19/2016 6:10am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

We are back in the blender again!  Yep, the Market Pause faded away and we've been getting back to "normal" again.  Just like our back to school days, getting back to market requires lots of lists and preparation.  We're not dusting off our backpacks and composition books, but it's somewhat the same.... Gas in the van? Check!  Cashbox balanced?  Check!  Tablecloths clean?  Check!  Produce ready?  Check!  We got to ease into it at the King Farmers Market on Wednesday but we'll be put to the Cobblestone test on Saturday!  At least we'll be more refreshed than if we hadn't had a break!

Ray and the Bintje

Do you know what today is?  It's National Potato Day!  Wow! Now that's a holiday we can really sink our teeth into (sorry...I couldn't resist!) And given the spud friends that we cultivated this year, it's a day worth celebrating!  Find your spud love at market!

Potatoe love

Okay, if it's not potatoes, then it's about beans!  I am completely fascinated (obsessed?) with how quickly they grow!  We planted Rattlesnake Pole Beans in Raz House last Friday (8/12).  Here's a timelapse series of how they have developed in just one short week:

August 14:

Sprouted bean

August 15:

Bean sprouts

August 16:

Beans day 4

August 17:

Beans day 5

Keep your fingers crossed that they keep on growing and for a great crop of beans in October!

Here's what's happening with the ones in Daddy's Garden -- equally impressive!

Rows of green beans in Daddy's Garden

And We Have A Winner -- Us!

Maybe we're just in the Olympic spirit, but competitions are always fun!  And we have great news from Wednesday's King Farmers Market!  Our Cherry Blossom tomato won first place in both the judges' and the shoppers' balloting!  Yay!  Come check them out (very limited quantity) at Saturday's market!  No gold medal, but we did get a crown for a while!  Here's Cheryl after getting her crown from Market President, Harvey Moser (Moser Manor).

Cheryl and Harvey at the Tomato Tasting

Market Update

We are back at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including boatloads of fingerling (LaRatte and Banana) and standard POTATOES (German Butterball, Bintje and Nicola), CURED GARLIC (Red Toch, Music, Georgian Crystal, Purple Italian, Lahontan and Lorz Italian), French Red Shallots, Leeks, Okra, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Basil, Beets and Daddy's Pickle Kits (oh, so tasty!). We'll also have our Garlic Scape Pesto -- have you tried it on pizza with fresh tomatoes? 

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

In closing, we want to offer the very best wishes and congratulations to our employee, Chris Overby, and his fiance, Summer Roten, who are getting married tomorrow!  We wish you all the love and happiness in the world! (And sorry we don't have a better picture of the two of you! This is from last summer's Greensboro Grasshoppers game)

Chris & Summer at the Grasshoppers game

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/12/2016 5:15pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

We are in the waning days of our Market Pause.  It's felt really good to be freed from the demands of market prep for a couple of weeks! But we'll be back at it next week so we'd better try to check off those things on the to-do list in a hurry (make pickles, fix porch, vacuum, ...)!

We've been doing lots of organizing, planting, weeding, mowing and planning this week trying to get our fall crops and plans ready.  Here's a quick photo tour of some farm activities:

Our ginger crop is doing well so far -- we got it fertilized and hilled last Friday:

Chris hilling the ginger

The green beans planted last Thursday have already jumped WAY up!  When you see beans grow, you really understand the "Jack and the Beanstalk" story!  Look out Detroit - they may catch you!

Detroit trying to get away from the beans!

And Chris is doing a great job of keeping them weed-free (thanks, Chris!)

Chris hoeing the beans

We are very excited that we may have a new feline member of our family!  We have been wanting to get a kitten friend for Detroit so he can have some company -- he still misses his brother, Ajo, who was killed last year.  We thought we had been seeing a dashing kitten in the corner of our eye but we had a chance to meet him a bit more up-close on Wednesday.   He(?) is quite shy but really seems to like Detroit.  Keep your fingers crossed that he decides to stay -- Detroit seems to be just fine with it!

Detroit and the kitten  Watching the kitten and Detroit

Market Update

Just a reminder that we will NOT be at Cobblestone Farmers Market tomorrow.  If you are planning on going, the market will open at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow due to the Old Salem Community Day to celebrate its 250th anniversary.  There will be street closures so plan accordingly! 

We WILL be back at the King Farmers Market on Wednesday, August 17th -- just in time for its Tomato Tasting! And speaking of tasty tomatoes, thanks SO much for those of you who came out to the Winston-Salem Journal Tomato Tasting last Friday!  We bumped into several of you while we were there!  Even though our tomatoes weren't the top vote-getters this year, we are so grateful to be part of this community and to have such wonderful friends and customers.  Thank you!

As we move towards the end of the Dog Days of Summer, the song, Summertime, has been swirling in my head a lot.  Enjoy these late summer days and the things they bring.  We'll miss them in February.

The squash is blossoming...

Summer squash plant

The grapes are ripening...

Ripening Concord grapes

The bees are buzzing...

Honeybee on okra flower

And the tomatoes are high...

Red Pearl tomaotes on a trellis

It's summertime.... time to enjoy a glass of iced tea on the porch, don't you think?

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/5/2016 12:37pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

What a strange Friday!  Besides hearing the rain pouring down outside the window, it is so odd to feel...dare I say, relaxed!  Yep, we're in our "Market Pause" so we aren't running around like crazy people trying to get ready for Cobblestone Farmers market tomorrow.  Ahhhh.....

It's not like we are sleeping until noon but we are a bit more on our own time without the pressures of markets directing our activities.

And we're catching up on some things that have been neglected for the past few months.  Like washing the tractor.

Ray washing Jules, the tractor

Here's a quick tour of some of the sightings at the farm this week:

Our Concord grapes are starting to ripen up -- should be good timing for market in a couple of weeks!

Concord grapes starting to ripen

And it's always so great to find bird nests in our plants -- and maybe some of them have an egg...or not!

Bird's nest in grapevine   Fake egg in birds nest

The rain has been making some of the flowers really pop!  The new daylilies finally put up a flower after the initial rain on Tuesday.

Daylily after the rain

And the plum grannies seem to know exactly where to bloom!

Plum granny vine by the Soil & Water Conservation sign

It seems that something has been dining on our corn in the PYO Pumpkin Patch - guess we are going to have to try to trap a raccoon.

Torn up corn in PYO Pumpkin Patch  The evidence

Our friends down the road at Felsbeck Farm have offered to share their tips on corn-munching thieves.  We could learn bunches from them since they grow LOTS more corn than we do!

Tomato Tasting Tonight!

The Winston-Salem Journal is hosting its annual Slice of Summer Tomato Tasting TONIGHT from 7 to 9 p.m. downtown at Sixth and Trade streets.  It's a great chance to try a wide variety of tomatoes from tiny to lunkers and to vote for your favorites.  As usual, we have entered a few varieties.  Last year our Chocolate Drop and Suzanne finished 1st and 2nd in the tasters' voting.  We entered Chocolate Drops, Cherry Blossom (the replacement to Suzanne) and Red Pearl - fingers crossed!  Come on out for a fun evening downtown -- you might even see your farmers wandering around on a date night!

Box of Suzanne tomatoes

Market Updates!

And don't forget -- we will not be at Cobblestone Farmers Market for the next 2 Saturdays (8/6 and 8/13) and we will not be at King Farmers Market on 8/10.

Enjoy the cooler temperatures and rain. 

Talk with you soon,

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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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!

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