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Posted 10/9/2015 8:55am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

And Good Morning, Sunshine!

Sunflowers in the sunshine

What a difference a week makes!  We have had a gorgeous week here at the farm -- such a pleasant change from last week's bluster.  By the time the storm rode out of town, we had about 5.5 inches of rain -- still nothing like some of our fellow farmers did, but it was a lot.  Thank you all so much for understanding our decision last week to not be at Cobblestone Farmers Market -- given the way the rain and wind persisted, we know we made the right decision!

We have tried to take full advantage of the sunny, warm weather.  A major task has been to get the strawberries cleared and ready for winter and to plug in some of the holes.  We got the larger field finished this week -- yay!!  Special thanks goes to Chris who finished up the task on Wednesday! 

Clearing out the strawberries

And sometimes you get rewarded for your work!  Here's Amy enjoying a fall strawberry.

Amy with strawberry

Another task was to get the drip tape out of the potato fields so that we can get them prepped for garlic.  Have you ever tried to roll up drip tape with help from a lamb?

Ray and BB rolling up drip tape

BB Update

Speaking of BB, today's weight is 21 pounds!  She has decided that Gesti is part of the herd and has begun to teach this poor dog sheep etiquette (Gesti thinks it needs to be the other way around).

BB and Gesti  Buddies - sort of

Market Updates

We are back to normal with markets this week  -- we will be at  Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and at the King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). And JAM is back!  We have restocked and have Old Fashioned Raspberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle, Raspberry-Cranberry, Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint and a special edition Blackberry Caramel Jam!

There will be lots of green on the table.  We'll be bringing a new green to market this week -- Senposai -- a Japanese hybrid of cabbage and komatsuna.  It is like a tender, sweeter collard - give it a try!  It will be joined by Kale, Swiss Chard, Pac Choy, Tatsoi, Salad Mix, and Friseé.  We still have lots of green beans (Jade round pod, haricot verts, Rattlesnake pole, Romano-type, and beautiful cream & purple-streaked Dragon Tongue), tasty Muscadines and Scuppernong Grapes, lots of cured garlic along with Baby Ginger, Okra, Summer Squash, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Roasted Green Chile, Cucumbers, and a few Snow Peas, Aji Dulce (sweet habanero) peppers and Shishito Peppers -- all Certified Organic.  

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Tomorrow is National Angel Food Cake Day!  Enjoy -- perhaps with a bit of ...jam?

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 10/2/2015 11:25am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Let's get the main news out of the way first -- we will not be at Cobblestone Farmers Market tomorrow.  With a predicted storm and especially the accompanying wind, we feel that it is wise to not be there.  We feel that the risk for our products, tents, and especially our customers just isn't worth it.  As of now, the market is scheduled to go on as usual but that may change.  To know the latest about the market, check out their Facebook Page.

It's another windy, chilly and rainy day here at the farm.  The wind has been howling all night and a constant mist has been swirling all morning.  We've had nearly 3.5 inches of rain since last Thursday and it sounds like there is a good chance of a couple more inches before this thing is past us.  Our rain totals aren't as high as some of our fellow farmers -- In Season Gardens in Danbury had over 5 inches as of Wednesday and Ridgecrest Farm in Lawsonville had over 7".  Lots of water!

WXII-TV was interested in hearing about the impact of the rain on farmers, so they came up and interviewed us for last night's news.  Thanks to Veronica White for visiting us!  We've already heard from a few of you that you saw it!

The rain is definitely having an impact on the crops -- development of bean pods and okra has slowed a lot and we are starting to see mold on squash plants.  We keep on trudging out into the field in our rain gear and picking away!  Several crops are still pouring in -- we harvested over 50 pounds of muscadines and scuppernongs yesterday and today!

Ray and Chris picking snow peas  Harvesting in the rain

We finally were able to get to Camp Hanes to make some jam!  It was good timing with the rain -- Cheryl brushed off her jam-making skills and replenished our stocks!  We now have Old Fashioned Raspberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle, Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint and a special edition Blackberry Caramel Jam!  So for those of you who have been waiting, come and get it!

Jams cooling at Camp Hanes

BB Update

Today's weigh-in: 18.5 pounds! Her new favorites are snow peas and sugar snap peas -- vines, flowers, peas...yum!  And she and her kitten friend have become roommates -- the kitten is in a crate next to BB in the living room (the house is starting to feel like a barn!).  BB is a very comforting and calming influence on the kitten -- it has begun taking food from our hands! The kitten will soon be moving to its new home with Chris & Summer!

BB is innately curious and finds all kinds of things to explore -- she found the soap suds from the drain when we were washing buckets the other day!

BB and the suds  BB in repose in the grass

Garlic Growing Workshop

A few more slots remain for our hands-on garlic growing workshop here at the farm on Sunday, October 11 from 2-5.  If you are interested, get your registration in soon!  Attendance is limited to 15 people.

Market Updates

Again, we WON'T be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon).  We WILL be at King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). We'll have lots of green beans (Jade round pod, haricot verts, Rattlesnake pole, Romano-type, and beautiful cream & purple-streaked Dragon Tongue), tasty Muscadines and Scuppernong Grapes, lots of cured garlic along with Okra, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Roasted Green Chile, Pickling Cucumbers, Kale, Swiss Chard, Snow Peas (few) and Shishito Peppers (few)-- all Certified Organic.  And don't forget the JAMS!

 

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Stay warm & dry -- and be safe!  Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 9/25/2015 10:58am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Welcome to Autumn!  It seems that she packed her bags with clouds and rain -- of the past 6 days, 5 have been either cloudy or rainy!

Rainy morning at the farm

It has been nice this summer to not have to worry about the rain interfering with harvest, plowing or other farm tasks.  Yes, the drought has been hard -- our pond is at its lowest level in quite some time -- but continuous sunny days have been delightful!  But for now, we'll don our rain gear and do what needs to be done.

Clearing a trench at the Tobacco Barn for rain

The cloudy, rainy days have been a boon for planting.  Got more lettuce and chard planted in Flat Shoals and will be adding more kale early next week.  The harvest drum continues its beat too -- beans, beans & beans!  We are also starting to get the first of the pickling cucumbers in as well as some snow peas.

We started an early harvest of the ginger and turmeric today.  We had hoped to take both to market this week but the turmeric just isn't ready yet.

Harvesting turmeric  Ray pointing to the baby turmeric which is underdeveloped

We did get some nice white and yellow baby ginger and we'll have that on our tables this week!

Baby ginger

BB Update

Our little lamb keeps growing!  She weighed in at 16 lbs. this morning -- little fat piggy!  She is developing her browsing instincts and is quite fond of ivy (yes, little lambs DO eat ivy!) and bean plants.  BB has a new friend as well.  A feral kitten appeared in the yard on Sunday night and we were able to get it sheltered in a crate.  This kitten (gender still unknown) is incredibly wild but it seems to really like BB.  The lion (cub) will lay down with the lamb, I guess!

  BB and the Kitten

Given tomorrow's weather forecast, BB will NOT be at Cobblestone.  She is now on an 8-hour feeding schedule so she can be at the farm while we are at market. Don't worry, we will bring her back to Cobblestone at least once more to Laura Frazier's FarmGirl Arts booth!

Garlic Growing Workshop

Just two more weeks until our hands-on garlic growing workshop here at the farm on Sunday, October 11 from 2-5.  We've had lots of interest in the event so get your registration in soon!  Attendance is limited to 15 people.

Market Updates

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). With the forecast of rain for Saturday, we won't have our roaster but we will have samples of our veggie green chile stew to warm you up!  If you buy a bag of chile, we'll give you the recipe.  We'll also have lots of green beans (Jade round pod, haricot verts, Rattlesnake pole, Romano-type, and beautiful cream & purple-streaked Dragon Tongue - pictured below).   This will be the last week for our tasty Muscadines and Scuppernong Grapes.  We will also have lots of cured garlic along with Okra, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Roasted Green Chile, Pickling Cucumbers, Tomatoes (Fruit Boxes and a few slicers and paste tomatoes), Kale, Swiss Chard, Snow Peas (few) and Shishito Peppers (few)-- all Certified Organic.

Dragon Tongue Romano Beans

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Stay warm & dry!  Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 9/18/2015 9:40am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

The first hints of Fall abound -- occasional red leaves on trees, dogwood berries, shorter days and a definite nip in the air!  Sweatshirts and quilts came out of hiding earlier this week -- the low on Sunday night was a chilly 44 degrees! The official start to Fall begins at 4:21 a.m. on Wednesday -- it's the autumnal equinox.

Lots of fall preparations are underway.  Cutting hay and readying the strawberry field are high on our list of priorities.  Hay making this fall is a bit more important since we need some ourselves -- we've got 2 hungry critters to feed this winter!

Cutting hay

For our strawberries, we are cleaning up the plants that went in last fall and are filling the empty holes from our plant shortage last year.  Ray ran the bushhog over the field to give the plants a haircut and now we face a very time-consuming task of removing the runners and plant debris.  Ray estimates that it will take about 20 labor-hours to do this.  Then we'll use the plants that we started from runner tips to fill-in any holes.

Ray in the strawberry field  Ray and BB in the strawberry field

Harvest continues to occupy a lot of our time with the beans pouring in along with muscadines, okra and squash.  Our planned bean successions seem to be working well with the first of the 2nd planting showing up on our market tables this weekend.  And the long-anticipated green chile is starting to roll in!  The roaster is in full production! Mmmmmm!

Green chile waiting for the roaster

BB Update

Our tiny little lamb isn't so tiny.  She weighed in at 13 lbs. this morning (we actually thought that she'd hit 15 for sure!).  BB and Gesti are doing very well together and the cats don't view her as dinner anymore.

BB is not a tiny lamb anymore  Weekly BB weigh-in  BB & Gesti - buddies?

BB will at Cobblestone for a few more Saturdays at Laura Frazier's FarmGirl Arts booth at the top of the Cobblestone Old Salem Market.  Stop by and say "hi" to BB and Laura!

Garlic Growing Workshop

Don't forget our upcoming hands-on garlic growing workshop here at the farm on Sunday, October 11 from 2-5.  We've had lots of interest in the event so get your registration in soon!  We are limiting attendance to 15 people.  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.  Registration and prepayment is required.  Cost of the course is $30.  Please email us at farm@plumgrannyfarm.com for a registration form.

Market Updates

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). We'll have lots of green beans (Jade round pod, haricot verts, Romano-type, Rattlesnake pole).   There will also be bunches of our tasty Muscadines and Scuppernong Grapes!  Click here for a copy of the Scuppernong/Muscadine Grape Hull Pie recipe from Our State -- it's a Southern classic!  We will also have lots of cured garlic along with Okra, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Roasted Green Chile, Tomatoes (Fruit Boxes and a few Saladettes, slicers and paste tomatoes) and Shishito Peppers (few)-- all Certified Organic.

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Ahoy matey!  Tomorrow is one of our favorite wacky holidays -- International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Practice up your "pirate-speak" in anticipation.  Don't worry if your eye-patch is at the cleaners - you don't have to dress like a pirate, just talk like one.  Aargh!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 9/11/2015 9:01am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Sunflowers in Demo Garden

Aren't sunflowers the most cheerful of flowers?  How can you look at them and not smile?  These big beauties are the sunflowers that our young visitors planted during the Farm Tour in July.  From seed to 7' blooming plant in 2 months -- amazing.

More amazing things are happening on the farm as well.  Our big bean harvest last week was quickly overshadowed by the ENORMOUS harvest this week!  On Monday alone, we harvested over 115 pounds and yesterday we got another 60! And there's more to pick today. Guess what we'll have on our table at market?!

Flat Shoals field in morning light

Our Flat Shoals field is looking really good with the successions of beans rolling in.  The winter squash plants are beginning to set fruit - so keep your fingers crossed.  Here's a baby "Nutterbutter" Butternut squash.

"Nutterbutter" Squash on the vine

Ray has been taking care of a few construction projects over the past few weeks.  One of the most exciting (for Cheryl anyway) is the work he has done on the wash line at the Tobacco Barn.  It is important to have a place to wash and pack produce that is clean, comfortable and efficient.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure out exactly what you need and what you want in a space.  After doing this for a while, we now have a better idea of what the wash line should look like and Ray has been working his carpentry and plumbing magic to make it so!  Washing lettuce for salad mix is SO much easier now!!

Ray and the wash line

BB Update

What a week for BB!  She has had a great time exploring lots of things -- garlic, peppers, beans, more garlic and Gesti.  This kid is getting BIG!  Today's weigh-in clocked her at 10 lbs. 9 oz.  The feeding schedule is a bit more manageable (not every 3 hours anymore!).  Her meeting with Gesti went very well -- lots of sniffing and interest on both of their parts.  Here's hoping that they can be buddies!

BB and Gesti  BB in the garlic  BB and Ray in the Yam Barn loft with garlic

BB will be back at Cobblestone on Saturday at Laura Frazier's FarmGirl Arts booth at the top of the Cobblestone Old Salem Market.  Stop by and say "hi" to BB and Laura!

Garlic Growing Workshop

It's time to think about planting garlic!  We will be offering a hands-on garlic growing workshop here at the farm on Sunday, October 11 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.

Market Updates

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). We'll have lots of green beans (Jade round pod, french filet, Romano-type, Rattlesnake pole).   We will also have lots of cured garlic along with Shishito Peppers, Okra, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Muscadines, Tomatoes (Fruit Boxes, Saladettes and paste tomatoes), some Tomatillos, and Roasted Green Chile (small amount) -- all Certified Organic.

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Wishing a Happy New Year to our friends celebrating Rosh Hashanah beginning on Sunday! 

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 9/4/2015 9:14am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

The calendar has turned to September and there is a lot to smile about here at the farm! The crops we have planted for fall harvest are doing very well.  We are getting more seeds and plants into the ground and are trying to stay on top of the weeds.  Plus a few construction projects to round things out.

Something we are very excited about are BEANS!  Last Friday, there were only a few tiny green beans but on Monday, Ray's field check revealed bunches of them!  We picked over 30 pounds in our first harvest.  So... you'll find beans, beans & more beans at our tent on Saturday!  This is the first of 4 successions of beans so we hope to have them through frost!

Handful of Jade green beans

Okra, squash and peppers are starting to come in more steadily as well.  We are starting to get the first of the chile peppers and have pulled out the roaster -- rumor has it that it may be at market soon!  This year we planted several New Mexican chiles -- Joe E. Parker, Big Jim, and Chimayo in addition to Ancho.  The plants are on plastic mulch to try to control the water (our normal rainy summers really diminish the chiles' flavor and heat).  Our plan worked well -- the chile is much more flavorful and productive than before.  Next year we'll just have to get more plants in the ground!

Ray and the chile roaster

Another thing we are trying to be more conscientious about is cover cropping.  We usually sow a couple of fields in winter rye and Austrian peas to overwinter but we haven't been doing as much summer cover as we'd like.  As our weed pressure gets more intense, we need to step it up to suppress some of the undesirables.  This summer we have a nice stand of buckwheat in Daddy's Garden.  It is a beautiful plant -- and the bonus is that the bees really love it.  Buzzzzzz...

Field of buckwheat  Buckwheat close-up

BB Update

Our little lamb is growing and is doing very well.  She is transitioning from unsure and timid to curious and more bold.  Now she darts out ahead of "Mom" (whoever happens to be walking with her) and has started spronging around like a pronghorn antelope (it's just like a cartoon!).  BB added almost 2 pounds to her little frame this week (official weight: 7 lbs. 9 oz.)!  She's meeting lots of people and even got a chance to sniff out her soon-to-be bodyguard, Brix.  It will be a while before she and the cats are introduced -- she looks a bit too much like prey right now.

BB meeting Brix for the first time  BB and Chris harvesting shishito peppers  Detroit & Ajo watching BB like a hawk

If you didn't get a chance to meet BB last week at Cobblestone, she'll be there again at Laura Frazier's FarmGirl Arts booth at the top of the Cobblestone Old Salem Market.  Stop by and say "hi" to BB and Laura!

Market Updates

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). We'll have lots of green beans (Jade round pod, french filet, Romano-type).  Our Garlic Scape Pesto was a hit last week and sold out -- but we made more!  We will also have lots of cured garlic (Red Toch, Music, Purple Italian, Lorz Italian and Lahontan along with Elephant Garlic), Tomatoes (Fruit Boxes, Saladettes, slicers and paste tomatoes), along with Shishito Peppers, Okra, Salad Mix, Tomatillos, Summer Squash, Roasted Green Chile, Muscadines and the last of the French Red Shallots -- all Certified Organic.

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

This week we say farewell to Matt McLaughlin, who has been interning with us this season. Matt is a student in the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Surry Community College and will be transferring to NC A&T upon completion of the 2-year program this spring.  He is starting his own farm just down the road from us, Sauratown Hopyard and Farm.  Matt has been a great asset to us in all elements of our work from seeding to planting to packing for market.  Good luck, Matt!  We hope you'll be back for garlic planting!

Matt planting strawberry tips

Here's wishing you a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  Get out and enjoy it!  Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 8/28/2015 9:14am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

What a gorgeous few days we've been having!  Really gets us to thinking about the fall days ahead and all of the things that need to get done before the official start of autumn!  I was really reminded of that yesterday as I read Chris Blanchard's Purple Pitchfork blog.  He said that a day's difference in planting in the fall is equal to a week's difference in the spring.  This is because day length begins to shorten at the same time the high temperatures reduce. As a result, plant growth begins to decelerate, and that deceleration has a cumulative effect.  So many times in farming we feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland -- running around with our pocket watch and frantically crying, "I'm late!  I'm late!" 

In our repertory of tasks that we juggle, we have a new addition -- a very small addition!  Say "Hello" to BB, the latest member of Team Plum Granny!

BB and Ray

BB (aka Black Beauty and Celia) is a tiny Icelandic-Finnsheep cross bottle baby.  She came to us from Laura Frazier, farmer & owner of FarmGirl Arts.  BB was born premature and is just like an infant -- she requires feeding every 3 hours -- guess now we know why we didn't have kids!  Ray agreed to be the lead with BB (while Cheryl is trying to learn Donkey) -- it's great how we share responsibilities!  BB is currently living in a large dog crate in the bathroom - with lots of time outside.  In about a month, we'll be able to move her outside permanently.  But she has to get a lot bigger -- she's just over 5 pounds now! Laura has kindly agreed to take care of her while we are at our tent at market, so stop by the FarmGirl Arts booth at the top of the Cobblestone Old Salem Market and say "hi" to BB and Laura!

BB helps weed the flower bed  Ray feeding BB her bottle  Every where that Ray went the lamb was sure to go  BB's indoor barn stall

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...

Team Plum Granny had a reunion of sorts on Sunday evening with Cheryl, Ray, Chris & Summer met up with Jen & Bea at the Greensboro Grasshoppers game.  It was great to catch up with Jen and hear about her new life in Mebane/Durham.  And we got to see Miss Babe Ruth (the Grasshoppers' Bat-Dog) before she heads into retirement and topped it off with a Grasshoppers win!

Chris and Summer with the Grasshopper   Miss Babe Ruth heading back to the dugout The Plum Granny Farm gang at the Grasshoppers

Market Updates

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). Our famous Garlic Scape Pesto is back!  We will also have lots of cured garlic (Red Toch, Music, Purple Italian, Lorz Italian and Lahontan along with Elephant Garlic),   Tomatoes (Fruit Boxes, Saladettes, slicers and paste tomatoes), along with a few containers of Shishito Peppers, Okra and Muscadines -- all Certified Organic.  This will likely be the last week for our Organic LaRatte fingerling potatoes, Concord Grapes, Summer Pippin Apples and French Red Shallots.  And our jams are quickly disappearing -- we have Old Fashioned Raspberry, Raspberry-Cranberry and Yam's Jam Sweet Potato Butter remaining!

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

Enjoy the Full Moon tomorrow and savor the last days of Summer!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 8/21/2015 8:44am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

It was great to be back at market -- our customers have become true friends and we missed seeing you!  It's always great to catch up a bit and to hear about your adventures.  Thanks for sharing your stories with us!

It's been a busy week both on and off the farm!  On Monday, Cheryl attended the on-farm portion of a Cut Flower Workshop sponsored by Chatham County Cooperative Extension.  Debbie Roos, the Chatham Extension Agent, organizes fabulous programs and we have taken advantage of several of them.  This one was no exception.  We were hosted by Cathy Jones of Perry-winkle Farm in Graham and were treated to the opportunity of seeing her farm and beautiful flowers (plus veggies!).  Leah Cook of Wild Hare Farm was the other grower leading the workshop.  It is always so inspiring to see what other farmers are doing and to get ideas!  Expect to see more flowers on our table next year!

Cathy Jones demonstrating how to cut sunflowers  Visitors admiring the gomphrena at Pery-winkle Farm

The rain this week has been a godsend.  We've had lots of issues with our pump at the pond (fixed now, we hope!), so having the addition of rainfall has been a true blessing.  It's helped us do more planting -- lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, cilantro and more plants are now in the ground and the greenhouse is filling up with more freshly seeded trays.

Matt & Chris planting kale  Chris planting lettuce in Rhubarb Bed  New salad plot in Demo Garden

Rainy afternoons bring some interesting things -- like rainbows and muddy donkeys!

Rainbow over farm  Muddy Brix

Looking ahead, those green beans are looking good -- LOTS of flowers!  And do you see the tiny green bean?

Jade Snap Beans

In addition to all the seed trays, the greenhouse is a major hub of Baby Ginger and Turmeric activity!  Here is Ray doing a check of the yellow ginger -- looks like it is ready to hill again!  And Cheryl is trying to see how she measures up to the turmeric.

Ray and ginger  Baby ginger in grow bag   Cheryl and the turmeric

Market Updates

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday (9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday (11-1). We will have Organic LaRatte fingerling and German Butterball potatoes and cured garlic (Red Toch, Music, Purple Italian, Lorz Italian and Lahontan along with Elephant Garlic).  There will be lots of French Red Shallots, Tomatoes (Fruit Boxes, Saladettes, slicers and paste tomatoes), Concord Grapes, Summer Pippin Apples and hopefully some Muscadines -- all Certified Organic!  And FOUR varieties of jam!

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

This week we say farewell to Jake Chesnet as he heads back to school.  Jake has been helping us this summer - we gave him lots of opportunities to work on his pitching arm as he worked in the field!  Jake is a Junior at North Stokes High School (and is a great baseball player!) Good luck in school, Jake -- hope to see you next summer!

Jake farewell

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 8/14/2015 8:49am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

We're back!  Yes, after a two week market break, we are back at it and getting ready for market again!  Thank you all so much for understanding our need to pause for a few days and not be at market.  It was very restorative and will give us the energy to get through the end of November!

Even though we didn't go to the beach or the lake or the mountains, and we did do lots of farm things, it was good to hit the pause button on our market attendance and (dare we say it?) sleep in on a Saturday morning!!

But now we are in full tilt market-prep gear and have put together a great list of crops for the remainder of the season!

Before we dive into the details of what we've been up to, we must take a moment to brag a bit!  Two of our tomatoes entered in the Winston-Salem Journal's Taste of Summer Tomato Tasting were winners!  Our yummy "Chocolate Drop" won First Place and "Suzanne" came in second! Woo hoo!  Read all about the event in Amy Dixon's great article in today's Winston-Salem Journal!  Thanks to Amy, Michael Hastings and the Journal for sponsoring this event and giving farmers and gardeners an opportunity to show off their wares!

And -- breaking news -- we just learned that "Chocolate Drop" won the Customer Choice favorite at the King Farmers Market!  Double winner!!

Chris & Ray picking Red Pearls for tomato tastingChris and Ray harvesting Red Pearl tomatoes to be entered in the "Slice of Summer" competition

So other than entering contests and sitting on the porch, drinking iced tea, what else have we been doing?  LOTS!  More planting, weeding, clearing, straightening, and planning than you can shake a stick at!  Oh -- yeah, and we also submitted our Organic Growers Plan to our organic certifier!!

Since we have had some crop disappointments this season (potatoes, raspberries), we are trying to make a big push for fall crops.  We just finished planting the 3rd succession of snap beans yesterday.  The 1st flight looks like it will be ready in a couple of weeks!  Get your tastebuds ready for French filet beans, "Jade" snap beans, "Rattlesnake" pole beans, "Dragon Tongue" and "Pension" Romano beans!  The early riser okra is popping up and we are starting to get a few shishito peppers.  And the sweet potatoes are looking fantastic! 

 Green beans are growing great   Burgundy okra   Garnet sweet potatoes

We are getting our beds ready and covered with plastic mulch for the first flights of kale, swiss chard, lettuce, frisee, senposai, tat soi and more!  We are even putting in a late crop of sunflowers -- hopefully we will have them for your Thanksgiving table!

Covering the beds in Flat Shoals    Chris tilling the Test Bed for sunflowers

Market Updates

Yes, we are BACK!!!  Find us under the purple tent at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (Saturday, 9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA (Wednesday, 11-1). We will have Organic LaRatte fingerling potatoes and garlic (Red Toch, Music, Purple Italian, Lorz Italian and Lahontan along with Elephant Garlic).  There will be lots of French Red Shallots, Tomato (Fruit Boxes, Saladettes, slicers and paste tomatoes), Concord Grapes, Summer Pippin Apples and artichokes -- all Certified Organic!  And don't forget the JAM!

We are happy to hold an item for you -- just let us know no later than 9 p.m. the day before market (Friday evening or Tuesday evening).

And even though we are a day late, we must shout-out a special day -- Left Handers Day!  Yep, since Ray and Cheryl are both lefties, August 13 holds a special significance!  So here is some left-handed trivia from Holiday Insights:

  • Sinistrophobia is the fear of left-handedness or things on the left side.
  • While many people are left handed, very few are 100% left handed. For example, many left handers golf and bat right handed. Meanwhile there is a high percentage of righties who are 100% right-handed.
  • Tuesdays are Lefties luck day.
  • Only about 10% of the population is left handed.

So to our Southpaw compatriots, "Left On!"

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 7/31/2015 10:15am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Okay.  We give in!  There's been something tugging at us for the past few weeks.  The heat and the humidity have taken their toll (the RealFeel heat index was 107 degrees yesterday).  As Alex Hitt, a fellow farmer from Chatham County, said "you can see the fatigue in the eyes of most of the farmers at market now and we are no different."  Yep, we're pooped and we need a break!  So that's exactly what we are going to do -- it's not a vacation but it will be a "pause."

So here's the deal:  we are taking a break from markets for the next two weeks.  Our crops say they are not ready for prime time so we will listen to them.  We will not be at Cobblestone Farmers Market tomorrow (8/1) or next Saturday (8/8) and we will not be at King Farmers Market on 8/5 or 8/12.

Despite the market pause, we will be doing lots of things around the farm to get it (and us) ready for the busy fall season.  There are fields to ready, plants and seeds to plant, berries to tend, equipment to maintain and our annual Organic Systems Plan to submit.  But it will be different.  We will be a bit more on our schedule and not be driven by market preparation and market days.  It will actually be a break!  Expect to see more cheerful, less stressed and rested farmers when you see us next at market on August 15!

Other Farm Doings

There has been a lot of activity in the fields this week!  We are closing in on getting the tomatoes cleared and giving them some breathing room.  We're getting them all ready for the Winston-Salem Journal's Tomato Tasting next Friday, August 7!

Red Pearl tomatoes in the field      Lollipop tomatoes

The Shishito and chile peppers are coming along nicely!  Roaster time soon!

Shishito pepper plant    Joe E. Parket chile

We are also working on keeping the weeds in check BEFORE they take over.  We have been hoeing the okra, sweet potatoes & beans as well as flame weeding.  But to get the weeds on the side of the beds and in the aisles, a tractor does a good job.  Here's Chris doing some cultivating with the Cub in Flat Shoals.

Chris cultivating Flat Shoals field with the Cub 

And remember the sunflowers that the kids planted during the Farm Tour?  Take a look now -- it's amazing that they are this big at just 3 weeks!

3 week-old Sunflower plants

A Farewell...

We are sad to say goodbye to our terrific employee, Jen Garrison.  Jen started with us in June 2011 and has been a key asset in the 5 seasons that she worked with us.  She has been so many things -- field hand, jam maker, garlic braider, sign maker, idea generator, cheerleader, foodie and most of all, friend.  We'll miss you Jen as you head off to your new job in your new town!  There's always a place for you here!

Jen harvesting turmeric

Market Updates

Don't forget -- we'll be missing markets for the next two weeks but we'll be back at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem on Saturday, August 15 and King Farmers Market at the YMCA on Wednesday, August 19!

 

Blue Moon

Take a look in the sky tonight for that rare Blue Moon -- the 2nd full moon of the month.

Moon over the fields on July 30

 

Stay cool and hydrated!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Pick-Your-Own Update!

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

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

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

Other produce will also be available.

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

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USDA Organic logo

Certfied Organic by QCS since 2010

Watch Us!

Ray talks ginger with Lisa

Check out the terrific feature that Flavor, NC did on Plum Granny Farm!  You can view the episode at http://video.unctv.org/video/2365069548/  They did a great job showing our garlic, ginger & berry production - plus a few other surprises! We are paired with Chef Jay from Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen who makes some wonderful garlic recipes!  Enjoy!

Flavor NC logo

 

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