The open forum of a marketplace is a burst of seasonal colors and a steady buzz of chatter. The curious shopper discovers she has direct access to fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables, herbs, dairy-based products, and proteins. The woman or man behind the table provides a small sampling of popular items; yet, shoppers can experience a more comprehensive array of goods by visiting the farm. It’s vital to introduce yourself and inquire if there is a “farm store.” Most likely, it’s on a familiar road, not too far from home! “Support local” is more than just an expression. It’s an opportunity to support growers and farmers in communities near you!
Hanging Rock State Park Farmer’s Market
On a day to consider, “Where can we go today?”, individuals and families need to remember that an exceptional state park is roughly 45 minutes north. Offering a traditional outdoor experience, Hanging Rock has picnic grounds, a lake for swimming and canoeing, accessible hiking trails for all levels, rock climbing opportunities, clear streams, and waterfalls. Since 2010, the park has added one additional feature for visitors—the Stokes Future Farmers’ Market. In addition to locally produced fruits, vegetables and proteins, such as fresh farm eggs and butchered meats, patrons can purchase baked goods, artisan crafts, jewelry, and find unique treasures! Stop at the visitors’ center parking lot on Saturdays, starting on April 24, from 11 AM to 2 PM. Don’t forget to bring a cooler!
For more information, check out facebook.com/stokesfarmersmarket to find summer hours.
Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update
Subscribing to Cheryl Ferguson’s blog is similar to receiving a letter from a good friend. Readers anticipate the words, “Happy Friday, farm friends,” and feel connected to the farm. Cheryl says, “I share the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful. We enjoy sharing our story! Five years ago, I committed to writing a weekly newsletter. Education is important to Ray and me. We wanted to give readers more than just what we were selling. It was an opportunity to build relationships while telling folks about our farming practices and offering suggestions of what they could plant at home.”
A frequent item of discussion in the blog is the farm’s organic certification. As the only Certified Organic produce farm in Stokes or Forsyth Counties, Cheryl explains the challenges and benefits to their customers in maintaining certification.
To receive the weekly update, go to plumgrannyfarm.com/mailinglist.
Plant Sales, Classes, and the Future Farm Store
Plum Granny’s is not your typical old-fashioned vegetable stand. The farm sells its products through an online store, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and occasionally at Cobblestone Farmer’s Market in Winston-Salem. Additionally, Cherl and Ray have a jam-packed calendar that allows visitors to register for workshops, such as “Growing Brambles at Home” (May 16) and a Ginger harvest festival in September.
Plant sales, offered throughout the year, feature organic seasonally appropriate plants. Mark your calendars for the next huge summer plant sale, which offers 3,000 vegetable and herb plants, ginger and turmeric plants, and fig trees. (April 30 to May 2.) It’s a three-day plant extravaganza! And, look for the farm store opening, “Pick-Your-Own events,” farm tours, and harvest celebrations through the farm’s website or newsletter!
In their biggest year, Cheryl and Ray increased numbers of their CSA program, “PlumFresh.” Subscribers receive benefits by selecting substitutes or ordering “add-ons,” such as pastured farm fresh eggs, honey, and dairy products in a “pay-as-you-go” system. Personalized care includes the option of home delivery or pick-up at Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery, Cobblestone Farmer’s Market, or Clemmons Mill.
Located at 1041 Flat Shoals Road in King, Plum Granny is a North Carolina Century Farm that you will want to know!
Next Month: Mabe’s Berries