2016, Week 12: Skillpop, Daffodils, & Baby Chicks!

Hello farm friends!

This evening my dad and I taught a class for beginning gardeners through an awesome new business in Charlotte called SkillPop that focuses on in-person experiential learning on anything from gardening to fashion to photography, definitely check them out.

We toured the farm and discussed our composting methods, released some ladybugs on aphid-infested crops, and learned season extension through simple methods like using wall-o-waters. We then wrapped up the evening at the hardware store where we chatted about the Poor Renfrow’s Almanac, seed-starting, and the most common beginner’s mistake – overwatering your plants. We had an absolute blast!!

The class sold out so fast, I never had a chance to advertise it in this newsletter. We are looking to partner with SkillPop to offer other courses throughout the year, and are teaching another class in a few weeks about raising chickens…if you’re interested in starting your own flock, watch the SkillPop website for registration to open very soon!


Fragrant narcissus pictured above: top, Replete; bottom, Pink Charm

My various flower bulbs are sure loving the beautiful weather we’ve been receiving. Lots of flower bouquets will be available all week at the hardware store, so come snag some of these beauties for your Easter celebrations.


This year’s countdown to every child who comes to the hardware store’s favorite time of year – baby chick season – finally fits on one hand! Our first batch will arrive on Good Friday, March 25th, and we will be receiving these breeds of laying hens:

  • Golden Sex Link
  • Black Sex Link
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Buff Orpington
  • Dominique
  • Barred Rock

Check out our Chick Report for the weekly schedule. We will receive day-old chicks every Friday until approximately early June.

Meet the “Renfrow Family”

Hola, this is Gaspar. Many of you may know him as the one who usually helps load fertilizer and chicken feed into your car at Renfrow’s. While he may not know much English, his sure and steady smile and sense of humor has no need for interpretation – Gaspar is constantly full of joy, and is especially at home with a hoe in his hand and a row of well-weeded plants behind him. He is a very skilled farm worker and harvests our most prolific rows of okra with a smile on his face and always a straw hat on his head!  

Gaspar has worked at Renfrow’s for nearly thirty years, and has been full-time for at least fifteen. He and his wife and three daughters and their families all live in the Matthews area, having moved here permanently from Mexico over a decade ago.

Gaspar is a talented whittler, and has made some very beautiful pieces of art over the years. I did not track him down on his day off to capture a photo of some of his work, but will add one into a later email, just for fun! My favorite is an adorable pig carving about the size of my hand.

Next week I’ll continue the introductions with Sid Winecoff, who is the most recent member of the Renfrow crew, though he’s been here several years. And in case you missed Pressly and Ruth‘s intros, they’re both on our website.

Get your hands dirty and plant something this week! (We’ll be sowing various early spring seeds, and attempting to push the envelope by direct-seeding some squash!)

~Pressly Williams & the farm crew