Renfrow Farms

2017, Week 40

It sure is hot and dry around here. This is a perfect time to tackle young weeds – we’ve never seen so many volunteer cherry tomato plants pop up in the fall before, and since the definition of weed is an “unwanted plant” they must go! 

Hello Renfrow friends!

It always feels like we have an endless to-do list around here, but I think it must be true for all businesses, no matter the stage, age, or type of business. But this week is a bit different from the rest, as the culmination of what we have been working so hard towards at the farm will happen for the second time: we will host over 150 people at a gourmet farm dinner with Outstanding in the Field. We are hurrying to mow all the grass, get some flower seedlings planted, and harvest all the food needed for the dinner.

Chef Adam Reed of Sante Restaurant is using a wide array of our produce as well as sourcing ingredients from several great farms in the area like New Town Farms and Urban Gourmet Farms.

If you use Instagram, follow along with the @renfrowfarms account as my sister Charlotte documents the event from behind-the-scenes setup to dinner to breakdown on Thursday, October 5th. 

Fresh edamame! A real treat, available this week only.
Our farm stand will be open this Tuesday (10/3) from 10am until 2pm at 409 W Charles Street in downtown Matthews. 

This week, expect to see:
Edamame (this week only!!!), radishes, turnips, green onions, eggplant, collards, mustard, tatsoi, broccoli, garlic, winter squash, peppers, honeyflower bouquets, and more – all grown at our farm.

Wednesday & Saturday pre-ordered produce boxes will have radishes, turnips, green onions, garlic, edamame, the last of the eggplant and the first swiss chard (or collards).

Order Produce Boxes Here!

Easy Refrigerator Radish Pickles

This is hands-down my favorite way to eat radishes, and this recipe couldn’t be any easier to make! It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and then they will last for weeks in the fridge. When I finish my first batch of radishes, I will then just slice up a new batch of radishes and pop them in the jar, reusing the brine.

The brine mellows out the spicy bite radishes have that some people don’t care for, so if that’s you, I definitely recommend giving these pickles a try – it tastes like a totally different vegetable!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch radishes
  • ¾ cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (I use Renfrow Farms honey, of course!)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Optional add-in seasonings: mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, celery seed, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds etc

Slice the radishes into very thin rounds and pack them into a sterilized pint-sized canning jar. Top the rounds with your choice of seasonings (I used mustard seed, garlic powder, and celery seed in my most recent batch). Prepare the brine by bringing vinegar, water, honey/maple syrup, and salt to a boil. Pour mixture over radishes and let cool to room temperature. Serve immediately or store in fridge for several weeks. Matt and I love these and use them as toppings on anything from burgers to stir-fries, and we can often be found devouring them plain, as a yummy snack!

Natural Aphid Control

Here’s a close-up of what aphids look like for those unfamiliar with these pesky critters. There are hundreds of varieties of aphids, in nearly every color of the rainbow. Kale leaf from last year.
We have been battling an aphid problem on our collard plants this fall, resulting in us throwing away dozens of pounds of leaves totally infested with this sap-sucking creature.
We are committed to using natural pest control methods and so Jeff Rieves (the former extension agent who teaches our gardening classes) helped us research what insects we could buy (in addition to ladybugs) to devour these aphids so that we would not have to use insecticides.
TipTop Bio Control, from whom we source the ladybugs and praying mantis we sell at the hardware store, had a “triple blend aphid control” mixture of parasitic wasps that feast on aphids. We released several containers of these tiny wasps last week all across the farm. I will report back here in a few weeks about the apparent effects.

Double-Header Wedding Weekend

This pipe and drape altar focal point was super fun to put together. I made the eucalyptus garlands in 4 separate pieces at the hardware store the day beforehand, and Matt helped me to attach them to the poles. I then created the flower clusters by building them out of a block of wet floral foam. And to prevent getting the drape wet, we had to get creative and wrap the foam blocks in white trash bags before attaching and building. There is no one I would rather work with in intense, high-speed situations like wedding setups than my problem-solving-minded husband!
I typically prefer to use my farm’s flowers and foliage as the majority of ingredients in the weddings I book, but I also enjoy switching the ratio up every once in awhile, and roses and eucalyptus are two really fun ingredients to work with, so I can’t complain! 😉
While I was with Matt setting up this wedding at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery this past Saturday, my mom was near Raleigh with over a dozen buckets of our farm’s flowers and foliage, orchestrating the flowers for the wedding celebration of the son of one of her close friends.
This is the first floral arbor installation she has ever done without me and I think it looked SPECTACULAR! She is so crafty and creative. Several other friends of the groom’s family made the centerpieces and other pieces of celebration decor.
Corner view of Arbor #2.
My dahlias finally decided to pump out some beautiful blooms just in time for these two weddings. I made the boutonnieres and bouquets for my mom to bring with her to the bright and beautiful wedding near Raleigh.

Produce Boxes

Wednesday & Saturday pre-ordered produce boxes will have radishes, turnips, green onions, edamame, garlic, the last of the eggplant & the first of the swiss chard (or collards).
Order Produce Boxes Here
How it works:

  1. Pre-ordered $20 produce boxes are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays each week, with ingredients and the order form link updated in each week’s newsletter.
  2. Please place Wednesday orders before 2pm on Tuesday, and Saturday orders before 2pm on Thursday! The order form will be shut down after 2pm on Thursday. 
  3. Pickup of produce is always at Renfrow Hardware during business hours (Wednesday 8am-5pm and Saturday 8am-2pm). Day of choice is specified on order form.
  4. Payment is accepted upon pickup like any other hardware store purchase. Ask for your order at the counter and we will get it for you.
  5. We cannot reserve quantities of produce that are less than these $20 boxes, but if you are looking to place a specific flower order or have a different type of request, please email me directly – Pressly@RenfrowFarms.com.

Have a wonderful week,

~Pressly Williams & the Renfrow crew

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