Farm Happenings, 2016 Week 1

Matt and I installed two “low tunnels” over some of the flower rows this weekend. The protection that these tunnels will provide is similar to that of a large hoop house or “high tunnel”, but much cheaper and easier to build. Until we are able to build a high tunnel, this will be how we refine our techniques for extending our season for flowers and leafy greens.

Produce boxes available for Wednesday 1/6 only, this week. FARM STAND WILL BE OPEN THIS TUESDAY.

Please let me know if you would like a box of fresh, naturally grown produce from our farm this week. Pick-up is at Renfrow Hardware on Wednesday 1/6, 8am-5pm. We are going to have some low temperatures this week that may bite back our plants to the point where I cannot guarantee anything for Saturday boxes. Anything that survives the week will available on Friday and Saturday at the store.

Renfrow Farms Market WILL be open on Tuesday, January 5th, 10am-2pm. We will have winter squash, pumpkins, turnips, collards, chard, arugula, kale, green onions, honey & herbs -thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, salad burnet, chives, garlic chives, spearmint, chocolate mint, dill. 

This Wednesday’s $20 box will include green onions, turnips, 2 bunches of greens (your choice of arugula, chard, collards, mizuna, and kale), 1 winter squash and 1 bunch of herbs (choose from list in paragraph above).

Please respond to this email to let me know what preferences you have on the greens & herbs choices if you want a box this week. Thank you so much.************

Renfrow Farms
2015 Year in Review

We kicked off our growing season by taking a risk planting kale, collards, and broccoli in mid-January for earlier harvests – and it paid off….

…despite a brutally cold February.

Ruth and I transplanted dozens of new varieties of flower seedlings in between greenhouse work and field work in March.

Jimmy and Sid worked hard in April and throughout the spring to remove stumps from our very large lower field in preparation for extensive planting to begin in late 2016. We had a great crop of cowpeas in 2015 and grew other covercrops like daikon radishes to build up this patch of soil that grew trees for a few decades.

From March through May, Ruth and I were most often found watering and organizing thousands of vegetable plants in the greenhouse Renfrow’s.

In June our farm stand reopened with a beautiful porch deck renovation. We at the farm have all thoroughly enjoyed strengthening old relationships and starting new ones with our farm customers during the past seven months of operation. Tuesdays are definitely the highlight of our week!

July was filled with many summer favorites, including massive amounts of Cherokee Purple tomatoes, before the drought and extreme heat started taking toll on almost all of the crops.

I grew and arranged tons of flowers for my sister-in-law’s wedding and rehearsal dinner in August, which was so special to our family and has inspired me to grow more flowers for weddings.

My husband Matt and I journeyed to the west coast for a week in September, and I had the amazing opportunity to attend a flower farming workshop at Floret Flower Farm and harvest these gorgeous massive dahlias to my heart’s content!

This fall we planted more collard greens than ever before, with Gaspar picking a couple hundred pounds each week in October for Moe’s BBQ in Matthews. Yet we couldn’t keep up with the demand and are looking forward to growing several hundred more plants this spring.

We grew hundreds of winter squash this year, and many of them were consumed in pumpkin pies at a certain November holiday.
Due to the mild weather, we had an amazing array of produce on the winter solstice this December. Sadly, since we received around eight inches of rain in the two weeks since this day, our quantity and availability has plummeted going into the new year – but it’s about time for winter to come around and put us out of the produce business for a couple months anyways. Come on, spring, we are ready for you!
There is really no way for me to sum up 2015 on the farm in 12 photos, or probably even 120 photos, as the landscape is continually changing, our lives are continually changing, and our focus is being refined.   This weekly newsletter is such a joy for me to put together, as it acts as sort of a journal of events for the farm. I’m hoping to archive them all on this winter so that new subscribers may catch up on our back story as they wish.
Take care and hope to see you on Tuesday – this may be the last market of the season. Thank you all so much for your continued support of our endeavors!!
~Pressly Williams, Ruth Harris,
& the farm crew