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Berries are Blooming

We’ve been getting ready for the farm tours so this will be a shorter post. We are seeing lots of green growth all over the farm. The elderberries, blueberries and blackberries are starting to bloom so it won’t be long before we have berries. The potatoes are starting to bloom so its time to hill around them to encourage potato growth.

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Growing and Drying Herbs at Home

Herbs are often the first crop that we harvest. We grow them close to our house so they can be harvested just before cooking with them. If you are permaculturalist, then this is our zone 1.

This year we hope to have plenty of 

  • rosemary
  • oregano
  • dill
  • coriander / coriander
  • basil (best used fresh, not dry)


Pairing a basil with fresh mozarella and tomatoes with a sweet sauce drizzled on top is definitely a summertime treat

Herbs are one of the easiest crops to grow. We have already started harvesting herbs from some of our established pots and beds. They don’t take much space and you’ll get to enjoy them all summer long. If you dry your excess herb crop then you can enjoy them this winter as well.

Drying your own herbs is also super simple. Below is a link to a video that explains how.


We’ve also freeze dried herbs very successfully. They freeze dry quickly and store for a very long time.


I also enjoy seeing flowers in our yard. Here are some pictures from this morning

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Let’s Plant Onions

There was a break in the weather and it gave us time to plant onions. We have almost 1,000 onions sets started this year. We planted the onions and then covered with hay. The hay helps suppress weeds and makes weeding so much easier. The hay also serves as a soil amendment as it composts.

Word of warning with using hay, or any compost, in your garden: it is important to make sure that you aren’t introducing herbicides into your garden through the hay or compost. The vast majority of hay is sprayed with a herbicide. Compost from your local municipality usually contains grass that was treated herbicides. That free compost from the city or county can kill the plants in your garden. Here is a good resource on the topic – click here

How to buy produce and cuttings from Simply Us Farm

When we have produce available, we’ll announce it here and through our email list. Many of the the items from our farm are only available for a short season and often just once per year.

Onions planted, next is covering with hay
Hay covering the onions and garlic
Garlic is weeded and covered with hay
This toad was hiding in a patch of weeds in the garlic

The daffodils are blooming. Nice to see the beautiful colors

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Upcoming Class – Learn to Plant and Grow Potatoes

Learn to Plant and Grow Potatoes

Come join us for a fun and educational event where you can learn all about planting potatoes! Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this in-person event in Bennett, NC, USA is perfect for anyone interested in growing their own potatoes.

During this hands-on workshop, our farmer will guide you through the potato planting process. From cutting up seed potatoes, preparing the soil and planting potatoes, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and practical skills to grow a bountiful potato harvest. You’ll actually get to work in the soil to get potatoes in the ground and ready to go.

This class starts out by planting potatoes. Following class sessions allow you to learn by doing and helping maintain the potatoes you helped plant. There will be 5 sessions between the inital date and harvest. If you come to 3 of 5 sessions (including the intial day), then you are invited to join us for the harvest day (late May / early Jun).

Discover how to plant and care for your own potatoes. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to dig into the world of potato gardening!

Important note: if weather causes a delay, we will reschedule the next weekend (weather permitting)

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Daikon Working While the Farmer Rests

Daikon (sometimes call field radish or mooli) is a large radish of Japanese origin. We use it as a cover crop on the farm. The daikon helps in 3 ways:

  1. keeps roots and plant life active in the soil over the fall and winter months. This helps keep the soil biologically active. A good farmer first grows soil. If you have good soil then you can grow great plants that are full of nutrients
  2. the tuber sinks down into the ground and helps keep the soil from compacting while expanding the soil at the location where the tuber is growing
  3. acts as a bioaccumulator that takes into nitrogen from the process of photosynthesis and stores it in the tuber

This spring we will terminate the cover crop, leaving the tuber in place to compost over the summer returning the nutrients to the soil. We avoid the use of synthetic fertilizer and cover crops are a big part of making that possible.

Thanks for checking in with what is happening at the farm.

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Farm is Sleeping, Spring is Peeking

This time of year, I tell myself that we have put the farm to bed for the winter. I think saying that belies the actuality that some of the plants keep growing, albeit slowly. Also, it makes it easier to take a break from working on the farm. The downtime is valuable for us farmers.

The garlic is doing well . In the picture below you can see places where weeks are starting to poke through the hay. The next step with the garlic is to put down more hay to help supress weeds. I like growing garlic. It is easy to grow and low maintenance since most of the growing occurs in the winter when most of the weeks have died back.

I hope that you can use to winter months to rest, refit and recharge. Spring will be here before we know it.

Garlic is growing, even on chilly days
You can identify the elephant garlic by the wider leaves
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Putting the Farm to Bed for the Winter

Everything has a season. The cover crops are planted. The hay is put down. The last of the trees and bushes planted. In the last 2 weeks, we have planted paw paw, elderberry and figs.

The cover crop is a mixture of austrian peas, daikon radish and clover. We’ve also planted clover in areas where we cleared brush and limbs. If all goes well there should be plenty of clover for the bees next year.

The first deep frost has come and gone. The fig tree leaves and the elephant ears show the passage of the frost. Many of the young trees we planted have dropped their leaves. It was good year and its nice to be able to take a break.

It takes a lot of help and input and learning to make a farm work. I thank everyone who helped make this year a success!

Pecan tree in the ground and ready to grow roots this fall and winter
Last of the figs before the frost
Connie spotted this grasshopper
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Planting Paw Paw Trees, Garlic and Enjoying the Fall Weather

Wow, what nice weather. It was nice working on the farm with the temperatures in the mid 70s! We spent the day planting garlic, putting down cover crops (after terminating the cover crops in that area yesterday), and planting Paw Paw trees.

We’re excited to finally get the Paw Paw trees planted. The trees we planted are 6 months old. We are hoping to have fruit from the Paw Paws in 3-4 years from now, but it could take longer. The trees came from 2 different sources to help give genetic diversity. One set of trees were propagated from the seed from Paw Paw fruit. The rest were purchased as seedlings. We grew them from seedlings in the spring to trees that were ready to plant this fall.

The next step with the garlic is to put down hay for weed suppression and feather meal as a nitrogen supplement. We’ve had 2 rounds of cover crops since we harvest the garlic. Both rounds of cover crops used buckwheat.

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Planting Clover and Native Pollinators

It was almost 100 degrees! We were very much appreciating the shade in places.

The areas disturbed by the skid steer were also areas that we wanted to improve the soil. We planted clover and native pollinators in those areas. The clover also has the benefit of improving the soil, prevent erosion and help control the water flow in those areas. The pollinators are good for the bees and other insects. The deer is a win with the deer. The pollinators and the clover add beautiful flowers. This was also a way that we could add vegetative matter (i.e. clover) under the oak trees control water flow and erosion, with minimum soil disruption under the oak trees. From a permaculture perspective, this is function stacking at work.

We placed hay on the disturbed ground to help hold the seeds in place and hide them from birds looking for an easy meal. We are supposed to get several days of rain this week so that should help give the plants a good start.

We hope to stay busy over the next few weeks preparing beds and planting cover crops.

Goji Berries – Elderberries

We harvested what should be the last of the elderberries. We had a first goji berries. We only picked a handful of goji berries, but it was nice to finally taste goji berries from our farm.

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Changes to the Farm

A farm can be beautiful and functional. We have put a lot of emphasis on getting the orchard and food forest planted and growing crops for the past 2 years. This week we put the emphasis on improving the property and doing some cleanup.

Hargrove Lawn Care in Bear Creek, NC did a wonderful job helping to move brush and clear out areas so we can come back and plant pollinators. They also took out trees and bushes to make maintaining the property easier. They also opened up a spot for a fire circle and chairs. Its amazing what a trained operator with a skid steer can do in a day. Now we need to get planting clover and pollinators in these areas.

It will be nice to have a spot for a fire circle with room for a big group. The trees are out of the way so we can start bringing the rocks over and build the fire circle.