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Perry-Winkle Farm

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Photos and text by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

Crop Diversity and Pest Management

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With about 240 different varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers harvested annually, something is always being planted at Perry-winkle Farm. This shot shows onions (left), early basil, and squash.

field shot

row cover

Spring lettuce under a floating row cover next to sugar snap peas. Row covers can be used to protect crops from frost and insects. They have also been used to “hide” crops from groundhogs and deer!

broccoli, cabbage, and kale

Spring-planted broccoli, cabbage, and kale ready for harvest in early June.


Cathy and Kate use scuffle hoes to weed broccoli. They use several types of hoes at the farm, depending on the crop and the weeds.


Alternating beds of spring lettuce (front), rye/vetch cover crop, salad mix, broccoli, and lettuce under hoop-supported row cover (back) in early May.

field shot

More cool-season crops in mid-May.


Mulch helps control diseases, protects the soil, suppresses weeds, conserves moisture, and moderates soil temperatures.

Emily and Melissa with turnip harvest

Emily and Melissa carry freshly dug turnips as they walk past the okra bed in late September.

sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas are always a huge hit at the market! The first planting is seeded around February 1 and the second planting is seeded the first week of March. The second planting quickly catches up with the first one and can be harvested before it gets hot.

rodent control

Perry-winkle Farm cat Paka helps with rodent control around the farm!

rodent control

A closer view of Paka’s “prize”.

leaf mulch

Kate mulches leeks with leaves from the Carrboro municipal compost operation – a free source of great mulch! Leaf mulch is used on Brassica andAllium crops.


Wire cages for ‘Sungold’ tomatoes, a long-season indeterminate variety cherished by customers young and old for its astounding sweetness and flavor.

field shot

Late May view of flowering cilantro plus other vegetables and flowers.

Melissa harvests okra

Melissa harvests ‘Burgundy’ okra, an heirloom variety that can be harvested at a larger size than other varieties. It stays tender even when over 6 inches long, which is why it only needs to be harvested twice a week rather than daily. It also has ornamental value.

field shot

Black oil sunflower cover crop adjacent to some newly seeded beds in June.

wheel hoe

Cathy uses an old high-wheel cultivating hoe to cut planting trenches.

garlic and kale

Garlic is planted in November and harvested in June-July. Most of it is sold as green garlic, which has a wonderful mild flavor.


About 19 different varieties of peppers are grown at Perry-winkle Farm. They are trellised for support and top-dressed with compost. The trellis stakes are placed soon after the peppers are transplanted, then the compost is applied. As the pepper plants get larger they add the “spreaders” and string wire between them to support the plants.

harvesting tomatoes

The Perry-winkle crew harvesting ‘Sungold’ tomatoes.

Kate harvests tomatoes

Kate will probably have an even bigger smile when her bucket is full of tomatoes! Everyone wears long-sleeved shirts when harvesting to reduce irritation from the tomato plants.

To see beneficial insects in action
in a tomato crop at Perry-winkle, visit this page…

next page

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Written By

Debbie Roos, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDebbie RoosExtension Agent, Agriculture - Sustainable / Organic Production Call Debbie Email Debbie N.C. Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center
Page Last Updated: 10 years ago
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