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Just a few of the vendors you'll find at #DudeCLT Saturday 11/25 11am-5pm at @c3lab #SmallBizCLT #SmallBizSaturday

This week's #RenFrowBackThursday is about the two men without whom Renfrow would even exist anymore!!β €
Renfrow Hardware business partners David Blackley and Frank Renfrow at the store's 100th anniversary celebration in 2000! (My dad looks so young!) Frank's grandfather started the store in 1900.β €
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David and Frank were business partners for 25ish years before Frank passed away in 2010. It is all thanks to Frank that we were able to expand into the farming business on his home property in downtown, which he left to the hardware store at his passing. Our land was a farm back in the late 1800s/early 1900s and we love that we are able to keep this little bit of history alive - many of the main homes in Matthews at the beginning had large gardens on their property. There are still plenty of gardens tucked away in many downtown residents' yards, but the homestead era is over - even I don't have pigs living behind my house! πŸ–
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The farm was one of David's many visions for diversifying the hardware business and adding assets to the town of Matthews. I'm so thankful to be able to work in this family business steeped in Matthews history. β €

Our two mini-trucks are forever my favorite farm tools. If you're local and want one for your own property, they're far more affordable than a gator, the bed DUMPS, the bed sides drop down, and some can be made street legal (though I wouldn't dare drive it outside of downtown Matthews' 25mph zone between the farm and hardware and @moesbbqmatthews).β €
A guy imports them from Japan and sells them out in Indian Trail, just 15 minutes from our farm. The guys at Renfrow's can give you his contact info if you call the hardware store sometime. They're two of our very best investments we've made!β €

We are a small business too and it's so awesome to know this Saturday is dedicated to @shopsmall 🍻 Meet us at @unknownbrewing & shop at a bunch of local artisans #sbsclt #SmallBizCLT #SmallBizSat

We love going to @renfrowfarms on a sunny day like today to get glass bottled sodas 😍🌞 #happyfriday #renfrowhardware #shoplocalclt #downtownmatthews #smallbizclt #happytimes

This week's #RenFrowBackThursday is of our #OutstandingInTheField farm dinner from last October, and the amazing #OITF crew is back here at the farm TODAY!!! Last year's dinner was hosted inside the hardware store due to Hurricane Matthew, and we had 100% attendance for the sold-out event and managed to fit 150 place settings in the hardware store and greenhouse. It truly was a night to remember - Renfrow's never looked so good!! β €
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Today's skies are clear and the table will be set out on the farm! Check out our Instagram Stories throughout the day to follow along with Charlotte Blackley as she documents this fun event! β €@out_inthefield

It's time for our fruit-focused gardening class with @skillpopclt! We only offer this class once per year, so join us this Thursday, October 26th at 6pm at the farm where we will learn about growing a large variety of fruit trees, bushes, and vines that are most suitable to our climate! β €
Register here: https://www.skillpop.com/classes/1045β €

Take note of the sign in the bottom right corner of the photo...πŸ˜‚ This particular drink box is no longer in our possession, traded out with a customer who rebuilt our ancient forklift many years ago.β €
But we still use our old blue Pepsi-cola daily at the store, and have another one or two (not in use) hidden throughout the store - can anyone tell me where one is from memory?! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ
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πŸ“·: Stumptown Festival circa 1989, pictured here are Pressly's cousins David Blackley and Baird Blackley Yasenchok. β €

#RenFrowBackThursday

Ever thought about growing some yarrow in your garden? We just got a bunch of packets of seeds in at the hardware store from Baker Creek seeds, including some with this beautiful mix of colors! Plant now for late spring/early summer blooms!! (I'll also have shovels of our farm's plants for sale later this fall, time and date TBD, but if you're wanting a large array of colors, seeds are the way to go!)

MOST RECENT

Just a few of the vendors you'll find at #DudeCLT Saturday 11/25 11am-5pm at @c3lab #SmallBizCLT #SmallBizSaturday

Many of our favorite passalong perennial flowers have unique histories - some beautiful peachy daylilies and these iris came from one of the last multi-generational old-time farmhouses in this end of the county, which I transplanted to our farm before that other property was developed a few years ago. β €
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The cute, dainty starflower (photos 2-4) have been part of the farm's home landscape for far longer than I've been alive, as my home's original owners were avid gardeners. These sweet bulbs turn my lawn to snow in March and I absolutely refuse to cut the grass for about a month because they make me so happy every time I see them! β €

Many of the oldest homes in downtown Matthews have these starflowers (ipheion uniflorum) lining the sidewalks or peppering their lawns - watch for them in late winter! And if you want the opportunity to grow your own patch, stop by our farm on Saturday, Nov 18th, 3pm-5pm, and I'll be digging shovelfuls of these small perennial bulbs from the farm to share with all of you! $8/hefty shovelful.β €
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There are many generations-old garden plants that many of our hardware customers share with us when they transition away from gardening and/or their homes. We are honored to steward and transfer their garden treasures to the next generation of gardeners. #RenFrowBackThursdayβ €

πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ Happy Birthday to Mike Starnes ...our Goldmith, Jeweler, custom-made go-to-man, overall fixer of everything jewelry-related. He can clean, polish and fix just about anything! We are so lucky to call him a friend. Happy Birthday, Mike! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ #happybirthday #goldsmith #jewelry #montfordpark #myerspark #southpark #custommade #charlotte #smallbizclt #shoplocalclt

It's time for our fruit-focused gardening class with @skillpopclt! We only offer this class once per year, so join us this Thursday, October 26th at 6pm at the farm where we will learn about growing a large variety of fruit trees, bushes, and vines that are most suitable to our climate! β €
Register here: https://www.skillpop.com/classes/1045β €

Montford Park Business Owners - please join us for the monthly meeting on Oct 30 at 6 pm- 7:30 pm.
Our Goldsmith will be available to clean your jewelry for FREE! Our new appraiser will be on site, also! We'll have cocktails and snacks. #montfordpark #smallbizclt #shoplocalclt m #myerspark #southpark

This week's #RenFrowBackThursday is of our #OutstandingInTheField farm dinner from last October, and the amazing #OITF crew is back here at the farm TODAY!!! Last year's dinner was hosted inside the hardware store due to Hurricane Matthew, and we had 100% attendance for the sold-out event and managed to fit 150 place settings in the hardware store and greenhouse. It truly was a night to remember - Renfrow's never looked so good!! β €
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Today's skies are clear and the table will be set out on the farm! Check out our Instagram Stories throughout the day to follow along with Charlotte Blackley as she documents this fun event! β €@out_inthefield

This week's #RenFrowBackThursday is from only three years ago - Matthew and Pressly's wedding anniversary is this week! This was the first wedding I ever grew or arranged flowers for, and it's wild to see just how much the farmer-florist portion of this business has blossomed. 🌷Each year business has more than doubled: one wedding in 2014...and in 2017, thirty!
I've had the opportunity to play this tiny role in the most special day for so many couples, and am incredibly thankful.
One of my most treasured memories will always be the day that was a culmination of three solid months of work my parents (and the whole Renfrow crew) executed to throw a truly incredible celebration for me and Matt at the farm. Marriage is a sweet gift from the Lord, and so is the community we have surrounding us! πŸ“Έ:@angela_shea_photography
#renfrowhardware #smallbizclt #shoplocalclt #weloveclt #charlottesgotalot #smallbusiness #matthewsnc #downtownmatthews #renfrowbackthursday #rentbt #tbt #tbtdowntownmatthews #matthewshistory #hardwarelife #smallbusiness #familybusinessβ €
#flowerfarmer #cltflowers #farmher #matthewsgrown #gottobenc #seasonalfloweralliance #flowerfarm #getoutside #knowyourfarmer #visitncfarms #farmerflorist #slowflowers #farmerwedding

Another of our favorite cover crops is annual ryegrass - we sell it by the pound for small gardens, and in 25# and 50# bags for large gardens and/or overseeding lawns for an abundance of green grass in winter and spring. Ryegrass dies out in the summer heat, usually around June, though you can mow and till it earlier as needed. The benefit of growing ryegrass, both in the lawn and in the garden, is that you're growing your own compost! You cannot buy enough organic matter for your garden's health needs, so grow it in the wintertime and your soil will thank you with healthier plants and tastier food!β €
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***This is also one of the easiest organic matter cover crops to cut with the standard homeowner lawnmower and/or weed eater. Heavier farm-sized equipment is not necessary - some other cover crops need a tractor to mow them down and chew them up.β €

Some of the best winter cover crops are also edible! Mustard greens, rape, and tillage radishes are three of our favorite cover crop vegetables. This is a mixture of curly mustard and annual ryegrass (or is that just a weedy grass? Hard to tell...all I know is we do plant both annual ryegrass and these edible crops in the fall and winter). These crops can be planted now through March, though they will be very slow-growing in the heart of winter. β €

Do you have some garden beds that you aren't going to plant this fall/winter? Do you have any land that needs a rest after many seasons of intensive growing, or a space that has some winter weed pressures that you want to fix? Think about growing some cover crops this fall and winter! Pictured here is crimson clover in full bloom in April. Plant this annual legume between now and Thanksgiving and it will add nitrogen to your soil all winter (lessening your need for Nitrogen fertilizer next spring/summer!), compete with our wintertime weeds like henbit and chickweed, increase your soil health and tilth (texture) and prevent erosion during heavy rains. Crimson clover is basically an all-star workhorse for your garden. We will sow many of our farm's fields with clover in November when our earliest fall plants are finished and our latest summertime crops are cleaned up after the first killing frost. β €

Have you ever used our #RenfrowBackParkingLot?! When David took over the store in 1984, the hardware store was contained exclusively in the first two rooms and the back door & parking lot were first rented in 1989ish. There was not even a door to connect the second room, which we call the "Hardware Room" to our third room, the "Feed Room". To get inside the Feed Room for the first 80-90 years, the Renfrow crew had to walk down the front sidewalk to enter via the big green doors that we still use every day when loading cars with fertilizer and chicken feed. β €
The fourth room, the "Warehouse", was rented so that delivery trucks could unload off of the Cotton Gin Alley gravel drive instead of at the store's front door! It was also a huge benefit to add a back door and parking lot. Traffic and parking in Matthews were not issues back then like they are today - with the way things are now we could not function without them - but delivery trucks blocking the front door was never ideal. Photographs #2 & #3 here are of our friend Kurt's task of building the Feed Room-to-Warehouse doorway.β €
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Both the Feed Room and Warehouse have unique histories all on their own...movie theater, horse drawn wagons, WWII storage...I'll have to go into detail on another #RenFrowBackThursday!β €
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Be one of our "regulars" and feel welcome and at home - enter through the back door ;) You'll also never have to wait 5 minutes for a break to back your car out onto N Trade Street again! 😜

Autumn is an ideal time to start a wildlflower meadow and broadcast our Southeastern wildflower seed mix in a "natural area" in your backyard. In nature, wildflowers drop seeds at the end of their season. These seeds either germinate in the fall and are small, cold-hardy plants that grow and bloom in late spring and early summer, or the seeds sit in the ground all winter before germinating in springtime when the ground warms to their ideal temperature. Sowing seeds in the autumn mimics these natural conditions better than a spring sowing!
Prepare a nice seedbed with loosely cultivated soil and minimal leaves/debris so that your seeds have great soil contact. Broadcast your mixture (or plant rows, if desired) so that seeds fall a couple inches apart. β €

In addition to the Southeastern Native Mixture, we have mixes for cut flowers, partial shade, beneficial insects, and more at #RenfrowHardware.β €πŸŒ±πŸŒΌπŸŒΈ

It's allium-planting season! We are fully stocked at Renfrow Hardware with red, white and yellow onion sets (for scallions), multiplier onion sets (for scallions), super sweet bulbing onion sets, soft neck garlic, elephant garlic & shallots! Onion plants will arrive in a few weeks. We find that the onion family is one of the most confusing groups of vegetables to gardeners. MB made a simple poster board to attempt to demystify the onions a bit. πŸ€” The onion handout on the hardware website (under "Resources") goes a bit more in-depth. And you can always ask us questions in person about these delicious crops! πŸ™‚

Have you ever thought about growing your own fresh fruit? While the fruit that are easiest to grow in our region are a little more obscure than the super common 🍌🍎🍊we think you'll find that these Carolina-loving treats are delicious, fresh, fun and low-maintenance! β €
Current availability - https://www.renfrowhardware.com/products-services/the-greenhouse/#fruit-plantβ €
Photographed here: Japanese persimmon, pomegranate, muscadine & scuppernong grape, & Celeste figs. β €
And as a bonus, we also pecans!
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#renfrowhardware #smallbizclt #shoplocalclt #momandpopshop #oldtime #americana #weloveclt #charlottesgotalot #smallbusiness #matthewsnc #downtownmatthews #renfrowbackthursday #rentbt #tbt #tbtdowntownmatthews #matthewshistory #hardwarestorelife #hardwarelife #smallbusiness #familybusinessβ €
#clteats #cltfruit #cltfoodie #growyourown #organicveggies #growyourfruit #matthewsgrown #matthewsnc #renfrowfarms

Nature's fast food - I planted some multiplier onion bulbs in mid-August and less than one month later the delicious scallions are ready to eat! We grow these onions in large quantities at the farm each year, as this type of seed isn't available to us commercially. We have loads of these multiplier onion sets available at #RenfrowHardware for the next several weeks. Buy them once and then save your own each year - one of the easiest crops to save on your own and grow an heirloom gardening legacy within your family. Let's chat more about these scrumptious scallions next time you're in the store! Onions are a confusing plant family to so many of our customers so we wrote a handout to explain them all...download it here: https://www.renfrowhardware.com/resources/veggies/β €

With all of the horrible news about hurricanes in the past week, many Charlotteans who lived here in 1989 can't help but remember when Hurricane Hugo wreaked havoc on us. The two first pictures are of the cotton gin and cotton seed storage building that used to be part of the hardware store and were located in the flat farmers market parking lot (hence the current street name Cotton Gin Alley). Cotton was king in these parts and the Renfrow family ginned the cotton for the nearby farms. β €
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The gin was no longer in operation when Hugo stormed through, with the building mainly used for storage of the old equipment and other hardware store overflow. The hurricane ripped the building to shreds, leaving the large gin equipment fully exposed. The metal was eventually scrapped as there was no use for it, and the building torn down. These pictures mostly span the years 1988-1991/92. β €
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Hugo caused damage that those who didn't live through it can hardly fathom. Power outages that lasted for weeks, major shortages of supplies, trees down EVERYWHERE. β €
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What do y'all remember from those days? (I, Pressly, wasn't born yet so have no personal anecdotes!) We may not experience massive flooding in our area like those along the coastlines, but we need to be prepared to take care of each other as a community if Irma or any other storm hits us next week or anytime after.β €
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#RenFrowBackThursdayβ €

When David took over the hardware store in 1984, and for his first several years, this was the cash register he used! He finally could afford to purchase two electric cash registers by around 1987. This register was was hand-cranked and did not add - it was only for ringing in the total. $99.99 was the maximum that the register could ring in at once. My dad said he loved having to double or triple ring for large sales! The hand cranked adding machine beside it did all the adding, and all sales tax tables were memorized!! Receipts were written on little books with carbon paper for store records. β €
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Renfrow's now uses four new(ish) electric registers, but holds on to some of the disappearing systems that used to work for all retail businesses. We still key in everything manually, and our registers don't tell us how much change to give - we use the "count up" method which works every time! β €
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We still have this register and used it during Hurricane Hugo - praying we don't need to pull it back out for Hurricane Irma next week. Please be prepared, friends. Hugo's damage stopped the city in its tracks for weeks, and our county's population has doubled since 1989. β €
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#RenFrowBackThursday β €

Want to know how to grow abundant broccoli like my sister harvested here (last fall, this years isn't ready quite yet!)?!
There are only a couple spots left in our SkillPop Fall Gardening class this Thursday night! We will meet rain or shine, starting up at the farm (409 W Charles Street) and finishing the 2-hour class at the hardware store when it gets dark! @skillpopclt β €
https://www.skillpop.com/classes/880β €

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