Aldo Leopold wrote eloquently about an ancient log he placed on the andirons of his fire in A Sand County Almanac published in 1949. The chapter was “Good Oak”. Below is my lament for a log I placed on the andirons of a fire we had in the summer kitchen...
Harpers Ferry, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and we were driving back from Wilmington, Delaware. Our route took us through Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia – one of the most spectacular places on Earth. Thomas Jefferson said the view from a high rock in...
There has been a lot of talk about “T” these days because of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. I hate jargon so here’s a quickie on these two terms. The TMDL is the agreed upon pollution diet for the Bay; it stands for Total Maximum Daily Load. It’s the maximum amount...
Monday I went to see a farmer that was interested in fencing his cattle out of a stream on his farm. He operates one of those down-home, “buy your local meats here” farms. They raise beef cattle, “free range” turkeys and hogs. They sell all kinds of meats, from bacon...
In the Great Age of Exploration, European countries took possession of foreign lands by force. Today rich countries and multi-national corporations are taking possession of foreign lands in a new way – they buy it. It’s called “The Great Land Grab”. China, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea lead the world...
Yesterday I was called out on a job in the Dayton area of Rockingham County, Virginia. This area is intensively farmed with livestock and crops. I was totally amazed at two things: the amount of bare ground and the number of fields farmed up and down the slope of the...
If a one gallon jug filled with water represented all the water in the world the amount of available fresh water would equal just over a tablespoon – less than one half of one percent of the total. The rest is salt water or unavailable such as the fresh water...
October is a good time to kill Tall Fescue. I like killing Tall Fescue because it is perhaps the most invasive non-native plant in North America. In my opinion it is more invasive than Purple loosestrife and Phragmites yet why don’t we hear more about it? Not only is Tall...
Here in the Bay states and across the temperate zone of the world farmers are busy planting cover crops on fields that were used to produce their summer crops such as corn. The purpose of a cover crop is to “cover” or protect the land during the winter so that...
I just came back from a walk along our part of the river. It’s called Middle River and it’s one of the most polluted rivers in Virginia. Just six miles up the river from here is its source – a spring that just bubbles up out of the ground in...
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