Earth awakens from the cold during the month of March in America's legendary Shenandoah Valley. Days lengthen, migrations begin, chloroplasts awaken and absorb the energy from the sun's photons - photosynthesis begins....pastures slowly turn from brown to green. Life's energy is on the move. March. The end of winter and...
As we drove into the pasture with a half-ton bale of hay for the cows I saw a flock of perhaps thirty small birds fly in a tight pattern away from us. The flying flock turned one way, then another, their white bellies exposed as they turned. This is a...
Over the years they slowly disappeared. And then they were gone. I last saw a Loggerhead Shrike in Swoope in 2014. The Loggerhead Shrike is a "common bird" whose population is in "steep decline". In this post, I will describe the bird, chronicle its population, report efforts to bring the...
I live in such a beautiful place – It’s mostly grasslands and forests. In some places, one cannot see another dwelling in any direction. On most mornings in September, mist hugs the hollows and heavy dew blankets the ground.
As summer moves closer to autumn it seems there are more native plants in the various riparian buffers we have around the farm. Butterfly weed, jewelweed, wingstem, purpletop, and many other plants are in bloom now. However; there are many invasive, non-native plants in bloom as well. Invasive Species Control...
June in Swoope, Virginia - The Headwaters of the Shenandoah River June is the beginning of the farm year for our cow/calf operation in America's legendary Shenandoah Valley. It's when the bulls go in with our three herds of cows. June is also when we make all the hay to...
I could hardly see daylight through the massive trunks of trees. Tulip poplars, white oaks, and hickories nourished from deep, rich soil towered over me as I walked in the Landmark Forest at Montpelier. This is old growth forest. As I walk and smell the damp, humus filled woodland I...
I had to stop and smell the Marigolds, the native ones in our riparian buffers called Bur Marigolds. As I was putting up a new solar fence charger for one of our livestock exclusion areas, I had to just stop to watch. What froze me in my tracks was the...
In celebration of Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week (June 4 - 12) Jeanne and I are hosting a "River Walk at the Farm" on Sunday, June 12th at 3pm. Meet at the intersection of Boy Scout Lane and Trimbles Mill Road in Augusta County, Virginia. Space is limited to the first...
We live on a farm in the headwaters of the Shenandoah River - a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. How cool is that? We started this year’s calving season on March 1st with 122 pregnant beef cows. All of them have calved except nine. Cow #65 and #X6 had twins....
“There’s often a story about cattle, a little talk of environmental concerns, and a mention of his ‘Princes’ and her collaborative work with him. That’s how conversations go when I get a chance to visit with Bobby. He’s easygoing and always has a great story, but there’s a wealth of shared experience, knowledge, and love of farming and our environment in everything Bobby does. This latest book is just like sitting down and visiting with Bobby. You’ll enjoy every bit of it.”
Emmett W. Hanger Jr.Virginia Senator
Blog Post Categories
- Atlantic Coast Pipeline
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- Climate Change
- Environmental Justice
- Herd Health
- Invasive Species
- Nutrient Management
- Quail Habitat
- Riparian Buffers
- Riparian Forest Buffers Ebook
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Soil Erosion
- Stream Fencing
- Student Required Reading
- Swoope Almanac
- Water Pollution
- Watershed restoration