May might be my favorite month. The energy of spring swells in every living thing. I remain in awe of all the energy. A Catbird sings all night outside our open window. Robins begin their singing at 5:15am. That’s the warm-up for the avian symphony that will last all day....
I love the smell of hay…and putting it away for the winter. It’s a good feeling; knowing all the winter feed for the cows is ready. Jeanne is now in the throws of bush hogging the pastures with her new fifteen foot wide “bat-wing” mower. We mow the pastures to...
Note: This article was written for the Bay Journal News Service which was published on May 27, 2014. It was titled, "Please, Step on This Grass". Click here for a pdf copy. I was in the Farm Coop store the other day in line to buy some garden seeds. The...
May fills my senses as I walk our “river field”. Life’s energy surges this time of year. The avian migration is at its peak. All the birds that want to be here have arrived except for the Dickcissels. They will arrive when the peonies and day lilies open. The...
"Just because the problem seems unsolvable doesn't give us the right to give up". I can't remember who wrote that but it sticks in my mind. And just like the people trying to find that one blight resistant American Chestnut tree, Bobwhite Quail lovers keep hoping that maybe...
Cobble Hill Farm in Staunton Virginia released pen raised Northern Bobwhites in December of 2012. I interviewed Jim Pile, the farm’s manager on October 1st 2013 for this article and I could hear Quail giving their "Hoy-ee" call. Click on the hot link above to go a website with the...
I finally found a plant that will take over tall fescue – wingstem, but I’m not sure I like it. Let me explain. Both plants are invasive, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a non-native invasive plant; wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) is a native plant that is invasive. Invasive Plant Definition What...
False Indigo Bush, Amorpha fruticosa This native, leguminous shrub is one of the best riparian plants for creating wildlife habitat and improving water quality. It is fast growing and deer don’t like to eat it, so if you want success in your shrub or wildlife plantings this is a winner. ...
A "backfire" is a slow burn This is a prescribed fire manager's drean. See the smoke moving off to the right? The fire is actually burning to the left, into the wind and into the only fuel left to burn. The flames are low because we prepared the site by...
“Bobby is a force of nature! And with this compilation of his blog posts, musings, and articles, we gain insight into farming, family, and the forces that shape the Shenandoah Valley he calls home. I enjoyed his humorous yet direct writing style as he shared personal and professional observations on conserving the natural landscapes that, quite literally, feed and nourish us.”
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- Soil and Water Conservation
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- Student Required Reading
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