Walk Along Middle River in Swoope—June 4, 10 'till noon Come walk along the Middle River with Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger and ninth-generation farmer Jeanne Trimble Hoffman on her farm in Swoope, Virginia. Middle River is a tributary of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River—headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay....
The riparian buffers on our farm on Middle River are now fifteen years old. Fifteen years ago, the "River Farm" was basically a cool-season grass pasture with a few scattered mature trees along the banks of the river. Now, in addition to excellent forage for cattle, there are hundreds of...
The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, is a destructive, non-native insect that kills all species of ash trees. First discovered in Michigan in 2002 it has spread to thirty-three states and is confirmed in all six of the Chesapeake Bay watershed states. They have arrived in Augusta County, Virginia in full...
I watched it devour a whole nest of tent caterpillars. Yellow-billed Cuckoos, we need a lot more of them - they prefer to eat hairy caterpillars like the eastern tent caterpillar that defoliate trees. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, sometimes called the rain crow, nests and forages in the riparian forests along our...
There are many harbingers of Spring in Swoope; the yellow blooms of daffodils and forsythia, the sounds of spring peepers, and pastures changing from brown to green are only a few. My favorite harbinger of Spring is the arrival of Tree Swallows, Tachycineta bicolor. I start looking for them in late February....
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...
“Bobby and Jeanne show us how agriculture and conservation can work together, just as the couple’s remarkable marriage does. This book is about their journey together on the farm to produce healthy livestock and clean water.
This book gives us a blueprint not only for the restoration of the Bay and the waters of the United States but also for the family farm.”
Will BakerPresident, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
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