I’m standing in the middle of the footbridge across the Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry looking downstream. Beneath me flows the nation’s river that at this point in its journey, drained six million acres of land. Just downstream to my right the waters from another two million acres join the...
Here in Swoope, it's been raining for three days - we've had 10.5 inches of rain. Our Middle River has been out in its floodplain for the third day in a row. Flood waters have completely covered much of our pasture and our single strand of electric fence that...
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation asked me to write several articles about farmers doing their part to improve the soil and water resources on their farms. These articles are designed to showcase how and why, these farmers installed Best Management Practices such as “stream-side fencing” to exclude livestock from streams. The...
When converting grasslands to forest it has been a common practice to plant bare-root, hardwood tree seedlings directly into the sod. Most recently tree shelters have been used to increase the growth rate and survival of hardwood (not pine) tree seedlings. Shelters are recommended in Virginia's Hardwood Tree Planting Guide. Many...
This week's flood prompted this post on how we deal with floodwater from our river with our cattle. It was an out-of-bank flood event but it didn't wash our cattle crossing out because we've learned to work with the river not against it. Middle River is a tributary of the...
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the Bay states, the District of Columbia, federal agencies and thousands of volunteers including teachers and farmers have been working to restore the Chesapeake Bay since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. There are many successes. For example many of the localities...
Figs and Great Wine For the first time in my life, we harvested figs… which means we either got lucky or the planet is warming. We sliced the figs in half and ate them fresh with a dab of creamy blue cheese while sipping a full-bodied, peppery Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair...
Why don’t farmers just do it? I mean fence their cattle out of the streams. If farmers would do this one practice, at least in the Shenandoah River watershed, agriculture would probably be finished with its part of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. Excluding livestock from streams is possibly the single...
I drove onto a farm in Northern Virginia this week and noticed a row of baled up corn stalks. That’s a red flag for me…I have learned over the past 30 some years as a conservationist that when I am on a farm and see rolled up – baled, corn...
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...
“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.”
Blog Post Categories
- Atlantic Coast Pipeline
- Cattle Farming
- Chesapeake Bay
- 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