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...
America's Most Successful and Largest Conservation Program on HOLD. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) - America’s most successful and largest conservation program on private, “working” lands is on hold, except for CREP (but not in Virginia, I'll explain later). Earlier this month USDA instructed its county offices to process only...
The House Sparrow is perhaps the most adaptable and prolific bird species on the planet. Often called English Sparrow, its scientific name Passer domesticus is Latin for small, active bird belonging to the house. It is native to Europe and has spread to all corners of the world. Its adaptation follows...
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...
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....
The Princess of Swoope and I walked barefoot in South Africa. Cape Town, Nelspruit, Kruger National Park, Ballito and the Drakensberg escarpment were on our itinerary that encompassed three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. That means we took in some of the most spectacular and unique places on Earth. First, Cape...
Middle River flows through our land. Brook Trout, Virginia's state fish, used to thrive in it. They migrated or died long ago, environmental refugees from the sediment-laden waters of the river. The river is slowly being restored and one day, we will re-introduce this native fish to the waters that flow...
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....
Winter in Swoope. I walk along the banks of Middle River on our farm in search of treasure. Dexter, our Border Collie usually walks along with me but he passed on and I sure miss him. Cold air seeps through the opening in my collar; the brown, frozen grass crunches...
Swoope, Va: Several years ago we took two ladies in that needed a place to stay. They were from Wyoming. One had just quit her job; I think she was running away from something. We agreed to put them up for a couple of weeks until they could find a...
“If you want to understand the perspective of a dedicated cattle farmer, educated ecologist, and water-quality specialist, this is the book for you!
Turn these pages and feel the frost on your nose in winter, hear quail calling in the spring, taste a homegrown tomato in the summer, and watch Monarch butterflies fuel up on nectar in the fall. . . . truly spectacular stuff!”
George Ohrstrom IIFounder, The Downstream Project
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