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...
This blog post was modified to become an oped piece for the Bay Journal News Service. They distributed it on March 7, 2017. USA Today published it on March 17th as "Want a cleaner river? Keep cow pies out, plant trees". E. Coli Cut By One Third One of the most...
Two events were held in the Shenandoah Valley for Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week. One on David Surratt's farm in Fishersville, VA and another on Jeanne Hoffman's farm in Swoope. Both venues are in the Middle River watershed. Surratt Farm Event Mr. Surratt and his family excluded their cattle from five...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Let me apologize right up front to all my ethical hunter friends. Thank you for hunting. It is a true American tradition and it's needed to manage wildlife populations. Hunters also feed the hungry. But today I gnash my teeth and rub myself with ashes because of the scum...
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...
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