Archive for the ‘farming’ Category

“Art & Music on the Farm” 2019 – A Huge Success ! Again !

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

DSC_5442From traditional music rooted in rural Virginia to art in many forms and mediums, from Hog Island fig trees to twirling wind whirligigs, the Barrier Island Center and Museum’s annual bash, “Art & Music on the Farm”, was an exceptional event ! As always ! Even the weather could not have been better – – breezy, blue skies and mild temps conspired to make last Saturday a perfect day for an outdoor festival. This annual Machipongo event is one of the largest art/artisan festivals on the entire Shore, offering something for everyone. Dozens of little white tents filled with amazing decoy carvings, Windsor chairs, sculptures, bronze work, ceramics, plants and garden art, stuffed animals and children’s books, paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylic mediums, hand-crafted wood pieces, pottery and so much more were on offer for the numerous enthusiastic attendees. For animal lovers, 2 rare Hog Island sheep from Island View Farm were on hand, sweet woolly characters, Opal, and her week-old baby, Beep-Beep, wowed the crowd. Plus there was toe-tapping live music ! And lush Chatham Vineyard wines !

Of course, all that walking, talking and shopping was bound to work up some serious appetites. Fortunately, delicious aromas floated everywhere, originating fromDSC_5573 vendors like Kitchen Sync, with fresh strawberries in cream, shrimp orzo and chicken salad on its savory bill of fare. Around the corner, while Gordos Food Truck was wowing the crowd with tacos and gorditas, Cape Charles Lion’s Club was rapidly turning out burgers and crab cakes. Over at the Kielbasa tent, grilling was amped up to a fast pace to keep up with demand, their mouthwatering subs pairing well with ice cold liquids from the adjacent Beer Garden. For those craving a little caffeine, Coastal Roasting had its famous Marsh Mud iced coffee and fruity iced teas ready to pour. Plus their beautiful new custom ceramic coffee mugs were available to add a little pop of color and pizzazz while sitting on the porch enjoying your morning Joe.

DSC_5559For many, the music was unquestionably the highlight of the day. From 11 am till closing, over on the main stage 4 talented groups performed throughout the day. Adjacent to the stage, a tiny dance floor was in place for those who might want to accompany the lively music with a little free style dance. Fortunately, local clogging enthusiast Bill McLaughlin was on hand – he and several energetic youngsters added some impromptu entertainment with their spirited flatfooting. Toe-tapping and delightful, rooted in the genres of old time rural Virginia bluegrass and country, with styles and traditions that go way, way back, the music absolutely captivated the audience. In the Education Building, various Musician’s Work Shops were held- although we didn’t make it to any, they were likened to being “on the porch of the Floyd General Store during Floydfest – but right here on the Eastern Shore”. All in all, simply a terrific day, filled to its fresh, breezy brim with beautiful art, delicious food and timeless music. In short, another wonderful Art & Music on the Farm ! And hats off to all the volunteers, vendors and sponsors who make this fabulous event possible each year – thank you !

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DRUM ROLL PLEASE ! CAPE CHARLES FARMER’S MARKET SEASON 4 NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN

Friday, May 24th, 2019

DSC_5415How delightful it was to once again be able to look forward to Tuesday afternoons from 3-6 pm, May to October, as that special time each week to be able slip into the Cape Charles Farmer’s Market and stock up on super-fresh goodies. Rain or shine, hot or cold, our favorite vendors will be there with our old favorites plus new offerings, always something special to try.

On Tuesday, for those looking for veggies, Copper Cricket and Perennial Roots had plenty of just-picked DSC_5325selections on hand. Into our basket went some sweet May peas, peppery white radishes, lovely fresh scallions plus a tray of beautiful brown eggs. Fresher-than-fresh, tender asparagus was on offer from Pickett’s Harbor Farm, definitely couldn’t resist that, so great in an omelette or quiche. Further down the line, the Honey Guy from Eastville was ready for his customers, offering a sweet smile and even sweeter local honey from his busy, buzzy bees.

On the flip side of sweetness was the Horseradish Lady, whose creamed horseradish stood ready to make the ideal spicy cocktail sauce, perfect for the crab cakes and clams being sold at the Edward’s Seafood tent. Further down the line, Kitchen Sync was ready with freshly prepared ready-to-eat-good-food which can also be ordered for pickup at a later date at the Eastville Inn. So into our basket popped some chicken salad – – it was delish on toast for lunch on Wednesday.

Beauty got double billing in flowers with gorgeous offerings from the ever-popular Chatham Flower Farm ( keep an eye on their Facebook page for ticket availability to their amazing “Farm to Table” benefit dinner) as well as a colorful display from the Blooming Farmer. Nothing like a lovely bouquet to cheer up any room in the house ! Snagged a jar of bath salts with dried flowers for a friend, both beautiful and aromatic, a nice little gift. So many interesting items on offer from other local vendors including handmade cutting boards, intricately woven macrame, artful hand towels from She Seeks Wool and much more.

So don’t forget to mark your calendar. When the clock strikes 3pm on Tuesdays, it’s time to grab your basket and head over to the Cape Charles Farmer’s Market located on the grounds of the Museum on Stone Road. What a fantastic opportunity each week from now until October to buy fresh, buy local, buy delicious and nutritious ! LOVE it !

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Autumn on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

DSC_3317I love Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “Autumn in New York”. I’m especially intrigued by his question “Why does it seem so inviting?” which question applies equally to Autumn on the Eastern Shore. Why does it indeed seem so inviting? To me, Autumn is one of our most beautiful times of year, offering common yet timeless scenes of crops being harvested, fields newly tilled for winter grains, myriad yards with fall azaleas and camilias blooming in gorgeous shades of rosy pinks and fuscias. Along blue waters, marsh grasses slowly fade from brilliant green to butterscotch to winter’s brown. Halloween pumpkins come and go, Fall events like the Agricultural Fair, Birding Festival and Thanksgiving Artisan Tour are exciting but really, the main event is color, the amazing colors of the season taking center stage, everywhere – – leaves with near infinite shades of tangerines and ambers, crimsons and scarlets, rustle on trees from seaside to bayside, acres of cotton transform brown fields to snow-white, late soybean leaves gleam like bright yellow mustard, open landscapes of tender green blades of newly sprouted rye crops lend a pastoral feel. And the Air, the breezes blow fresh, cool, crisp. But best of all, clear cerulean skies frosted with billowing white clouds that float boldly above the cobalt blue waters of creeks and bays. All of which is why the Eastern Shore in Autumn seems so inviting to me!

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JUST ONE MORE CHANCE THIS YEAR !

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

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It was a beautiful Fall day last Saturday, blue skies, wispy white clouds, golden sunshine, perfect for the next-to-last Cape Charles Farmer’s Market session of the year. Attendees enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the grounds in the near 60 degree weather, stocking up for the weeks ahead. For the many aficionados of the Farmer’s Market, it’s a fact, sad but true, that there is only one more chance this year to meander through the Market, picking up special goodies as you go ! So mark it on your calendar, Saturday December 15th from 1-4 pm, the very last market of the year, after that it’s farewell till May to all your favorite vendors.

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SMALL COUNTY- BIG FAIR ! 3rd Annual Northampton County Agricultural Fair

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

3075There was something for almost everyone to love at the 3rd Annual Northampton County Fair in Machipongo last weekend. Although no deep fried Oreo cookies or pork chops on a stick appeared on any menu, the Cape Charles Lion’s Club booth, Gordos Taco Truck, Country Kitchen, etc. offered plenty of other goodies to keep help the munchies at bay while browsing the various exhibits and activities. Plus the luscious pies, pecan, apple, sweet potato, entries in the ever-popular Baking Contest were for sale after the judging by the slice or even the whole pie, super yum ! ( I’ll never tell who took home half a sweet potato pie topped with pecan cinnamon streusel ! )

ANEC, one of the Fair’s main sponsors, offered some impressive pole climbing presentations by Tyson Arnold and George Floyd, both 2 years into their 4 year lineman apprenticeships. Interestingly, apparently it isn’t until the 10 year mark that most linemen have had extensive enough experience to be able to handle just about any situation. (Guessing employee retention is pretty important to A & N. ) The audience gained a new appreciation for A&N linemen who have to struggle up a pole in every sort of condition, wearing heavy cleats and a 45 pound tool belt. Sort of like the post office – – neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor heavy wind shall keep these critical linemen from shinnying up 40 ft poles to keep lights on for the customers. And thank heavens for that !

A huge favorite again was the Antique Tractor Show & Parade, this year featuring a few young drivers who I assume will be the future farmers of Northampton. Ancient but shiny and well cared for tractors of numerous makes and models paraded around what used to be the huge athletic field of the old Middle School, to much audience interest and appreciation. Antique machinery demonstrations of corn shelling and grinding showed just how it was done back in the “good old days”. And for kids, so much to see and do, including face painting, hay rides, pumpkin painting, a colorful bouncy house, balloon animal creations, duck calling contests, etc. Any County Fair worth its salt includes farm animals, in this case a little petting zoo with super cute sheep and a friendly brown goat. Plus a sweet and very patient cow, totally engrossed in munching her hay.

Once again a big turnout for the annual Skillet Throw, my favorite. Those cast iron skillets are heavier than they look and many a hefty heave only sailed the skillet a short distance from the starting line. The winners of the Ladies Throw were: 1st Place Helene Doughty, 2nd Debbie Mears and 3rd Emily Norwall. Men’s Throw winners: 1st Place Sands Gayle, a 2nd place tie between Brandon Parks and Will Russell and 3rd Carl Willke. Congrats to all, lots of fun for audience and participants alike !

A big thanks owed to the Side Porch Pickers and Thelma Peterson. It was a pleasure to listen to them, their bluegrass and county music added to much to the entire event. Wouldn’t have been the same without it ! And to the many, many volunteers who staffed the booths, the Kid’s Corner, ran the contests, brought their tractors, supervised hayrides, cooked the food, answered questions, etc., etc., bravo, you really pulled off a wonderful event, already looking forward to the 2019 Northampton County Agricultural Fair !

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DISCOVER THIS HISTORIC EASTERN SHORE VIRGINIA HOME ON 36 ACRES +/- WITH HORSE BARN & FENCED PASTURE.

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

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Located in a peaceful, natural setting near Cape Charles, VA, and surrounded by 36 acres +/- of open areas and woodlands, this 4 bedroom, 2 bath Victorian style home circa 1935 is beautifully landscaped with mature hardwoods, large boxwoods and a small formal garden. Priced at $489,900 and offering total 1st floor living, the interior architectural detail work is quite intricate, rooms are large with high ceilings. Beautifully preserved hardwood floors. This home has been lovingly cared for and maintained. Includes detached garage, a 3 stall barn and 5 acres of fenced pastureland. Great place to embrace your Inner Equestrian and live life in the Shore’s relaxed, coastal ambiance. Only a short drive to beaches, marinas, boat ramps and Palmer & Nicklaus Signature golf. Call for your appointment to see this wonderful property.

 

The 1st Annual Honey Fest At Quail Cove Farms

Monday, July 16th, 2018

IMG_1320Lots of rhythm-keeping, toe-tapping and goody-munching happening over at Quail Cove Farms in Machipongo last Saturday at its 1st Annual Honey Fest. As the talented Side Porch Pickers picked away, wowing the crowd with bluegrass favorites, folks circulated up and down Quail Cove’s attractive new porch, checking out all the goings-on. Plenty of goodies were on offer including lovely little tea & honey flavored Parisian-style macaroons, honey butter, honey flan cakes, honey peanut butter, tasty honey mini-donuts and more. Plus some unique bars of honey and milk soap, very soothing ! And of course, jars and jars and jars of sunshine in a jar, pure golden honey in all sizes. The “Honey Guy” we see at the Cape Charles Farmer’s Market was even there with a little sampling jar of his delectable local Eastville honey. Yum !

Pony rides, a little petting zoo with curious, friendly sheep and a goat plus a bucket of corn to hand-feed them, aDSC_1954 Bouncy House plus an Activities Tent all kept kids involved in the fun. For those who got the serious munchies, Gordo’s Taqueria Truck could definitely satisfy cravings for spicy and delicious. And of course, Quail Cove was doing a brisk business at the inside store featuring the organic and natural foods and produce its famous for, especially their Amish Country cheeses, etc. Thanks Quail Cove Farms, a great idea, a very pleasant afternoon, looking forward to a 2nd Annual Honey Fest next year.

 

 

 

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DISCOVER THIS HISTORIC EASTERN SHORE VIRGINIA HOME ON A 38 ACRE COMPOUND WITH 2 GUEST COTTAGES AND HORSE BARN

Monday, May 14th, 2018

DSC_9657Located in a peaceful, natural setting near Cape Charles, VA, and surrounded by 38 acres of open areas and woodlands, this 4 bedroom, 2 bath Victorian style home circa 1935 is beautifully landscaped with mature hardwoods, large boxwoods and a small formal garden. Priced at $599,000 and offering total 1st floor living, the interior architectural detail work is quite intricate, rooms are large with high ceilings. Beautifully preserved hardwood floors this home has been lovingly cared for and maintained. Includes 2 small guest cottages, detached garage, a 3 stall barn and 5 acres of fenced pasturelands. Great place to embrace your Inner Equestrian and live life in the Shore’s relaxed coastal ambiance. Only a short drive to beaches, marinas, boat ramps and Palmer & Nicklaus Signature golf. Call for your appointment to see this wonderful property.

 

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OPENING DAY ! SEASON 3 !

Friday, May 4th, 2018

DSC_9774It’s official ! As of Tuesday afternoon , Season 3 of the Cape Charles Farmer’s Market has kicked off – 3 to 6 pm every Tuesday, rain or shine, hot or cold, from now until October. Lots of our favorite venders from last year were there including Shore Beef and BBQ whose motto is – – Dinner’s Ready ! Mattawoman Farms had a big display of organic bedding plants for sale plus multiple varieties of beautiful lettuce, carrots, kolorabi, baby spinach. Copper Cricket Farms, Perennial Roots Farms, Hopeton Farm, all were back again with all kinds of veggies, meats, aromatic herbs, preserves and more, all from their Eastern Shore farms. From Pickett’s Harbor Farm, succulent spring asparagus was on offer. Fresh brown eggs were in abundance at many stands. W T Wilkins, aka The Honey Guy, from Old Town Neck was back with his jars of golden nectar. We stopped to talk to him about his bees- – turns out he tends between 12-15 hives with up to 30,000 bees per hive at peak population ! That’s a lot of Eastville busy, busy, buzzy bees making pots of local honey, lucky for those of us who love it. Master Gardeners of the Eastern Shore were on hand with information and advice on how to acquire a Green Thumb and GIY, grow it yourself !

Parisian Sweets was back with lovely homemade French style macaroons in several flavors including a colorful aqua shaded “Birthday” flavor. Birthday in a DSC_9794Cookie- don’t leave the Market without it ! Had hoped for a loaf of flavorful sourdough from Riverside Farms Bakery but they won’t be there till next week, can hardly wait, so wonderful warm, dunked into an olive oil-balsamic dip ! Kitchen Sync, headquartered at the Eastville Inn, returned, some savory soups, salads and a beautiful emerald green pesto for sale. They have a special weekly menu and take orders that customers can pick up every Tuesday at the Market. New this year were Edward’s Seafood, here come the crabs, clams and other tasty items from local waters! Also new, Umm Yummies offering delicious and beautifully decorated cupcakes and cookies. Ummm… Yummy !

DSC_9802So…. don’t forget to mark your calendar. Next Tuesday, when the clock strikes 3, it’s time to grab your market basket and head on over to the Cape Charles Farmers Market at the Museum on Randolph Avenue and fill it with some of the Shore’s amazing bounty. How fantastic is it to have this farm-to-table Market, the opportunity, all season long, to buy everything fresh, fresh, fresh and local ! We love it !

 

 

 

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SHINE ON, SHINE ON, SUPER MOON SO WAY UP HIGH… OVER VIRGINIA’S EASTERN SHORE ! AND IT DID ! SUPER MOON RISE/SET JANUARY 2nd/3rd, 2018

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

DSC_8077Not only did the Super Moon shine brightly on the night of January 2nd, there is still a second 2018 Super Moon coming on January 31st. The 2018 calendar year boasted 2 Super Moons- – the January 2nd and the upcoming January 31st, a moon which will not only be a Super Moon, where the moon is closest in its orbit to Earth, but also a “Blue Moon”, a second full moon falling within a given calendar month. Chronicling the January 2nd event from the harbor’s viewing stand overlooking Parting Creek in Willis Wharf sounded like fun. Moon rise was indicated for 5:56 pm, more than an hour past sunset so full darkness which unfortunately, for me, increases the difficulty of getting good photo takes which include surrounding landscape. Even more unfortunately, it was well after 6 when we rolled up, the moon already above the horizon, disappointing, because seeing the moon as it just peeks over is always special. And it was really cold, dare we say Super Cold – – but the night was crystal clear, the stars were like brilliant twinkling diamonds flung across the sky and the moon glowed a deep, lovely gold, an incredible sight as it began its journey westward. Only a few boats were tied up in the marina, the harbor’s street lights creating a rather erie feel, water sluggish, new ice everywhere, little chunks and ice pans undulating around the empty boats, the super-bright Super Moon above, all the while my shutter finger screaming Frostbite Alert ! Frostbite Alert !

Up early on January 3rd, hoping for some good photos of Super Moon Set on my way to an appointment across the Bay. By the crack of dawn, as the moon was rapidly DSC_8067cruising West and the sun was rising slowly in the East, I was heading down Bayside Road. Although it was barely 6 am, an early gathering of Franktown farmers was already out in the field, pick-up taillights glowing red, bright spotlights illuminating a big piece of machinery, the Moon now pearly white and huge overhead, moonbeams falling softly on wide fields and clattering diesel motors below. Farming by moonlight, that’s dedication! Moon Set was indicated for 7:31 am on the 3rd but an early appointment in Virginia Beach kept exploration for a variety of moon-set photo locations to a minimum. Luckily, still bright and still Super, the moon yielded some interesting shots near The Colony, the Oyster Farm Marina and the Outlook pull-off on the Bridge. So, Super Moon 2018 # 1 over, looking forward to Super Moon # 2/Blue Moon on the 31st ! And then – – that’s it until January 21, 2019.

 

 

 

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