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6th Annual Loudoun Grown Expo February 27

loudoungrownexpo

It’s that exciting time of year again for the Sixth Annual Loudoun Grown Expo. The yearly event will take place at the Bush Tabernacle 250 South Nursery Avenue, Purcellville, on February 27 with new expanded hours starting at 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

There will be wine and beer exhibitors, farm exhibitors, artisans and makers, restaurants and other rural economy entrepreneurs for all to enjoy. “We’re thrilled to promote such a worthwhile event that showcases Loudoun growers, Virginia wines, as well as hand crafted beer and local artists,” said Philip Message, co-sponsor of this sixth annual event. He continued, “People from all over Loudoun County as well as the D.C. metro area enjoy this event every year.”

Parking will be at the Fireman’s Field parking lot, Emerick Elementary, Loudoun Valley Community Center and the Town of Purcellville’s public parking areas.

Three Virginia Young Farmers Receive National Honors

Virginia_seal

For the first time ever, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation had finalists in all three Young Farmers & Ranchers competitions at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention.

Chris Van Vlack of Loudoun County took home top honors Jan. 12 in the Discussion Meet competition at the 97th annual AFBF event. Sam and Ashley Gardner of Bedford County were runners-up for the Achievement Award, Mindy McCroskey of Washington County was a runner-up for the Excellence in Agriculture Award. … Continue Reading

Where Do I Begin? Tips on Fall Home Improvement Projects

November 4, 2015 Farm and garden, Lifestyle Comments Off on Where Do I Begin? Tips on Fall Home Improvement Projects
fallhomeimprovement

Lawn care, storm windows, roof and gutter repair, chimney sweep, painting touch ups, furnace check, green upgrades – the fall home improvement list can sure seem endless, can’t it?

While the weather is still pretty warm out, prioritize the outdoor tasks you need to do yourself. For the inside tasks, consider organizing them now, and making up a list that holiday guests or neighbors might be able to help you complete. If you need professional help for certain tasks … make those appointments, if you haven’t already.

Here are some seasonal tips:

Caulking and weather stripping of windows are two pretty easy projects and will pay dividends not only this winter, but in the warm summer months, too. Make this a priority. … Continue Reading

Friends of Blue Ridge Mountains

November 4, 2015 Farm and garden, Lifestyle Comments Off on Friends of Blue Ridge Mountains
friendsofblueridgemtns

November 7, Saturday 10:00 to 3:00 p.m, join Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains for an autumn clean-up as we continue our work to remove invasive species from Blue Ridge Regional Park. Blue Ridge Regional Park is located off of Rte 601. Go to www.friendsofblueridge.org.

Copeland Homestead Farm Celebrates 250 Years of Same-Family Ownership

November 4, 2015 Farm and garden, Lifestyle Comments Off on Copeland Homestead Farm Celebrates 250 Years of Same-Family Ownership
copelandhomestead

The Copeland Homestead Farm is celebrating its Sestercentennial Anniversary — the farm has been owned by the same family for 250 years. The farm is currently owned by seventh generation family member, Patric Copeland. Patric and his wife, Maura Walsh-Copeland’s children, Sean, Jameson and Caitlin Copeland, are the quintuple great grandchildren of David and Deborah Copeland, who built the original portion of the Homestead in 1765.

The Copeland Homestead, located on the northeast side of Short Hill Mountain just south of the Town of Hillsboro corporate limits, is one of the oldest dwellings in the area. According to Loudon County and Copeland family records, George Washington surveyed “The Grand Line” between Thomas 6th Lord Fairfax’s Piedmont and Shannondale Manors, from the mouth of the Rappahannock, running through the Town of Hillsboro to Harper’s Ferry and the Potomac River. This Grand Line still serves as the western boundary of the Copeland Farm. … Continue Reading

Gobble! Gobble!

September 30, 2015 Farm and garden, Lifestyle Comments Off on Gobble! Gobble!
gobblegobble

Join us Saturday, October 10th for our final patio service of the season at Fields of Athenry Farm. Let the kids run and play on the farm while you enjoy your family and friends. This Oktoberfest will be complete with beer, sausages and a great time. The grill will be fired up from noon – 4:00 p.m. and the farm shop will be open from 11:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Are Pesticides in Nursery Plants Killing Bees and Butterflies?

honeybeeonlavender

The decline of monarch butterfly and honeybee populations has been evident for many years, as has the agriculture and gardening industries’ increasing reliance on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics.

Gardeners committed to supporting monarch butterfly and honeybee populations typically avoid the use of pesticides, while at the same time stocking their gardens with the native flowers and plants monarchs and honeybees rely on. But, conservationists are urging consumers to read the label at their local nursery, as many common flowers and plants are grown with neonics. … Continue Reading

Talking Turkey

November 5, 2014 Farm and garden, Lifestyle Comments Off on Talking Turkey
turkeytalk

By Andrea Gaines
The turkey is a very delicious as well as a very popular bird.

The number of turkeys raised in Virginia is up three percent from 2013 to 2014 and now tops 16 million. The total number raised nationwide in 2014 is forecasted to be approximately 235 million, down two percent from 2013. The largest turkey-producing state is Minnesota, with Virginia ranking fifth and growing.

Today, consumers have many, many choices about what kind of bird they’ll enjoy on Thanksgiving – a fresh or frozen conventional turkey, an “organic” turkey (defined as a bird that has been raised on organic grain and which may or may not be “free range”), or a true free range bird (defined as one that has ample access to the outdoors and “raises itself” on a diet most natural to the species, including grubs and other insects). … Continue Reading

Loudoun Valley Community Center After-K Alligators – Hands On History Lesson

September 3, 2014 Farm and garden, Lifestyle Comments Off on Loudoun Valley Community Center After-K Alligators – Hands On History Lesson
LoudounValleyCommCtr_2

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI, the After-K Alligators of the Loudoun Valley Community Center in Purcellville, learned about efforts children their ages made during WWI to support the troops.

At the start of their school year, teacher Meredith Norbo taught the children about a U.S. Department of Agriculture program called the U.S. Garden Army. In 1917 children joined the U.S. Garden Army through their schools and were supplied with tools to create their own gardens at home. Thriving home garden plots allowed commercially grown food sources to be supplied to U.S. and allied troops overseas.

From classroom lessons to experiential learning, the After-K Alligators replicated the U.S. Garden Army program at the Loudoun Valley Community Center. Over the school year, the children created compost, cleared garden plots, weeded, seeded, and harvested their very own edible plants.

The Great War produced a timeless program with the U.S. Garden Army and the children of the Loudoun Valley Community Center have learned life skills in agriculture, nutrition, biology and fun.

LoudounValleyCommCtr_1

Local Authors Sign Books at Hillsboro Farmers Market at the Old Stone School

August 7, 2014 Events, Farm and garden, Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Local Authors Sign Books at Hillsboro Farmers Market at the Old Stone School
Local author Bobbi Carducci signing a copy of one of her books during the Hillsboro Farmers Market at the Old Stone School

Reading enthusiasts had a wonderful time meeting local authors Bobbi Carducci and Marc Leepson during the Hillsboro Farmers Market at the Old Stone School on August 2. Additional activities for kids that focused on reading included storytelling lead by the Purcellville Library, a book sale from Around the Block Books, and a chance to talk with educational consultants with Usborne and Kane Miller children’s books.

Bobbi Carducci, Director of the Young Voice Foundation, had copies of two of her books on hand to sign. For young readers, she sold and signed copies of Storee Wryter get a Dog. She also had copies of her newly released book, Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, available. Marc Leepson is a journalist, historian, and the author of eight books. His most recent book, What So Proudly We Hailed Francis Scott Key, A Life, is the first biography of the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in more than 75 years. Copies of that book and Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General were both available at the market to purchase and have signed by the author.

… Continue Reading

Watermelon – from Feta to Facials

August 6, 2014 Farm and garden, Lifestyle Comments Off on Watermelon – from Feta to Facials
watermelonfacial

Watermelon is an extremely nutritious summer food and beauty aide. It has lots of sugar in it, to be sure, but ounce for ounce there are also lots of good things in it for your body – including your skin.

Watermelon’s Nutritional Value

A single serving of watermelon provides you with about eight percent of your potassium needs for the day and seven percent of magnesium. That serving also provides a whopping 31 percent of your needs for Vitamin A and an even great percentage of Vitamin C – 37 percent. It is also a high-lycopene food, a carotenoid phytonutrient important for our cardiovascular health. … Continue Reading

Feed Loudoun – Fresh Food Drive

July 27, 2014 Farm and garden, Lifestyle Comments Off on Feed Loudoun – Fresh Food Drive
Photo attached courtesy Julia Brizendine: What is gleaning? It is the harvesting of food for the needy. This tradition goes back to ancient times when landholders allowed folks in need to harvest left-over crops. In eighteenth century England, the sexton would often ring a church bell at eight o'clock in the morning and again at seven in the evening to alert needy families when they were invited to collect crops. As a volunteer, gleaning is a fun, family activity that usually lasts no more than about 2 hours on a beautiful day. It is also a good activity for groups who are looking for community outreach projects.

Special report by Mark Gunderman

Photo courtesy Julia Brizendine: What is gleaning? It is the harvesting of food for the needy. This tradition goes back to ancient times when landholders allowed folks in need to harvest left-over crops. In eighteenth century England, the sexton would often ring a church bell at eight o’clock in the morning and again at seven in the evening to alert needy families when they were invited to collect crops. As a volunteer, gleaning is a fun, family activity that usually lasts no more than about 2 hours on a beautiful day. It is also a good activity for groups who are looking for community outreach projects.

Feed Loudoun, a non-profit organization of Loudoun County, will host a county wide food drive of exclusively fresh fruits and vegetables August 9th through August 16th.

Individual gardeners, farm markets and farmers are asked to donate their surplus fruits and vegetables to participating food banks.

Following a successful 2013 gardening season Feed Loudoun donated over 24,000 pounds of produce to local food banks in an effort to provide fresh nutritious food to those in need in the community. Feed Loudoun is an associated volunteer network with the national movement Plant a Row for the Hungry established by the Garden Writers Association. The total of donations for the Feed Loudoun 2014 Harvest will be added to the national Plant a Row totals for the “20 by 20” campaign where the national goal is to have 20 million pounds donated by 2020.

… Continue Reading

Wild Loudoun- Milkweed – Sustenance of the Monarch

milkweed

Where there is milkweed, there are monarchs. Sounds like a simple enough idea. Butterflies like flowers and milkweed is a flower. But the connection between the monarch butterfly and the milkweed plant is as strong as the connection between you and the oxygen you take into your lungs every time you draw a breath.
Humans and monarchs live in the same world, but, we don’t use it in the same way. While you and I can survive in just about every climate on just about any kind food, and find shelter and successful ways of producing the next generation in, literally, billions of different ways, the monarch butterfly is quite different.

Adult monarchs can draw nectar – food – from a fairly wide variety of flowering plants: asters, goldenrod and bee balm, for example. But, as they leave their southern wintering grounds – including small patches of high forest in Mexico – and head north and east through Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia and beyond, they are 100 percent dependent on the milkweed plant. Female monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed and milkweed alone, and the tiny caterpillars that emerge from those eggs to take a fighting chance at life eat milkweed and milkweed alone. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Asterisk No More

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

Smith0035

It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

El Nino Evolution

Figure 3. Sea-surface height as inferred by by NASA satellites during the current El Niño (December 27, 2015, at left, from Jason-2) and at a comparable point during the last “super” El Niño (December 28, 1997, at right, from TOPEX/Poseidon). Warmer temperatures in the upper ocean result in higher sea-surface heights, as the seawater expands. In 1997, the above-average sea surface height was generally more intense and peaked in November. In 2015, the area of high sea levels was less pronounced but considerably broader. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. (see [4])

Figure 1 shows the annual global temperature anomaly since 1980 up to November 2015 using the NASA GISS data set [1]. NASA has not yet published December’s data though BEST has [2] and yes 2015 was the hottest year on …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

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By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

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By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Job Well Done!

town of purcellville sign

Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Calendar

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

22 23 24 25 26 27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

5

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

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Lifestyle

Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

runandwalk

There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

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Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

lovinleesburgrealestate1

By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

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6th Annual Loudoun Grown Expo February 27

3 Feb 2016

loudoungrownexpo

It’s that exciting time of year again for the Sixth Annual Loudoun Grown Expo. The yearly event will take place at the Bush Tabernacle 250 South Nursery Avenue, Purcellville, on February 27 with new expanded hours starting at 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be wine and beer exhibitors, farm exhibitors, artisans and makers, restaurants and other rural economy …

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Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

Dave_larock

The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

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Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

Kaine

On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

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Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

Virginia_seal

Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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