Most of the Piedmont is bracing for a major winter storm this coming weekend. With the forecasters predicting 10″ to 30″ of snow, there are some precautions that all Piedmonters must take before the time comes. In fact, these are things we should have prepared for before we actually “need” them. Unfortunately, many of us wait until the very last minute.
It’s inevitable—you race to the store to find bread and milk, and then when you’re snowed in, all you have are bread and milk sandwiches. Don’t be that person, think ahead! While most people are headed to the big box stores, there are some “snow day” jewels right in our back yard. And, honestly, you’ll have a better chance finding what you need at your small local businesses.
But let’s not just look for bread, milk, shovels, and boots. There’s more to be had! Our editors have compiled a list of places to find drinks & spirits, food & snacks, shovels, boots, sleds, and more. Don’t forget the family dog, or the games! And there’s even a DIY birdseed project you can do with the kids. All these things, along with a grocery check list of the most important things to buy, will help you have the best Piedmont snow day ever.
The Piedmont Virginian Staff
DRINKS AND SPIRITS
Catoctin Creek, “Roundstone Rye” (Purcellville, VA)
One of the only organic whiskies in the nation, this rye has a delicious woody taste, with notes of caramel, rich butter toffee, and just a hint of lemon in the nose.
Lost Rhino, “Woody Stout” (Ashburn, VA)
A bourbon-barrel aged stout, this brew has a blend of spicy chocolate, vanilla, and the toasty aroma of coffee.
Starr Hill, “Snow Blind Doppelbock Lager (Crozet, VA)
Snow Blind Doppelbock is a full-bodied winter beer with a massive caramel aroma and lightly toasted malt flavor. Sweetness dominates the front of the palate while the beer finishes clean and crisp.
FOOD AND SNACKS
Culpeper Cheese Company
Cheese, snacks, brews and more!
Blue Ridge Country Store
Soups, organic produce, and more!
Bluemont Country Store
Flour, sugar, sandwiches, chocolates, fresh eggs, farm raised chicken…and, their special feature….old fashioned sleigh bells, if you have horses, or even just to adorn your sled!
…the list is endless!
LOCAL SHOVELS, BOOTS AND SLEDS
Groves Hardware | Remington, VA
Rankins | Warrenton, VA
Warrenton Farm & Home Center | Warrenton, VA
Gilliam’s | Warrenton, VA
CK Home & Hardware (True Value) | Bealeton, VA
Gary’s ACE Hardware | Culpeper, VA
Culpeper Farm & Home Center | Culpeper, VA
Martin Hardware | Charlottesville, VA
ACE Fluvanna Hardware | Palmyra, VA
Faulconer Hardware Inc. (True Value) | Orange, VA
Crozet Hardware Company | Crozet, VA
Nichol’s Hardware Store | Purcellville, VA
Middleburg Millwork | Middleburg, VA
Morrisville Farm & Home Center | Morrisville, VA
Rappahannock Farm & Home Center | Washington, VA
Marshall Farm & Home Center | Marshall, VA
FOR THE KIDS (BIG AND SMALL!)
DIY Wild Birdseed Treats
1 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup birdseed
Molds or cookie cutters
1. Over low heat, melt coconut oil in a saucepan.
2. Add birdseed and stir until evenly coated.
3. Transfer to a new bowl and let cool until coconut oil begins to firm. You can also place it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes until it begins to firm.
4. Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface along with the molds of your choice (cookie cutters work best).
5. Place birdseed mixture into the molds, pressing firmly, and allow to set up for 5 minutes. Carefully remove them from the molds and place them back on the parchment paper.
6. Poke small holes through the molds for hanging string. Once completely set, add string and hang!
THE PETS (THE OTHER KIDS)
All too often, we forget about keeping our pets busy, and safe, during these big storms. Here are some tips to keep them happy and healthy this weekend.
• Limit your pet’s outdoor time. Frostbite and hypothermia can set in less than 5 minutes. While some pets, especially dogs, enjoy playing in the snow, too much play and on slick ice can cause injuries for your pet (we know, it has happened to us). Please use caution when allowing your pets to play outside. In many cases, you may want to consider leash walking. Please keep in mind that many emergency pet clinics will be closed during this snow storm.
• Dry off your pet’s body and paws to help them warm up when coming back inside from play time, and to help keep your floors clean.
• Stock up on pet food now, before the storm hits. Make sure you have enough to last at least a week.
• Never leave animals unattended outdoors. With below freezing temperatures, your pet should not be chained outside during this time. Collars and chains can freeze to your pet, causing trauma and injury, and unfortunately, sometimes death.
• If your animals is not attended to during play and breaks outside, only let them out in 5 minute intervals.
• Pick up a few new toys and raw bones for your pet. Managing Editor Amy Fewell, says her dog Samson (pictured above) loves raw marrow bones from Cibola Farms in Culpeper, VA. It keeps him busy, and it’s healthy for him!
• Never forget that your pet is important, and has needs just like you during these times. Make them as comfortable as possible when they become anxious, and try to find things to keep them calm while stuck inside during this impending storm.
THE BIG MUST HAVE LIST
You can’t avoid it, so you might as well embrace it! Here are the “must have” items to prepare for this storm.
THE BIG “PIEDMONT SNOW DAY” MUST HAVE LIST
• Milk (don’t forget the creamer for coffee!)
• Bread (Peanut Butter and Jelly too)
• Veggies (you’ll need your energy)
• Juice boxes
• Hot Cocoa
• Tea & Sports Drinks
• First Aid Kit
• Waterproof Gloves
• Kerosene heater
• Extra blankets
• Gas for your grill (outside use only)
• Oil Lamps & Oil (or candles)
• Emergency contact numbers
• Extra cell charger
• Corded phone (if you have a land line)
• Inflatable Mattress (in case you have to sleep in the basement)
• Cooler for your cold food, put outside if you lose electric
• Coloring books, games, and crayons for the kids
• A “game plan” on how to get out if you get snowed in (get a notebook!)
OTHER QUICK TIPS & SUGGESTIONS
• Check on your elderly or sick neighbors and family members. Offer to shovel their driveway, or at least make sure they are warm.
• Get the number for a local snow removal company in case you can’t do it yourself.
• If your electricity fails, place your food and milk in the snow, not just outside. If you place your food outside, it will surely freeze. But if you place it in the snow it will remain cold and insulated from freezing temps.
•If you get hot while playing outside or clearing the driveway, make sure you keep your core warm. While you may be sweating because of strenuous activity, your body still needs to retain heat at its core to help you pull through.
• Don’t over do it! Stay on top of the snow while it’s snowing instead of waiting to shovel after the storm has passed. Your body will thank you!
• Make sure your family has a “what if” plan. What if your electricity goes out and you don’t have a heat source? What if you’re stuck in your driveway and can’t get out? Where will you go? What will you do? Having a plan before things happen will keep your family much calmer during this time.
• Head out to the store now! Don’t wait until this evening when you get off of work. In fact, planning several days before a storm, even if it’s a miss, is important. Always being prepared ahead of time is key.
• Remember to HAVE FUN! We don’t get two feet of snow dumped on us very often here in VA, so learn to embrace it, love it, and have fun with it!
We really hope that you’ll prepare ahead of time, not just with the necessities, but with the fun and delicious things the Piedmont’s local businesses have to offer you. Happy “Snow Day”!!