Be sure to check out the Artists of Rappahannock Studio and Gallery Tour this weekend (November 7-8). Recently voted one of the Best Events in Virginia’s Piedmont Region by readers of The Piedmont Virginian magazine, The Artists of Rappahannock Studio and Gallery Tour is celebrating its 5th year. Get out and enjoy the lingering fall colors in beautiful Rappahannock County just 70 miles west of Washington D.C., while checking out the work of more than 50 professional artists, many exhibited straight from private home studios. Visitors can pick up a descriptive map of the participating studios and galleries on the tour at the Fire Hall in Little Washington, transformed into a gallery for the event. Admission is $10 per person, which is used to support RAAC’s community arts-related programs. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine.
Image of work by artist Steven Kenny at Washington’s Caulfield Gallery
Inspired by the local food movement? Looking to start a new farm? Get thee to Warrenton’s Airlie Center on Wednesday (Nov 4th) for the 2009 edition of Exploring the Small Farm Dream. Co-facilitated by Pablo Elliott of The Local Food Project at Airlie, together with Stacey Carlberg and Don Loock of the Piedmont Environmental Council, the course will take place over four Wednesday evenings (skipping Thanksgiving week) and will impart lots of wisdom to budding agricultural businesses. Speakers include some of our favorite farmers: Chip and Susan Planck of Wheatland (featured in both the Wash Post and The Piedmont Virginian’s winter 2009 issue), Zach Lester and Georgia O’Neal of Tree & Leaf (pictured), Emily Johnson & Niels Asmussen of Root Force Collective, Deb Williamson of Seven Oaks Lavender Farm & Farmer Girls, LLC., and Nancy and Forrest Pritchard of Smith Meadows Farm.
In the Winter 2009 issue of The Piedmont Virginian, we profiled local farmers Chip and Susan Planck of Wheatland Vegetable Farm along with Attila Agoston and Shawna DeWitt, who farm Mountain View Farm at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. This weekend The Washington Post Magazine profiles the Plancks in an article called “Growing Season,” which takes a look at the 20-somethings who work at Wheatland, aspiring to start their own organic farms one day. Some young farmers, like Lisa and Ali Moussalli of Frog Bottom Farm, once leased land from the Plancks at Wheatland.
Photo Via Frog Bottom Farm’s blog
“Innovative Farming Solutions: Twilight Tour at Wheatland Vegetable Farms, Purcellville”
On November 6, 2009, The Garden Club of Virginia will hold its 51st Annual Conservation Forum at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business in Charlottesville. Open to the public (with a $16 registration fee, students are free), the forum addresses the critical issues facing Virginia’s community and environment today: sustainability, land use, urban design, housing, transportation and economic development. They’ve assembled a star line-up of speakers who will offer a vision for an environmentally sustainable and economically competitive Commonwealth of Virginia.
Moderator: Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth
Speakers: Rachel Flynn, Director of Community Development who led the creative development of Richmond’s new Downtown Master Plan; Chris Miller, President of the Piedmont Environmental Council; Larry Schweiger, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Wildlife Federation.
Advance registration is required.
Get your chutney on this weekend at the first ever Virginia Chutney Festival— a free event in Sperryville hosted by the Virginia Chutney Company that promises to be a rip-roaring good time. Hailed nationally for its flavorful, all-natural chutneys, the Rappahannock County-based company has been written up by Marrian Burros in the The New York Times. To quote, “Clare Turner, an Englishwoman who grew up in East Africa, has merged her country’s chutney wisdom with Southern recipes. The results are full of fruits, instead of gooey syrups.”
Head to The Link community center in Sperryville this Saturday, October 24th from 11 am to 4 pm and taste the company’s seasonal Green Tomato Chutney, which is made once a year in the fall in limited batches, while listening to bluegrass music by the Gold Top County Ramblers, a band based in Sperryville. The kids will love the interactive chutney cooking demos. Best of all: The outdoor barbecue picnic lunch, featuring locally produced menu items paired with the Virginia Chutney Company’s Southern-style chutneys. All sandwiches will be served with Route 11 potato chips, fresh apple cider from Roy’s Orchard, and an apple from The Farm at Sunnyside. Here’s a menu sampling: The Plummy Piggy— Barbecue sandwiches prepared by Fat Possum BBQ, made using humanely raised pork from Baker Farms in Shenandoah County, and processed by Blue Ridge Meats, a Certified Humane processing facility; The Ploughman— Sharp cheddar cheese from Marshall Farms Natural Cheese combined with your favorite chutney and served on country white bread from Red Truck Bakery. Lunch is priced from $8.
Cheers to Chutney.