The Piedmont Virginian's Blog

Serving and Celebrating America's Historic Heart

Category: Fauquier County (page 1 of 33)

The Piedmont Weekend Roundup: February 26 – 28

Pouring red wine from bottle into glass with wooden wine casks on background

Fauquier County Wine Tasting & Competition at Airlie (Saturday, Warrenton). Come out and sample the wines of sixteen local vineyards and vote for your favorites in the People’s Choice Wine Competition. Delicious food pairings, prepared by the Airlie Chef, and live music. Please note that, to accommodate more visitors, this year’s wine tastings will be offered during two time periods. All tickets must be pre-purchased.

Riverside Group Show postcard-3 copy-1Art in Its Natural Habitat: An Exhibit of Paintings in a Model Home (Friday, 5-7 p.m., Charlottesville). Interior designer Robin Ellis invites you to celebrate Stony Point Design/Build as well as Charlottesville artists Helen Hillard, Chris Tucker, and Nancy Wallace.

Lighting the Creative Spark lightingthecreativespark(Thursday, Live An Artful Life Gallery, The Plains). This workshop, led by Dr. Celia Im, utilizes the power of music to ignite attendees’ creative potential. By engaging this part of ourselves, we are driven to finish that creative project, sculpt the next stage of our lives, and live in the moment.

Winemaker for a Day: Blending Seminar at Narmada Winery (Saturday, Amissville). Have you always dreamed of being a winemaker? Challenge yourself and your friends at our interactive winemaking seminar. Join our winemaker Sudha Patil and guest speaker Duane Harris for this workshop and experience the excitement of combining both the art and the science that goes into making a distinctive wine! You’ll be sampling and blending cabernet franc, malbec, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot. Once your perfect blend is bottled, teams compete, imbibe, and select the most spectacular wine of the day!

FB_Motown-768x284Motown & More: A Tribute to Motown and Soul Legends (Friday, State Theatre, Culpeper).  An ensemble of today’s most talented artists brings it all back! Vocalists Bryan Fox, Gene McBride, Jeffrey Walker and Shang (each phenomenal in their own right) come together with exquisite harmonies to recreate classics and develop new musical arrangements. Less than a year old, Motown & More has become a popular production in the Baltimore/Washington/Virginia region.

An Evening with Groucho (Sunday, Louisa Arts Center, Louisa). Award-winning actor Frank Ferrante reprises his New York and London hit in this fast-paced hilarious tour-de-force. You will swear legendary comedian Groucho Marx is alive and well and making you laugh. Accompanied by his pianist, the comedy, one-liners, and songs of Groucho Marx make for an all-ages treat!

Six Pack Songwriter Series: An Evening of Central Virginia Songwriting (Friday, The Paramount, Charlottesville). With the goal of allowing audiences to experience a mixture of our best local artists at once, each “Six Pack Songwriter Series” event features 6 artists for one evening of live and local music. This year’s  production welcomes an all-new lineup to The Paramount stage. This year’s roster includes Michael Clem, Ben Eppard, Paulo Franco, Julia Kwolyk, Anne O’Brien, and David Tewksbury, all backed by a live band.

National Theatre Live in HD Presents: “As You Like It” at the Paramount (Sunday, The Paramount, Charlottesville). Shakespeare’s glorious comedy of love and change comes to the National Theatre for the first time in over 30 years, with Rosalie Craig (London Road, Macbeth at MIF) as Rosalind.  With her father, the Duke, banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden. There, released from convention, Rosalind experiences the liberating rush of transformation. Disguising herself as a boy, she embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.

Smithsonian at Little Washington Concert Series: Haydn Piano Trios (Sunday, Theatre at Washington, Washington). Pianist Kenneth Slowik is an artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society. Violinist Heather Green joined the National Symphony Orchestra in 2005, and became a member of the first violin section in 2007. Cellist James Lee made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15. These three come together for a marvelous performance.

2015 90th Gold Cup 1

photo by Doug Lees

“Virginia Steeplechasing: The History and Future of the Sport in the Piedmont” (Sunday, National Sporting Library, Middleburg). This steeplechasing panel discussion is mediated by Robert Banner, President of Great Meadow Foundation. Panelists are Dr. William Allison (Ex-MFH and President and Race Chairman of the Virginia Gold Cup Races), Dr. Alfred Griffin (Ex-MFH and Director of Racing of the Virginia Gold Cup), Will O’Keefe (Race Director of the Virginia Fall Races), and Don Yovanovich (President of the Virginia Point-to-Point). Panelists discuss the history and future of this region’s beloved steeplechasing and equine sports. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. Also at NSLM currently are the exhibits “Side by Side with Gun and Dog” and “Line Dance: the Art of Fly Fishing.”

“Sunrise, Sunset” (Byrne Gallery, Middleburg). This weekend is the last chance to see this juried show featuring artworks inspired by sunrises and sunsets, bringing joy and warmth to the cold month of February.

“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” at Riverside Dinner Theater (Through Mar. 13, Fredericksburg). Starring Todd Meredith as Holly, with the Buddy Holly tribute band, The Rave-Ons, this musical is the true story of the last few years of Buddy Holly’s life, spotlighting his meteoric rise to fame from the moment in 1957 when “That’ll be the Day” hit the airwaves until his tragic death on “The Day the Music Died.” Featuring many of his timeless hits, “Buddy” is a celebration of the life and times of “the young man with the glasses” that captures the unique mixture of innocence, determination, humor, and charm that was Buddy Holly and wraps it all up into a package that has become “The World’s Most Successful Rock-n-Roll Musical.”

An Art Exhibition to Remind Us of Warmer Days

Line Dance

“Line Dance” by Peter Corbin

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer,” the dour existentialist Albert Camus once wrote. This sentiment bears repeating. The heaps of snow Jonas left behind are melting, warm sunny days have mounted a counterattack, and Punxsutawney Phil recently voiced his support of an early springtime platform.

"Broad River Redfish"

“Broad River Redfish” by Peter Corbin

Together these signs point towards the coming spring. These hints are tantalizing; we close our eyes and imagine a warm breeze, only to open them and find ourselves in the car with the heat blowing out at gale-force velocities.

There is a cure for these seasonal delusions: art.

The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg opened a new exhibit January 30th. “Line Dance–The Art of Fly Fishing” features the work of angler and painter Peter Corbin.

"Ligonier Point" by Peter Corbin

“Ligonier Point” by Peter Corbin

“How do you start a painting? Go fishing. Experience the awe. See the fish, the land, and the seascape. Take notes with your mind, camera, or sketch book. Gather all the information you can in every way you can,” Corbin says.

His works capture the ocean’s vibrant blues, the warmth of a cloudless sky, the excitement of reeling in a gleaming striped bass. His works show the influence of the Hudson River School, and capture the intensity of Winslow Homer’s seascapes.

For more information, check the National Sporting Library and Museum

1796573_10202889919310186_4960203201090092007_nMorgan Hensley is a recent graduate of William & Mary where he studied English and creative writing with an emphasis on poetry. He is the Assistant Editor of the Piedmont Virginian and enjoys writing about music and the arts.

The Incredible Egg | Recent rationing and buying local

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You probably saw it across social media and the nightly news — avian flu hit the U.S.A. hard this year. While it rarely affected the small backyard flock or small farms, it permanently indented the commercial egg and chicken industry. This Spring, more than 49 million chickens and turkeys died or were euthanized in the U.S. due to Avian Influenza.  Fifteen different states across the Pacific North-West, deep into mid-west commercial farms, we severely affected.  The impact was treacherous, and now it’s beginning to hit the every day consumer.

About a month ago I saw the first article — “eggs being rationed” and “egg prices increasing due to shortage”. It’s happening, it’s for real. It’s not the end of the world and I really don’t expect the apocalypse to happen anytime soon. But if you’re an egg lover, then it’s time to listen up.

It is now cheaper to buy eggs from your local farmer or farmer’s market than it is to buy at the store. Yes, you read that right. While it may not have hit Mayberry towns just yet, it has already started in the larger cities. Eventually, and inevitably, it will trickle down. Here’s your chance to support your local market and buy directly from a trusted backyard chicken enthusiast or farmer. Most local eggs sell for $4-$5 a dozen. Here on our homestead, we sell them for $4/dozen and we do not plan to increase the value just because the commercial industry has increased their rates.

The bigger question, however, is what’s the difference between commercial eggs and pastured or free range eggs? It’s hard to understand, but I’ll explain it to you quickly and easily.

Continue reading

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Last year was the very first year we went strawberry picking. It was a no-brainer this year. We had to go strawberry picking at Messick’s Farm again this year. And then when we discovered that they were running a special of buy two-gallons get one free, we were on it! When we got home with this years pick, I instantly knew what I would make first — strawberry jam. Last year I wanted to make it so badly, but never had a chance to make anything but a quick strawberry jamy-syrup topping for ice cream. This year, it was much different.
There was some amazing, yummy goodness going on in my kitchen the other day….
strawberry jam 2 strawberry jam 3 strawberry jam 4
And I just have to share the recipe with you!

This is a recipe that is found all across the internet, in cookbooks, and in your grandmas memory. It is quick and easy, and not to mention, very simple. It has been tried and tested for years, and it’s about time you put it to test for yourself.

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Homemade Strawberry Jam
2 quarts of fresh strawberries (de-stemmed and sliced in half)
1/3 to 1/2 cup fruit pectin (depending on your preference of thickness)
4 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp butter
7 cups refined sugar (organic cane juice works too)
— Before you begin — 
Whenever making jam, you want to make sure that you have all of your utensils and ingredients together before you begin. All jars need to be sterilized and set aside before starting your jam. Make sure you have jars, lids, a ladle, and a jar funnel for pouring the jam into your jars. Have all of this ready before proceeding to make the jam.
 
Measure 2 quarts (I just use quart jars) of de-stemmed and sliced strawberries into a large bowl.
Smash strawberries to break into smaller pieces and to release juice from the berry. If you prefer not to have larger chunks in your jam, then you’ll need to pulse your berries in a food processor a few times.
Pour crushed berries into a large (6 qt +) pan.
Add pectin, butter and lemon juice to crushed berries.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat — stirring constantly. Do not allow it to scorch on the bottom.
Pour in pre-measured sugar until it is completely dissolved. Stir constantly.
Bring mixture back up to a boil that cannot be stirred down, stir constantly for 2 minutes while it boils.
Make sure you are careful and do not burn yourself! Boiling jam is extremely sticky and painful!
After 2 minutes, immediately remove from heat and immediately skim off what little foam may be on top of jam.
Quickly ladle into jars, cap with lid and ring. Do not tighten too hard — fingertip tightening.
Over the next few hours your jars will begin to seal themselves. They will last in your pantry for well over a year or more.
If any of your jars do not seal, remove the lid, replace with new lid, and place in a hot water bath canner for 20 mins.
Don’t want to use commercial fruit pectin? Try making your own! Click here to find out how.
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photo (4)Amy Fewell is the Advertising Manager of The Piedmont Virginian Magazine. She resides in Rixeyville, VA along with her husband, son and loveable lab. They run a small “mini-homestead” and Amy owns her own photography business. For more information, visit their homestead website and Amy’s personal photography website.

Living the Small Farm Dream….

Pic1_JamesandHollyHammond

For Throwback Thursday this week I was looking for something to also serve as a preview for our upcoming Farm to Table themed summer issue, and I found it in the Summer 2010 issue, which contains an article written by Rose Jenkins about a course given at Airlie called “Exploring the Small Farm Dream. ” The course was developed by the New England Small Farm Institute and sponsored by the PEC and the Local Food Project at Airlie. The purpose of the course was to guide potential farmers through starting a farm or food business. One of the couples profiled was Holly and James Hammond, who, after doing an internship at Waterpenny Farm in Rappahannock County and completing the course at Airlie, started their own small farm in Culpeper County on 3 acres, raising vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers.

I chose this article because in our upcoming issue we have articles that update us on both subjects: James and Holly’s farm and business, which will be covered in an excerpt from Our Local Commons in Charlottesville, and Airlie’s continued role in the Farm to Table movement, by our regular writer, Hardie Newton.  Enjoy, and pick up the summer issue to read more!

Photo: James and Holly Hammond entering their first growing season (2010) at Whispering Hills Farm in Rapidan. “Something like this is exactly what [we’ve been] hoping for,” Holly says. Photo by Rose Jenkins

Read the Summer 2010 article here.

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