35-Mile Drive at the Virginia Tourism Summit in Richmond, Virginia
On behalf of 35-Mile Drive and tourism in Goochland County, Jenny Liesfeld and Aynsley Fisher attended the VA-1: LoveWorks Conference. The two-day event offered attendees from the tourism industry around Virginia the chance to network, learn and gain insight into the latest data. Highlights included: electronic marketing workshops, lunch with members of Virginia’s General Assembly, a report on the new statewide tourism plan, how to integrate the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign and your own, latest consumer research and travel trends, tourism and economic development, marketing leverage grant programs and panel discussions on leading with advocacy and supporting tourism when funding is cut, frozen or nonexistent.
The highly anticipated movie “Lincoln” (in theaters November 16, 2012), directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was filmed in Richmond, Petersburg and even Goochland County. Petersburg plays Richmond, Richmond plays Washington, D.C., and the Goochland/Powhatan set from HBO’s award-winning miniseries “John Adams” also played a role. As Rita McClenny, Director of the Virginia Film Office and Interim President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation reported, “when Spielberg saw the Capitol in Richmond, he said, ‘I want that to be the backdrop for my film!'”
Are you looking for a fun, free educational outing that everyone in your family will enjoy? If so, then come join us for the fifth annual Farm Tour. This year’s Farm Tour will highlight local Goochland agri-businesses, including a dairy operation, a sustainably produced beef farm, specialized equestrian facilities, an alpaca farm as well as the Goochland Farmers Market.
The free, self-guided tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, when six unique agribusiness sites will be open to the public. Operators will make presentations on the hour and the half-hour.
The following farms will be featured:
Alvis Farms, 1700 Alvis Road, Manakin Sabot
Alvis Farms is a family owned and operated dairy farm in eastern Goochland County. The dairy was started in 1965, and is now home to 750 milking cows, most of which are Registered Holsteins. The milking cows are housed on waterbeds, and are milked three times a day. The family also farms roughly 4,000 acres, which is spread throughout 8 different counties. The crops grown are corn, wheat, soybeans, barley, and alfalfa. The farm tour will showcase both the dairy and crop operations. Additionally, representatives from Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District will be on hand providing educational information.
Applegarth Farm, 1225 Shallow Well Road, Manakin: Applegarth Farm is a horse training and boarding operation established in 2001. The farm currently boards over 25 horses, many of whom are trained in hunter-jumping.
Brookview Farm, 854 Dover Road, Manakin-Sabot: The Fishers have been pioneers in organic, sustainable farming in the mid-Atlantic since establishing Brookview in 1981 as a grass-fed and finished- cattle commercial farming operation. Family-owned and operated, Brookview comprises over 300 acres of pasture on which cattle roam and graze exclusively on grass and clover. Brookview epitomizes the highest standards of environmental stewardship, producing all organic products without the use of pesticides, hormones and commercial fertilizers
Goochland Farmer’s Market, 2955 River Road West (Grace Episcopal Church),
Goochland: Every Saturday morning from May through October, Goochland’s only all volunteer and non-profit Farmer’s Market is open from 8 a.m. until noon. Each week, this genuine country market offers some of the finest produce, meats, breads, wines, cheeses, plants and farm crafts produced in Central Virginia.
Little Hawk Farm, 1625 Cardwell Road, Crozier: Dr. Tom Newton and his wife Jennifer live and work at Little Hawk Farm, a regionally renowned equine reproduction center. Dr. Newton has over thirty years of equine veterinary experience and offers a full range of equine reproductive services—including all three methods of breeding horses. Little Hawk Farm has several barns to accommodate outside mares, stallions, foaling stalls as well as a reproductive lab. There are also a number of award winning stallions on site, along with Sam-Mule, the friendly, resident Sicilian miniature donkey.
Suri Downs Alpacas, 2280 Camelback Road, Maidens: In 2006, a chance encounter with a newspaper article extolling the joys of alpacas prompted the Finchers to consider trading their Hollywood, CA lifestyles for a more rural way of life. Five years later, the couple moved to Maidens, VA and established Suri Downs Alpacas. Together they raise over 30 friendly alpacas on their farm and currently have two crias (babies).
The Center for Rural Culture will offer grilled local, organic, grass-fed beef burgers provided by Brookview Farm as well hot dogs and veggie burgers with sides and a beverage. The luncheon will be held from 11:30 – 1:30 at beautiful Brookview Farm, 854 Dover Road, Manakin-Sabot. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children 6 and under. All proceeds will benefit the Center for Rural Culture’s Education and Outreach Programs. Lunch reservations are required. Please call (804) 556-5841 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your meal preferences by Sep 13th. Additionally, the Women of Grace Episcopal Church will have delicious homemade baked goods for sale separately.
Tour sponsors include the Center for Rural Culture, the Goochland Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Goochland County Farm Bureau, the Goochland Chamber of Commerce and the Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District.
For those of you who live in the Richmond, Virginia metro region, please join us Saturday, March 31st at Brookview Farm in Manakin-Sabot, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In celebration of early spring on the farm, we will have cooking demos including how to make your own potato chips and how to cook grass-fed beef. As you may know, Brookview is an organic farm specializing in grass-fed beef.
Learn more about the Local Roots Online Food Co-op, an online year-round farmer’s market with Thursday pickups at Brookview.
We will be serving our famous Brookview Beef Barbecue for lunch. Bring the family for a special day on the farm!
This workshop is for anyone who has looked at the mushrooms available in the grocery store and wished for fresher, non-bruised, local mushrooms for their table. Participants will learn the techniques and environmental conditions necessary for growing delicious shiitake mushrooms in Virginia. After a discussion of the factors necessary to get started, participants will tour the mushroom production area on Rock Castle Farm. After this quick tour, students will be given spawn and a log (3-4′) to inoculate and bring home to grow their own mushrooms. We will provide all the necessary tools and supplies. The cost of this workshop is $25, which includes a $5.00 materials fee for the spawn and log. Participants can register online at http://crcmushrooms.eventbrite.com. Or click the link above.
“String “in the new year with nationally-known bluegrass band Anderson-Strickland at the historic Tanglewood Ordinary Restaurant in Goochland County along the 35 Mile Drive.
Hailing from Troutdale, Virginia, Gerald Anderson and Spencer Strickland are renowned as makers of “Crooked Road” guitars. Their handcrafted mandolins and guitars are sought after by musicians all over the county. The best in class, 5 member bluegrass band has twice entertained audiences on “Song of the Mountains” at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. With searing instrumentation and soaring harmonies, Anderson and Strickland play with an exuberance and joy that is infectious. Whether jamming in the sawdust of their instrument shop, on stage or in the studio, they bring it every time.
Spend an evening in the country, go west and get your grass on!
Within thirty minutes from Richmond, Tanglewood is a destination in an of itself. Family-style dining. Dinner served up to 7:30. Steamed spriced shrimp among their famous sides and additional entrees. Advance reservations for whole tables (4 and up) available at $40 per person which includes dinner, music, regular beverages, dessert, tax and tip. Beer and wine available, champagne by request.
Just as Gus Portokalos declares in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “give me a word, any word, and I show you how the root of that word is Greek.” So it is true for our favorite fall squash-like fruit- the pumpkin! The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon which is Greek for “large melon!” The French later changed it to pompon which was later changed by the British to pumpion and finally arrived in North America with the colonists and became widely known as the pumpkin!
With the rains of recent weeks, the pumpkin harvest is plentiful this year. Be sure to check out My Manakin Market this Saturday for locally sourced pumpkins (of course,) apples, pears, butternut squash, winter squash…the produce goes on and on! See the list below.
And what a harvest we are having (if the farmers can manage to get out there and pick in-between storms)! We were fortunate here in Virginia not to have lost all of our pumpkins in the hurricane… Speaking of pumpkins – we have baking pumpkins! This week, we also have butternut squash and lots of other lovely winter squashes, fresh parsley and cilantro, green beans, beets, radishes, Arugula, peppers (including specialty varieties), a few tomatoes (slicing, cherries), zucchini, cabbage, sweet potatoes, potatoes, eggplant, fresh herbs, heritage apples, fall raspberries.
We have one producer who will be bringing in some apples from other Virginia farms, as it is extremely difficult to produce applies in this area. They will also have Asian pears and plums from the Appalachian Valley. We have a great selection of meats, including grass-fed beef, pastured pork, lamb and poultry.
We’ll have cheese this week from Night Sky Farm – come and try a sample! Our selection of baked goods includes breads, muffins, specialty cookies, focaccia, pies, quiches, and even pizza crusts!
Virginia’s Crooked Road, a heritage music trail in the southwestern part of the state, seems to have taken a detour to Goochland County. Award-winning bluegrass talent and native Goochlander Michelle Nixon and her band Drive are taking the airwaves by storm. Their new CD debuts at #1 on the National BMP Music Chart!
Your Kind of Love is #19 on the hot singles chart
Brand New City is #5 on the Powergrass Gospel top ten.
Here are a few ways to help our hometown girl stay on the charts:
Ever been to Field Day of the Past? Located just off the Rockville/ Manakin exit on I-64, near the Rte 288 interchange, is a festival unlike any other. Part country fair, complete with carnival rides and fair food, and part historical heritage event with antique cars, tractors and machinery, Field Day takes place in a village setting with paths for easy strolling. How will you know you are near? Just look for the American flag flying high over the tree tops. Don’t miss out on this great family event!
Field Day of the Past mixes the warm, down-home atmosphere of the county fairs of yesteryear with exhibits and displays of museum quality. Historical displays and exhibits, re-enactments, tractor and truck pulls, small engine displays, arts and crafts, flea market, antique and modern construction equipment demonstrations, a log cabin with ongoing heritage craft demonstrations can be experienced throughout the weekend. Volunteers demonstrate the daily routines of the life of a family surviving in early rural Virginia which include wheat and peanut threshing, meat smoking, the making of sorghum molasses, washing clothes, canning, saw milling and other chores.
Permanent exhibits and structures include a working United States post office, a 1930’s grocery store and garage, fire lookout tower, blacksmith shop, wood wright shop, ice house, gold mining equipment, Pullman railroad car and engine buildings.
Only a few more days left until the South African Food & Wine Festival! South African wine makers Tyrell Myburgh of Joostenberg Wines and MAN Vintners and Gordon Newton Johnson of Newton Johnson Wines will be here to represent their wines. We have amazing entertainement, great food and a Market Tent filled with wonderful South African spices, arts & crafts. Even the good weather we ordered is on it’s way!
For a celebration of South African culture, wine, food & music!
Taste and purchase South African wines, from rare finds to iconic blends
Live South African music and dance performances by JuxtaPower and friends
Discover the exotic, multi-cultural cuisine of South Africa
Shop The Market for spices, arts & crafts imported from South Afirca
Enter for a chance to win two round trip tickets to South Africa, compliments of South African Airways!
Artist Spotlight: David Jenkins
David Jenkins – musician, singer, songwriter. Called the “White Zulu” from Empangeni, South Africa, David is an acknowledged master of traditional Zulu maskandi music. Read more on our festival Web site!
Artist Spotlight: Nomsa Mazwai
A SAMA award winning artist, Nomsa weaves the rhythms and melodies of jazz, afrocentric, drum ‘n bass, electronic and neo soul music into her own unique style. Visit Nomsa’s Web site and take a listen (we love them all, especially “Nguwe.”)
What about the weather?
So far, it looks good! Mostly sunny Saturday with only 10% chance of rain – a little higher for Sunday. Check weather.com with our Gum Spring zip code 23065 or look for weather updates on Grayhaven’s Web site. Remember Gum Spring weather can be quite different from D.C., Richmond or Charlottesville. The event is on rain or shine!
Save $5 per ticket by ordering in advance (ends Thursday.) Visit our festival Web site to purchase:
You could say the bluegrass world has been singing the blues since Michelle Nixon took a hiatus a few years back.
The veteran singer, who has been a perennial winner in the bluegrass world for her work on the award-winning project, Daughters of Bluegrass and as the top Female Vocalist for the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America in 2006 took a break after the devastating loss of her father to cancer.
Nobody’s singing the blues now…Nixon and her band Drive are back with a new album, A Place I Belong, already ranked #3 on Airplay Direct’s Top 50 albums. She returns to the spotlight with a new lineup including husband Nick Nixon on guitar and vocals, Patrick Robertson on guitar and vocals, Tim Newcomb on banjo, Mike Sharp on dobro, Jonathan Dillon on mandolin and Tracy Burcham on bass. Six of the thirteen tracks were co-written by the husband-wife duo.
When Tom T. Hall was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nixon was invited to perform his legendary song “Harper Valley PTA” at the Grand Ol’ Opry. In honor of that special musical highpoint, Nixon includes her own rendition of the song on the new album, released by Mountain Fever Records. For tour dates and information visit http://www.michellenixon.com or http://www.mountainfever.com.
A friend of 35-Mile Drive, and Goochland native, Nixon makes special appearances at select venues in Goochland County including White Hawk Music Cafe and Rassawek Spring Jubilee Heritage Show & Wine Festival.