Rassawek Spring Jubilee Heritage & Wine Festival

Save the date!

May 21 & 22, 2011, Saturday 10-6 – Sunday 11-5

At Rassawek Vineyard


 A new event is debuting in Goochland! The Rassawek Spring Jubilee is a two-day celebration that will showcase the cultural, musical, agrarian and artistic traditions that are the heart and heritage of Goochland County. The Rassawek Spring Jubilee will feature a variety of activities and demonstrations designed to connect Goochland’s unique rustic past with its current crafts, talents and commerce.

Features include a jam-packed music stage, fascinating Virginia traditional arts demonstrations, unique youngster activities and delicious wine tastings throughout the day. The event also boasts a fishing contest in the many lakes on the property, wholesome food provided by local producers and farmers, and dozens of gifted artists and antique vendors.

Byrd Cellars and 6 other Virginia wineries

Music that highlights our rich musical heritage. Bluegrass, Old Time, Blues & Country!

Traditional Arts & Crafts vendors such as specialty pottery, textiles, black smithing, crafts & antiques

Antique cars and farm equipment displays • Fishing Contests in the ponds for youth & adults

Wholesome food vendors

Early American homesteading demonstrations such as hearth cooking, caning, spinning & bee keeping

Goochland 4H Club livestock show and childrens activities

$20 per person, $35 per couple 12 and under free

www.rassawek.com, www.35miledrive.com, www.goochlandchamber.org

Reblooming Iris

Roots & Blooms, LLC strives to create, grow and promote drought tolerant and deer resistant perennial plants for today’s garden. Owner Mike Lockatell continues breeding development of reblooming bearded and Siberian irises. He assumed the work of his mentor and friend, the late Dr. Lloyd Zurbrigg, a pioneer in reblooming bearded iris hybridizing. Mike also maintains an exclusive collection of single, Japanese, semi-double and double herbaceous peonies.

Lockatell’s efforts are showcased through the Joyce Lockatell Memorial Garden, created in honor of his late mother. Her favorite garden plants were irises and peonies. Established in 1997, the current garden location is at 4110 Cosby Road in Powhatan County, VA. Tours are available weekdays during the early May bloom season by appointment. Visiting hours are available on Sunday May 2nd, May 9th and May 16th from 12 Noon until 5:00 PM.   Plants are available for purchase.  Roots & Blooms is also a seasonal vendor at the Williamsburg Farmers Market.  For more information contact us at Cmarti8855@verizon.net, 804-330-2916 or our website at www.rootsandblooms.us.

Mike is one of a handful of US breeders developing reliable reblooming irises. These plants bloom both spring and fall under favorable weather conditions.  He likewise is one of a select group of herbaceous peony producers in Virginia. His iris seedlings have won American Iris Society exhibition awards. Two rebloom seedlings were registered with American Iris Society for future introduction last fall. He is AIS Region 4 Reblooming Iris Chairman (West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland) and a Certified AIS Garden and Exhibition Judge. Feature stories on Roots &  Blooms, LLC and the Joyce Lockatell Memorial Garden have appeared in editions of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Virginia Gardener and Virginia Living.

Roots & Blooms is a member of the 35-Mile Drive Association. Visit our website for additional information at www.35miledrive.com.

The buzz on bees

Bee hives at Brookview Farm overlooking 35-Mile Drive

Seemingly overnight, spring arrives in Virginia. Suddenly after months of cold, rain and snow, the daffodils and crocus appear and the fields appear greener by the minute. Spring is a time of new beginnings and blooms which means one thing to the honeybee…it is time to get busy.

Did you know that our honeybee, Apis mellifera, is the primary pollinator of many fruits and vegetables including apples, berries, melons, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and nuts. Honey production in the U.S. is valued at $250 million annually but the honeybee’s true value is in the pollination of fruits, vegetables and nuts, which is valued at $14 billion annually!

There are roughly 2,500 people keeping bees in Virginia (many right here in Goochland including Alfredo Neuman at Brookview Farm along 35-Mile Drive.) Beekeepers play an important role in maintaining the health of the hive.

Bees are generating quite a buzz. Honeybee populations have fallen 30% over the last several years. There are a lot of factors in play including climate change, chemicals and disease and scientists use the term Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) to describe the general symptoms of decline. One puzzling factor is that the foraging bees are disappearing- simply not returning to the hive.

Foraging bees (worker bees) only live for 1 month during summer months. They will fly 80 to 100 miles each day collecting nectar, pollen and water for the hive. A single bee will only produce 1/12 a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime!

So what can we do to help the honeybees? According to Richmond-based beekeeper Bob Stapleton, establish good “bee yards” with water and abundant nectar sources such as clover, orchards, backyard vegetable and fruit gardens and trees such as black locust, tulip poplar, holly and sourwood.

Virginia Living March/April

In the March/April issue of Virginia Living magazine, see Aynsley Miller Fisher’s feature article “The Little Busy Bee.” Aynsley visited Ann Harman in Flint Hill (President of the Virginia Beekeepers’ Association,) Bob Stapleton (President of the Richmond Beekeepers Association) and Dr. Rick Fell, a leading apiarist in the state at Virginia Tech to find out more about the plight of the honeybee. Visit www.virginialiving.com.  Aynsley is a member of the 35 Mile Drive Association.

For information on beekeeping, visit www.virginiabeekeepers.org and www.richmondbeekeepers.org