Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beekeeping Short Course

August 29th from 8:30 am - 3 pm at the Catawba Community Center and the Catawba Sustainability Center.

Topics include honey in all stages, from the bee to the jar; preparing colonies for winter; and the latest information on Nosema and Varroa mites. Hands-on activities include building bee equipment and field demonstrations, offered by your Catawba neighbor, Wes Barnes with Catawba Honey, at the Catawba Sustainability Center.

Space is limited so sign up early!

Christy Gabbard
Director, Catawba Sustainability Center
- accelerating land-based businesses
Virginia Tech
108 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 701
Roanoke VA 24016
(540) 767-6100
(540) 767-6110 (fax)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Featured Market Vendor

Without delving too deeply into the current films and news articles about commercial food production in the United States, it's safe to say that the average consumer may be looking for less industrialized methods.

Look no further than the Botetourt Farmers' Market, held every Saturday from 8am until 1pm (or sellout) in the parking lot of Ikenberry's on US 220 N.

Blue Ridge Poultry Co-op, a partnership between Botetourt residents Angie Lenoir and Patricia Whitt, features all-natural, non-GMO, pastured chickens.

The birds are raised in moveable pasture pens, providing constant access to sunshine, green grass and insects. They are supplemented with all-natural grain (free from antibiotics, hormones, GMOs and animal bi-products) and fresh water which makes them healthier and happier and ensures their superior taste and nutritional value.

Their cost per pound exceeds that of conventional grocery-store birds, but Blue Ridge Poultry Co-op chickens contain none of the 5 to 30% "solution" added to improve taste and storage. The local birds are so fresh, tender and full of flavor that they don't need it!

When factoring in the number of servings of high-quality protein and the quantity of delicious broth which can be made with the frame, these chickens are definitely worth the price. For more information, visit the Co-op's website: www.blueridgepoultrycoop.com/

Friday, July 24, 2009

July 25, 2009 Botetourt Farmers' Market Offerings

There are so many things to tell you about the Botetourt Farmer's Market this Saturday! Read on to find out all the exciting things happening at market this week. We'll be set up at Ikenberry's Orchard in Daleville from 8:00am-1:00pm (or sell out!)

-Bill Shaver, aka Pigman, who is a bit of a celebrity with the NC Outer Banks folks but nearly anonymous here, is going to do a cooking demonstration using the Blue Ridge Poultry Coop's chicken, Ikenberry's corn, and some of the great peppers being grown by members. We'll be able to provide samples for tasting!

-We're going to have a monthly drawing for a gift basket! There are Elizabeth Arden gift boxes, Brambleberry Farm soaps, and a CD of the Black Twig Pickers in the basket plus other goodies donated by the Botetourt Farmers.

-Christynphil Berry Patch will be at the farmer’s market this Saturday with the following products from their farm in Fincastle, Virginia..;
Fresh picked Blackberries
Fresh picked chives
Fresh picked Banana peppers
Blackberry and Red raspberry plants
Strawberry plants
(The family recipe is included with each cake sold)

-Brambleberry Farm will bring lots of pole beans and cucumbers, farm fresh eggs, Mid-eastern squashes, bread & butter pickles, and a surprise or two.

-L and D Eggs will be there with eggs, jams and jellies (including sugar free), beets, pickles, relish, spelt zucchini bread, tomoto pies, potatoes, squash, and - a new addition, homemade pumpkin rolls!

Buffalo Creek Beef will be there as well!

-Hi everybody,
I'll be there with caramel pecan cinnamon rolls, cinnamon raisin whole wheat bagels, plain bagels, oatmeal chocolate cookies, peach crisp, strawberry jam, blackberry jams, and grape jelly.
See y'all there,
Emily Field

-Blue Ridge Poultry Coop will have fresh, whole pasture raised chicken..

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Virginia FARM TO SCHOOL CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR august 4 in Franklin County

Virginia Cooperative Extension would like to invite interested individuals to a one-day conference, Cultivating Virginia’s Farm to School Program, exploring farm to school for Virginia's farmers, school systems, and youth. Farm to School brings healthy food from local farms to school children nationwide. This conference is scheduled for the Franklin Center in Rocky Mount, Virginia from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Franklin Center is located 50 Claiborne Avenue, Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151.

Participants will gather information on the Farm to School program, food safety/GAPS Certification, liability issues for food producers, and how to connect with school food purchase programs.

Your conference registration investment is $20 which includes lunch and conference materials. Register by Friday, July 31, 2009, by contacting the Virginia Cooperative Extension Franklin County Office at (540) 483-5161 or Tim Johnson at tlj05@vt.edu. Checks should be made payable to "VCE- Franklin County" and sent to VCE, Franklin County, 90 East Court Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Grass-Fed Beef Conference

Deadline for registration is July 24!

August 11-12, 2009
Mid-Atlantic Grass-Fed Beef Conference
"Making Sense of Grass-Fed Beef"

Sheraton Imperial RTP
Durham, NC

The conference kicks off with a Pre-Conference Tour to Baldwin Beef, Rogers Cattle Company, and Triple B Farms. Conference sessions will address the economics of grass-fed beef, genetics, grazing management, processing, marketing, and the benefits of eating grass-fed beef.

For complete details, download the conference brochure and registration form on Cooperative Extension's Growing Small Farms website at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/calendar.html.

Contact Sandy Maddox at 919-658-7682 for more information.

Friday, July 17, 2009

July 18, 2009 Farmers' Market Offerings

The Botetourt Farmer' Market will be bursting at the seams this week with live music, fantastic local food and fellowship! Bring your shopping bag and lawn chair!

We’ll have live music from 9-12 with The Black Twig Pickers performing. They are an energetic and passionate group that plays high energy Old-Time music. The market itself will be open as always from 8:00am till 1:00 (or sell out).

You'll find:

Christynphil Berry Patch will be at the farmer’s market this Saturday with the following products from their farm in Fincastle, Virginia.;
Fresh picked Blackberries
Fresh picked chives
Fresh picked Banana peppers
Blackberry and Red raspberry plants
Strawberry plants
Rustic wheelbarrow planters
(The family recipe is included with each cake sold)

Full Circle Farm hopes to have freshly milled wheat and spelt Milk and Honey Bread, Pizza Crusts, Spelt Almond Raisin, Seedy Loaf, Spelt Pound Cake, Seedy Crackers and our mixes.

Brambleberry Farm will be at the market with eggs, Middle Eastern summer squash, several distinct types of cucumbers, yellow and purple pole beans, chocolate zuchini bread, herbal soaps and wine vinegars.

Al Mahon will be there with his wonderful Keltic Myst soaps.

Blue Ridge Poultry Coop will be there with FRESH pasture raised whole chicken, just processed on the farm on Friday!

Better Batter Baking will be bringing:
*Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
*Mini-Peach Pies and Mini-Blueberry Pies
*Blueberry Scones and Peach Scones
*Vanilla and Chocolate Snap Cookies
-local products include Catawba blueberries, Fincastle peaches, Floyd County eggs and Franklin County dairy
-grains and flours used include spelt, sorghum, rice, millet, oats and flaxseed

We hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Old Time Mountain Music - Botetourt Farmer’s Market July 18th

The Botetourt Farmer’s Market at Ikenberry Orchards is pleased to announce a special musical event Saturday July 18th.

The Black Twig Pickers will be playing their energetic, enthusiastic, and unique style of Old Time Mountain Music from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.

This group is a monthly regular at the Floyd Country Store concert series and Sing Out! Magazine notes: ‘The Black Twigs recapture the golden age of old-time music with all the spirit intact.’ Won’t you please come to Ikenberry Orchards and support the local farmers and growers of the Botetourt Family Farms group and the Black Twig Pickers as they preserve and grow this wonderful style of music.

Don’t be afraid to bring your dancin’ shoes!

Monday, July 13, 2009

This Week's Featured Market Vendor


Retiree Phil Stoker loves fresh-picked berries, so he planted of a wide variety of bramble fruits----blackberries, red and black raspberries, loganberries and others. Apparently, he has a green thumb, because his expanding supply of established plants led to selling them at the Botetourt Farmers' Market this spring. New to Virginia seven years ago, his California background didn't prepare him for gardening in rocky clay. His first seedlings were planted in the native soil of his hobby farm north of Fincastle. As his gardening skills progressed, he began amending his soil to improve his berry plants. He also planted a 13-tree mini-orchard, ever challenged by ways to deter deer and raccoons. In his spare time, he and wife Christy maintain a long stretch of Adopt-a Highway for trash pickup.

Phil also loves hot peppers (and nothing as mild and mundane as a jalapeño!), so he began growing exotic varieties----such as Mayan Love, Zimbabwe Bird, Punjab, Japones, Wrinkled Old Man and Tepin. Originating in much hotter climates than Botetourt, these peppers require 4-6 weeks of 80 degree temperatures to germinate----a challenge he solved by germinating the seeds in his garage. Again, this prolific gardener brought his excess plants to the Botetourt Farmers' Market at very reasonable prices. Although he also markets his berries and other produce through Craigslist, he enjoys his time at the market (held every Saturday at Ikenberry's parking lot on US 220 N from 8am-1pm or sellout), looking forward to special events such as music by the Black Twig Pickers on July 18. Phil "the Berry Man" Stoker is also reachable at his farm at 884-3015.

Roanoke River Watershed -- Conference

The Upper Roanoke River Roundtable (www.upperroanokeriver.org) in partnership with Ferrum College is hosting a one-day conference on issues and trends in the Roanoke River Watershed on Friday, August 14 at Ferrum College’s new conference center.

The conference will include presentations on current activities, topics and trends related to:
· water quality
· water quantity improvements
· land management decisions
· state and local government decisions
· research and scientific discoveries
· volunteer and citizen initiatives
· Optional Bar-B-Q dinner in the evening, followed by music provided by a Crooked Music Trail band!

Please save the date and plan on attending! It will be a great opportunity to share ideas and concerns and to develop partnerships to help advance the environmental quality of life in the Roanoke River Watershed.

If you or your organization would like to make a presentation at the conference, or if you have questions, please contact Maureen Castern at mcastern@verizon.net.

Please forward this email to anyone who may be interested! Thanks!!

Maureen P Castern
1918 Cambridge Avenue SW
Roanoke, VA 24015
(540) 344-5286

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Starting a Food-Based Business

Virginia Cooperative Extension is pleased to announce an excellent opportunity for food-based business entrepreneurs . . .

Starting a Food-Based Business

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spencer-Penn Centre, Alumni Hall

475 Spencer-Penn Road, Spencer, VA 24165

The conference is free, but registration is required.

To Register: Contact the Henry County Virginia Cooperative Extension office at 276-634-4650 or e-mail Donna Draper ddraper@vt.edu

The program (see below) will provide you with a list of topics and speakers. Please share this invitation with other entrepreneurs.

8:45 a.m. Welcome...................................... Mark Stroud, City Council, City of Martinsville

Debra Buchanan, Henry County Board of Supervisors

Mary Jordan, Spencer-Penn Centre

9:00 a.m. An Entrepreneur’s Perspective...................... Paul Hooper, Hooper Foods, LLC

9:15 a.m. VDACS: Helping Small Business.............................................. Bud Anderson

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

10:00 a.m. Health Department Regulations Governing a Food Establishments

Sharon Ortiz-Garcia, MPH, West Piedmont Health Department

10:45 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. Business Planning for a Small, Food-Based Venture

· Lisa Fultz, Martinsville-Henry County EDC FastTrac Entrepreneurship Program

· Tiffany Underwood, Executive Director, West Piedmont Business Development Center

· Ben Bowman, Director, Culinary Arts Program, Patrick Henry Community College

· Robert Donnan, Community Development Consultant, EDC

11:45 a.m. Taking a Product from Recipe to Retail: Resources for Small, Value-Added Food Product Development

Joell Eifert, Laboratory Specialist Senior Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology

12:30 p.m. Lunch sponsored by

Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation

1:15 p.m. Marketing Resources for Small & Micro Food Ventures

................................................................................................. Theresa Nartea

Marketing & Agribusiness Extension Specialist

Virginia Cooperative Extension

2:00 p.m. Panel of Success

Derrick Beverly and Darla Main Scheider

3:00 p.m. Tour of Spencer-Penn Community Kitchen

July 11, 2009 Farmers' Market Offerings

Happy July 11th. There are rumors of blackberries abounding in the area! Here’s what will be at the Botetourt Farmers’ Market this morning:

Earl and I will be bringing, new potatoes, squash, green onions, bell peppers and cabbage.
We will also have freshly milled whole grain breads, and lots of home canned jams, jelly's, preserves and such. We will also have a few sweet treats. See ya' all on Saturday.
Earl and Linda

Berry Ridge Farms will see you all at the Market, we will have our GLUTEN FREE Bread, GLUTEN FREE Corn Bread, GLUTEN FREE APPLESAUCE BREAD and many other goodies. Remember if there is something there you would like or need special give us a call to secure a order to make sure we have it for you as all items are made special just for you !!!!!!!!!!!

L and D Eggs will be there with spelt zucchini bread, raspberry cobbler, lime pickles, sweet pickle relish, dill pickle relish, jams and jellies, new potatoes, beets and eggs. See ya there!

Emily Field: I'm bringing cookies and cake and scones (all made with your fabulous eggs!) as well as some jam and jelly (not made with your fabulous eggs.)
See you then.

Better Batter Baking will be bringing:
*Mini Apple, Peach and Rhubarb Pies with Rice/Sorghum Crust
-made with local produce
-most are made with local butter and I have a few that are butter-free
*Flourless Chocolate Cake
-this week using local duck eggs
*Cappuccino Mini-Muffins
-using local eggs and goat yogurt
*Apple-Oat Streusal Mini-Muffins
-local apples, dairy
*Cherry-Quinoa-Buckwheat Mini-Muffins
-organic cherries in the centers
-sweetened with molasses and sucanat
-no dairy/eggs this week

Full Circle Farm will be offering freshly milled Milk n Honey bread, Spelt Milk n Honey bread, Seedy Loaf, pizza crusts, Spelt Almond Raisin bread, Spelt pound cakes, and some of our freshly milled But They're Good for You Brownie and Pancake mixes. See you there!
Ginger and Patrick Hillery

Brambleberry Farm will send tender pole beans and cucumbers, perfect for pickling.

Keltic Myst will be there with natural soaps and body products

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This Week's Featured Market Vendor


Randy Deel lives on a working farm on Blue Ridge Turnpike east of Fincastle.
Besides raising beef cattle and alfalfa hay, his father always kept an acre garden. After his father's death in 1989, Randy continued with the cattle and hay farming and has expanded the garden to an acre-and-a-half.
New to the Botetourt Farmers' Market this year, his garden offerings reflect the best of what the season has to offer---spring peas, beets, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini and tomatoes. Deel's fruit trees provided tasty sweet and sour cherries at a recent market, some of which ended up in homemade cherry pies and preserves offered by fellow vendor Linda Ruggles.
Doing all the gardening work himself, Randy Deel tries to pick his produce as close to market time as possible for freshness----even to the point of picking peas in the rain! He finds it gratifying to see his customers pleased with the quality of his produce and enjoys the time spent at the Botetourt Farmers' Market which is held in the parking lot of Ikenberry's on US 220 north of Daleville each Saturday morning from 8am until 1pm or sellout.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Relay for Life" Benefit at Blue Ridge Vineyard

Blue Ridge Vineyard

Saturday July 11th, 2009

6:00 – 9:30 PM Rain or Shine

Benefit for “Relay For Life”

All proceeds from sales of food (hotdogs, salads, baked goods, drinks, etc.), Relay related clothing, 50/50 raffle and other items go to Relay for Life
Friendly, leashed dogs, and children and minors welcome.

No outside alcohol allowed (ABC regulations)

Complimentary wine tastings (over 21 years of age)

For more information contact:



Friday, July 3, 2009

At the Farmer's Market

Happy 4th of July! We're all geared up to supply your family and friends a fantastic 4th of July feast at the Botetourt Farmer's Market! Come out Saturday from 8am till 1pm (or until we sell out) and you'll find:

Keltic Myst soaps and bath & body products.

Brambleberry Farm is bringing the last of the asparagus for this year, red and black raspberries, pole beans, three types of cucumbers, eggs, and red, white, and blueberry muffins. There may be a bottle or two of blackberry, apple, and peach wine vinegar and herbal soaps as well.

Full Circle Farm will be offering freshly milled whole wheat and spelt
burger buns, milk and honey
bread, pizza crusts and pastured pork.

Berry Ridge Farms , hopes to see you all !! We will have freshly baked GLUTEN FREE Homemade bread, GLUTEN FREE Cornbread, GLUTEN FREE Biscuts, GLUTEN FREE banana bread, and GLUTEN FREE applesauce bread, and several new items !!!!! We will also have fresh picked beans, and cucumbers.DON' T Forget if there is something you would like to have made just for you give me a call !!!!!!!!!

Better Batter Baking will be bringing:
*Mini-Apple Pies
*Apple Muffins
*Flourless Chocolate Cake
*Vanilla and Chocolate Spelt "Snap" Cookies

Blue Ridge Poultry Coop will have pastured chicken frozen whole, quartered, boneless skinless breast, wings, and legs. We'll also have eggs from Arcadia Farm.

If you're grilling for the 4th, you can have true HAMburgers and buns, cucumber salad with homemade vinegar dressing, and a variety of baked goodies. We hope to see you at Ikenberry's Orchard!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Virginia Grown Recipe Contest


Share your favorite recipe using locally grown, produced and processed Virginia products and you could be a winner. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is challenging all Virginians to eat local. “But don’t stop there. We would like to know how you prepare fresh Virginia fruits, vegetables, poultry and seafood; what you make with Virginia dairy products, eggs and honey; how you use local Virginia-made condiments, relishes, sauces and nuts,” said VDACS Commissioner Todd P. Haymore.

Send VDACS the original recipes you used to prepare your favorite locally grown, processed and produced Virginia products along with a photo of you and/or your completed dish for a chance to win one of two Virginia Grown/Virginia’s Finest prize packages, one for adults and one for kids up to age 12. VDACS will post eligible recipes and photos on the Virginia Grown Web site at http://www.virginiagrown.com/. The winners will be chosen by random drawing from all eligible recipe/photo entries received by VDACS through August 15, 2009. No purchase necessary to win. Find the entry form and complete rules and details at www.virginiagrown.com.

“When the food you buy comes from local farmers, producers and processors, you are getting a superior product and you are also supporting Virginia agriculture, the Commonwealth’s number one industry,” Haymore commented. “Virginia’s working farms keep the state’s economy strong, provide greenspace and help maintain the high quality of life enjoyed by all Virginians. Choose outstanding Virginia Grown products wherever you shop and help support local Virginia farmers.”

For centuries, great cooks have been inspired by the variety and quality of local Virginia fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood, dairy products, beverages, condiments, honey, herbs and more. Today, with more than 170 farmers markets, numerous roadside stands, pick-your-own farms and orchards, it’s easy to find the freshest and best from Virginia’s local farmers, producers and processors. Check VDACS’ Virginia Grown Guide online at www.virginiagrown.com for a listing by county or city of places to find seasonal selections.

Whether it’s that delicious squash recipe you always take to potlucks, a cherished chicken version that’s been passed down in the family, or a cheese soufflé recipe you have just invented, VDACS would love to include it along with a photo. E-mail your recipes and photos to EatLocalVa@vdacs.virginia.gov or mail them to Eat Local Recipe Contest, VDACS, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond VA 23218. The drawings will be held no later than Friday, August 28, 2009.

'Just Checking In

The Blue Ridge Gal did the nicest story on the Botetourt Farmers' Market and Ikenberry's! You can see it by clicking here.

Thanks, Di!