News & Announcements

VSU Small Farm Outreach program at Carver

Posted by on July 25, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

 

 

William Crutchfield (standing) addresses a group of farmers gathered at The Carver Center to discuss the VSU Small Farm Outreach program. Recently signed is a MOU between VSU and GWCARC, affirming intentions to conduct programs beneficial to a cross section of small farmers across the region. See the program brochure published also on this site or go to the following link:

https://www.ext.vsu.edu/events/

Culpeper Star Exponent article on the VSU/GWCARC Memorandum of Agreement and Beginning Farmer Program:  https://www.starexponent.com/news/carver-signs-agreement-with-vsu-to-aid-small-farmers/article_c8d4aa4b-b795-5b0e-a2fa-1a3c6c030d2e.html

 

 

Oliver tractor at the CMR Farm Show

Posted by on July 25, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

Long time Culpeper farmer, Charlie Harlow of Maple Springs Farm, exhibits his restored Oliver tractor at the CMR Farm Show in July. Machines like this Oliver from the mid-century period provided some of the best advancements available to farmers at the time. Internal combustion engines long in existence, now could be relied upon to provide real horsepower and longevity, pushing productivity higher on farms where these advancements were put to work. Today, electronics have taken over from the stout horse power offered then, providing yet another level of advancement that is increasingly applied on local farms. Data is the bottom line now, the tractor itself keeping up with maintenance, hours of operation, efficiency and guidance, leading to fewer and fewer input needs by the operator.

Yates Furniture Donation

Posted by on July 2, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

Yates Properties (Greg and Liz Yates) donate bank furniture to Carver center charities.  From L to R:  Greg Yates, Lois Goodall (GWCRHSAA) and Carl Stafford (GWCARC).

Yates Properties (Greg and Liz Yates) donate bank furniture to Carver center charities. From L to R: Greg Yates, Lois Goodall (GWCRHSAA) and Carl Stafford (GWCARC).

Furniture Move Completed

Posted by on July 2, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

L to R: Kenny Settle, Brandon Fincham, Sgt Jay Hoffman and Freddie Klecar, Culpeper Sheriff’s Office inmate worker program, complete moving furniture donated by Yates Properties.  Carver Alumni and Ag Research charities benefit by using the furniture at The Carver Center.

L to R: Kenny Settle, Brandon Fincham, Sgt Jay Hoffman and Freddie Klecar, Culpeper Sheriff’s Office inmate worker program, complete moving furniture donated by Yates Properties. Carver Alumni and Ag Research charities benefit by using the furniture at The Carver Center.

Trustees Deliver Donated Furniture to Carver Center

Posted by on June 14, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

L to R, Brandon Fincham, Freddie Klecar, Ist Sgt Will Collins, Mack Southerland, and Kenny Settle.
Culpeper County Sheriffs Office inmate worker program unloads donated furniture at The Carver Center.

Warm Season Grass

Posted by on June 14, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

Warm Season Grass Quail

“I am hearing quail calls now because of habitat provided by my neighbors Conservation Reserve Program land.”

 

By: Carl C. Stafford, Senior Extension Agent

Warm season grasses were growing naturally across Virginia at the time the first settlers arrived and you can still find these native grasses today along roadsides and in isolated, unmanaged open spaces.  In the old days, meadows and open spaces between the old growth forests supported these important native grass plants including Blue Stem, Switch grass and Indian grass.  They were part of the food supply for large grazing animals as well as habitat for a whole host of smaller mammals and birds.  Unfortunately these native grasses were forced out continuously grazing livestock.

Ongoing research in Virginia since the first energy crisis in the 70’s began investigating the role of warm season grasses as a source of bio-mass – basically to determine how many tons can be produced per acre. This line of study is gaining new appreciation today as scientists pursue alternative and renewable fuels and new sources of income for farmers.  Warm season grasses will produce significant tonnage on limited rainfall and with minimal fertilizer inputs and could hold the answer to some energy questions.

The value of warm season grasses to wildlife has always been present and helps us understand the continuing emphasis by private groups, state and federal agencies on this important use.  Some producers have successfully established warm season grasses to enhance wildlife food and cover. Birds of all kinds benefit from having warm season grasses available for nesting, food and cover.  I am hearing quail calls now because of habitat provided by my neighbors Conservation Reserve Program land.   Government cost share programs are available to make establishment of warm season grasses more affordable.  Water conservation is also an added benefit from these programs. Our government conservation agencies install plantings as buffer strips alongside streams, waterways or near surface water impoundments.

Readers know from other articles that I have a particular interest in grazing livestock.  The more days of the year you can graze your animals the more they are working for you and your bottom line.  Warm season grasses provide an abundant supply of forage during a time of year when we need it. They actually grow better during the hotter day, longer days of summer.  Agronomists suggest having 10% of your pasture devoted to some type of warm season grass to help you graze through the summer months.  We can not count on the kind of grass growing conditions we had this summer, but we can count on warm season grass to grow during the most difficult summer conditions that we can expect.   When you combine these many values, native warm season grass could have more potential uses and benefits than any other type of grass available.

Here in Virginia, Ben Tracy is our warm season grass specialist and in Tennessee, Pat Keyser is the point man on this subject.  The USDA NRCS is making warm season grass a special emphasis for its benefits both to wildlife but also to grazing livestock.  A new program: “Working lands for Wildlife” gives emphasis for the use of warm season grasses by both grazing livestock and wildlife.  Specialists now believe these two uses can co-exist.

Demonstration Garden at The Carver Center

Posted by on May 22, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

Rapidan River Master Gardeners maintain their Demonstration Garden at The Carver Center. Foreground - vertical gardening trellis reduces back bending work, background - row covers improve growing conditions for vegetables.

Rapidan River Master Gardeners maintain their Demonstration Garden at The Carver Center. Foreground – vertical gardening trellis reduces back bending work, background – row covers improve growing conditions for vegetables.

Corn Variety Trial

Posted by on May 19, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

Johnathan Inskeep (foreground), Don Meek, and John Helvey complete planting of 24 corn varieties at Battle Park Farms, Culpeper County VA, 5/14/18.

Johnathan Inskeep (foreground), Don Meek, and John Helvey complete planting of 24 corn varieties at Battle Park Farms, Culpeper County VA, 5/14/18.

 

L to R, Johnathan Inskeep, John Helvey and Don Meek plant 24 corn varieties at Battle Park Farms in Culpeper County, May 14, 2018.  A field day is planned for September.

L to R, Johnathan Inskeep, John Helvey and Don Meek plant 24 corn varieties at Battle Park Farms in Culpeper County, May 14, 2018. A field day is planned for September.