News & Announcements

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.

VSU Hispanic Outreach, Small Farm Program

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

Justin Fairfax

Virginia Lt. Governor, Justin Fairfax greets Leonel Castillo, VSU Hispanic Outreach, Small Farm Program, May 11, 2018.

4H Embryology Program Conclusion

Posted by on May 4, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

Iris Cummings 2nd Grade classroom, Sycamore Park Elementary School
(left to Right) Max Rechkemmer, Douglas Ponce, Brycen Butler, Olivia Pagani, Carli Scott and Silian Sanchez

The Culpeper 4H embryology program set 300 chicken eggs on April 10, across 14 classrooms in five Culpeper County Elementary schools.  Candling took place on April 24 to find out if the eggs were producing a chick, many were.  Incubation progressed over 21 days and hatch took place on May 1.  Children welcomed the newly hatched chicks which go to local poultry farms to be reared.   Experiencing the magic of life through embryology is one way children can learn to appreciate nature and science.

JoAnna Kilby, 4H program assistant can be reached at the Culpeper Extension office, located at 101 S. West St., 540-727-3435, ext. 354, or by email at jlclark@vt.edu .

Counting Chickens: An Update on the Culpeper 4H Embryology Program

Posted by on April 24, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

L to R, Laurie Hughes, 4H volunteer and JoAnna Kilby 4H program assistant, Kendall Bopp and Carter Hodgson AG Richardson students.

 

By:  Carl C. Stafford
Senior Extension Agent

Readers remember my article from earlier this month describing an annual rite of spring with the setting of chicken eggs at Culpeper schools. The Culpeper 4H embryology program set 300 chicken eggs on April 10, across 14 classrooms in five Culpeper County Elementary schools. Today marks the end of the second week of incubation and time to check on the chicken embryo’s progress.

Candling is the term used to describe this visual test, coming from the original use of a candle providing enough light to illuminate the contents of incubating egg.  Signs of life are the presence of blood vessels noted as lines scattered across the egg, or a dark shape at one end of the egg that can represent an embryo and if you are lucky and can wait, it will move inside the egg.  A perfectly clear egg has no signs of life.

Today and since the advent of electricity, special lights “candle” the eggs.  A flash light can also work or a directed light from an incandescent bulb.  Candling uncovers one of the mysteries of life – are the eggs going to hatch?  Laurie Hughes, 4H volunteer and Joanna Kilby 4H program assistant candled the first eggs of the season in Mrs. McFarland’s class at A.G. Richardson Elementary.

The 4H embryology program began under the leadership of retired 4H agent, Mason Hutcheson and continues today with 4H agent Cristy Mosley leading our youth programs.  An effective method of teaching is to learn by doing, 4H embryology does this.  Children are excited about and interested in the incubator in their classroom, they turn eggs, watch the temperature, maintaining humidity, and candling charts incubation progress.

Hatching is next on May 1 and we know not every egg will be a success, so remember, don’t count your chicks until they hatch.  Contact information available at: https://culpeper.ext.vt.edu/

 

 

 

 

Master Gardeners Demo Garden

Posted by on April 23, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

Gail Holland (center) and the Rapidan River Master Gardeners at The Carver Center gearing up their demonstration garden.

 

Deer fence (foreground) protects the Rapidan River Master Gardener demo garden at The Carver Center.

 

Caption reads: Julia Coates, Rapidan River Master Gardener Association intern, plants a vertical garden at The Carver Center demonstration garden.

Embryology Kick Off Day

Posted by on April 10, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

By: Carl C. Stafford
Senior Extension Agent

L to R, Joanna Kilby, Rebecca Mazuch, Isabella Hendley, Hamilton Carter and Lori Hughes.

Hatching chicken eggs is a fond childhood memory as fertile eggs were placed under a broody hen each spring when I was growing up. The incubation period of 21 days was only the beginning of a fascinating show of chicken behavior, culminating with the eggs hatching. The new chicks, called biddies, instinctively know to follow their mother hen for food, warmth and safety. Baby chicks can walk the instant they are hatched as they must find food soon. Hearing the hen’s maternal clucks, they zero in on a seed, a bug, or a tender blade of grass.

Today in the Culpeper County School System at Farmington Elementary, 4H Program Assistant Joanna Kilby began an annual rite of spring with the setting the first eggs of the season in Rebecca Mazuch’ second grade classroom incubator. 4H volunteer Lori Hughes joins in the coordination of the Embryology program across 14 elementary classrooms in 5 schools. In total, they and their cooperating teachers will set more than 300 eggs this week. The Culpeper program began under the leadership of retired 4H agent, Mason Hutcheson and continues today with 4H agent Cristy Mosley leading our youth programs.

The teachers know to tell their students not to count their chicks before they hatch. An old saying spelling out that not every egg will produce a live chick. About half is a good number according to Joanna and they teach the children about these failures as well as the expected success of newly hatched chicks at the end of the 21-day incubation period.

Stay tuned for an update on hatching day May first in Culpeper County schools.

Funding for GWCARC Public Hearing

Posted by on March 29, 2018 in Blog, Featured, News & Announcements | 0 comments

By:  Carl C. Stafford
Senior Extension Agent, Secretary GWCARC
3/28/18

The photo shows a public hearing held this week to discuss plans for the George Washington Agriculture Research Center and its commercial kitchen project.  By the time you read this article, a special grant application has gone in asking for $675,000 to begin work on this important resource.

If approved, the Department of Housing and Community Development funds will initiate construction in selected spaces at The Carver Center.  This area will be the home of the commercial kitchen.  Partners include Culpeper County, the Rappahannock Rapidan Regional Commission, Virginia Cooperative Extension and the GWC Food Enterprise Center. For additional information: http://gwcarc.org/

Michelle Edwards, Planner with the RRRC, provided background on the purpose and intent of the application.  She pointed out identified need for the planned facilities as survey respondents have indicated that access to inspected commercial kitchen facilities was a desirable and needed improvement for the region.  An Ohrstrom Foundation grant is also pending for the project.

Laura Loveday, Grants Administrator for Culpeper County, provided a progress report on programs underway at the Center and discussed relevance of the Commercial Kitchen as a centerpiece for planned food related programs there.   The kitchen is intended to be of several benefits to the region.

Becky Gartner, FCS Extension Agent, Project Leader on the kitchen, described these benefits.   Training will be provided under the program Stone Soup, now operating out of commercial kitchen spaces across several counties.  Business incubation is planned for those seeking an affordable space to try out their recipes, prepare their products, scale up food production while under inspection.  In the end, these people would graduate out and continue their food based business on their own.