Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rappahannock Farm Tour

My husband and I had a wonderful early-Autumn adventure last week... we took part in the Rappahannock Farm Tour here in Virginia.  Once a year, several farms, vineyards, schools, and even a distillery open their doors to the public, sharing their knowledge and experience and passion for the land.  There are so many opportunities on the tour; we were blessed by our visits with the kind folks at Mt. Vernon Farm, Waterpenny Farm, a Montessori farm school, Copper Fox Distillery, and the Link Community Center...

First stop:  Mount Vernon Farm!  Totaling 830 acres, Mount Vernon Farm is nestled along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Rappahannock County, and has been farmed by the Miller family since 1827.
The barn at Mt. Vernon Farm was said to be the largest east of the Mississippi when it was built... it is an amazing structure!
Inside the barn loft is cavernous!
Mt. Vernon farm practices management-intensive rotational grazing. This is a complex management skill that ensures top quality health for the land, pastures, and animals by preventing the livestock from overgrazing the grass. This ensures that grazed pastures have enough time to recover before being grazed again. Using this technique allows the livestock to have access to high quality pastures and to fertilize the land. This eliminates the need for dietary supplements and synthetic fertilizers.  Llamas guard the flock of sheep in the photo above.

Next stop:  Waterpenny Farm, a 10-acre vegetable farm in Rappahannock County. Since their first growing season in 2000, they’ve been committed to running the farm in harmony with the environment, using sustainable farming methods, with no chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
What IS a waterpenny?  From the Waterpenny Farm website:
"Waterpennies are beetle larva that can only live in clean water. Their presence in a stream, along with a diversity of other macroinvertebrates, indicates that the water is healthy. Our farm is named for the waterpennies we find in the North Fork of the Thornton River, which borders our farm. We intend to run our farm in a sustainable way that allows the waterpennies, and our local ecosystem, to thrive."
On to Mountain Laurel Montessori Farm School for lunch and a tour.
We were served a fresh and delicious lunch by the culinary manager at the school:  a ninth grader!  This intelligent and engaging individual had planned and prepared BBQ from the farm school's pork, farm school egg quiche with spinach and feta, perfectly mashed potatoes, bright and tasty greens, and a sweet local-apple cobbler.  Our tour included the classroom space, the hoop barn and future hoop house (providing fresh food to the area's needy), the vegetable garden, the pond and games green, and chicken, pig, and sheep pens.  History, chemistry, biology, physics, literary and performing arts are all lived out in the landscape.  Truly inspiring!

Ah... the Copper Fox Distillery!
What an interesting place!  Copper Fox is the only distillery in North America to hand malt their own barley, and they use apple and cherry wood smoke to flavor the malted barley.  The entire operation is completed by a handful of dedicated folks, creating Wasmund's Single Malt and Rye Whiskys.

We're home now, continuing to praise God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia...
The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.
Mark 4:14

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Psalm 122:1

the steeple at Providence Presbyterian Church

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”

I love my church.  Today's music was inspirational, today's sermon was right on target, today's fellowship was sweet, and today's prayers were heartfelt conversation with the King.  After the service, everyone gathered for our yearly church picnic.  I truly was glad when it was time to go into the house of the Lord, time to openly and publicly worship God. 

Time has been a wonderful teacher.  Time spent taking notice of God's ways.  Time spent pondering God's miracles.  Time spent absorbing God's truths.  

Time has taught me that the committee meeting will take place, the cookies will appear for fellowship, the lesson presentation will go smoothly... these are not the most important items on the agenda.  Time has taught me that these things are meaningless if my preparation (worship, study, and prayer) is lacking.  Time has taught me that worship in His house must come first, and I am glad.

Were you made glad by something today?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heritage Day 2010

What a glorious day!  My sweet husband drove me out to the Southampton Agriculture and Forestry Museum's Heritage Village for their annual Heritage Day event.  The weather was perfect, the displays were simple and homey and comforting, and I felt alive with hope and health.  For this, I am so very thankful...

Forestry wagon
Having a chat with the goats
Making soap
Doing laundry
Pumping cold water...
...into the Dairy House to keep milk cold
Cottage kitchen
Cottage sewing corner
Doctor's office
General store

Church pews
The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; 
and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, 
while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, 
I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees.
Brother Lawrence

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Healing and Refreshment...

I've been feeling well these last few days.  Really well.  For the first time in a really long time.

Those of you who know even a little of my story know this to be a true blessing.  I am so thankful for it.  I'm almost afraid to tell of this priceless gift lest it evaporate before my eyes.

But right now I feel really well.

Last night I was reading my favorite Bible passage, basking in the comfort of the words, know that my Lord is trustworthy and true:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
   and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
   and He will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6.
For the what felt like the first time ever, I kept reading:

Be not wise in your own eyes;
   fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
   and refreshment to your bones
Proverbs 3:7-8

Could this really be the first time I read this passage?  Healing and refreshment.  I kept looking:

...be attentive to my words;
   incline your ear to my sayings.
  Let them not escape from your sight;
   keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
   and healing to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
   for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:20-23

Be humble, fear the Lord, turn from evil, keep my heart... pondering healing and refreshment with these revealed treasures in mind this week...

Be well, dear ones!