Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine March 2019

Page 1

MARCH 2019


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The Rusty Willow Boutique Summer Camps and Private Schools



Southern Fauquier Spotlight: Independent Filmmaker Ron Newcomb


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PUBLISHER Dennis Brack dennis@piedmontpub.com

from the E D I T O R



y the time this issue reaches the stands, winter will be starting, we hope, anyway, to loosen its hold on our area. The days will be getting longer, the nights shorter, and the sun a little stronger and we will all be eager to get outside. But am I being premature? March is still technically winter, and spring is so close, yet so far. The landscape is still brown and grey. But I hope in this issue to help you look forward to the splendour that spring will bring. For some of us, that means getting the garden planned and started (more on that below). For some, it means getting out into the great outdoors — think of getting out to the mountains; our outdoors writer Andreas Keller has written about the local Blue Mountain Hiking Club. For others, it means just simply enjoying the warmer weather and spring blooms that bring the landscape back to life. For a preview to help cope with spring fever, immerse yourself in our selection of our talented Fauquier artists’ images of florals and spring landscapes. As the sun warms the earth, many of us have our thoughts turning to the garden. Whether flower or vegetable, it’s time to start planning our season’s landscape. I am a gardening dropout. I manage to keep house plants alive, but success with anything planted in the yard seems to evade me. I have been known to start out strong in the spring, but cop out the second the weather gets hot in the summer, allowing the weeds to reach embarrassing (think shoulder-level) heights in my gardens. It’s a shame,

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ON THE WEB www.PiedmontLifestyle.com Facebook: @PiedmontLifestylePublications Email Newsletter: Sign up at www.PiedmontLifestyle.com The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and distributed to over 11,500 selected addresses. While reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to any such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. While ensuring that all published information is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions. Reproduction in whole or part of any of the text, illustration or photograph is strictly forbidden. ©2019 Rappahannock Media LLC.


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really, since our house has gorgeous garden beds installed by a previous owner. But I have never been able to do them justice. My mother, one of those avid, perfect gardeners, is appalled. However, there is possible salvation for me. Through an article for this issue I have been introduced to the concept of Square Foot Gardening, a method of gardening that takes less space, less water, less expense, and, get this, takes only two percent of the work of a conventional garden. Should I try it? For those of you who do have the knack of coaxing beautiful flowers or edible produce from the earth, whether you are going to give this new-fangled method a try or are a steadfast conventional gardener, you’re going to need seedlings if you haven’t started your seeds indoors. Did you know that quite a few farmers at the Warrenton Farmers Market sell not only their produce, but seedlings as well to help get you started on growing your own food? No need to visit the big box stores, you can get your carefully grown, lovingly tended started plants right at the corner of 5th and Lee Streets on Saturdays, starting in midApril. Meet some of the farmers of our Farmers Market in this issue. And just hang on...spring is really right around the corner!


contents 24

52 06



Southern Fauquier Spotlight

Choosing a retirement plan as a business owner BY NATHAN GILBERT

08 Hiking: The Blue Mountain Hiking Club By Andreas Keller

12 Managing and Organizing Digital Photos BY KLAUS FUECHSEL


Zooming In: Independent Filmmaker Ron Newcomb BY WILL SCARING

18 Private School vs Public School Which is right for your child?

Special Section: Gardening

24 From Seedling to Table The Farmers of the Warrenton Farmers Market





Southern Glam from the Deep South The Rusty Willow Boutique BY PAM KAMPHUIS


34 44

32 The Sourwood Tree

Springtime Art


Seasonal and floral creations from Fauquier’s local artists





Rock of Ages The Elizabeth Lawrence Band BY WENDY MARTINSHUMA

Four Steps to Awakening Your Garden



Homemade Chorizo


Origin of a Recipe BY AARON LYNCH

The Warrenton Garden Club joins Virginia’s Historic Garden Week

60 Wine: Breaking Bud BY MARK LUNA

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VISIT US today for the latest news, sports and features from Fauquier, Prince William, Arlington, Fairfax, Stafford and throughout the region.

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Choosing a Retirement Plan as a Business Owner SPOTLIGHT: Jonathan Caron Construction, Inc. BY NATHAN GILBERT

local expert THE EXPERT:

Nathan Gilbert HIS EXPERTISE:

Financial Planning and Wealth Management Nathan Gilbert is an Investment Advisor and Managing Partner with Meridian Financial Partners in Warrenton, Virginia. Meridian is an independent, fee-only investment advisory firm providing financial planning and investment management. Mr. Gilbert was born and raised in the area and currently resides in Haymarket with his wife and three children.


{ MARCH 2019 |


n my position, I am very fortunate to meet a lot of successful small and medium-sized business owners. Each has their own unique background and origin story, and I like to hear about how their ideas become reality. By any measure, it is difficult to leave the relative comfort of working for a company that offers good benefits and a steady stream of income, and owning your own business comes with its own set of responsibilities, caring for your employees by establishing a retirement plan, for instance. This month, I’d like to focus on one such local business owner and his decision process in choosing a retirement plan to implement for his company. Jonathan Caron of Jonathan Caron Construction Inc. has been out on his own for about four years. Jonathan is based here in Warrenton and builds custom homes, completes remodels, and even builds custom treehouses. He has built (no pun intended) a great name for himself, and he prides himself on high quality construction as well as keeping in regular contact with his clients with regard to updates, costs, and timelines. When considering an appropriate retirement plan for his business, he needed to consider several factors. Among them were: 1. How many employees are in the company? 2. How long would the owner like to require that an employee work for the company before becoming eligible? 3. Would the owner and/or employees like to contribute directly from their paychecks? 4. Would the company like to offer a match contribution, or have the business make contributions on the employees’ behalf?



Jonathan has one full-time employee, and he works with many contractors to complete the various projects his firm undertakes. The contractors with whom he works are not required to be covered, so the plan would only need to be for him and his employee. Because he would like to defer income from his salary, and he is generous enough to offer a match, he chose the SIMPLE IRA. SIMPLE is actually an acronym (even though the plan is simple to set up) that stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. There are several other plan options for Jonathan’s company structure, but the SIMPLE IRA best fit his situation. It allows him and his employee to defer up to $12,500 per year ($15,500 for those over age 50), and the company matches three percent. It operates much like a 401(k) plan at a larger company, but there are no costs for set up and no IRS testing that some plan types are subject to. Further,

each participant can choose his or her own investment options, and there is no vesting schedule. This means that the matched portion of the contributions belong to the participants immediately. There is also some flexibility in what Jonathan can require of his participants. He can allow new employees to participate right away or require them to work for the company for one or two years. He can also exclude short-term employees (like summer help, etc.) that make less than $5,000. And, he can reduce the match in some years, but generally has to keep it at three percent. The good news for Jonathan is that he can choose a new plan in future years as his company grows. There is no requirement to stick with one plan type for any length of time. Choosing the right plan is not only a good idea for the business owner’s own retirement, it’s also a nice benefit that will help attract and retain quality employees. ❖

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Spring is Coming: Get Ready to Take on the Outdoors! BLUE MOUNTAIN HIKING CLUB BY ANDREAS A. KELLER

each other, focus on trail safety, and practice the Leave-No-Trace policy in order to support trail conservation.

Where Do We Hike? We hike in the Blue Mountain region, which is the colloquial name of the most northwestern ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. It contains the Shenandoah National Park with 500 miles of trails including the portion of the Appalachian Trail that traverses the entire length of the ridge along its western slope and crest. The George Washington National Forest is another of our frequently visited parks. The trails are less crowded and it offers the added bonus of being allowed to build a campfire. During the winter, when snow and ice cover the trails, the slopes of West Virginia offer cross-country and downhill skiing.


ith spring at our doorsteps, just the thought of getting out into the warm sunshine, exploring the greening forests, and breathing the fresh mountain air makes hikers want to strap on their hiking boots and head for the trails. They can’t get there soon enough!

Hiking as a Lifestyle Choice Walking and hiking are the most natural health promoting physical activities available in our modern life. My father, a Swiss country doctor of few words, used to advise many a patient to “Walk more and eat less! It’s the secret to a longer and happier life.” True to his advice, every Sunday he took his family for several hours walking in the countryside. What


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started out as boring for me at the time grew into an exhilarating pursuit of hiking new trails in the mountains which gives me great joy. Many hikers make this a permanent lifestyle choice by joining a hiking club, and bonding with like minded people. I share my passion with my hiking club, the local Blue Mountain Hiking Club. We explore nature’s great outdoors through many different hikes, backpacking tours, and skiing events. We value fellowship and camaraderie and adhere to good hiking etiquette. We support our hikers by taking breaks as necessary, and each hike is led by a guide in front and a “sweeper” who hikes at the rear of the group in order to leave no hiker behind. We are very supportive of

Our Hike Leaders A good hike needs preparation and that’s the hike leader’s commitment to all who join him or her on the trail. The hike leader needs to know the trail and its challenges, the weather and its inconsistencies, and the strength and weaknesses of the hikers who join the hike. The main characteristic of a great hike leader is the ability to help other hikers enjoy their outing in nature. The Blue Mountain Hiking Club rests on the strong foundation of experienced hike leaders who all know each other and support each other in offering a wonderful hiking experience with every hike they schedule. I would like to introduce those exceptional individuals.

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Schanna Chilcote is the co-organizer of the Blue Mountain Hiking Club. She began hiking regularly in 2016, eventually becoming a hike leader in 2017. What started as a diversion from the tolls of a busy life and a means to improve her physical health quickly became a passion and a lifestyle. Her personal motto is “Hiking is my salvation.” Through conducting periodic hiking clinics, Schanna hopes to inspire others to join our club and adopt the hiking lifestyle. Schanna enjoys all types of hiking, especially the longer, more challenging hikes. In 2017, she completed a 21-mile endurance hike in Dolly Sods, WV, a fundraiser benefiting CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. She is currently in the process of hiking all 500 miles of trails within the Shenandoah National Park. Whenever possible, she enjoys hiking once or twice a week and leads most of her hikes in the SNP. Schanna will soon join four others in the community as a member of the Pedestrian Bicycle Greenway Advisory Committee’s Hiking Task Force. The task force will identify and recommend new hiking trails that could be opened or reopened for public use within Fauquier County. Their first order of business will be the hiking trails of the soon-to-open Riverside Preserve along the Rappahannock River. Toni Crouch is the hike leader with the most ready smile and loves to meet new people on the trail, and with her sunny disposition turns them instantly into friends who look forward to coming back for more hiking. She is not too keen on hiking in cold weather but you can count on her scheduling many moderate and beginner’s hikes starting in the spring. This year Toni is also organizing a weeklong club hike in the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho which rivals any of the better known National Parks in beauty and adventure. Toni is also the organizer of the newly started entertainment corner “Books and Flicks” for the hiking club. She gathers input from our hikers about easy reads and uplifting movies which she then publishes in the message section on our club’s Meetup site.

Cooper Wright has loved hiking since his days in the Boy Scouts, at West Point, and while serving as an Army Ranger. Army life builds a natural motivation to stay fit, and hiking accomplishes that for Cooper, who loves to spend time in the outdoors. For him, the most critical thing about hiking is what you do before you hit the trail — plan ahead and prepare! Have we checked the weather and hike route? Have we brought sufficient clothing, food and water? Do we know where the bailout points are and what to do in case of an emergency? He knows that even for an experienced hiker, proper preparation can often prevent unwanted situations from occurring during the hike.

Wine with hundreds of articles about the art and science of winemaking. Garrick Giebel and Anne Grenade, our husband and wife team, share the work of doing the research, scheduling, and leading numerous hikes ranging in difficulty from beginner to moderately strenuous. They enjoy not only the hiking but also the friendships that can be made on the trails nearby and abroad. Last year they joined a group from our hiking club to explore the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland, Canada and the year before they hiked in the Swiss Mountains. They are on the trail at least once a week. Garry has also attended the two-day Wilderness First Aid Course and in his pack, like all our hike leaders, carries a first aid kit.







John Hagarty is a lifelong hiker and backpacker. He remembers just about every hike he has done and barely ever needs a map on the trail. It is a delight to be on the trail with John, he can make you forget that you carry around 40 pounds on your back and he adheres to one popular, hard and fast rule — happy hour starts at 5 p.m., at which time the campfire is burning. John is also a trail overseer in the Shenandoah National Park and regularly goes out on the trail to clear blowdowns or do trail repair. With such a busy outdoor life one just has to wonder where he finds the time and energy to make wine and beer at home, or fill his website Hagarty on

Both Garrick and Anne are also excellent skiers, a joy to watch when they take to the slopes with elegance and navigate the black diamond trails effortlessly. Stephen Herholtz, who is a volunteer at the Manassas National Battlefield Park, offers moderate hikes with a detailed focus on Civil War history and Dave Engan, our newest hike leader, is eager to schedule some moderate hikes soon. The Blue Mountain Hiking Club is privileged to have such a group of dedicated hike leaders who provide our community with a wonderful resource to enjoy the Great Outdoors in safety. ❖

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andreas A. Keller is a passionate hiker and avid backpacker happy to pass along the joys of the great outdoors to other hikers. He is the organizer of the Blue Mountain Hiking Club which can be found at meetup.com/Blue-Mountain-Hiking-Club. He can be reached via email at aakeller@mac.com.


{ MARCH 2019 |



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Too many memories??

date, event, topic, or name. This may be a time consuming step, but it’s worth it in the long run and can even be fun. Two years ago, I spent many evenings on a big project for the wedding of my oldest daughter, Silvia. This involved looking through tons of digital pictures, and in the end I created a 45 minute slideshow with music featuring 150 photos from her birth to the wedding. While sorting and choosing the photos, my wife and I enjoyed reliving fun and memorable moments in our lives together.

Eliminating doubles

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Computers & Technology

Klaus Fuechsel owns the local awardwinning computer repair store Dok Klaus. He and his team deal with all kinds of computer issues; data preservation is one of their top priorities. You may contact Dok Klaus via phone 540-428-2376 or visit his website www. DokKlaus.com.


{ MARCH 2019 |

Preserving and Managing Photos BY KLAUS FUECHSEL


ow many photos do you have on your digital phone? On your computer? On the cloud? I’m guessing it’s a lot. Many people have an alarming number of photos on their devices (one of my clients had over 200,000!), and finding the ones you need can be a daunting task.

Bite the bullet and organize your photos on your computer In this digital age it is easy to take thousands of images a year with our phones. They become synced to our computers (e.g. via iCloud or memory sticks) and can pile up there in a plethora of places. For the most part, going through the photos one by one and filing them in folders is the only way to make sense of them. It’s good to create clearly labeled folders and sub-folders, and then organize all of your photos in a way that makes sense to you, by



While working on this project, I noticed that over the years I had made backups of pictures which created thousands of doubles. One way to free up space on your hard drive would be to eliminate these doubles. Doing this manually would be incredibly time consuming, so I used a program called “DoubleKiller Pro.” But as always, before you start, make sure you backup your computer. Then be careful to clearly define in the program what constitutes a double, which will help the program discern what files to flag. Files that have the same name? Or the same size? Or even the same date and time? Whatever choice and whichever tool you decide to use, be careful that you don’t accidentally delete photos that aren’t really part of a duplicate pair.

Your phone’s organizational capabilities Your mobile phone has some apps and built in functionality to help you organize your photos. My iPhone offers options to view my photos by date and location. How is this possible? When you take a digital photo, it stores metadata, which is information describing each photo file. This usually includes the time the picture was taken and the location (linked to the GPS in your phone). But there is much more “tagged” in a photo file. I was really surprised when my phone offered to show my “animal” pictures. And it worked pretty well. It was fun looking at all of the photos with our

blue parakeet. But it also found a photo that my youngest daughter texted to me, showing a parrot on her shoulder. The app doesn’t know the names of my daughters, but when I’m searching under “people,” it shows a face shot of each of them. Then, when I click on one of them, it displays photos in which this particular person is seen. Amazing. This information is not necessarily stored/tagged in the photo file. To recognize animals, people and objects in your photos an advanced computer vision software is in play. Photo organizers such as Adobe Lightroom and ACDSee for computers offer similar techniques. If I had had one of them on my computer last year, I would have found pictures of my daughter Silvia in no time.

Working with non-digital photos But how can you preserve memory-rich photos from old albums and boxes? A quick way to get those pictures digitized would be to take a photo with your phone. But to get better quality, you will need a scanner. A flatbed scanner is often included in all-in-one printers. But an overhead scanner has many benefits; It allows you to scan anything that you put in front of the scanning sensor without damaging

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the documents by squeezing them under a lid. Scanning is a great way to integrate those old family photos and documents into your genealogy program. And, again, don’t forget to organize your scans in well-labeled files and back up them up. ❖

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Highlighting the people, places, and businesses in BEALETON • REMINGTON • MIDLAND • OPAL • GOLDVEIN & points between

Zooming In


Bealeton’s RON NEWCOMB and his new ventures hope to create sustainable work for creators all across the Mid-Atlantic area BY WILL SCARING | PHOTOS COURTESY OF RON NEWCOMB

Left: 2nd Unit DP Bart Johnson, captures some epic fantasy warriors from The Rangers: A Shadow Rising, filmed in Rappahannock, VA.

“Truth be told, I’ve been really looking forward to this interview!” Those were some of the first words I heard from Ron Newcomb when we spoke. When I prepared for my interview with him, I was expecting someone who was difficult to get hold of because of a busy schedule working with cast and crew, possibly even more distant in person. What I found instead was someone who was surprisingly down to earth: conversational, pleasant, not at all what I expected from a film producer, especially one that runs two separate film studios. Newcomb’s demeanor reflects his upbringing and his


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mindset in the filmmaking industry: someone who makes opportunities for himself and for others, instead of leaving to find the nearest one someone else made. In a part of the country where professional-grade filmmaking is sometimes scarce, ventures like Newcomb’s are an opportunity like an oasis in the desert—a welcome, hopeful sight in an area that has exhausted many creators into giving up or leaving for more welcoming places. When most people think of filmmaking in America, their mind immediately flocks to Los Angeles,

with the sun, the sand, and the overly bloated film corporations who churn out blockbuster after blockbuster that people usually only go to see because they’re bored on a Saturday night. Most people don’t immediately think of independent filmmakers like Newcomb unless they’re winning some award at a film festival like Sundance or Spirit. However, that’s exactly the type of work that Newcomb likes to encourage: independent actors and storytellers bringing their voices to the table. His two production groups, Forge Studios and Mid Atlantic Studios, are both owned and operated by Newcomb, and specialize in the sort of films that Newcomb himself enjoys making. Forge is Newcomb’s primary studio, and one that is relatively genre-specific; films made by Forge are typically either

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Left, Top: Sheila Avellino on the set of The Rangers: The Courier filmed in Rappahannock, VA. Left, Bottom: Ron Newcomb stands in the arena for an epic 1:1 battle during the Weekend Warrior event, a Cinematic Experientail Event.

Fantasy or Sci-fi. This position wasn’t exactly intended to align so, but in Newcomb’s own words, “We offer other content as well, that was just the niche we found ourselves in.” Mid Atlantic Studios is a new venture for Newcomb and his associates, functioning specifically to hire cast and crew located along and near the East Coast, focusing in Maryland, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, and both North and South Carolina. The Studio is designed so that actors and tech workers can buy into the company, allowing them to have a voice in what gets produced by the studio in a method that Newcomb calls “sustainable filmmaking.” Seeing a group that is designed specifically with the intent to give smaller actors and crew a chance to work in a field they are passionate about is a truly welcome sight to see in this part of the country. Newcomb currently works as an IT project manager when he’s not filmmaking, but he spends much of his free time building his group and working on new opportunities. For Newcomb, the biggest motivation for creating a studio came from the lack of opportunity present on the East Coast for filmmakers. “I have a Master’s Degree, a house, a wife and four little girls, but I couldn’t do the very thing I felt like I was called to do. There’s this expectation, especially on the East Coast, that if you’re acting or producing, you should be doing something else. The goal with this project isn’t to get rich, but it’s more of a way trying to create a sustainable lifestyle for creators.” His origin in the industry begins as a child, but not as a child actor. He


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quotes his love for tabletop games with his friends as the introduction to his love of stories. Instead of playing sports in college, he went into acting as an extracurricular activity, and went on to win several acting competitions until finally making the move to L.A. After coming back to Virginia, he created his own experience making films in a local movie theater with a friend while working evenings as a police officer. “That first film we made together wasn’t a masterpiece, but it’s what really taught me that making films is absolutely doable, and that you don’t have to be a major film corporation to do what you love.” When asked to give advice, Newcomb had a few suggestions for those in the area that want to make their own content, but aren’t quite ready to make the move to New York or Los Angeles: Find other people with your vision. This may seem like an obvious point, but we can’t stress it enough. “If you look, you’ll find there’s plenty of other people out there



who share your vision.” Creating a network of other actors, writers, and directors is vital to meeting your goals of production. Don’t tackle something too big, too early. Ambition can be an excellent motivator, but a healthy dose of realism will help to keep your goals manageable. This might include reserving filming for only one to two days a week if your actors have day jobs, as well as cutting costs with preowned props from home instead of buying them exclusively for the production. Work on someone else’s content first. There’s no better teacher than experience, and other creators can offer that experience in spades. Getting your acting experience in a student film is a great way to build your comfort level in front of the camera. Not an actor? Volunteer as a crew member on a student film or short; there’s always a need for extra hands, and you can gain some really valuable, hands-on technical experience for later. Sometimes, you have to be the producer. One of Newcomb’s biggest concerns as a filmmaker is money: “Money isn’t ‘A’ problem in our industry, money is ‘THE’ problem.” Making content is great, but as with all things, finances are always a factor. Being able to take a step back and make decisions for financial reasons, or ‘putting on the producer’s cap,’ as Newcomb calls it, is important for both meeting deadlines for any production and also ensuring that a budgeted project doesn’t run out of funding halfway through. For Newcomb, the work itself is its own reward, that and meeting other content creators like himself. Although film work can be a challenge to find, Newcomb’s example shows that not only is a creative film career in this area feasible — sustainable even — it provides a chance for other creative types to see how doable it is. It makes one hopeful that maybe there’s a chance for more groups like his to spring up nearby. ❖ Information regarding upcoming events, auditions and crew work can be found on Forge Studios’ Facebook page, their website theforgestudios.com, and their weekly newsletter. Business inquiries may be directed via email at film@theforgestudios.com.


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At Novant Health UVA Health System, our continued commitment to top quality has earned our Prince William and Haymarket medical centers A’s in Hospital Safety from Leapfrog. Patients and their families appreciate convenient access to an expanded array of services and highly-skilled providers. With specialty clinics located within our hospital, our local physician offices and outpatient centers, we’ve never been better equipped to serve you. Find your provider at NovantHealthUVA.org/Find-A-Doctor Novant Health UVA Prince William Medical Center 8700 Sudley Rd, Manassas, VA 20110 Novant Health UVA Haymarket Medical Center 15225 Heathcote Blvd, Haymarket, VA 20169

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{ MARCH 2019 |




Private School vs Public School:

finding the ‘right’ school for a student is a highly personalized process which does not easily lend itself to general comparisons.

It boils down to what’s best for the student BY WILL SCARING


ublic schools are an immediate choice for many parents simply because they are the most obvious choice. As a publicly funded institution, tuition is no issue for parents, and in many cases, the schools’ centralized location also ensures that children are returning home fairly soon after


{ MARCH 2019 |

the day ends. Not only that, but with a wide selection of extracurricular activities run by the school system, it seems like a public school education is an easy choice to make. Coco Jacobs, a Gainesville mother of three, has had experience with both public and private education. Her two sons attended public school where they played sports, made friends, and flourished. Said Jacobs, “When it comes to distance and pricing compared to a private school, using a public school for education was no contest.”



However, there are other options out there for those who prefer a different approach to the education of their children. Many parents who feel that public school is not an appropriate fit for their student might find the smaller class sizes of a private school to be a better fit. Said Marc Belanger, the Director of Advancement at Highland School, a private school in Warrenton, “A major benefit of an independent school education is the small teacher-student ratio that empowers teachers to give each child the highly individualized attention and support they need.” According to Jacobs, while her daughter Emma started in public school like her older siblings, she really found the academic push she needed once she moved to Middleburg Academy, a private school in Middleburg. While Emma is primarily there for educational reasons, she’s also found that she enjoys the social life aspect of the school. “She’s friendly with all of her classmates and her teachers,” said Jacobs, “and there’s enough accountability among the staff that someone is always helping her keep an eye on her grades.” So then the question arises: how does one decide what place is best for their children? “In my opinion,” said Belanger, “finding the ‘right’ school for a student is a highly personalized process which does not easily lend itself to general comparisons. Each family must decide what is best for them.” Jacobs believes the answer lies more in the needs of the child than in the needs of the parent. “I’ve found that public school works very well for children who are self-motivated and want to go out to achieve themselves, but for children that need that little bit of extra academic push, a private education might be a better way to go.” In an area like ours, there are numerous options for primary and secondary education, and each school has its own approach, areas of emphasis, and ideology. To narrow the question to simply “should we go public or private?” is to ignore the unique qualities that every school has. When push comes to shove, the most important factor in a child’s education is how it is pursued, and if it is effective. ❖

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{ MARCH 2019 |




“Southern Glam” from the Deep South A historic building now houses the RUSTY WILLOW BOUTIQUE


pretty old, it was built in 1946, and has housed a lot of different businesses since then. It used to be the Huntsman Restaurant, and I have older ladies who will come in to shop and tell me how they would come in here and get a bloody mary and listen to a band. It was the only place around where you could get a good bloody mary. So the stories are cool that people tell me here in Warrenton. I love the local history of the building.

The Rusty Willow is the culmination of a dream of Sonya Pancione, an Amissville resident who gave up her career as a senior paralegal for a criminal law firm to be a stay at home mom to her four children. Then in the past couple of years, things started evolving; her children were growing up, and she was trying to figure out what to do with the second half of her life. The genesis of the idea for Rusty Willow came in the deep South. “I was visiting my grandmother in Baton Rouge, and we happened on a little boutique in Mississippi. It had a very southern glam, rustic feel to it and I fell in love with the entire concept. I came home, told my husband, ‘I know what I’m going to do,’ and he said, ‘Let’s do it.’”


{ MARCH 2019 |



TELL US ABOUT YOUR LOCATION. We originally looked at Davis Street in Culpeper, but I just didn’t feel a lot peace about it, so one day we were sitting at Carousel, my daughter and I, and the realtor was hanging up the sign. And my daughter said, “You know, that would make a great place,” and we checked it out. It was a complete disaster, holes in the ceiling, just a mess. We invested about $25,000 to get the place in shape to where we could move in. The building’s

HOW DID YOU ACHIEVE THIS GREAT INTERIOR? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DECOR? Gosh how would I describe it? Rustic? I don’t know, I just decorate by feel; if I love something, I put it in. I love bling, I love refurbished, I love things that I’m inspired by. I didn’t want this to be a store where all the clothes were on racks, I wanted to be more creative than that. So I found some rustic ladders, and my husband said, “What are you going to do with them?” and I said, “I’m going to hang clothes on them.” So little by little all the clothing racks are going…I’m moving them out and bringing in different pieces to take their place. The whole store is actually built around this sofa. It’s called my comfort couch. It was my grandmother’s, and she loved turquoise. We put it in and built the whole store around it. And it will never leave. People come in just to see it. I had a gentleman offer me $10,000 for this couch, but I turned him down. My husband said I was


Get your house ready for us to list for the Spring Market. Here are some Spring Cleaning Tips:

IS HERE! Now is the perfect time to buy or sell!

• • • • • • •

Wash windows & window sills Clean all window treatments De-clutter closets and other areas Deep clean floors Deep clean bathrooms Reorganize bookshelves & cabinets Clean refrigerator, inside and out

If you need help with ideas give me a call and I can come and give you more suggestions. I can help you sell your home and find you the perfect home.

Brenda Rich REALTOR® Brenda Rich 540-270-1659 | brenda.rich@c21nm.com

Call for a Free Market Analysis Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

85 Garrett Street Warrenton, Virginia 20186 | Office: 540-349-1221

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FLYING HIGH ENGRAVING MICHELLE M. HOPKINS CUSTOM LASER ENGRAVING ATTORNEY AT LAW WE CAN ENGRAVE ON MOST MATERIALS Wood, Metal, Cork, Leather, & more! book stands • pet tags • tumblers • growlers • wine cups glasses • cutting boards • luggage tags • coasters

17 S. 5th St. Warrenton, VA 20186 • 540.351.5937




{ MARCH 2019 |





crazy. But my grandmother was the root of my whole life. Everything goes back to her as the center. Everything. My love for the Lord, my love of fashion, my love of life, my energy, it all goes back to her. She’s still around, in Louisiana, and she’s seen the shop by Facetime, and she loves it. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CLOTHING AT RUSTY WILLOW? A little bit of boho, a little flowy. We have a lot of unique pieces. I hand-pick every piece in the store. I go to several markets, in Vegas, Atlanta, New York, and Birmingham to buy for the store. I don’t necessarily stick myself in a box; If I like something, I buy it. I have several brands that are favorites. Umgee, She and Sky, and Carol Christian. We also love Flying Tomato, and their sister company called Jealous Tomato. I try to have something for everyone. You can imagine all the FHS kids walking over and wanting fun, trendy, young girl clothes. We have them. I have women who want lunch dresses, something cute to wear for going out to lunch with their girlfriends or going to a winery, we have it. If you need something to wear to a wedding, we have it. Going to Gold Cup? We have it. My hope is that everyone who


{ MARCH 2019 |

walks in here will be able to find something for themselves, whether you tend toward conservative or wild and crazy. I never want to hear someone in their 70s coming in and saying, “Oh these clothes are too young for me. Nothing is too young. I had a lady who was 75 years old come in the other day and buy a blouse. It was just the coolest thing. I really listen to my clients, I have requests all the time, and I reach out and try to find what people want because I want people to stay local. We carry size small and petite to 3x. That is a huge market, and I want to give the curvy girls a choice. And curvy doesn’t necessarily mean plus. There are a lot of women who are extra large who have a 30 inch waist. So we don’t call it plus, we call it curvaceous. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS. I love my job. I have women come in and literally say, “Dress me.” I try to encourage women to think a little bit outside the box, so I push them just a little while staying in their comfort zone. I never ever want someone to leave this store second guessing an item that they’ve purchased. I want them to prance out the door saying, “Look what I got, I cannot wait



to wear this!” I like being able to really spend time with my customers and get to know them and develop relationships. My husband says “You should have named the shop My Girlfriends’ Closet, because people come in and you know them, and their kids, and you know that their daughter went to college and you’ve already got items in the daughter’s school’s colors for them.” And that’s the kind of business I want to be. I want to develop a community around my shop. SHOPPING LOCAL IS IMPORTANT TO YOU? I just think it’s so important for people to shop local. The economy is getting to the point where everybody shops online, and there’s never anyone in the mall. But I’ve really proven, if you provide quality things at reasonable prices and a place for people to shop, they’ll shop. And we were so blessed to find this building and have the rent be reasonable, so we’ve been able to keep our price point reasonable. We’re more expensive than Marshalls, but you’re not going to find this kind of clothing in Marshalls. But we’re not Saks Fifth Avenue either. I’ve had zero complaints on my prices. I’ve had people actually tell me, “Wow, that’s a great price, I’m going to get the other shirt,

too.” Which makes me happy. I don’t want merchandise sitting here because it’s too expensive, I want people to buy it and enjoy it. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER SUCCESS? I think it’s building a community. I love the second Thursday of every month, we do a sip and shop from 5-8 p.m. We do champagne punch with little bites to enjoy, and it’s just a place where women come in and hang out with girlfriends after they’ve dropped their kids at practice. There have been a lot of friendships formed here, which is nice. It’s become a real community. And it’s not just Warrenton residents, anymore, either. We are actually starting to get destination shoppers now, which is really exciting. People are googling us! We’ve got good statistics, we’ve got 5 stars everywhere. And we far exceeded what I thought we’d do in sales at this point. In our first year, I was just blown away. My husband is very conservative, and he was cautious at the beginning. But I said, “Even if we don’t sell any clothes, we’ll meet friends, we’ll build a community, and build a safe place for people to come if they need something to wear.” And that’s what we’ve done, exactly what my goal was. ❖

special section

“Gardening is the work of a lifetime. You never finish.” — OSCAR DE L A RENTA

Whether gardeners finish or not, we’re unsure, but we do know when they start, and that’s right now. On the next several pages you’ll find tips and advice from local master gardeners, landscape architects, and a few “great gardeners next door” whose flowerbeds are the envy of the neighborhood. Enjoy and happy gardening!



special section




veryone knows what a jewel we have in our local Warrenton Farmers Market, which has actually been around for quite a long time! The 2019 season will be the market’s 44th anniversary; it began in 1975 via an act of the town council. Last year, there were over 30 vendors at the Saturday Fifth and Lee Street location and over 15 vendors at the Wednesday morning farmers market at the WARF (a 34 percent increase due to the updated market governance


{ MARCH 2019 |



guidelines of 2017). Our Farmers Market is an excellent opportunity for local farmers to get their produce, meats, eggs, honey, crafts, and nursery plants to local residents. Now overseen by a part-time seasonal manager, the market season at the Fifth and Lee Street location runs mid-April through mid-November. Early in the season, shoppers will find preserves, cold-hardy greens, storage crops, meats, eggs, and seedlings that have been carefully tended and are ready for planting. Not everyone who shops at farmers markets is interested in installing their own garden, but for those who love the joy of growing some of their own food, the market is a great place to pick up quality seedlings, as well as advice on how to grow them. The Warrenton Farmers Market is heavily involved in addressing food insecurity in our community. Through the support of PATH Foundation, Warrenton Farmers Market and Fauquier FISH, in collaboration with a network of community partners, implemented the Farmers Market Coalition’s Power of Produce program. The program offers free family events, live music, and a voucher program (POP Bucks) that contribute to market vitality and addresses food insecurity. Over $22,000 worth of POP Bucks were redeemed at Fauquier County farmers markets last year, which is money that may not have otherwise been available to the farmers. And this year, the Warrenton Farmers Market will also be implementing the federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Households can use SNAP benefits to buy food, as well as seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat. They also hope to participate in matching grants that double or triple the SNAP dollars at the market. At the market, there is a real sense of community and connection to the food, when shoppers get to literally shake the hand that feeds them. These farmers who not only provide access to fresh, locally grown and produced foods are also a wealth of information on growing your own food. We have spoken to three farmers that are regular vendors at our market that, in the spirit of our gardening issue, offer seedlings to those starting their own gardens.

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Thinking of selling your home?

Stephen and Amanda Day

Juaquin Medina



Juaquin Medina, proprietor of family-owned Gonzales Farm has farming running through his veins. Born and raised in a family of farmers, Juaquin and his three brothers all kept with the tradition of working the earth to entice it to bear the great quality produce enjoyed by patrons of the Warrenton Farmers Market for the past 11 years. Medina said, “Farming with my father was our college experience.” Medina’s wife Xochil has a big part in the literal roots of their business. Xochil lovingly and skillfully grows seedlings for the operation in the farm’s greenhouse, some of which are planted as crops on the farm and some are sold to customers at the market. Xochil has a knack for growing herbs. Her advice for keeping potted herbs healthy includes well drained soil, organic plant food administered every 7-10 days, and making sure to give the plant plenty of soil space to grow in so it doesn’t become root bound.

Gonzales Farm sells many seedlings at the market, including flowers (zinnias, Gerber daisies, marigolds, sunflowers, snapdragons), produce (squash, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries, peppers, cantaloupe), and herbs (over 30 varieties, including rosemary, parsley, tarragon, thyme, basil). Depending on the variety, the season to plant seedlings is April through mid-June. What are their recommended varieties? “Cherokee Purple Heirloom tomatoes, which will yield harvest as early as mid-May, were very popular last year with our customers. We planted 150 five-gallon containers of this type last year and sold them all,” says Medina. Due to the farm’s care in developing a healthy root structure, this variety is healthy and low-maintenance. The Gonzales family has enjoyed watching the growth and positive changes to the market over the years. Medina says, “Back to school time used to be slow, but now the market stays busy in the fall. The POP bucks program keeps families shopping with us. We have seen a lot of young families and new customers that have become repeat customers.”


{ MARCH 2019 |



Stephen says, “I started farming a couple years after college, and my wife joined me after she graduated. We had two main reasons to farm, and having the land right in front of me—and therefore the opportunity—made the most difference. When my sister and I were young, my parents made the unorthodox choice to relocate our family from Fairfax to 30 acres in the countryside, so we had ready access to a bit of north Culpeper hill-country with a few more-or-less fertile spots. The second most important reason is personal independence. We love being involved in all parts of a business enterprise of our own and blending our livelihood with our living space. The Days sell not only their produce at the Warrenton Farmers Market, but a wide variety of both vegetable and flower seedlings (grown in their heated greenhouse) and have been doing so for four years, following in the footsteps of Stephen’s grandfather who had been a vendor here for about 30 years. Their biggest sellers are tomatoes, and peppers, squash, cucumbers, and edible greens are also very popular. The Days say, “If you are planting a garden this spring, come out to see us on a Saturday in Warrenton. We will have something you are looking for, along with advice on how to grow it.”

The Day’s favorite item to grow, they say, is greenhouse tomatoes. Stephen says, “Virginia weather has it in for tomato plants, so they benefit tremendously from indoor growing. In our case, this means they grow out of the same soil as everything else, but they are protected from rain, wind, and big temperature swings by transparent plastic enclosures. The result is healthier, longer-lived plants with better tasting fruit than anything we’ve grown outdoors.” The Days recommendation for beginning gardeners: Plant for success first, and challenge yourself later. Hardy greens like kale and swiss chard might not be flashy, but they are survivors and they’ll make it to the plate as long as you protect them from deer

and moths. If you want to plant the sun-loving crops, start with boring, reliable cultivars—success with a cherry tomato or a simple yellow squash is much more rewarding than failure with exotic varieties. The most important thing to a long career as a homegardener is that you can pick something for dinner every night.

Matt Eustace


At the Warrenton Farmers Market, you can sometimes catch Farmer Matt Eustace of Willowlyn Farms running his own tent. Loyal shoppers know that by May, Eustace will have a gorgeous offering of produce that often includes sweet and crunchy snap peas, ripe strawberries, full heads of cabbage, and luscious salad greens. However, in April, before all of that is available to folks who would rather a skilled farmer do the magic of turning a seemingly humble plant into a nutrient rich, culinary delicacy, Willowlyn Farm offers home-grown seedlings to market shoppers, namely flowers (dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias) and vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash). Gardeners of various skill levels who want to grow their own food can count on Eustace’s expert advice on how and when to plant the seedlings as well as recommendations for maintenance for a successful crop. His recommendations for beginning gardeners? “Plant tomatoes and peppers if you have an area that has full sun. There are very few pest issues with these. Although the varieties have slightly different needs, tomatoes & peppers are great for beginners.” Eustace’s farm roots come from four generations of family dairy farming and he also holds a degree in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech. When considering his start as a produce farmer, he said, “I started with 15 or 20 shares of CSA (community supported agriculture) that I sold to family and friends. I grew that slowly & deliberately.” After five years, Willowlyn Farm now has 20 acres of fields with raised beds, usually about 12-15 of those in use during the growing season. Because he practices rotation of planting fields to restore the soil to health, Eustace has 5-8 acres that are “resting” each growing season. His passion for educating the public shows. He believes it is important for consumers to know where their food comes from so that they and can understand what they are buying and don’t get swept up in labels. He says, “I work to educate my CSA & Farmers Market customer base by letting them know the problems and solutions I am working on to grow their food safely. Being forthright about what I grow and how I grow it lends more credential than a certified organic label.” ❖


Dr. Harris...

q. a.

I’ve neglected my mouth for years and I am scared to death of the dentist. How can you help me? We develop a rapport with our patients. Once you get to know us, your anxiety will diminish. We have medication, nitrous oxide, and administer painless injections. We are very sensitive to your feelings. We want you to be comfortable. If you need a lot of dental work, we can do one tooth at a time, or your whole mouth in as little as 1 to 2 visits. We tailor our treatment to your needs.




420 Hospital Drive, Warrenton 540.347.2777 www.harrissmile.com { MARCH 2019 |




special section




ant fresh vegetables this summer, but don’t have a lot of time? Don’t like the hours in the hot sun weeding and caring for plants? Mel Bartholomew, backyard gardener, engineer, and efficiency expert, invented the Square Foot Gardening method which might interest you. Here in Warrenton, we have certified Square Foot Gardening experts James and Nichole Brown of Nature’s Wellspring, a company dedicated to providing seeds, produce, custom grown plants, and homeopathy products for the community. Square Foot Gardening is the practice of creating small, orderly, and highly productive gardens by dividing the growing area into small sections, typically in 12” squares. Seeds or seedlings of each kind of vegetable are planted in one or more of the one-foot squares, at a density based on plant size. The square foot gardening method is estimated to cost 50 percent less, use 20 percent less space, use 10 percent less water, and require only 2 percent of the work compared to single row gardening. Additional benefits are that the density of the crops prevents weed growth, and no digging, tilling, or heavy tools are necessary. To get started, follow these steps:


Is there enough sunlight (at least 6-8 hours per day)? Is the soil well drained? Is it in a spot that has easy access for daily maintenance and harvesting? Is it close enough to a water supply?


CHOOSE A SIZE for your garden, in proportion to how much space you have, how much you want to plant, how much you can realistically take care of. Typical Square Foot Garden sizes might be 4’ x 4’ or 4’ x 8’

SQUARE FOOT GARDENS cost less, are more efficient, and require much less work than the traditional vegetable garden BY NATALIE ORTIZ AND JESSICA LESEFKA WITH NATURE’S WELLSPRING


{ MARCH 2019 |



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Raising Voices

SHOWCASING WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA’S DOMINGO-CAFRITZ YOUNG ARTISTS AND MASON OPERA Sunday, April 7 at 4 p.m. Some of the best young voices in the nation come to our region to perfect their art and craft. Join us for a thrilling program of opera, operetta, and musical theater arias, ensembles, and scenes that showcase the breathtaking scope and talent of these young artists on the stage of Merchant Hall as they prepare to blossom on the international stage. 703-993-7759 OR HYLTONCENTER.ORG

The Hylton Center is located in Prince William County on the Science and Technology Campus of George Mason University, just 4 miles south of I-66 via exit 44.

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needed for preparing your soil for growing. The Fauquier Extension office/Master Gardening program can help package your soil samples that are sent to Virginia Tech for analysis. Square Foot Gardener experts recommend “Mel’s Mix,” consisting of 1/3 coarse grade Vermiculite, 1/3 Sphagnum Peat Moss or Coconut Coir, and 1/3 Blended Organic Compost.

Varieties that we suggest are listed below. We recommend these for their consistent production and delicious flavor.

ADD A GRID. Divide your bed into 12” squares using pieces from Venetian blinds or wood lath. The grid is one of the most important features of a SFG, since it helps you see clearly and properly space your seeds or plants. If you are starting from seed, get a Seeding Square which will help you achieve the most efficient layout.

HERBS Basil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Mints (mint spreads)

SELECT YOUR SEEDS OR PLANTS, AND START GROWING! The last frost date for our area

tends to be in late April to early May. We use Mother’s Day as the safe date for planting seedlings outside.

CUCUMBERS Boston Pickling, Tendergreen Burpless, Marketmore

READY TO GO? See the chart below to plan how to space your seedlings or seeds.


POTATOES Red Norland


1 per sq. ft.

herbs, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers

2 per sq. ft.


4 per sq. ft.

lettuces, strawberries

8 per sq. ft.

sugar snap pea-bush

16 per sq. ft

chives, carrots

requires larger squares


PEPPERS Red Belgian, Cal Wonder, Bullnose, Banana Peppers, Poblano

RAISED BEDS work very well for SFG and have many benefits. They look very nice in the yard, and the height of the bed can be tailored to the needs of the gardener, thus allowing those with physical limitations to still enjoy and be successful at gardening. Raised beds also create a barrier that aids in weed control and small animal prevention in your garden. The pitfall of the raised bed is that it will initially require more soil prep and amendments than the traditional method.


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CROP COMPANIONS In Square Foot Gardening, it is also important to understand companion planting because some plants support each other while others can sabotage each other. See Nature’s Wellspring’s guide for companion planting on our website at piedmontlifestyle.com


TOMATOES Sungold, Sunrise BumbleBee, Minnibel, Yellow Pear, Rutgers, Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, Bonny Best, Betalux, and Romas

SQUASH Fordhook, Straightneck

CARROTS Chantenay Red Core, Danvers

LETTUCE Triumpheter, Little Gem, Butter King, Merlot

NEED HELP? James is a certified square foot gardener instructor, and provides consulting and workshops, assisted by Nichole, a certified teacher, for those starting out. Specializing in soil preparation, they work with clients to plan their gardens and offer advice on implementation. They offer custom grown starter plants for local delivery or pickup, which is a convenience for those who don’t want to start the seeds themselves. 540-935-0546, natureswellspring.com

Geothermal Repairs $150 Off

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{ MARCH 2019 |




special section



orgeous in both summer and fall, the sourwood tree might be the perfect addition to your landscape. Considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree, it can add visual interest and beauty to your garden with its bell-shaped, fragrant blooms in summer and its brilliant leaves in the fall. The sourwood tree (Oxydendrum arboreum), also called sorrel tree by some, is a medium-sized native tree with a mature height of 25-50’ and a spread of about 20’ which, once it is established, grows extremely well in our region. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, it is a “beautiful small specimen flowering tree with multi-season interest for lawns, patios, shade gardens or open woodland areas.” This ideal understory tree is frequently found in wooded, sloped areas and is frequently seen growing with azaleas and rhododendrons. Flowers that resemble lilies of the valley dangle from the branches and usually appear during early summer (June and July). The white blooms provide passersby with a delightful fragrance; bees happen to love the blooms too. According to the Arbor Day Foundation: “For honey lovers, the sourwood offers an additional bonus. Honey produced from the flowers of this tree is considered by many to be unmatched by clover, orange blossom, fireweed, or any other honey.” The leaves are a shiny green and may remind onlookers of a peach tree leaf, or even a serviceberry leaf. If you were to taste the leaf, it would fill your mouth with a sour taste, which is why its common name is sourwood. In the fall, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, “the leaves turn intensely beautiful shades of brilliant crimson, purplish-red and sometimes yellow.” The bark on a mature sourwood tree is often scaly and features a grayish color. Older bark may appeared cracked (or fissured), but is appealing to the eye.

The Sourwood Tree Multi-season appeal for your landscape

CARE CONSIDERATIONS This lovely, deer-resistant tree will grow in part shade to full sun and requires low maintenance once it is established. It requires low amounts of water, so once it has established itself in its location (i.e. after you plant it and it has rooted in place), it will need minimum care. However, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech, the sourwood tree can be difficult to start in your garden: “Despite its grace and beauty, sourwood trees are notorious for being difficult to establish in landscapes. If you plant ten


trees, four or five will die and half of the survivors will be unthrifty. Why such a poor transplant survival rate? Part of the issue is related to exacting cultural requirements. Sourwoods require a well-drained acid soil.” Planting container-grown seedlings can increase success rates. Another consideration for gardeners from VCE: “sourwood plants are noted as being sensitive to air pollution, thus this species may not be suited to urban environments.” There are no serious disease or insect issues. Sometimes twig blight and leaf spot may appear, so be on the look-out for those problems. ❖

Missouri Botanical Garden’s website provides valuable information on Oxydendrum arboreum. Common Name: Sourwood Type: Tree Family: Ericaceae Native Range: Eastern and southeastern United States Zone: 5 to 9 Height: 20.00 to 50.00 feet Spread: 10.00 to 25.00 feet Bloom Time: June to July Bloom Description: White Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Suggested Use: Flowering Tree Flower: Showy, Fragrant Leaf: Good fall color Fruit: Showy Tolerate: Deer


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5th Annual

March 21, 2019 • 4PM-6PM

TRANSITION & DISABILITY FAIR Opening Doors through Partnerships

AT THE FAIR Meet and visit with service agencies and organizations that can assist your elementary, middle and high school students with disabilities.

• Meet community resource providers • Access state & local agencies • Network with other families • Teachers receive 0.5 county PD, 2.5 re-cert hours

i n f o @ c e n t r e c o m p a n y. o r g

NUTCRACKER AUDITIONS Open Auditions for membership into the Centre Company on Saturday, June 1, from 12:00-1:30. Auditions are open to all intermediate through advanced students in and around Fauquier County who would like to participate in the Nutcracker.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact Maryanna Shuping prc@fcps1.org or Janelle Sutliff jsutliff@fcps1.org Fauquier County High School 705 Waterloo Rd. Warrenton VA 20186

RSVP openingdoors.rsvpify.com

Final Nutcracker Auditions on Saturday, September 7th from 9:00-5:00pm for all roles. Audition Schedule will be posted online at Centrecompany.org. All auditions are open and CPAC welcomes students from any dance school!

Hosted by FCPS Department of Special Education & The Parent Resource Center Sponsored by Virginia Department of Education

i n f o @ c e n t r e c o m p a n y. o r g

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special section


the gardener next door Q&A with KATE SPRAGUE BJORKLAND Every neighborhood has one of those people...you know, the one whose garden and landscaping just wows everyone who drives by. The one who makes you wonder, just how do they do it? How do they make their garden so gorgeous? One of Fauquier’s most prolific home gardeners is Kate Sprague Bjorkland of Marshall, and she has shared with us her love and secrets of her garden here for our Garden Issue. 34

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HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN GARDENING? I started gardening about 15 years ago when my daughters were toddlers. I had dabbled a bit here and there, but it wasn't something that I had really invested a lot of time in. As I watched the world through their eyes, I remembered standing in front of a Matisse in the Smithsonian when I was little and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. It was a powerful memory, and I

thought it would be wonderful for my girls to have a similar experience, but with flowers. So, for the first several years of gardening, I only planted


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things that would be at their eye level or taller than they were, and planted them near walkways so the girls could really get close to them. It didn't matter what color or plant, as long as it flowered and grew at least two feet!

out there, and they are lovely to me, but I have no ambition to be that perfectly manicured. My goal is to experience the act of gardening and see what happens along the way.


My tips for new gardeners: plant what you like, and if it grows well and easily, keep it.

My mother was a gardener, and remains so. She doesn't

have a particular plan, and doesn't really follow any rules. She showed seven-year-old me her ideas and shared her happiness when the first crocuses bloomed or when the forsythia splashed bright yellow everywhere. My grandfather Sprague was a wonderful rose gardener who shared his garden with four-year-old me.


like mold spots or the rabbit that eats things. My solid lack of planning means I have no idea what will happen next, but sometimes results in some unexpected but enchanting results. When the Checkerspot Butterfly (a species of concern) chose my garden to be its habitat, it was a grand surprise. Certainly, if I'd set out to make

“I don’t actually see a beautiful garden. I see an experiment that often produces flowers, and flower faces that delight me.” that happen it would have been elusive, and I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of learning through research and documentation that something fabulous was happening. There are so many lovely, perfectly planted and organized gardens

HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR GARDEN? I don’t, really! I think about this garden every single day, all year long, but I have no plan and make no demands as to the specific order of things. The lack of order is why there are so many mistakes, but it keeps me from fretting over silly things


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If it is a plant that isn’t thriving but you feel compelled to keep, move it to a new spot and try again. Don't listen to professional designers. Try to go with native species; there are wonderful resources for this. Go meet Jim at the Fauquier Education Farm, and let him give you some ideas. There are more pitfalls than I can name and I encourage people to become victim to as many of them as possible; that’s how you learn. Maintenance is critical, and mine is a simple strategy: go outside every Saturday and Sunday from April

through October and work your tail off for as many hours as you can put into it! Hand pull the weeds, don't just mulch over them. Taking a shortcut saves time once, but it means additional work many times over in the future. WHY DO YOU WORK SO HARD AT YOUR GARDEN? I don't actually see a beautiful garden. I see an experiment that often produces flowers, and flower faces that delight me. I make tons of mistakes, but there are also miracles, such as my zinnias that cross pollinated and decided to make versions in marvelous butter cream with magenta fringe colors! There are my eight-foot-tall Cosmos that should not achieve such heights, but there they are. "Why?" is the ephemeral question people ask a person when they can not understand a person's motives, or madness. There are several reasons I garden. My neighbor sometimes sits on the bench at his house and counts the hummingbirds

or goldfinches or butterflies flitting about in my garden. Sometimes people walk by and actually say “thank you” or describe their favorite things about the garden. But every once in a while, the littlest ones are drawn to visit a little closer than their mommy thinks is polite, and that is my very favourite reason to garden. ❖



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special section





awaken your garden


{ MARCH 2019 |



You’re deep into the winter blahs, staring gloomily out the window at a dull, dormant landscape. You long for some green and flowering loveliness… in fact, you might even be tempted to push things along a bit. Our region is in USDA Hardiness Zone 7, where the date of last frost is mid- to late April. While it’s still too early to put in tender plants, there are some things you can do now to awaken both yourself and your garden.


PLAN: Whether you have acres to plant or just a small patch, March is an ideal time to determine what you want to do in your garden this year. Start by taking a walk around the yard and making note of what needs to be done. Review catalogs, magazines and websites to get ideas and decide what’s appropriate for your space. Look at your calendar and create a gardening timetable for when to do what. If you’re thinking about a major installation, now’s the time to consult with a landscape designer to draw up a plan and budget … and maybe get a second opinion or two.

4 2

CLEAN UP: Not fun, but necessary. If you didn’t do this last fall before putting the garden to bed, you should wash out flower pots and planters, and clean, sharpen, and oil your tools. Check hoses for leaks, and test-drive the lawn mower. Clear away fallen twigs, dead leaves, and other debris from garden beds, and run a rake through the lawn to remove thatch and enhance aeration. This is also a good time to prune certain trees and shrubs; those that flower in summer – like butterfly bush, crape myrtle, barberry, and most roses – should be pruned on a mild day in February or early March, as should fruit trees like apple, pear, peach and plum. (Pruning is a tricky business but Better Homes and Gardens has a great guide called “What to Prune When” on bhg. com.) In any case, it’s always good to remove any obviously dead or damaged branches, leaves, and buds.


START SEEDS INDOORS: Unlike cleaning up, this is not necessary but great fun. You could wait and purchase plants and seedlings, but you’ll save money and gain enormous satisfaction from starting your own seeds. There are kits available, containing seed-starting soil and biodegradable pots that can be planted in the ground when warm enough, but you can also use items you have on hand: egg cartons, milk containers, etc., all fully cleaned, make excellent seed trays. Use a sterile seed-starting mix, thoroughly moistened and packed into the containers, and follow instructions on the seed packets regarding depth and spacing of the seeds. They’ll need good drainage, moisture, and lots of light to germinate; once the leaves sprout, rotate the trays every few days so the shoots won’t lean toward one direction. As the seedlings fill out, thin and transplant them to larger pots to continue strengthening their roots. When they’re a few inches tall and sturdy, acclimate them to the outdoors gradually through a process called “hardening off” – placing them in a protected area outside, away from wind and direct sunlight, for a few hours every day and bringing them inside at night for two weeks, increasing the outdoor time a little every day. For additional guidance, see the excellent seed-starting guide on gardeners.com.

PUT COLD-HARDY PLANTS IN CONTAINERS: Happily, if you absolutely can’t wait, there are hardy annuals and perennials that can be planted in containers now and left outdoors; if a deep freeze is forecast, you can cover them or pull them inside. Who doesn’t love seeing sweet pansies, violets, and primroses smiling up through the snow? These can be accompanied by Virginia bluebells, bleeding hearts, several types of daisies, and hellebores in charming plantings in all kinds of pots. And don’t forget the edible options: collards, lettuces, cabbages, radishes, kale, peas, and spinach all actually do better in cool weather.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Stella Veraduccia is the pen name of a popular writer based in Northern Virginia. In past lives she was an English teacher, writer and editor, nonprofit executive, and the founder of a fictitious organization called The International Sisterhood of Eccentric Aunties.

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special section


The Warrenton Garden Club joins the Garden Club of

VIRGINIA’S HISTORIC GARDEN WEEK Four Fauquier properties open for garden tours May 1 and 2, 2019


very spring, the Garden Club of Virginia hosts Virginia’s Historic Garden Week, a statewide week-long tour of a selection of its beautiful estates and gardens. The 2019 event encompasses 31 tours organized and hosted by 47 member clubs. Approximately 200 private homes, gardens and historical places will be open for touring throughout the state. The tour is a fundraiser for the Garden Club of Virginia’s approximately 40 garden restoration and beautification projects in Virginia, which has had broad and significant statewide impact. The Warrenton Garden Club is one of the Virginia Garden Clubs to participate in this year’s tour. Founded in 1911, The WGC is a volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that strives to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening and horticulture while promoting environmental conservation and the preservation of historic gardens. This year, four Fauquier properties are included in this exclusive tour. This selfdriving and shuttle tour of the featured historic properties highlights the benefits of protected lands and perpetual open easements. The Fauquier tour will be headquartered at the Piedmont Environmental Council, where the gardens will be open for touring. The historic 18thcentury building underwent extensive renovation and expansion in 2014, which produced the present energy efficient and environmentally friendly building that complements the historic appearance of Old Town Warrenton. The gardens feature native flowers, shrubs, dogwood and oak trees, boxwood, a pollinator garden, and a rain garden fed by gutters and drains. The garden was specifically designed to demonstrate how native plants can be useful and attractive within an urban setting.


{ MARCH 2019 |




your to-do list. Fauquier County

540-347-0199 www.merrymaids.com First $60 off Cleaning

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Merry Maids services provided by independently owned and operated franchises or by a corporate-owned branch. Prices and services vary by location. © 2019 Merry Maids L.P. All rights reserved.

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Nestled in the Springs Valley, this 1833 yellow frame farmhouse offers an elegant and comfortable haven for family, friends and animals alike. The home has been renovated to include all the luxuries of 21st century living while maintaining its historic feel. The grounds include stables, a sand riding arena, a tenant house, vegetable gardens and a chicken coop, nicknamed “Cluckingham Palace,” complete with a chandelier and decorative iron hinges.

Steeped in the history of the rebellious Freestate, this 1906 fieldstone house is currently undergoing a third-generation restoration of a family estate which continues to honor the conservation and horticultural legacy of the owner’s mother and grandmother, both master gardeners and internationally renowned conservationists. The grounds of the estate feature protected native flora, managed pastures and meadow landscapes, stone and brick pathways, a brick walled garden, a formal kitchen garden with historic herbs, and landscaped swimming pool. Pollinator and ephemeral gardens demonstrate harmony between the farm and its adjoining 1,200 acres of protected land previously donated to The Nature Conservancy.

Originally a 1912 two-story fieldstone farmhouse, the home was renovated and expanded in the 1960s to its present structure. An arched main entrance, antique French light fixtures of hand blown glass, custom mercury mirrors, a roundhouse reminiscent of the towers found in fairytales, and a stone staircase leading to a rooftop vista view are a few of the home’s notable features. The lawns are anchored by a stone wall that surrounds an herb garden, peacocks wander the grounds that include an apple orchard and a kitchen garden, complete with an espalier pear tree. Kwanzan cherry trees flank the side of the house, and numerous varieties of naturalized daffodils thrive in the rock outcroppings along the front of the house.


{ MARCH 2019 |




OAK FARM This 1970s home, adjacent to a log cabin that served as a weekend home before the construction of the main structure, features an intriguing open plan design of the interior common areas combined with a variety of more private rooms. Surrounding the house, a machine shed, stable, chicken coop and flower gardens contribute to the creation of a self-sufficient homestead. A swimming pool with a summer house is connected to the house’s grotto. English cottage-style flower beds backed by low stone walls help frame the views. The entire farm has been preserved in perpetual open space easement ensuring that future generations will be able to experience the beauty of the landscape. ❖ Advance Tickets for the Warrenton tour may be purchased at vagardenweek.org

Photos courtesy of Warrenton Garden Club

Spring Forward into a NEW Home!

Contact me for a Free Home Evaluation! Tonia Jacobson Your Real Estate Advisor

Serving Fauquier & Prince William Counties


E-MAIL: Tonia@lnf.com longandfoster.com/ToniaJacobson

2100 Reston Pwy, Suite 102 Reston, VA 22191 • 703.437.3800

Delaplane – Farmette Wonderful farmette- Rambler with Detached Garage/Workshop surrounded by 10 acres. Barn - 3 stall, center aisle barn, run-in shed, hay barn on fenced 10 acres with pond. One level living 3 bedroom 2 bath, renovated kitchen, large bedrooms, inviting family room with fireplace. Conveniently located minutes from I-66 and Marshall – easy access to amenities.


Vivian Sheaffer


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n March, springtime is so close but yet so far. The days are gradually lengthening, the nights growing shorter, but the landscape has yet to awaken and the temperatures are still sometimes cold. Spring fever is about to take hold. Springtime in Virginia is arguably the most beautiful season of the year. The landscape begins to green, the redbuds’ pink blossoms are always a welcome sight as they add color to the landscape. The daffodils and crocuses bloom, adding even more color. In March we are so tired of the greys and browns that dominate the winter landscape, and eager for the beauty of spring to arrive. Not surprisingly, springtime in Fauquier is a favorite for many of our talented local artists...how could it not be, with all the natural splendor emerging? We’ve collected a few of their colorful, springtime landscape and floral images that should help tide you over until spring is really here. Imagine yourself in a field of bluebells, or arranging fresh-cut flowers in a vase in your home, and have faith...winter will be ending soon!



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Take a break & meet a friend. Be a volunteer. Luck isn’t enough! We need: Volunteers • Wheelchairs • Transport Chairs Electric Hospital Beds • Donations • Shower Benches • Food Supplements (Ensure, Boost) Bariatric Equipment • Volunteers • Lift Chairs Hoyer Lifts • Blue Pads • Volunteers • Adult Diapers • Copy paper or other office supplies.

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{ MARCH 2019 |







t’s entirely possible that almost everyone in Fauquier County knows Elizabeth Lawrence. A Fauquier native and one of six children, her family was heavily involved in the community as she grew up. And as an adult, even more people know her as the front of the Elizabeth Lawrence Band, where her throaty vocals and powerful voice that evoke powerhouse singers like Bonnie Rait and Susan Tedeschi, lead the group in playing popular hits by blues and rock artists as well as original songs of their own. Her rock-solid band, also known as “ELB,” is comprised of Elizabeth on lead vocals and three other talented musicians: Joe Cody on guitar and backup vocals, Jeff Cody on electric bass guitar, and Sven Bridstrup on drums and backup vocals.

THE BEGINNING Although the band members had known each other for years before ELB was formed, Joe was the one who took the initiative to approach Elizabeth. Joe remembers, “I was personally kind of tired of the loud rock band thing, and I asked Elizabeth, ‘If I got a band for you to do all the stuff you want to do, would you be up for it?’” Elizabeth recalls, “We were all in different projects that overlapped, and Joe thought it would be a really great matchup.” So, together with Joe’s older brother Jeff on bass and Sven on drums, they put together an award-winning band that has been entertaining audiences of all ages in Fauquier County and beyond for more than a decade.

Elizabeth was born and raised in Casanova, and her parents still reside in her childhood home. Most of her siblings still live near Fauquier County and have close ties to the community. One reason Elizabeth enjoys living in Fauquier County is that she loves the small-town feel. She explains, “This community’s been very good to me. I just love it here. I think it’s a great place to raise my daughter.” Even though Elizabeth has lived outside of Fauquier County, she has always been drawn back and considers it home.




BELOW: The Elizabeth Lawrence Band. From left to right: Jeff Cody; electric bass guitarist, Sven Bridstrup; drummer and backup vocalist, Elizabeth Lawrence; lead vocalist, and Joe Cody; guitarist and backup vocalist.

Elizabeth started singing when her mother would take her to choir practice at church. She remembers, “When I was about 15, the church would ask me to sing as the cantor. Then people would hear me sing and hire me for weddings.” Elizabeth’s mother was also a talented singer and was part of the Sweet Adelines, an all-women musical group formed in 1945 that was committed to keeping the musical art form of barbershop harmony alive. In the mid 1990s, Elizabeth started performing with Steve Hagedorn in the small pub at Fiddler’s Green in The Plains, where she garnered a large, loyal following of locals. “The nights Elizabeth played, we were always packed to the gills in that small room,” says Pam Kamphuis, who worked as a waitress there. She fondly recalls, “Thursdays with Elizabeth were always fun, busy, late nights. She really rocked, and was hugely popular.” Over the past few years, Elizabeth has collaborated with two groups local to Warrenton, the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra and the Silver Tones Swing Band, and has shared her powerful voice as a guest singer. In 2016, Elizabeth soloed with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra in their high-energy rock show, backed by the full symphony orchestra and accompanied by PSO’s rock ensemble. In December 2017, Elizabeth was a featured vocalist at the Silver Tones Swing Band’s holiday swing dance in Marshall. ELB is community-minded and has donated performances to many local venues, including St. John’s Catholic Church, the Town of Warrenton’s First Friday celebrations, and Verdun Adventure Bound. Almost monthly, you can hear the band at Warrenton local hot spots Molly’s Irish Pub on Main Street, McMahon’s Irish Pub on Lee Highway, or at the Griffin Tavern in Flint


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Hill. Elizabeth has a long history playing at Molly’s and has performed there since they opened their doors in 2001. Elizabeth and other ELB members consider Molly’s their “home base” and a favorite venue. Molly’s owner, Casey Ward, says, “the Elizabeth Lawrence Band is a talented group of artists, who are extremely down to earth, always have a great vibe about them, and always bring in an amazing crowd.” Although most of the band’s performances are local, ELB has travelled as far as Front Royal, Winchester, and Richmond to share their music.

THE BAND ELB guitar and bass players Joe and Jeff Cody grew up with music in their house. Their father played guitar and piano and wrote his own music. The brothers lived in Herndon in their early years. And although Joe credits his dad for introducing music to him in the house, he says his mom, “God bless her, also put up with a lot of noise coming from the garage when we were teenagers!” Joe has fond memories of the brothers playing in high school, and they would rehearse in their garage. He explains, “Back in those days, out here, people would have field parties. It was crazy. A bunch of guys who had a farm in Arcola or Ashburn, which was all farming country back then, would charge people five bucks a car and would fill the space with people. There would be a couple different bands. It was so much fun!” Jeff always remembers having instruments lying around the house during childhood, and he started off playing drums. “I realized early in middle school that there were too many drummers out there, and that motivated me to switch to bass,” he recalls. When talking



about his experience with ELB, he says “I love the fact that my brother is involved, and then, really, the big thing is Elizabeth. I’ve known Elizabeth since 1995 and have played a few acoustic gigs with her back in the 1990s. When there was an opportunity to get involved with Elizabeth and Joe, I was so excited; I couldn’t say ‘no’ to that. The best thing and my most favorite thing I would say is just the camaraderie and our musical relationships. For me, that comes out in our music. It’s very rewarding, personally.” ELB drummer, Sven Bridstrup, took his first music lesson when he was eight years old. He played all through high school and has been in various bands since 1980. While serving in the U.S. Army, Sven played in the Army Fife and Drum Corps at Fort Myer. Before joining ELB, Sven played and made recordings with many local bands. When not playing with ELB, Sven works for the FAA and has put in 31 years. “Elizabeth is one of the best singers I’ve ever heard. I just love playing with Elizabeth, Joe, and Jeff. They are all really good, and we get along. We all kind of like the same kind of music,” Sven explains. Originally from Ohio, Sven came to Warrenton in 1980 after joining the Army. He says he loves Warrenton, and he and his wife hope to retire here. “We love the town. You walk down in Old Town, and there’s people walking around, with all the great shops and great restaurants.” When Joe recruited Sven for the band, he knew that Sven’s drumming style would be a perfect fit. He recalls saying, “I think I know a guy who can play…he’s played in the Army band and all through high school. He’s this ‘super musician guy’…and he sings, too!” ELB rehearses in Sven’s basement, where he has installed the full-size Foundation Recording Studio.




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genesis of which originated withfor Joe, who music theory background really comes in visit us Please at lasleycentre.com based the information. song on the things his little girl handy,” Elizabeth explains. Each show additional Elizabeth cites her musical inspiration would say to him before bedtime. “Home” that ELB brings to the stage is different, as artists Bonnie Rait, Susan Tesdechi, and was inspired when Joe was travelling to and they vary their musical lineup of songs Koko Taylor. Her “throaty vocals” echo California and became homesick for Virginia. at each venue. The band members have these popular singers. Another female vocal ELB has a strong following of fans written and produced some original songs, inspiration is Aretha Franklin. Elizabeth says, in the Piedmont and Northern Virginia and play many favorite “cover” charts made “From the time I could speak, I could sing areas. One of those fans is Josh Lowe, a famous by artists such as Tedeschi, Rait, Aretha.” At the 2018 Summer on the Green local musician who has his own band, The Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, The Rolling concert series with the Allegro Community Dubious Brothers. Josh has been performing Stones, and Fleetwood Mac. School of the Arts in downtown Warrenton, professionally in bands and as a solo artist Joe says, “Something that Elizabeth is really ELB performed an Aretha Franklin tribute for over 20 years. “I think there’s a definite passionate about is being creative with the with a medley of famous hits by the Queen of harmony in the Elizabeth Lawrence Band songs that we pick…maybe to do stuff that’s a Soul. Although the band started by featuring that comes from having siblings performing little off the beaten path. And if it is something only Elizabeth on vocals, over the years they together. I’ve played in a band in which that’s a standard or well-known, she’ll try have incorporated vocal harmonies into their two of the members were brothers, and that to find an arrangement of it that is kind of music. These multi-part vocals add depth and unique.” He continued, “Elizabeth is the key creates a synergy that is greater than the Pottery Camp Safari Voyagers Mini-Day Camp Stem Using LEGO held at Vint Hill Village richness toIntro thetoband’s sound, and Joe, Jeff,All Campsingredient sum of its parts. Couple that with the fact to the band’s success. People know 5 - 11 yrs. 5 - 11 yrs. 5 - 7depending yrs. Community Center and Sven all join in, on the song. Greenher, that Elizabeth sings in an extremely soulful and they love listening to 6/10/19-6/14/19 her.” (Marshall 6/10/19-6/14/19 (Fauquier High School) 6/17/19-6/21/19 “We make sure to find songs that can feature Golf Summer When Camp asked about their original music Center) and manner and she puts her heart into it, no Community 9am - 12pm (Crockett Park) backup vocals because the guys are great 6 - 14 matter the crowd. It’s her passion and it how it’syrs.created, Elizabeth says, “Typically, 9am - 12pm 9am - 12pm Snips ‘n’ Snails singers,” says Elizabeth. 6/10/19-6/14/19 comes through in her performance.” Joe comes up with a riff andCooking we come up Around the World Nature Mini-Camp Paddlesports Mini-Day Camp 9am -ideas 12pm and produce the rest of the song When asked, “Where do you see yourself with Mini-Camp 3 6 yrs. 7 - 15 yrs. THE PROCESS in five years?” Elizabeth says, “We will still and theCamp lyrics. I’m heavy on the lyrics, 8 - 16 yrs. 6/17/19-6/21/19 (Warrenton Adventure 6/24/19-6/28/19 At ELB shows, you’ll hear many favorite and But it often (Marshallcontinue to find new, interesting stuff to Community Center) 10 - he’s 14 yrs.heavy on the music. 7/15/19-7/19/19 (Crockett Park) (Radythe Park) rock and 7/22/19-7/26/19 blues hits. When band finds a hear that because starts with a riff.” She continues,Community “It’s a Center) play.” Fans will be glad 7/8/19-7/12/19 9am -to12pm - 5:30pm - 12pm song they want 9am to bring to audiences, they the band plays and gets along so well collaborative effort. Joe will create3:30 most of 9am - 4pm Nature sit down and figure out an arrangement together, they Sailing will beMini-Day makingCamp music a long the music, and Jeff and Sven will Discovery write theMini Camp Games-Galore Camp Variety Sports Camp 6 - 13 yrs. 5 are - 11 all yrs. - 12 yrs. to perform. “Joe,5Jeff, and Sven are all time to come. Elizabeth proudly comments bass and drum parts to match. They 9 - 13 yrs. 7/8/19-7/19/19 7/22/19-7/26/19 (Northern (Rady incredibly 6/10/19-6/14/19 well educated inPark) music theory. that her daughter, Lily, is the reason she so very talented.” Some original ELB song 7/29/19-8/2/19 (Crockett Park) Fauquier Community Park) 7/29/19-8/2/19 High School)They’re They arrange songs(Fauquier for the band. keeps singing, and explains, “Lily is my first titles include “Miss You Haze” and “Home.” 9am - 3pm 9am - 12pm 10am - 1pm 9am - 2pm brilliant; they’re like mathematicians. Their joy, and music is my second.” ❖ Another is “Put Your Tears Away,” the

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INSPIRATION Elizabeth cites her musical inspiration as artists Bonnie Rait, Susan Tesdechi, and Koko Taylor. Her “throaty vocals” echo these popular singers. Another female vocal inspiration is Aretha Franklin. Elizabeth says, “From the time I could speak, I could sing Aretha.” At the 2018 Summer on the Green concert series with the Allegro Community School of the Arts in downtown Warrenton, ELB performed an Aretha Franklin tribute with a medley of famous hits by the Queen of Soul. Although the band started by featuring only Elizabeth on vocals, over the years they have incorporated vocal harmonies into their music. These multi-part vocals add depth and richness to the band’s sound, and Joe, Jeff, and Sven all join in, depending on the song. “We make sure to find songs that can feature backup vocals because the guys are great singers,” says Elizabeth.

THE PROCESS At ELB shows, you’ll hear many favorite rock and blues hits. When the band finds a song they want to bring to audiences, they sit down and figure out an arrangement to perform. “Joe, Jeff, and Sven are all incredibly well educated in music theory. They arrange songs for the band. They’re brilliant; they’re like mathematicians. Their


{ MARCH 2019 |

music theory background really comes in handy,” Elizabeth explains. Each show that ELB brings to the stage is different, and they vary their musical lineup of songs at each venue. The band members have written and produced some original songs, and play many favorite “cover” charts made famous by artists such as Tedeschi, Rait, Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac. Joe says, “Something that Elizabeth is really passionate about is being creative with the songs that we pick…maybe to do stuff that’s a little off the beaten path. And if it is something that’s a standard or well-known, she’ll try to find an arrangement of it that is kind of unique.” He continued, “Elizabeth is the key ingredient to the band’s success. People know her, and they love listening to her.” When asked about their original music and how it’s created, Elizabeth says, “Typically, Joe comes up with a riff and we come up with ideas and produce the rest of the song and the lyrics. I’m heavy on the lyrics, and he’s heavy on the music. But it often starts with a riff.” She continues, “It’s a collaborative effort. Joe will create most of the music, and Jeff and Sven will write the bass and drum parts to match. They are all so very talented.” Some original ELB song titles include “Miss You Haze” and “Home.” Another is “Put Your Tears Away,” the



genesis of which originated with Joe, who based the song on the things his little girl would say to him before bedtime. “Home” was inspired when Joe was travelling to California and became homesick for Virginia. ELB has a strong following of fans in the Piedmont and Northern Virginia areas. One of those fans is Josh Lowe, a local musician who has his own band, The Dubious Brothers. Josh has been performing professionally in bands and as a solo artist for over 20 years. “I think there’s a definite harmony in the Elizabeth Lawrence Band that comes from having siblings performing together. I’ve played in a band in which two of the members were brothers, and that creates a synergy that is greater than the sum of its parts. Couple that with the fact that Elizabeth sings in an extremely soulful manner and she puts her heart into it, no matter the crowd. It’s her passion and it comes through in her performance.” When asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Elizabeth says, “We will still continue to find new, interesting stuff to play.” Fans will be glad to hear that because the band plays and gets along so well together, they will be making music a long time to come. Elizabeth proudly comments that her daughter, Lily, is the reason she keeps singing, and explains, “Lily is my first joy, and music is my second.” ❖

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elcome to the fifth edition of Origin of a Recipe. This month we’re sharing our famous chorizo recipe. I developed this chorizo recipe out of a need for sausage that did not contain sugars and other unwanted ingredients, like dextrose. I asked a few butchers to custom process a mixture without sugars and to my surprise, I couldn’t t convince them to do it. I have so many customers with dietary restrictions. I wholeheartedly wanted to meet the needs of my paleo and glutenfree customers. This recipe was also very personal to me as I am living a paleo lifestyle, too. That’s when my friend, Jesse Straight from Whiffletree Farm, and I came up with a plan. When I opened Hidden Julles Cafe, I instantly fell in love with

Jesse’s philosophy for raising and processing livestock. In addition, he also has a heart for farming in a way that promotes earth friend sustainability. Jesse loves raising pigs. He says, “They are very lovable animals and clearly appreciate the lives we give them. When we give them fresh pasture they chomp the grass and greens with relish!” Jesse first trains the pigs to use electric fencing. Once they are trained, he is able to string up wire paddocks on pasture and in the woods. The pigs are moved to fresh pasture or woods at least every other week. Jesse is a very strategic farmer. He says, “We move them often, and this movement is the critical game-changer in the health of the animal and health of the land; and this is what the industrial organic

Visit originofarecipe.com for more great recipes from Aaron.


{ MARCH 2019 |



producers are unwilling to do. Moving them frequently to fresh pasture imitates what animals naturally do in the wild. The movement gives the animal fresh forage and clean ground. Fresh forage means better nutrition. Clean ground means less stress on their immune system. This is because they are not mucking around in their own excrement and with all the pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and parasites) that would love a stationary and unsanitary host.” In addition, the land loves to get a biological massage, tilled and grazed and manured by the pigs. The land also wants rest, which he facilitates when the pigs move on so that it can metabolize what the pigs did and put down. Jesse adds, “All this adds up to pigs that are healthy and happy, a land whose fertility is ever improving!” After getting my hands on Jesse’s amazing meats. I experimented with recipes for chorizo and sage sausage. For the chorizo, I learned to mix the wet and dry ingredients together to make a paste, and then add that mixture to the meat. I discovered that if all of the ingredients are mixed together, it almost had a batter like consistency. I love adding interesting ingredients to enhance flavors. For the chorizo recipe, you’ll see that I use cinnamon. At Hidden Julles Cafe, I feature the chorizo on the Eggs Benedict Parker and other items. Come in and give them a try! ❖

2 pounds pork (finely ground) 4 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons ground paprika 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 pinch ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup apple cider vinegar

Directions 1. Mix all dry ingredients and vinegar in a bowl 2. Stir until it is a paste consistency 3. Add paste to meat and mix together 4. Cut in portions by hand 5. Cook on a griddle or in a pan on the stove 6. Flip to cook both sides 7. Enjoy!

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local expert THE EXPERT:

Mark Luna



Mark Luna is a Portfolio Rep for Roanoke Valley Wine Company. He has a Level 3 Advanced Certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and is a member of the prestigious Wine Scholar Guild, where he’s finishing his Italian Wine Scholar post-nominal accreditation. Through and beyond his work for RVWC, Mark writes, teaches and guest-speaks about wine in a variety of both industry and privately held events. He lives in Nokesville with his family. For events, Mark can be reached at info@winespique.com.


{ MARCH 2019 |

Breaking Bud… BY MARK LUNA


hroughout the Northern hemisphere at this time every year, dormant wine grapevines are slowly awakening from their long winter sleep. And like all of us here above ground, who’ve had it with being polar vortexed into submission, they’re also hoping for a warmer sun and a longer day. Not always, but typically towards late March, such changes occur. And in the wine grapevine world, this marks a gloriously natural event known as bud break. Now, the full lifecycle of both grape and vine will be defined by many stages; by name, they are flowering, fruit set, veraison, harvest, leaf fall and, of course, dormancy. And each of these junctures will contribute their own necessary influence to every grape that ultimately makes its way to any given bottle of wine.



But, bud break is where it all begins; and with about 600 to 800 grapes in a bottle, about 8 to 10 clusters, that’s a lot of nature coming together at once, offering the world something beautifully unique…and vice versa. Much in the way wine grapes and vines cycle through life’s phases, so, too, do wine producers and companies. Labels come and go, companies get bought and sold. And while many manage to stick around for a few harvests, there are the select few that survive the challenges of staying in a tough, competitive business and making wine that people actually want to drink. Gehricke Road (rhymes with Cherokee) is located just outside the town of Sonoma, California and passes by some of the old vineyards that Samuele Sebastiani made famous. If that name sounds familiar, it should.

The Sebastiani family has been making California wine for four generations and is considered by many to be the founding family of the town of Sonoma. Now helmed by Samuele’s great-grandson August, the Sebastiani legacy continues through a collection of wine labels produced under the parent company name 3 Badge Beverage, an homage to the historic downtown Patten Street Firehouse that Samuele helped build in the 1940’s. That building is now home to their entire wine operation. Of their stable of labels, one of my absolute favorites is Gehricke. A new addition to an established collection, Gehricke wines are made, as August says, “To enhance the little moments that become epic memories. Wherever the road takes you, your journey should make the destination worthwhile”. To help navigate the Gehricke journey, Sebastiani has turned to esteemed winemaker Alex Beloz, of Poseidon Vineyards and Obsidian Ridge Wines fame, as well as harvest work for the world class MacRostie winery. Additional stints in Bordeaux, New Zealand and Chile round out Beloz’s already outstanding body of work, and he brings that global wealth of knowledge to the Gehricke wines. Beloz and his team are focused on selecting the best fruit from the top vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including sites located in the Russian River Valley, Carneros and Knight’s Valley. And the wines are as true as the lifecycle of the grapes used to produce them. The Gehricke Russian River Chardonnay 2016 is a beautiful wine, expressing in complete form the marvelous characteristics of the Russian River Valley. On the nose, it greets you with vibrant scents of lemon meringue, contrasting with lime reflections and a floral grace note. Just behind that, tropical tones of pineapple and mango emerge, filling the glass with endless

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{ MARCH 2019 |




aromas of varying elements. Sharp, bright acidity define the palate, and there’s a juxtaposed balance of both crispness and roundness. A subtle creaminess extends through the finish, suggesting that indeed this wine spent about eight months in French oak barrels. And proving the quality of the fruit, its production yields are a very modest 862 cases. Priced around $26, it’s a great selection for the money. If the Russian River Valley is your preferred place to stay, but you’re in the mood for a delicious red wine, then you can’t overlook Gehricke Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2016. Take it from someone who lived in California for a long time and drank a lot of red zin, Russian River zinfandels are jewels. This particular wine is a blend of old vine zinfandel (95%) and a 5% splash of petite sirah, another great ‘California-only’ (these days) grape. Gehricke Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2016 hails from the orange, iron-rich soil of Ponzo Vineyard, and is marked by its power and spice. Yes, it’s fruity and maybe even a touch ‘jammy,’ but not in an intrusive way; and the petite sirah quietly adds its own presence to the wine, bringing in complementary dark fruit flavors and density, resulting in a blend that is full-bodied and well-structured. Throughout the glass, you’ll both smell and taste glorious combinations of cinnamon sticks and black peppercorns as well as ripe plums, cherries and cocoa. The finish is long and persistent, leaving echoes of dark fruits and baking spices. Also French oak aged for 17 months, it does come in at a ripe 15.1% ABV, but it’s still very balanced and not an alarming level for a wine of this stature. Only 1,835 cases were produced and at $32, it’s a must-have for true zinfandel connoisseurs.


{ MARCH 2019 |



If you head about an hour or so southeast of the Russian River Valley, you’ll find the first California AVA (American Viticultural Area) ever defined by its climate characteristics rather than its geopolitical boundaries. The Los Carneros AVA is where the Gehricke Los Carneros Pinot Noir 2015 is produced. Wines from Carneros are known throughout the wine world, and are highly touted for their intense aromatics and palate expressions. And the Gehricke Los Carneros Pinot Noir 2015 certainly satisfies both of those senses. The color is a deep garnet hue and is complemented immediately with aromas of blood orange, red plums, rhubarb and sage. Within a few minutes, hints of cherry pie and vanilla arise, as well as clove spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. There’s also an evolution to the palate, as assorted red fruits surround a racy acidity, which is born of the cooler Carneros climate. This ‘terroir’ influence also allows for a more modest 13.8% alcohol level, very balanced. The French oak is well integrated and effectively used, aged 20 months. And though more of this wine was produced than the Chardonnay, it’s nowhere near being a mass produced wine, and it certainly doesn’t drink like one. Also priced around $32, you just can’t beat it. Finally, no great family of wines would be complete without a signature cabernet sauvignon. And make no mistake, Gehricke Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley 2016 is a signature wine. Knight’s Valley, one of Sonoma County’s original 5 AVA’s is the county’s easternmost designated wine region and also has the warmest climate in the county. Bordeaux varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot all flourish here. Also grown here are sauvignon blanc,

chardonnay, viognier and even syrah, all the warmer climate grapes. For Gehricke Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley 2016, it’s all about elegance and delicious fruit. The color is a deep, hypnotic garnet. Aromatically, you’ll quickly find ripe, black cherry aromas that are complimented with clove spices and a touch of earthy bark. The wine is soft and supple upon palate entry, then explodes with flavors of cherry filling and ripe red plums. As the wine opens up, black and blueberries soar, with a near hint of cocoa powder. The tannins are firm, but forgiving and there’s enough acidity to keep the wine fresh and inviting. While it doesn’t meet the required percentage criteria to be called a ‘Meritage’, this wine is a blend of small sorts, with 84% cabernet sauvignon, 14% malbec, and 2% petite verdot. It’s been aged 18 months in French oak, comes in at 14.2%, and there were 4,695 cases produced. Priced at $40, it’s worth every penny. I hope you take the opportunity to enjoy these wines, and experience a journey that reflects not only a family legacy of historical wine importance, but a single bottle that tells a story of how a grape and its vine live their life...for you and all of us to enjoy. Until next month, Happy Vino’ing! ❖

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