Cultivate february 2012
A member benefit of Virginia Farm Bureau
Versatile Virginia goats raised for meat, cheese, cashmere, soap and brush-clearing
Cultivate Volume 5, Number 1 February 2012
Cultivate (USPS 025051) (ISSN 1946-8121) is published four times a year, February, April, July, November/December (combined issue). It is published by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, 12580 West Creek Parkway, Richmond, VA 23238. Periodicals postage rate is paid in Richmond, VA. The annual subscription rate is $1.48 (included in membership dues). POSTMASTER: Please send changes of address to, Cultivate, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, P.O. Box 27552, Richmond, VA 23261; fax 804-290-1096. Editorial and business offices are located at 12580 West Creek Parkway, Richmond, VA 23238. Telephone 804-290-1000, fax 804-290-1096. Email address is Cultivate@vafb.com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All advertising is accepted subject to the publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume liability for the content of their advertising. The publisher maintains the right to cancel advertising for nonpayment or reader complaints about services or products. The publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised.
Member: Virginia Press Association
Features 12 Goats raised for meat, milk, fiber and more Increased demand for goat meat is one reason Virginia has a growing goat population. But the animals also are being raised for dairy and skin care products, fibers like cashmere, and land improvement.
10 Photo contest winners framed life on Virginia farms
6 Heart of the Home 9 Good for You!
Teen drivers who enroll in Virginia Farm Bureau’s new Smart Start program can turn responsible driving habits into a 5 percent auto premium discount.
On the Cover
This goat from from the Goat Busters brush removal service will join its herdmates this spring in clearing overgrown property—one tasty mouthful at a time (Photo by Pam Wiley).
Greg Hicks Vice President, Communications Pam Wiley Managing Editor Kathy Dixon Sr. Staff Writer/Photographer Sara Owens Staff Writer/Photographer
26 In the Garden
Bill Altice Graphic Designer
28 From the Ground Up
Cathy Vanderhoff Advertising
Maria La Lima Graphic Designer
30 Member Marketplace VISIT US ONLINE
Winning entries in Virginia Farm Bureau’s annual photo contest showcased the visual appeal of farm country.
23 Farm Bureau debuts new auto insurance discount for teen drivers
Publication schedule Associate members will receive their next issue of Cultivate in April. The magazine is published quarterly.
Correction Virginia Farm Bureau accidentally published a photo in the November/December 2011 issue of Cultivate that showed an allterrain vehicle operator carrying a passenger on the single-rider ATV. Riders should never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle, and we regret the error.
Members – Address change? If your address or phone number has changed, or is about to change, contact your county Farm Bureau. They will update your membership and subscription information.
Food for Thought
What happens before the trucks reach the supermarket? After years of educational efforts by America’s farmers, somebody finally gets it. Humorist Dave Barry set the record straight last month, before an audience of about 7,000 producers at the 2012 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Honolulu. Americans’ food does not come from the supermarket, he noted.“That’s so stupid. It comes from the trucks parked behind the supermarket. Even I know that.” Barry tickled some farmers with that “revelation,” but in reality more and more consumers are quite informed about—and interested in—where their food starts out. They’re asking questions and seeking opportunities to buy food produced close to home, whether that means down the road, someplace in Virginia or inside the United States. Virginia Farm Bureau and its members who farm are teaming up to afford more people a close-up look at where their food really does come from. The organization’s new monthly television
program, Real Virginia, made its debut last month. The January show took viewers to a King and Queen County farm that’s begun growing ginger in addition to the year-round eggs and seasonal produce available through its CSA. Ginger’s a relatively new Virginia crop—and a new option for farmers who grow produce in hoop houses and want to make the most of that growing space. This month’s show includes a visit to a beef cattle farm, and insights on producing great-tasting steaks, ribs and burgers. Whenever possible, foods highlighted on Real Virginia will turn up again in the recipes of Todd Schneider, executive chef at the Virginia Executive Mansion, who hosts a cooking segment called “Heart of the Home.” In January he prepared a ginger-seasoned salmon filet, and this month he’s sharing a recipe for flavorful marinated flank steak (See Page 6 for both recipes). And for viewers who can’t wait to get their hands dirty once the weather warms up again, there are two gardening segments. Home vegetable gardening is the focus on “From the Ground Up” with Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist Andy Hankins (See Page 28), and horticulturist Mark Viette, who was featured on Real Virginia predecessor Down Home Virginia, will continue to
share landscape improvement advice on “In the Garden” (See Page 26). If you’re interested in where your family’s foods get their start, Farm Bureau is proud to take you straight to the source, while saving you the drive and the search for your gloves and boots. We hope you’ll tune in. And if you like what you see, we hope you’ll tell others. Because this is about as real as it gets.
Real Virginia Real Virginia airs nationwide at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month on RFD-TV, as well as on 48 cable systems and three broadcast stations in Virginia. It’s also available online at VaFarmBureau.org. Check local cable listings, or visit VaFarmBureau.org for a list of participating stations.
Virginia ginger (above and bottom right) and beef production have been highlighted on Real Virginia. VirginiaFarmBureau.com
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National Agriculture Day, Agriculture Literacy Week to be celebrated in March NATIONAL AGRICULTURE DAY will be celebrated March 8 and is part of National Agriculture Week, which is March 11-17 this year. The National Ag Day program encourages Americans to understand how food and fiber are produced; appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products; and value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy. County Farm Bureau women’s committees in Virginia will mark the occasion by donating nonperishable food items, along with timely information about eating healthy, to regional food banks, food pantries and Ronald McDonald Houses across the state.
Agriculture Literacy Week Farm Bureau volunteers and other members of the state’s agricultural community will participate in Virginia’s second annual Agriculture Literacy Week March 4-10. Many will visit their local elementary schools, preschools and afterschool programs and read agriculture-related books to children. This year’s Agriculture Literacy Week will feature the book From Our Fields … To You, by Kellie Worrell, a Carroll County teacher and farmer. The book is Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom’s Farmer Ben Book of the Year and details the process of getting fresh produce from the farm to consumers.
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Make sure you have the insurance you need when it counts most BY SARA OWENS
Hurricane Irene leads to $30 million in Farm Bureau claims
Floods, like the ones Virginia frequently sees in fall or spring, and earthquakes, like the one last August, can cause structural damage not automatically covered by homeowner or business insurance policies.
If you recently suffered a loss due to a storm or other event, you know the potential value of an insurance policy. But what if that loss wasn’t covered? There are some losses that are not automatically included on a homeowner or business policy. “It’s important to review your policy and talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have all the coverage you need,” said Sam Rooks, vice president of underwriting for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “No one wants to find out they’re not covered when it’s time to file a claim.” These are some occurrences that can damage a home or other building but are not automatically included on an insurance policy. If you are not covered and would like to be, your Farm Bureau agent can help. • Earthquake: Any home or building could be damaged in an earthquake, and even just a few cracks in drywall can be costly to repair, Rooks said. • Flood: Flood insurance must be purchased separately. The flood endorsement includes any rising water from creeks or rivers that creep into your home or other building and cause damage.
• Water and sewer back-up: This coverage is for damage if an out-going water or sewer line backs up into your home or other building. • Building ordinance: Every Farm Bureau policyholder receives notice about this endorsement with his or her policy renewal, Rooks said. The building ordinance endorsement covers changes that must be made when repairing damage to older homes to bring them up to code. • Common items: Policies have a limited amount of coverage for items such as guns and jewelry. If the items are stolen, they are covered only up to $2,500. Policyholders can schedule those items to secure additional coverage. • Food spoilage: Policies cover only up to $500 worth of food spoilage. If you generally keep more than $500 worth of food in your refrigerator of freezer, you may want to consider adding this endorsement, Rooks said. Additionally, if you operate your own business and work from home, your agent can help make sure you are properly insured.
Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. received nearly 6,200 storm damage claims after Hurricane Irene caused extensive damage to homes, farms and other property on Aug. 27, 2011. The storm was the costliest to hit Virginia since Hurricane Isabel in September 2003. The total damage from claims received from Hurricane Irene now exceeds $30 million. “The damage from Irene extended over most of the eastern third of the state,” said Rick Mattox, VFBMIC vice president of claims. “With a tremendous effort from our Farm Bureau claims adjusters and help from about 30 independent adjusters, we were able to close almost 95 percent of those claims within eight weeks. That’s really an incredible feat for an insurance company.” VFBMIC has received 350 claims as a result of the August 2011 earthquake that had its epicenter in Louisa County. Fewer than 10 were covered losses. “Unfortunately many of our customers did not have coverage for earthquake damage,” Mattox said. “The earthquake coverage is an endorsement that needs to be added to a homeowner’s policy. Anyone interested in adding earthquake insurance should talk to their agent.”
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Heart of the Home
To find the station nearest you that airs Real Virginia, or to view the show online, visit VaFarmBureau.org.
Heart of the Home
FLANK STEAK RECIPE GIVES YOU MORE TIME WITH FAMILY, GUESTS Chef Todd Schneider said his marinated flank steak recipe is a favorite of Gov. Bob McDonnell, as well as the Virginia Executive Mansion’s security staff.
FRESH GINGER IS HIGHLIGHT OF SIMPLE SALMON RECIPE
“When they smell it cooking, they come in asking what I’m making,” Schneider said. If you’re preparing a special supper for your valentine this month, this recipe is perfect, Schneider said, because “you don’t have to spend all your time in the kitchen.” He said the key ingredient is Virginia red wine.
Salmon is a favorite of Virginia’s first lady, Maureen McDonnell, said Executive Chef Todd Schneider, who has been cooking for Gov. Bob McDonnell and his family and staff for the past two years. “This is a simple recipe using fresh, Virginia-grown ginger,” Schneider said. “I like to use fresh ingredients when I cook.” He suggests serving the fish with a side of steamed asparagus and your favorite rice.
Grilled Ginger Salmon INGREDIENTS
1 to 1½ pounds salmon filets 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon honey 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger PREPARATION
Trim the sides of the salmon. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the salmon on the sheet, skin side down. Mix the oil, honey, mustard and ginger. Brush half of the mixture onto the salmon. Grill the fish, turning it once and removing the skin. Then place it on a baking sheet, cover with foil and bake at 350° for about 5 minutes. Brush salmon with the remaining marinade. Serve with asparagus and rice, and garnish with fresh dill and a lemon wedge.
If there are leftovers, Schneider suggested making steak fajitas or open-face steak sandwiches.
Marinated Flank Steak with Roasted Potatoes INGREDIENTS
1 cup balsamic vinegar 1 cup olive oil ½ cup red wine 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon sea salt ½ cup Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped garlic 2 tablespoons fresh parsley 2 pounds flank steak
1 pound red potatoes ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon freshly grated garlic 1 tablespoon sea salt 1 tablespoon black pepper ½ cup Italian salad dressing ¼ cup fresh rosemary
The night before: Mix together the vinegar, oil, wine, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and parsley. Pour the marinade over the steak, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate overnight. The day of meal: Quarter the potatoes while heating oven to 400°. Mix together the oil, garlic, sea salt, pepper and salad dressing. Stir potato quarters into the mixture and place on a baking sheet. Mix in rosemary sprigs. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden brown. When ready to cook the steak, grill it for 5 to 10 minutes, flipping the steak twice on each side. Remove the meat from the grill, place it on a baking sheet and bake in the still-400° oven for about 10 minutes or until the temperature on a meat thermometer reads 140°. Serve with a side of sautéed baby carrots, and garnish with rosemary.
Chef Todd Schneider appears each month on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s monthly television program, courtesy of Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He also serves as the executive chef at the Virginia Executive Mansion and is owner of Seasons Fine Catering. Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Your Membership Advantage -SAVING YOU MONEY >>
Your Farm Bureau membership helps support the farmers who grow foods for your family. It also gives you access to a wide variety of benefits and services, and it can pay for itself quickly in savings and convenience!
TRAVEL ADVANTAGES Avis Save up to 25% on daily and weekly rates. Visit Avis.com/vafb, or call 800-4223809 and use Avis Worldwide Discount #A298846 when scheduling a rental. Budget Truck Rental Save 15% on truck rentals. Visit BudgetTruckRental.com/virginia or call 800-566-8422 to make a reservation. Use Budget Truck Discount #56000132266. Choice Hotels Use Choice Hotels’ Significant Organization Savings plan and get a 20% discount at participating locations. Visit ChoiceHotels.com, or call 800-2582847 and use ID# 00220000. Advance reservations required. Wyndham Hotel Group Get 20% off “best available rates” at participating locations. Call 877-670-7088, and use ID #67496 (or 1000000513 for Wyndham locations). Advance reservations required. Children’s Museum of Richmond memberships Save 25% on any annual museum membership purchased at the museum or its satellite location. Visit C-mor.org/ membership.
Member Benefit 8
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Travel Counsellors, Inc. Enjoy exclusive escorted tours for Farm Bureau members. Visit TravelTCI.com, or call 800-572-4049.
HEALTHY ADVANTAGES Member’s Medical Alert Help ensure that you or a loved one can summon help at home in an emergency. Get free shipping and a 30-day, moneyback trial with no long-term contract. Visit MembersMedicalAlert.com or call 877-288-4958, and use code FB102. Prescription Drug Discount Save on more than 12,000 prescription drug products, at more than 53,000 pharmacies nationwide. Obtain a discount card from your county Farm Bureau, and find a participating pharmacy near you at VaFarmBureau.org/benefits. QualSight LASIK Save up to 50 percent off the national average cost of LASIK vision correction. Visit QualSight.com/-vafb, or call 866-979-9575 to schedule an initial appointment with a participating doctor near you.
FINANCIAL ADVANTAGES Farm Bureau Bank Full member banking services. Contact your county Farm Bureau office, visit FarmBureauBank.com or call 800-492-FARM for more information.
HOME AND BUSINESS ADVANTAGES CDW Member Purchase Program Purchase selected electronics at cost and any other product at cost plus 3%; also, get free ground shipping on one order per year. Visit CDW.com/epp or call 877-813-4435, and reference EPP Access #F1F4D954. Grainger Get 10% off any item in the Grainger industrial supply catalog. Order online at Grainger.com and qualify for free shipping, or call 877-202-2594. Reference Discount #809039274.
ClearValue Hearing Save up to 25% on Starkey hearing instruments. To learn more and find a ClearValue provider near you, visit ClearValueHearing.com or call 888-497-7447.
>> For more information about all of the services included in your Membership Advantage, call your county Farm Bureau office today or visit VaFarmBureau.org/benefits.
Good for You!
OATMEAL delivers fiber and protein in one bowl BY KATHY DIXON
Spinach-Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf
Sowing your oats may have negative connotations, but eating oats is good for your health.
Oats made into oatmeal—not the instant kind that comes in different flavors—are a good source of fiber and nutrients, including vitamin E, zinc, iron and magnesium. Oats also are a good source of protein.
10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
Most oatmeal is made from whole oats that have been rolled and flattened into flakes. Steel cut oats, which are whole oats cut into thirds, have become a trendy form of the old staple.
1 pound 99% lean ground turkey breast
According to the American Cancer Society, insoluble fiber that is found in oatmeal has cancer-fighting properties because it attacks certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity. And the soluble fiber found in oats may reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) without lowering HDL cholesterol (the good kind), according to the ACS. Additionally, soluble fiber slows down the digestion of starch, which minimizes sharp rises in blood sugar level that usually happens right after eating. And research has found that people who eat more oats are less likely to develop heart disease. Even fast food restaurants are realizing the health benefits of oatmeal and are now offering it on their menus. Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Denny’s, McDonald’s and Starbucks all have some form of oatmeal on their menus. Oat consumption has grown by 5 percent each year since 1997, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first issued its health claim for oat-based foods, according to the North American Milling Association.
1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms ¼ cup chopped onion
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked) ½ cup fat-free milk 1 egg white, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend ½ teaspoon salt (optional) ¼ teaspoon black pepper
preparation Preheat oven to 375.° Lightly spray a medium skillet with cooking spray. Cook mushrooms and onion in the skillet over medium-low heat for 4 minutes or until onion is tender; remove from heat. Add spinach, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese, and mix well. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine turkey, oats, milk, egg white, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Spoon two-thirds of the turkey mixture lengthwise down the center of an 11˝ x 7˝ glass baking dish. Form a deep indentation down the middle of the turkey, and fill the indentation with the reserved spinach mixture. Top with the remaining turkey, forming a loaf. Seal the edges to completely enclose the spinach filling. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 170° and juices show no pink color. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Source: quakeroats.com
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Photo Contest “Under the Gun” by Russ Parkinson, Rockingham County
“Ed Saunders” by Courtney Didlake, Caroline County
First-place entries in Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s annual photo contest showcased the visual appeal of agriculture. All winning photos can be viewed at VaFarmBureau.org, and an entry form and guidelines for the 2012 contest are available at VaFarmBureau.org/contests. Participants submitted photos for judging in four categories: Animals, Landscapes/Rural Life, People, and Structures and Equipment. Entries were judged in three age divisions: 6 to 10 years, 11 to 17 years, and 18 and older.
“Boys of Summer” by Parker Clary, Brunswick County
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“Supper Time” by Amy Larson, Washington County
“This is Tasty!” by Drue Clary, Brunswick County
Winners “Henry” by Elisha Courts, Fluvanna County
“Soft Stillness Before Harvest” by Thane Everett, Spotsylvania County
“The Wheel of Life” by Hannah Roberts, Campbell County
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article by audra norris | photography by kathy dixon, audra norris and pam wiley
GOATS RAISED FOR MEAT, MILK, FIBER AND LAND-CLEARING
Meat goats in the herd of David and Mary Vinsh of Prince George County are raised to a market weight of 50 to 60 pounds. The Vinshes have raised goats since 1995.
Goat meat for curry and barbecues, goat cheese, goat’s milk soap and luxurious cashmere for knitted goods are all produced on Virginia farms. And as browsing brushclearers, goats are real go-getters. 12
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››› More goat farms have been popping up in Virginia in recent years, a phenomenon that can be attributed in part to immigration of people from Latin, Middle Eastern and African cultures to the United States, particularly in the eastern part of the country. Goat is the most widely eaten meat in the world, but some Virginia farmers raise herds for other purposes, including dairy, fiber and land clearing. Some say they prefer working with goats, due to the animals’ independent natures. “I didn’t want to have an animal that I needed to call a veterinarian for every time it had a baby; with goats they just take care of themselves,” said cashmere goat producer Barbara Johnson, owner of Timberwood Farm and Fiber in Orange County. According to the American Dairy Goat Association, goats are easily managed. They reach only a fraction of a cow’s weight and are easily kept on smaller parcels of land. Farmers also find goats to be social creatures, which makes them ideal for herd life. In 2011 the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 5,800 dairy goats and 52,000 goats used for meat and other purposes in the commonwealth.
Populations ‘accustomed to eating goat, and they want to continue that’ hen looking for an extra source of protein or an unconventional dinner staple, consumers are turning more frequently to goats. The demand for goat meat has been on the rise in recent years, and Virginia farmers are embracing it. Local ethnic butchers often stock goat meat and some supermarkets in Northern Virginia have started to carry it as well. “A lot of it does have to do with immigration,” said Mike Carpenter, a Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services livestock marketing contact. “These are people who are accustomed to eating goat, and they want to continue that.” According to Lohmann Information, the top 10 goat meat-producing countries worldwide are in either Asia or Africa and include India, Nigeria and Pakistan. China is the leader in production, accounting for 38 percent of the world’s goat meat. David Vinsh of Vinsh Goat Farm in Prince George County and his wife, Mary, keep some goats as pets and breeding stock, but most of the goats in their herd are raised to between 50 and 60 pounds and sold in Pennsylvania for meat. From there, the goats are purchased by packing plants and individual restaurants. David said that the market for goat meat is stronger in Northern states and that, while he has seen a swell in demand, he hopes that more people will want to try it. He said he began raising goats in 1995, when a friend gave him three. “From there, it just grew. Now we have 150 goats on the ground at any time,” he said. The Vinshes have always considered themselves up for any challenge. Once David purchased land adjoining his family’s farm, he cut down trees on the property and
Helping care for the family’s meat goat herd “gave our five children a frame of reference for what life is all about,” Mary Vinsh said.
built his house by hand. Mary, pregnant at the time, would pour concrete or secure roofing while her children napped and her husband went to work at the local DuPont plant. Goats, they reasoned, should be a piece of cake. “We had always been growers, mostly small grain, and we had a garden. For those first few years here we were literally living off the land,” Mary said. “We moved away from planting and started raising those goats. It gave our five children a frame of reference for what life is all about. They got to experience birth and death, but in an animal that was small enough to handle.” The health benefits of goat meat are widely praised. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it has 50 to
Vinsh Goat Farm Prince George County
65 percent less fat, more iron per ounce and fewer calories than beef. It also delivers the same amount of protein as beef and contains more protein than chicken, pork or lamb. While goats might not present direct competition for the beef industry, they promise to become a complement in meat commerce, Carpenter said.
In 2011 the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 5,800 dairy goats in Virginia, including this one in Campbell County.
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JACE GOODLING Goat Busters, Nelson County vagoatbusters.com
The sight of the Goat Busters herd on a work site gets the attention of passers-by, said owner Jace Goodling of Nelson County. “It creates an interest in agriculture that wasn’t there before.”
‘Bipedal browsing’ makes goats ideal for clearing brush isitors staying at The Boar’s Head inn and golfers playing a round at Birdwood Golf Course undoubtedly have some of the most beautiful views of Charlottesville’s and Albemarle County’s surrounding countryside. One view that had not been seen in a while, however, until this summer, is that of the Birdwood Mansion.
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Owned by the University of Virginia Foundation, the mansion is on what was one of Albemarle’s most successful agricultural operations in the 1800s. The property had in recent years become overgrown. The foundation decided to change that. Cue Jace Goodling and his team of hungry goats. Goodling is the owner and sometimes sole employee of Goat Busters, a brush-clearing service that uses goats. His work sites have ranged from unruly backyards to historic estates like Birdwood, where 63 goats cleared between 3 and 4 acres of brush. “The whole process is pretty simple. I section off the area to be cleared and introduce the goats to each section one at
a time,” Goodling said. “That way it creates a sense of competition between the goats to get to the best stuff first, as opposed to just letting them graze the whole area at once. It’s a lot faster this way.” Goats are naturally “bipedal browsers,” meaning they feel most comfortable eating while standing on their back legs. When they are first introduced to a new section of land to clear, they leave a clear line that shows how high they could reach to eat roughage. After that, Goodling cuts down the brush that was too high and lets the goats finish it too. The goats favor soft, leafy brush. Goodling leaves them on site until they have eaten all they can, and then he offers his services to haul away the rest. “We start with a jungle, and our goal is to leave a clean, manageable landscape for the customer,” he said. Goodling established his business four years ago when the slumping economy put a strain on his job as a custom builder. “But I’m also trying to build my niche in agritainment. People see the goats on site, and it’s a novelty. It creates an interest in agriculture that wasn’t there before.” While using goats to clear land sounds like a simple endeavor, it requires more than just allowing goats to eat and roam. Goodling must do a preliminary check of each property before agreeing to proceed, because some plants are toxic to goats. But the rewards greatly outweigh the risks, he said. His level of job satisfaction is enviable, and he knows better than to take it for granted. “How many people get to do this? I get to be outside, I get to meet a ton of nice people. I’m having so much fun.”
Dairy venture has grown to ‘You’re the one with the goat soap!’ o some, the idea of milking goats is unique; however, it is something that much of the world has been practicing for thousands of years. Worldwide, more people drink goat milk than the milk of any other animal, according to the American Dairy Goat Association. Virginia farmers embracing this dairy industry include Jennifer Downey of Night Sky Farm in Campbell County. She says she’s glad to provide consumers with products they otherwise might never have had the opportunity to try. Downey’s farm is home to a variety of animals, but her expertise lies in dairy goats and using their milk in diverse ways. She offers a wide range of products, including soap, body butter, laundry detergent, milk-fed pork and cheese. “The soap I make using goat milk only makes up about 30 percent of my sales, but when I’m at a market that’s what brings people to my table,” she said. “You create a sort of loyalty. They try something once, like it, and they are then willing to try more.” Downey has more than 50 goats, including Alpines, LaManchas, Nubians and Saanens. They’re milked twice a day, and the rotating milking herd yields between 7 and 8 gallons daily. Downey personally bred almost all of her goats to produce the highest possible yield of milk. She prides herself on being able to tell customers exactly what goes into her creations, from the diet of her goats to the herbs from her garden. She also pasteurizes the milk herself. “What people need to realize is I’m here for the long haul,” she said. “We’re sticking with sustainability and diversity.
The dairy goat herd at Night Sky Farm in Campbell County numbers more than 50, and owner Jennifer Downey has bred nearly all of her goats for high milk yields.
Diversity makes the farm what it is. And nothing on this farm is wasted.” Night Sky Farm currently sells fresh cheeses, and Downey hopes to build an aging room soon so she can begin to sell aged cheeses as well. She also hopes to transform the second floor of her barn into an educational area where she can hold classes. Until then, though, she’s staying more than busy. She participates in Fall Line Farms, a cooperative program in which family-run farms provide products to customers in Central Virginia, and she often spends her weekends selling at farmers’ markets in Richmond and Goochland County. She designs her product labels and maintains her farm’s website.
Night Sky Farm, Campbell County nightskyfarm.com She’s been in business since 2008 and said it has taken until recently for Night Sky Farm to gain recognition. “People look at my farm and think I’m crazy for doing this. But now every once in a while someone will say to me, ‘You’re the one with the goat soap!’ I didn’t grow up on a farm by any means, but I have loved doing this.”
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The cashmere in sweaters and scarves people received as holiday gifts last year comes from the undercoats of cashmere goats like this one at Timberwood Farm and Fiber in Orange County. Cashmere â€œmakes great fiber; it makes great anything,â€? said owner Barbara Johnson, who enjoys knitting in her spare time.
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InCASHMERE the Garden
Farmer, consumers agree ‘There’s nothing like the feeling of cashmere’
ashmere is considered a luxurious fiber by consumers and knitters, but many never realize how it comes to be a part of the sweaters they wear. It originates on particularly finehaired goats. Tucked away in Orange County, Timberwood Farm and Fiber is an operation specializing in cashmere, as well as other goat products. Owner Barbara Johnson’s herd consists of 21 cashmere goats, and she hopes to expand to 30 by this spring. A goat’s ability to provide cashmere depends on the fineness of its coat. The width of individual fibers is measured in microns, and goat fiber must be 18.5 microns or finer. Johnson breeds her cashmere goats for fiber that is between 15 and 16 microns. Their pelts can be broken down into two parts: guard hair and down. The down is the goat’s winter coat that lies underneath the guard hair, and it is what farmers collect to make cashmere spinning fiber. The goats begin to shed in January, at which time Johnson begins a two-anda-half-month process of combing their coats. While some farmers simply shear or comb their goats all at once, Johnson said her gradual process provides more fiber and keeps up with the natural shedding process. Her timing comes with experience and requires a keen eye. “It’s like when you have a dog and it starts to shed; you can look at a dog and tell it needs to be combed, and you can do the same with goats,” she said. After she has collected all she can, Johnson sends the fiber to a mill to be processed. There, the cashmere is
washed, de-haired to separate the down from the guard hair, carded so that the fibers are aligned and then spun into yarn. Johnson’s entire cashmere herd provides one pound of de-haired fiber annually, which equates to six skeins of cashmere yarn. A single 1-ounce skein of cashmere from Timberwood Farm and Fiber sells for $32, and it often is purchased by individual knitters. The fineness of the cashmere offers length with each skein that cannot be matched by other fibers. Johnson also raises sheep for fiber. A 2-ounce skein of wool is 145 yards long, while an ounce of cashmere is 430. While Johnson said she prefers working with goats because they are low-maintenance, there is also a science that goes along with cashmere breeding. “I send samples to a fiber testing lab in Texas, and there they determine its quality,” she said. “They send me back a report with the curvature of the fiber and its micron count, for breeding purposes.” Johnson is a member of the Eastern Cashmere Association, which has members in New England and the Mid-Atlantic. According to the ECA, there is not one specific purebred cashmere goat. However, its standards for fiber production aim to provide consumers with the best possible quality of cashmere available. One practice at Timberwood Farm and Fiber is “Never sell something you wouldn’t buy yourself,” Johnson said. When she gets a break from farming, she also enjoys knitting, and there is no doubt in her mind which fiber she prefers to use.
Timberwood Farm and Fiber Orange County timberwoodfarmandfiber.com
“It makes great sweaters, it makes great anything. I would never blend it with another fiber; there’s just nothing like the feeling of cashmere.”
According to the Eastern Cashmere Association, there is no specific purebred cashmere goat, but the organization has fiber production standards in place to provide a quality product.
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Statewide FARM-TO-TABLE plan one step closer to completion by kathy dixon
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Virginians spend at least $19 billion annually on food purchases, but 85 to 90 percent of that food comes from outside Virginia. The plan recommends several actions. Among them is having the VFSC come up with a business plan that would examine new systems and ways to fund them. The plan also recommends evaluating how state and federal agencies support locally grown Virginia food and farm products; setting measurable goals and tracking purchases of locally grown food by state agencies, schools, universities and other institutions; and creating a marketing campaign to challenge Virginia households and businesses to spend $10 per week on locally grown food and other farm products year-round. An Extension study found that if every household in Virginia did that, it would add $1.65 billion to the state’s economy.
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VIRGINIA’S FOOD SYSTEMS are moving from fragmentation to fusion after a variety of groups pooled their ideas and devised a farm-to-table plan last year. Under the leadership of the Virginia Food System Council and the Virginia Tech Farm to Table Team, the group produced Virginia Farm to Table: Healthy Farms and Healthy Food for the Common Wealth and the Common Good. The plan will be shared with state legislators during this year’s General Assembly. “This is a document for anyone and everyone who cares about food. We obviously want legislators to embrace it,” said Spencer Neale, senior assistant director of commodity marketing for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which is a member of the VFSC. The council was created in 2007 to devise and strengthen a comprehensive local foods system through better coordination and more multi-sector collaboration. It consists of agriculture groups, consumers, farmers, school representatives and others. “Initially, we’re not asking for money, legislation or regulatory changes,” Neale said. “The plan looks at the whole food system from when a seed is planted or a calf is born to when that food gets on someone’s plate. It will help us determine how Virginia’s food systems can be strengthened. “This is the beginning of a long-term process, and it is a working document.” The plan is the culmination of forums, focus groups and online surveys that gathered input from all parts of Virginia’s food systems. “Our hope is that this guide will help raise awareness of the issues surrounding our farm-to-table system, such as the longterm profitability and sustainability of Virginia farmers,” said Eric Bendfeldt, Virginia Cooperative Extension community viability specialist and chairman of the VFSC. As many as 14 other states have formed or are in the process of developing plans similar to Virginia’s. “As farm systems have gotten more efficient and grown larger, it’s made it harder for small and mid-size operations to compete,” Neale said. “This type of plan emphasizes local and regional opportunities without discounting current agricultural operations. “If we re-invigorate local and regional levels of agriculture by creating an infrastructure where the food consumers buy and eat is produced close to home, then agriculture will become an economic engine for growth.”
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Students interested in a variety of health careers can win funds for their education in Farm Bureau’s annual essay contest.
March 31 is deadline to enter Rural Health Essay Scholarship Contest High school and college students from Virginia Farm Bureau member families who are interested in a health-related career in a rural area have an opportunity to earn cash toward their education. Participants in Farm Bureau’s 2012 Rural Health Essay Contest have until March 31 to submit an essay on “My Future Career in Rural Health in Virginia.” Entries from high school students and college students will be judged separately, and two prizes will be awarded in each group. First-place winners will receive $1,000, and second-place winners will receive $500. Guidelines and entry forms are available at county Farm Bureau offices and at VaFarmBureau.org/contests.
Members can save at Feb. 24 Farm Bureau warehouse event In need of tires or a battery for your car or truck? Members can save 10 percent on purchases from the Virginia Farm Bureau Service Corp. Products Division at its Feb. 24 warehouse open house in Henrico County. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the warehouse, 1541 Mary St. in Sandston. Refreshments will be available. Members can save on a variety of tires, batteries and oil and grease products, as well as replacement parts for farm equipment. The warehouse is a 53,000-square-foot facility with a daily inventory typically valued at $1.2 million. It serves about 400 Farm Bureau-approved dealers throughout Virginia, Maryland and northern North Carolina, as well as a handful in West Virginia and Delaware. For information on specific products, call the warehouse at 800-476-8473. VirginiaFarmBureau.com
Teens encouraged to apply for Outstanding Young Agriculturalist Award High school juniors and seniors with an interest in agriculture have until March 31 to enter Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s Outstanding Young Agriculturalist Award program. The annual award recognizes teens for outstanding academic, community and agribusiness achievement. Rebekah Slabach of Halifax County won the award in 2011. She lives and works on her family’s cattle farm, Linger Longer, and attends Virginia Tech, where she is studying agriculture and history. Slabach called the competition “a remarkable opportunity to develop and polish public speaking skills and to speak in front of agriculturalists, agriculture leaders and professionals from around the state. “The oral presentation part of the competition really challenges you to research, communicate and support positions on agricultural issues.” She said she encourages others to enter the competition. “Just do it! There is a lot to gain. Being able to interact with other agriculturalists from across the state, build friendships, improve your public speaking skills, form positions on agricultural issues and represent the future of Virginia agriculture is such an experience of a lifetime.” Entry forms and details are available at county Farm Bureau offices and online at VaFarmBureau.org/contests. District winners will compete for the state-level award at the VFBF Young Farmers Summer Expo in late July. The state winner will receive an award valued at $1,500, including $250 from Virginia Farm Credit Associations, $500 from the VFBF Service Corp. and $750 from the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and Women’s Committee. All prizes are subject to change based on sponsor availability.
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
by sara owens
Keep your child passengers safe, secure in proper seats CHILD SAFETY should always be at the forefront of any parent’s mind. In addition, Virginia law requires that all passengers younger than 18 be properly secured while traveling in a vehicle. They, as well as drivers and front-seat passengers, must be wearing a seat belt at all times. “The saying is ‘Click It or Ticket’ for a reason,” said Jimmy Maass, safety manager for Virginia Farm Bureau. “Virginia takes car safety seriously. If a driver or front-seat passenger isn’t wearing a seat belt, a police officer can pull the car over and ticket the driver. If the back-seat passengers and anyone under the age of 18 also is without a seat belt or child safety seat, the driver will be ticketed for that too.” State law requires children 7 and younger to be secured in a child safety seat. All child seats must be installed in the back seat to reduce the chance of injury from airbags. Pickup trucks and vehicles without backseats are exempt, but their airbags must be turned off or deactivated, said Tobey Allen, community safety seat inspection coordinator for the Virginia Department of Health. “Children under the age of 13 are safer in the back seat, because airbags deploy at speeds up to 140 miles per hour,” Allen said. “This is the equivalent of falling from a 14-story building.” From birth to at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds, children should be secured in the back seat in a rear-facing infant seat. “The longer you can keep your child in a rear-facing safety seat, the better protected they will be in the event of a crash,” Maass said. “The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends that children remain in rear-facing seats until at least 2 years or about 35 pounds. Check your child’s safety seat for more information on height and weight restrictions.” Children between the ages of 1 to about age 4 and 20 to 40 pounds should be secured in the back seat in a forward-facing toddler seat.
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Children between 4 and 8 or 40 to 80 pounds—unless 4 feet, 9 inches tall— should be restrained in the back seat in a belt-positioning booster seat. “It is important to make sure that your child’s safety seat fits both the child and your vehicle,” Maass said. “If you are not sure about which seat is best for your child, ask a trained and certified child passenger safety technician for assistance.” Farm Bureau offers members four different child restraint seats on a costshare basis through its Child Saver Program. All seats meet current federal safety standards, and since 1989 Farm Bureau has helped member families obtain more than 28,000 seats. For your newest passenger, the program features a rear-facing infant seat for children between 5 and 22 pounds with a five-point harness system, a removable fabric-covered pad and an adjustable handle for lifting the seat off its base with one-hand ease.
Three other seat choices also are available:
` a convertible car seat with five-point harness; converts from a rear-facing design for infants 5 to 35 pounds to a forward-facing design for toddlers 22 to 40 pounds;
` a high-back booster seat for children 40 to 80 pounds; and
` a no-back booster seat for children 30 to 100 pounds. For more information on the Child Saver Program, contact your county Farm Bureau office. To find a location that performs child seat checks near you, visit SafetySeatVa.org. Farm Bureau’s safety staff is available to perform child seat checks for Farm Bureau members and their families. For more information, contact the safety staff at 804-290-1376 or safety@ farmbureauadvantage.com.
Virginia law requires that all passengers younger than 18 be properly secured while traveling in a vehicle.
by kathy dixon
SMART START program offers discount for teen drivers Save 5 percent on auto premiums for as many as nine years Everyone knows that teen drivers tend to rev up auto insurance costs. But teenagers who enroll in a new Virginia Farm Bureau program can save 5 percent on their car insurance, which is both smart and safe. The Smart Start program offers a 5 percent auto insurance premium discount to drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 who meet the requirements of the program. “This discount is an immediate reward, and you can see it every time you renew the policy,” said Jimmy Maass, Farm Bureau’s safety manager. “And it lasts until the driver is 25, which is typically when auto insurance rates drop.” Smart Start rewards teens for driving safely and remaining accident- and conviction-free. Participants must sign a pledge agreeing to put safety first; wear a seat belt and ask passengers to do the same; not drink and drive; and always drive defensively. “This is a membership advantage, because very few insurance companies offer something like this for their members,” Maass said. “It helps teens drive more safely and helps reduce their insurance costs.” The program replaces Farm Bureau’s Teenage Driver Safety Program, under which teen drivers who drove for three years without any incidents received a $1,000 savings bond. Maass feels the new program is better because the benefits are almost immediate and can last as long as 9 years if a driver enrolls at 16 and drives safely until he or she is 25. “The earlier you enroll your teen in the program, the better the benefit,” he said. “The first year of driving is when teens tend to have the most accidents.” Teen drivers must be accident- and conviction-free to enroll in the program.
Member families with a teen driver can get information about the new Smart Start program from their Farm Bureau insurance agent.
To enroll, parents and teens with Virginia Farm Bureau auto insurance coverage need to meet with their insurance agent, who will review facts about safe driving. Afterward, the agent will show a video about the Smart Start program and conclude by having the teen take a quiz about safe driving and sign a contract promising to drive safely. The 5 percent discount will remain in force until the policy is renewed after the driver turns 25, or until the contract is broken. Maass said the initial enrollment meeting shouldn’t take more than an hour and gives parents a chance to review their current insurance coverage at the same time. Current auto policyholders will be eligible for Smart Start once their policies are renewed.
“The first year of driving is when teens tend to have the most accidents.” – Jimmy Maass, Virginia Farm Bureau Safety Manager
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Gardening can cultivate health and well-being by leah gustafson Time spent in the garden can be downtime that fosters relaxation and reflection.
Confused by Health Reform? We can help! • Individual plans • Employer group plans • HSAs and HRAs • Medicare supplement • Dental and vision
FARM BUREAU offers NEW health care reform-compliant plans with increased beneﬁts for Virginia Farm Bureau members. Our trained staff will help you customize a health care plan to ﬁt your needs and budget. We work with individuals, families and all types of businesses throughout the state of Virginia.
Get the Membership Advantage.
AU T H O R I Z E D I N D E P E N D E N T AG E N T
For information on how the changes in health insurance can save you money, call us at 800-229-7779. Virginia Farm Bureau Service Corporation is an independent authorized agent in Virginia for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Anthem Health Plans of Virginia, Inc. trades as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, and its service area is all of Virginia except for the City of Fairfax, the Town of Vienna, and the area east of State Route 123. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its afﬁliated HMO HealthKeepers, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.®ANTHEM is a registered trademark. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For exclusions, limitations, terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued, costs and complete details of the coverage, call or write your insurance agent or the company, whichever is applicable.
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
o many things in our modern world have become ‘over.’ We are overworked, overweight, over-tired and over-stressed. The therapeutic benefits of gardening have been recognized since humans first cultivated plants, but there is now a growing professional practice linking gardening to numerous health benefits. Horticultural therapy is based on the physical, mental and emotional healing that is possible from regular interaction with a garden. It is successfully used in a variety of situations and is useful in helping people with special needs, senior and frail adults, mental health patients and people who are recovering from physical illness. The physical benefits of fresh air and exercise are perhaps the most obvious. Gardening provides aerobic, isotonic and isometric exercise, the combination of which benefits the muscles and bones, as well as the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Strength, endurance and flexibility all can be improved by gardening, making it one of the best all-around exercises and one that can help prevent heart disease, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Gardeners are more likely than nongardeners to eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables, salads and herbs, even if they don’t cultivate the produce themselves. That practice is essential to a healthy diet. In addition, physical exercise releases endorphins, which help to alleviate stress and its negative effects. Studies have shown that simply being in a garden lowers blood pressure. A healthy dose of gardening also can stimulate the appetite and foster a good night’s sleep. But beyond the physical, there are many other health benefits to gardening. A garden provides an oasis of calm in a mad, mad world—a personal, private and peaceful place to escape to when we need to restore a sense of balance and well-being. Gardening is a form of meditation, of being lost in the moment. It brings quiet to the conscious mind, allowing the subconscious mind to mull over problems and often discover solutions. It is also a form of self-expression; gardening can help develop creativity and build confidence and affords a healthy outlet for emotions.
Furthermore, gardening promotes a sense of achievement when we step back and see the difference we have made, and a sense of wonder at the small, important things in life. Gardeners are usually hopeful, optimistic people; looking forward to the next season or year, while enjoying the present and respecting the past. They are also often philosophical in their outlook; accepting that things are not always perfect, happy to be flexible and to adapt to circumstances beyond their control. Gardens are sensual places, engaging all our senses in a variety of ways, encouraging us to be more in touch with ourselves and in tune with nature’s slower, gentler rhythms. Simply spending time in a garden, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells around us, can invoke a powerful sense of belonging and spiritual peace. When we nurture a garden, we increase our connection and our sense of well-being.
Leah Gustafson is a marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Health Care Consultants.
Gardening engages the senses and encourages one to focus on the moment and the season at hand.
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
In the Garden
Backyard chickens can give you a cleaner garden, better soil Backyard chickens are one of the hottest new trends in gardening, said horticulturalist Mark Viette. “For many of us, backyard chickens allow us to get back to nature and the old ways of gardening.” Chickens kept in the garden after the growing season has ended feed on old vegetables, search out and eat pests, loosen the soil and provide natural compost that they mix into the soil by digging, Viette said. That helps prepares the garden for the next group of plants. Chickens will eat weeds and feed on old beans or anything that falls to the ground. If you add compost or manure to the soil,
they will work that into the garden too, Viette said. “Chickens really reinvigorate the garden, plus you can have fresh eggs to eat.” Before bringing chickens to your backyard, Viette advised, check local regulations. He also recommended purchasing hens only. “If you don’t want to wake up to the loud crows of a rooster, a hen may be the best solution for you.” Planting cover crops such as buckwheat, clover and winter rye in the fall, will help loosen the soil. The chickens will flatten the crops, but the roots will grow deep.
USDA offers tips on healthy birds Information on protecting the health of backyard poultry is available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture at www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_ health/birdbiosecurity.
Chickens that have access to a garden between growing seasons will eat pests and loosen the soil. But check local regulations before introducing a backyard flock. 26
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
In the Garden
Peonies : enough scent and color to share The first peony arrived in Virginia in 1757, according to horticulturalist Mark Viette. Peonies are a herbaceous shrub that die back to the ground each year. There are several varieties, including garden, tree and hybrid peonies. The garden peony is an heirloom variety that loves the full sun. “It won’t bloom if there isn’t at least afternoon sun,” Viette said. Tree peonies, he said, should not be cut back. “The branches will grow back without flowers if you cut them down. If you cut the tree peony too far you can kill it.” Hybrid peonies are a cross between the garden and tree varieties. Peonies do not require much care, Viette said, just full sun and some plant tone. And if you find ants on your peonies, it’s OK, he said. “The ants like to feed on the sugary substance on the buds. It just means you have a nice, healthy garden.” Peonies make great cut flowers and should be cut in the morning before the flowers have bloomed, so they will last longer indoors. They also make great hand-me-down plants, Viette said. “You can dig a quarter or third of the plant and give it to someone else.”
To find the station nearest you that airs Real Virginia, or to view the show online, visit VaFarmBureau.org. Or view gardening segments from the show at SaveOurFood.org.
Mark Viette appears on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s monthly television program. Viette and his father operate the Andre Viette Farm and Nursery in Augusta County and have a live radio show broadcast by more than 60 mid-Atlantic stations each Saturday morning. They also are members of the Augusta County Farm Bureau. Andre Viette currently serves on the organization’s board of directors and on the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Ornamental Horticulture Advisory Committee, and Mark Viette is a former Augusta Farm Bureau board member. Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
From the Ground Up
Use raised-bed gardens to grow produce anywhere In New York City, millions of dollars in crops are grown in urban areas; proof that a lot of food can be produced in small lots even in the heart of a city, said Virginia Cooperative Extension alternative crops specialist Andy Hankins. Raised-bed gardening is a growing method used for home vegetable production. Raised beds can provide better drainage and plant fertility than tilled backyard plots and can provide more room for roots to grow. “There’s usually only one-and-a-half inches of topsoil in a (tilled) garden, but with a raised bed, there is 6 inches of topsoil,” Hankins said. “Sometimes you can get as much as three or four times more vegetables from raised beds than from a regular, flat garden in soil.” Raised-bed gardens also have looser soil, because heavy tractors and tillers aren’t running over the garden, compacting it. If growing crops in vacant lots in city or suburban neighborhoods, it is important to perform a soil test before you get started to make sure the soil is not contaminated with lead, Hankins said. “If a house or building used to stand on the site, there is a good chance that contamination from old applications of lead paint or old lead pipes has occurred.” If contamination has occurred, apply a woven plastic barrier between the existing soil and the topsoil used to fill the raised beds. To make the beds, frame up 2-by-6 pieces of lumber, and nail them together to form a rectangular shape. Fill the beds with a mixture of half compost and half topsoil.
In addition, “a stack of four or five old tires can be filled with clean topsoil or compost for crop production,” Hankins said. This inexpensive container is ideal for production of Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes or melons. Other kinds of containers, including old bathtubs and plastic swimming pools can be used as well, as long as they have good drainage, Hankins added.
Raised beds and other above-ground soil containers are best used for production of berries, vegetables, herbs and flowers. “Wait until the spring to start planting, and you should have a bountiful harvest on a small amount of space to enjoy all summer long,” Hankins said.
This collection of raised garden beds was created to supplement a food program operated by Richmond’s 31st Street Baptist Church. 28
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
From the Ground Up
In addition to summer and fall produce, the garden was used to grow cooking herbs and flowers for use in the church.
Andy Hankins appears on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureauâ€™s monthly television program. He is a longtime professor and Virginia Cooperative Extension alternative crops specialist at Virginia State University and a member of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming. VirginiaFarmBureau.com
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
2012 magazine classified ad schedule and policies
New claims phone number — and assistance ’round the clock
Members of Virginia Farm Bureau will receive one free 15-word classified ad per membership per year in Cultivate, which is mailed to associate members, or in Farm Bureau News, which is mailed to producer members. Ads of 16 to 30 words must be accompanied by payment of $20. Any additional ads placed by members in the same calendar year must be accompanied by payment of $10 for 15 words or fewer, or $20 for 16 to 30 words. Ads submitted without payment will be returned. We do not invoice for classified ads or provide proofs or tearsheets. Ads with more than 30 words and ads from nonmembers will not be accepted. Use the form on Page 31 to place your ad, or the online form at VaFarmBureau.org/Marketplace. No ads or cancellations will be taken by phone. Ads will be accepted only from members whose 2012 dues are paid. Magazine classified ads can be placed in the following five categories only: crops; farm equipment; hay/straw; livestock; and livestock equipment.
As of last summer, Virginia Farm Bureau insurance policyholders have a new option for receiving live, 24-hour assistance when they need to report a claim. Calling 800-452-7714 will put you in touch with a trained customer service professional who can collect all pertinent information, forward it to Farm Bureau claims staff and notify your Farm Bureau insurance agent. For easy reference, the new toll-free number is at the bottom of every page of the Farm Bureau insurance website at FarmBureauAdvantage.com and is being added to all insurancerelated print communications. “Incidents that prompt an insurance claim don’t always happen during office hours, and we want our members to know we are there for them ‘round the clock,” said Bill Anderson, executive vice president and general manager of Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “Of course, policyholders are always welcome to call their county Farm Bureaus when they have a claim, but because we take their business seriously, we want to make sure we are always there when they need us—regardless of the hour.” When members call the new number, they will be prompted to press 1 for auto glass claims and 2 for all other claims.
· · · · ·
Classified ads will be published in the following issues:
· · · ·
April Cultivate (mailed to associate members only); May Farm Bureau News (mailed to producer members only); July Cultivate (mailed to associate members only); and August Farm Bureau News (mailed to producer members only).
Insurance claim? Speak with a Farm Bureau service representative 24 hours a day at 800-452-7714.
Finding your member number When placing your ad, be sure to include your Farm Bureau member number, which can be found on your membership card or above your name on the mailing label of your copy of Cultivate. All member numbers will be verified.
Virginia beef and eating local year-round, on February’s Real Virginia
To view RealVirginia, visit VaFarmBureau.org.
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
How do restaurants get local foods year-round? How do some families eat from their gardens even in winter? Find out on this month’s edition of Real Virginia, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s monthly television program. Chef Todd Schneider of the Virginia Executive Mansion will feature a tasty recipe for grilled flank steak, and the show will visit a Virginia beef producer who works hard to bring quality beef to the table. Real Virginia airs nationwide at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month on RFD-TV, as well as on 48 cable systems and three broadcast stations in Virginia. It’s also available online at VaFarmBureau.org. Check local cable listings, or visit VaFarmBureau.org for a list of participating stations.
How to place your classified ad Step 1 Use the form below to provide contact information and the text for your ad. • Ads will be accepted from Farm Bureau members only. • Classified ads are not transferable. • Please type or print. • Classified ads will not be accepted or cancelled over the phone.
Step 2 Indicate the issues in which you want your ad to run.
• Ads longer than 30 words will not be accepted. • We do not invoice for classified ads or provide proofs or tearsheets. • Ads submitted without payment will be returned.
Step 5 Mail your ad (and payment) to: Virginia Farm Bureau News/Cultivate Classifieds P.O. Box 27552 Richmond, VA 23261-7552
Or place it via the Virginia Farm Bureau website at VaFarmBureau.org/Marketplace.
Select the category in which you want your ad to run (Pick one only).
Step 4 Your first ad of 15 words or less is free with your membership. Pricing for additional ads: 1–15 words $10/ad 16–30 words $20/ad Additional ads must be accompanied by a check (no cash) for each issue in which the ad is to appear. • Make check payable to: Virginia Farm Bureau.
Ads and cancellations must be received (not mailed) by the following deadlines: Issue Deadline Mailed to producer members May April 4 August June 29 Mailed to associate members April March 2 July June 1
We are not responsible for typographical errors or errors due to illegible handwriting (No refunds available). Classified ads carried in Virginia Farm Bureau News and Cultivate do not constitute an endorsement by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and its affiliated companies and organizations. We reserve the right to edit or reject ads, including ads that represent a business in competition with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company or any of our affiliated or affinity partners. We reserve the right to edit or reject any advertisement that makes reference to any particular political party or group, religious belief or denomination, race, creed, color or national origin.
Moving? If your address or phone number has changed—or is about to—don’t forget to contact your county Farm Bureau office to ensure that your membership and subscription information stays current!
One free 15-word ad per membership per year; 2012 dues must be paid before placing ad.
NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ MEMBER NO.: __________________________________________________________________________________________________
Category in which ad should run (select only one): ❑ Crops
❑ Farm Equipment
CITY: _________________________________________________ STATE:____________________________
DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER: ___________________________________________ EMAIL ADDRESS: _________________________ Ads will not be accepted without the information above.
ADVERTISEMENT (one word per space; please type or print):
❑ Livestock Equipment No other categories available in magazines
1. ____________________________ 2.____________________________ 3. _______________________________ 4. ______________________________ 5. __________________________________ 6. ____________________________ 7. ____________________________ 8. _______________________________ 9. ______________________________ 10. _________________________________ ( ) 11. ___________________________ 12. ___________________________ 13. _______________________________ 14. _____________________________ 15. _________________________________ phone number
ISSUE IN WHICH AD SHOULD RUN:
❑ April (mailed to associate members) ❑ May (mailed to producer members)
* Ad placement available for these issues only VirginiaFarmBureau.com
❑ July (mailed to associate members) ❑ Payment enclosed: $_______________ ❑ August (mailed to producer members) ❑ This is my one free 15-word ad for 2012. ❑ Please place my ad in The Delmarva Farmer for 4 weeks at no additional cost to me. ❑ Please place my ad online in the VFB Member Marketplace (Ads expire Dec. 31).
Cultivate FEBRUARY 2012
Farmers don’t take a season off, and neither does Farm Bureau As Congress crafts the 2012 Farm Bill and the state legislature considers the rights of property owners, farmers all over Virginia are making plans for the coming year. As a Farm Bureau member, you’re helping to make it a good year for all of them. For less than $4 a month you’re helping to ensure that working farmland stays in production, that Virginia farmers get the information they need to be successful, and that their interests are represented to elected officials. That’s some of what Farm Bureau does, thanks to members like you. You can make an even bigger difference this year by telling your family, friends and neighbors about Farm Bureau and encouraging them to become members as well. There’s never been a better year — and there’s never an off season.
Published on Feb 9, 2012
Introduced in July 2008, Cultivate is published quarterly with a focus on safe, fresh and locally grown foods and the Virginia farms tha...