The Home Stretch

With less than a month until the vernal equinox,  winter is not making a quiet exit. Here’s what we’ve got scheduled for a hopefully more pleasant March.

This March we will be hosting a Bee Day on the farm where we will discuss our favorite insect and advise aspiring beekeepers on how to get their apiary started, whether for business or pleasure. There is an endless amount of information out there on honeybees and the idea of getting started can be overwhelming. This talk is aimed at future beekeepers or novices: our goal is to simplify the start-up process and cover the essentials of beekeeping. Once you are armed with a basic understanding of what goes on in a colony and  know your role as keeper, you will be ready to begin your own hive, where you will be able to use first-hand observations to refine your knowledge of Apis mellifera. This talk will be from 10AM to noon on Saturday, March 22nd. The price is $20. Attendees will also receive a half pound of our delicious 2013 honey. If you’ve been thinking about keeping bees, we would be happy to help you get set up.

Note: no bee suit is required for this talk, since we will not be opening up an active hive. However, if it is a warm day the bees will be active and curious–if you have known sting allergies, it would be wise to consider a different hobby!

 

We are rolling out a small 23-week CSA! Shares are $400 and we  offer “half” shares for $250 (these will contain more than half the produce of the $400 share). These prices represent a minimum 10% discount from retail value. CSA members will receive eggs and seasonal vegetables every week, as well as priority on shiitakes and honey  whenever they are available. members can also expect to absorb crop surpluses at no extra cost and receive a greater variety of produce than we normally bring to market. Pick-up will be on-farm, 15 minutes from Warrenton every Wednesday afternoon beginning May 21st and ending October 22nd. If you are interested, email us at oakshadefarm@gmail.com to get full details. This is our first year selling produce in this way and we look forward to delivering a lot of value to the early adopters. Sign up soon and take advantage of our Warrenton egg-delivery to CSA members. During the first and third week of March we will be giving full shareholders 2 dozen eggs and half shareholders 1 dozen as a thank you for signing up early.

Our studio gallery in Rappahannock is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10-5PM. Come see the Oak Shade Artisans’ booth, featuring Jeanne and Sally’s hooked rugs, Jim’s weaving, and much more. Located in Sperryville right across from the illustrious Waterpenny Farm and adjacent to The Copper Fox antique warehouse. New next month: El Quijote tapas restaurant will be opening in the same building as the gallery!

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Winter continues to roar. The ground has been white or wet for a month now, halting construction projects and making it quite difficult to drive tractors without destroying topsoil. Bees are unfazed by snow, but have difficulty surviving in the prolonged cold.

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As with the bees, snow is no big deal for our evergreens.

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A shuttle perched on a half-finished weaving. Our recent Weaving Day went well and several newcomers to the craft got their first opportunity to work on a loom. Weaving is Jim’s winter weather pastime.

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An old picture, but it captures the feeling of February.

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If you’re interested in any of our upcoming events, or if you’d like to receive email updates from our farm, drop us a line at oakshadefarm@gmail.com. And yes, we will be hosting a shiitake day in early April. Check back for more information!