Forestry and Gardening

Farmers' Markets on the Rise

Apr 17, 2014

There are now  more than 240 farmers' markets statewide, an increase of about 180% since 2006.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says if every household in the state spends ten-bucks  a week on locally-grown food, it would mean a $1.6 billion dollar investment back into the economy.

You can find a list of farmers' markets across Virginia here.

Celebrating Woodlands

Mar 24, 2014
Courtesy of The Montpelier Foundation

There’s a big weekend ahead for those who love trees, with a Historic Tree symposium in Charlottesville, a lecture in Blacksburg, and an Old Growth Forest walk at Montpelier.

James Madison’s family thought nothing of clearing the woods around their plantation in 1723.  In fact, most Americans viewed trees as an impediment to farming, but a convenient source of building materials and food.  Later in life, Madison would come to regret that view.  Horticulturist Sandy Mudrinich reads what he had to say on the subject.

A tiny, invasive bug is bringing down hemlock trees from Appalachia to southern Canada. And scientists fear another treasured native tree may be going the way of the American chestnut, forever changing forest ecosystems.

Researchers at Virginia Tech are hoping to beat the invaders at their own game. They’re using a new invasive species to keep an old one in check, and save the American hemlock tree.

 

A 14-acre  stand of trees on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg recently escaped destruction when the University agreed not to build an athletic practice facility on that spot. 

Now a Virginia Senator wants to make protection of the parcel, known as Stadium Woods, permanent.

Senator John Edwards applauds Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors for voting to save Stadium woods from development – for now. But he’s introduced a bill that would make protection permanent with a conservation easement on the land.

Adria Bordas

Scientists are asking the public’s help in stemming the spread of a blight on the Boxwood bush.  The plant is often used in holiday wreaths and garlands this time of year.

The Boxwood plant is prized for its emerald leaves and slow growing habit. But a blight, first seen in the US in 2011 has spread to Virginia, where it threatens home gardens as well as historic sites. The disease eventually kills the plant. It’s caused by a fungus spread by contact with a diseased boxwood.

Pages