From the category archives:

Conservation

A new list from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has identified 87 non-native invasive plant species in Virginia www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/documents/nh-invasive-plant-list-2014.pdf.   These invasive plants affect everyone, from the government, to the farmer, to the homeowner.  The United States has seen a $34 billion yearly economic loss due to these invasive plants.   They have a negative effect on natural areas, parks, forest land, farms, yards, as well as wildlife habitat and our ecosystem.  

According to an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, the DCR, “… used a risk-assessment protocol to determine an invasiveness rank for each species listed. If they are discovered in Virginia, the goal for these species is eradication to prevent their establishment and spread. People who spot these in Virginia should notify DCR.” 

The plants on this list can be aggressive in your yard or nearby natural areas, and unfortunately, can actually replace plants that are native to Virginia.  These invasive plants tend to grow quickly, copiously produce seed, germinate and colonize, and are difficult and costly to remove and/or control.  Kudzu is an invasive plant that has taken over many natural areas of land in Virginia.

Whether you’re a farmer, landscaper, or homeowner, this list will help you identify the list of non-native invasive plants to keep away from your land.

For more information, please visit:

Virginia Invasive Species Working Group: www.vainvasivespecies.org

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Program: www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/invspinfo.shtml

National Invasive Species Awareness Week:  www.nisaw.org

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Pastures Streams and Trees Advice

by Staff on September 29, 2014

The Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (VDACS) sponsors a lot of interesting workshops and seminars.  Some workshops  aim for an audience of new or potential farmers while other target the existing experienced farmers in the state.  On 11-8-14 they have a seminar scheduled that should attract farmers in all stages of farm experience.

On that date (Nov. 8th) they will host a day-long seminar on Agroforestry, which is not as complicated as the word would suggest.  Basically this is a management system for not only pastures but also for streams and trees…. that enhances the variety of farm products possible on the property while improving the condition of the land and its farm animals.  Check out the link above for details on the seminar.  It sounds interesting and creative!

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Virginians Address Gas Extraction Guidelines

by Staff June 6, 2014

This week an advisory group met in Richmond to discuss possible responses to an energy company’s plans to extract natural gas from Virginia’s rock and shale by a method known as fracking.  This drilling method uses water, sand, and chemicals put into the earth to free the natural gas layers.  Environmentalists have expressed their concerns because at [...]

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No Till Planting into Cover Crops

by Sue June 4, 2014

Fauquier County Education Farm 8396 Meetz Road Warrenton, VA 20186 Saturday, June 7, 2014 6:00PM to 8:00PM Fauquier County Education Farm is having a workshop to demonstrate No Till Vegetable Crop Production. This way is important for soil conservation, to build soil health and nutrients and to control weeds. They will be planting into mulch [...]

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The Acorn Connection

by Staff December 28, 2013

At first it seemed like a casual observation.   There haven’t been as many acorns on the ground this year.  When it was time for autumn clean-up, we didn’t seem to be raking acorns mixed among the leaves as we’ve done in the past.  And coincidentally we recently counted 18 deer in our yard all at the [...]

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To Till or Not To Till, That Is the Question

by Staff December 4, 2013

World Soil Day is tomorrow, December 5, 2013.    We’ve got our party hats and confetti, and we’ve planned our award acceptance speech, so we’re ready for the festivities. On a more serious note, one of the issues of farm conservation practices, centers on whether or not to till the soil at the end of one [...]

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