From the category archives:

Critters

Bats!

by Staff on November 3, 2014

When you think of bats, images come to mind of a crazy animal that attacks you at night. The truth is, bats are a forgotten animal that helps everyone, especially farmers. They come out at night, working while we sleep. They eat a tremendous amount of bugs, ranging from mosquitoes, to moths and beetles. They can consume 100- 600 bugs per hour! They also help pollinate flowers and spread seeds that allow new plants to grow. Bats are very important to farmers. They help protect crops from these bugs that could destroy a farmer’s crop. And since bats are eating these pesky bugs, it saves chemicals that farmers would have to use to protect their crops.
Sadly, bats are on the decline due to a new disease, the White Nose Syndrome. It’s responsible for killing over 6 million bats in just 6 years alone.
Wondering how to attract bats to your farm or land? There are several different things you can do.
No-Till Soil1. Keep your farm natural, allowing wetlands and ponds to stay. They attract insets and will attract bats because it provides insects that bats need to eat.
2. Build a bat house. Bat Conservation International provides instructions on how to construct a bat house depending on where you live.
3. Leave your old wooden barn. It provides the perfect habitat and chances are they are already living in the crevices.
4. Leave old hollow trees alone. Don’t cut them down. Bats often use them as their home.
Education is the biggest tool in protecting bats. To find out more, contact your
local department of natural resources.

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Virginia is Quarantined for Gypsy Moths

by Staff on January 19, 2014

Gypsy Moth Quarantine in VAAs a kid I grew up in a town that was so tiny that the town’s only doctor also served as the Medical Examiner and he was the entire local Board of Health.  He knew everyone by name, delivered most of the children, and he did house-calls for his patients.  When I had the chicken pox,  he had the task of pounding a “Quarantined” sign on the door of our house.  Apparently it was some kind of law requirement in those days (almost back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) and no one was allowed to enter our home until the doctor said it was not contagious.

Fast forward and I’m in a Quarantine Zone again.  This time it’s a Federal Plant Protection and Quarantine law, and it applies to folks who might be moving from an area of gypsy moth infestation.   Nearly every county in Virginia, including all of Charlottesville and surrounding counties, are in the Federal Quarantine area, and you can see a list of quarantined counties HERE.

The USDA issued a bulletin this week regarding how to get a checklist for gypsy moth inspection;… and how to do a careful inspection prior to moving so that no gypsy moths are inadvertently taken out of the quarantined area.  Homeowners and moving companies are both required to check for gypsy moth egg masses which can be found in typical places such as patio furniture or grills.  The moth debris must be destroyed prior to leaving the quarantined area.

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Virginia State Fair Today

by Staff October 6, 2013

They get it.   They did justice to the farmers of Virginia.  Today is the last day of the 2013 State Fair of Virginia, and already the great reviews are beginning to pour in.  This is the first year that the fair is wholly sponsored by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, and people are generally quite pleased [...]

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State Fair of Virginia

by Sue September 12, 2013

September 27, 2012 – October 7, 2013 It’s that time of year again Virginia State Fair Time! You will find the best Virginia has to offer from Blue Ribbon competitions, agriculture, animals, shows and exhibits, arts, crafts, music and more. Not to mention all the yummy fair food! Please visit the State Fair of Virginia [...]

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Camel Burgers In Virginia

by Staff August 28, 2013

Virginia Beach is a center for our military personnel, so it only makes sense that there would be a variety of culinary preferences from those folks who’ve spent a great deal of time in other countries.  I tend to associate “variety” with the manner in  which the food is prepared.  Thai.  Indian.  I think of spices and techniques [...]

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Wings over Wine Country

by Sue August 18, 2013

Hawks, Owls, Eagles and Wine! What more could you want? The Wildlife Center of Virginia will have an exhibit of their feathered ambassadors at the Glass House Winery on September 1, 2013 from 1PM to 5PM and DuCard Vineyards on September 30, 2013 from 1PM to 6PM. Come out and support The Wildlife Center of [...]

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