The Rapp for May 15

Land management, live

If you live here, we’ll assume you’re familiar with trees. Should you attend the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection’s free Land Management Forum this Sunday (May 18) at the Theatre in Washington, however, you’ll meet two guys who know everything about trees.

The 90-minute program starts at 3 and focuses on the care and management of woodlands and forests, and its featured speakers are Lyt Wood, tree consultant, Rappahannock Nature Camp director and former state forester; and Bill Taylor, longtime timber consultant and one-time Rappahannock County High School sports star, who can tell you everything you need to know about selective harvesting to manage the health and growth of forests while maintaining habitat for native species.

This is the second of RLEP’s series on land management. There is no charge. For more information email mail@rlep.org or call 540 675-RLEP.

The land beneath the town

Rappahannock Historical Society researcher Maureen Harris gives a talk on the early history of the town of Washington at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, at the Washington Town Hall. She’ll cover the period from 1735 — when the original grant of land was given by King George II — to 1833, when Rappahannock County was created and Washington became its seat.

Harris will illustrate how the town’s various properties came into being and how they changed and developed during its first century. So you can talk all you want about the town’s development here in the 21st century — but first, come to Harris’ talk and find out how it developed to begin with. Refreshments will be served. Call the Historical Society at 540-675-1163 for more information.

Skyland dinners, local wineries

Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park starts a new monthly wine dinner series tomorrow night (Friday, May 16). The resort’s Shenandoah Seasonings Vintner package includes overnight accommodations and a four-course paired Virginia wine dinner for two, starting at $366.

Skyland executive chef Francois Ternes’ first combination of regional specialties with award-winning Virginia wines and peerless views of the Shenandoah Valley features Horton Vineyard. The next two Friday dinners — June 20 and July 18 — feature Bill Gadino of Rappahannock’s own Gadino Cellars. Each dinner will feature four locally sourced courses starting with an appetizer, salad, choice of entrée and dessert.

The package for two includes Friday night lodging, dinner with wine, Shenandoah etched wine glasses, breakfast for two Saturday morning, gratuities, utility fee and SNP Trust donation. Diners who aren’t staying at Skyland can pay $130 per person. For reservations and information, call 877-247-9261.

Kitchen expertise at Foster Harris House

A sample of chef John MacPherson’s work in the kitchen at Foster Harris House.Courtesy photo
A sample of chef John MacPherson’s work in the kitchen at Foster Harris House.

If you love to cook and are looking to learn a few new techniques to try with all those great summer veggies, or discover the joys of making your own pasta, a new series of hands-on cooking classes with chef John MacPherson of Foster Harris House are for you.

With MacPherson as guide in Foster Harris House’s new kitchen, you’ll chop, knead and stir while talking about food and enjoying a glass of wine or two. Classes are limited to eight participants and  open to all skill levels. Each session concludes with a sit-down meal paired with wines.

The series of Sunday classes, all running from 3 to 6 p.m., starts with a Farm-to-Table primer June 15, using all-local ingredients to make simple and delicious meals, and continues with Rustic Italian Cooking (June 22); Chef’s Tips and Plating Techniques (Aug. 3); and Duck, Duck, Goose (taking the mystery out of foie gras, duck confit and goose liver pate, Aug. 10). Call Foster Harris House at 540-675-3757 to reserve.

Farm Tour, yes. But first, cookies.  

The 2014 Rappahannock Farm Tour & Festival organizers invite any and all interested to a kickoff meeting next Tuesday (May 20) in the conference room at the Rappahannock Extension Office (upstairs in the Kramer Building on Gay Street in Washington). The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., and there will be cookies and sugary drinks to inspire enthusiasm and great ideas. For more information, email tour committee chairperson Cathie Shiff at witsendcody@yahoo.com.

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