Washington column for Oct. 1

Farm tour, and Lions’ apple butter

A few of the two dozen Rappahannock Lions Club members who cut up 47 bushels of apples on Thursday that were turned into 1,773 pints of apple butter at the Keezletown Cannery on Friday, and that are now on sale at the 211 Quicke Mart. The apple butter is going fast.Don Audette
A few of the two dozen Rappahannock Lions Club members who cut up 47 bushels of apples on Thursday that were turned into 1,773 pints of apple butter at the Keezletown Cannery on Friday, and that are now on sale at the 211 Quicke Mart. The apple butter is going fast.

Gloomy skies and rain did not put a damper on last weekend’s Rappahannock County Farm Tour and Festival. I was out and about on Saturday morning, checking out the Artisans’ Market at the Visitors Center near Washington. The tourists were walking the streets in town as well, checking out the shops. Angel, the beagle that I am looking after for Walter Nicklin, was out meeting friends as well.

Out on the other end of town at the 211 Quicke Mart, the Lions Club was busy selling their sweet apple butter. Making and selling apple butter has been a Lion tradition for years, and is a major source of funding for the Lions Club.

The late Paul Nichols started the Lions’ apple butter project back in the mid ’70s. The first year, work was done by hand; Lions stirred the apples in copper kettles in the Rappahannock Farmers Co-op parking area. Since that time, it has gone to other locations where there were canneries nearby.

For the past 18 years, the Lions have processed the apple butter at the Keezletown Community Cannery near Harrisonburg. This cannery has its own history, as it was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

The Lions will be back at 211 Quicke Mart this weekend — so be sure to stock up on the dark and sweet apple butter from 8 to 4 Saturday and 10 to 4 Sunday (Oct. 3-4). Pint jars are $6 each, two for $10. For more information, contact Larry Grove at 540-987-8612.

All proceeds from the sale of apple butter goes back to Rappahannock’s community organizations.

Rose Hill Veterinary news

Kiel J. Hausler
Kiel J. Hausler

Rose Hill Veterinary Practice’s large animal clinic welcomes its newest veterinarian, Kiel J. Hausler, DVM.  Hausler attended the University of Wisconsin/River Falls before being accepted into the University of Minnesota, where he completed his DVM in 2013.

Originally from Wisconsin, Kiel was born in Lancaster and raised in Stevens Point, on his family’s farm. He recently made the move to the gentler climate of Virginia with his wife, Alex, and their cat, Granite. Prior to joining the Rose Hill staff,  in mid-August, he worked as a large animal veterinarian in a mixed-animal practice in Wisconsin. Kiel loves to explore the great outdoors and enjoys running and hiking. As a former 4-H member growing up, he is also passionate about working with the local 4-H program and kids interested in raising and showing livestock.

Welcome Kiel, and your family, to our community.

Don’t forget that Rose Hill Fall Festival and annual open house is noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, with Virginia State Trooper canine working demonstrations, trunk or treat, moon bounce, barrel train, pony rides, a teddy bear repair station with Dr. Tom Massie, music by Ryan Jewel, food and drink. For more information, call 540-987-9300.

A trip to Florac, France

A street in Florac, France, the home for two weeks of the vacationing Gail and Judd Swift and Barbara Adolfi and Ray Boc.Gail Swift
A street in Florac, France, the home for two weeks of the vacationing Gail and Judd Swift and Barbara Adolfi and Ray Boc.

Washington’s Gail and Judd Swift, along with Ray Boc and Barbara Adolfi of Sperryville, left for a two-week trip Sept. 11 to Florac, France.

The medieval town of 2,000 in the center of the Gorges du Tarn (river) is the headquarters of Cevennes National Park, made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes.”

On a hike one morning, Gail actually saw a couple with their donkey re-creating the path Stevenson took through the park in the late 1800s. In their 700-year-old townhouse, the four of them enjoyed buttery croissants warm from the oven each morning (thanks to one of them making friends with the baker).

They also enjoyed “an infinite variety of charcuterie, goat and sheep cheese and wine from the terroir. . . . Hikes in the limestone gorges, chiseled by water over the millennia, provided spectacular scenery, complete with castles perched on top of freestanding rock formations. Walks in the village, shopping at weekly itinerant open air markets, lunch in charming cafes, day trips to a wildlife preserve for 100 wolves of different species and a wool museum, all added to the charm of this rural visit to the Languedoc region of France.”

In 2014, the two couples visited Cornwall, England, and now look forward to figuring out where to go in 2016!

WBC homecoming

Washington Baptist Church will celebrate their Homecoming on Sunday, Oct. 11, with a traditional worship service starting at 11 a.m. followed by lunch at 12:15. This year, the Rev. Phil Bailey, former pastor of WBC, will be the speaker. Everyone is invited.

Free clinic

Rappahannock Free Clinic is open at the Rappahannock County Health Department on Main Street in Washington, next Wednesday (Oct. 7). Registration is from 5 to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Fauquier Free Clinic at 540-347-0394.

Happy birthday

Birthday wishes go out to Skip Giles and Bill Scoggin of Washington, both of whom will celebrate their special day on Sunday (Oct. 4). Also, happy birthday to my brother, Ray Burke, on Friday, Oct. 9, and to Chris Keyser on Oct. 11.

Have a great week!

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