The Rapp for March 10

Photo courtesy of Jason Brady

Micro-climate blues

Jason Brady woke up Monday morning and saw at least a couple of inches of snow and ice covering the ground around his place in Bean Hollow, so he checked the TV news to see what was cancelled.

Not much was.

“It was the strangest thing — we had maybe 10 or so acres covered with this mix of ice and snow, at least two or three inches deep. But if you went down to the next driveway on the road, there was nothing. It had just rained there.”

Most of us remember Sunday night and early Monday for the gusting winds and periods of cold rain, sleet and other things that fell out of the sky — apparently in extraordinarily uneven distributions.

“Craziest weather I’ve seen,” said Brady, who took the photo shown here from his house. It shows the ice and snow on the ground and trees nearby — and nothing on the mountains a half-mile away.

As far as he knows, Brady said, there are usually no dark clouds following him around.

A few of last year's Miss Rappahannock winners. Photo by E. Raymond Boc.

Miss Rappahannock time

It’s almost that time of year again. The Miss Rappahannock pageant, sponsored by the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad, approaches fast: It’s scheduled for Saturday, April 16, at Rappahannock County Elementary School.

The 3 p.m. will have some changes this year, including to registration fees for Friends, Mother/Child and Siblings categories, and changes to the Ms. category (it is now only for ladies ages 20 and older who are single). And a new category, Mrs., has been added this year for married ladies of any age.

Pageant contestants must either be a resident of Rappahannock County or attend school/daycare full time in the county. Registration is Sunday, April 10 from 2 to 3, followed by rehearsal.

There will be door prizes, a bake sale, a raffle drawing and much more at this year’s pageant. As always it is a major fund-raiser event for the rescue squad, so plan to come out and support the participants and the cause. Get applications and more informationfrom Deanna Wayland at 540-987-8366 or

Ian Mitchell-Innes leads a field tour March 18 in Sperryville.

Mount Vernon to host future-farming field day

As part of a county-sponsored Future Farms Program, Holistic Management International’s field expert Ian Mitchell-Innes will be taking a group of those interested in working in more natural ways to enhance the health of one’s land and livestock on an educational tour March 18 of the pastures at Cliff Miller’s Mount Vernon Farm in Sperryville.

HMI is the company that drew some 40 people interested in hearing more about its methods to an initial workshop at the Link two months ago — where nine farmers signed up for a year-long educational program. This field tour, though designed for the participating farmers, is also open to any others who pay the $40 fee.

Whether you are a beginning farmer, a third-generation rancher or a public land manager, HMI maintains that you can learn how to apply “holistic management principles” to enhance the health of your land, and increase productivity while reducing operating costs.

The one day session is designed to provide a hands-on introduction to Holistic Management by participating in an actual consulting session between farm management and Mitchell-Innes, a Holistic Management Certified Educator who has consulted around the world on such land and grazing planning, biological monitoring and financial planning methods. The tour is 1 to 5 p.m.

Said Miller: “HMI is participating with the county to put on this program to benefit local farmers by teaching them land practices for use on orchards, row and vegetable crops as well as traditional grazing farms.” As first-year participants in the three-year program, local farmers receive quarterly training and consulting.

In the near future, HMI will be seeking participants for the 2012 program year; the public is invited to the March 18 event so that others may learn more about how the program can benefit their farms.

You can sign up, or find more information by visiting or calling the organization at 505-842-5252.

Spring clean-up time

Rappahannock County’s longtime cleanup go-to guy, Hunt Harris, has put out the word that the annual Spring Clean Up of county roadsides, streams and other unsightly spots has begun — and without the blanket of snow we had last year, he says, “you can really see quite a bit of trash along just about every road you travel in the county.”

Citizens, property owners, families, friends, churches, schools, businesses, Internet chat groups and others are encouraged to participate from March through the April, Harris said, by taking the time to pick up trash and debris along roads and streams in Rappahannock County.

Participants may either use their own bags, or may get large, durable orange bags from the local Va. Department of Transportation (VDOT) office, located across from the Flatwood trash transfer station off Rock Mills Road.

Participants are asked not to take wood or metal to the Flatwood facility, and if bags are left by the road at their pick-up location, it is requested that they be safely located off the road but not placed in a dangerous situation for the VDOT trucks to stop and pick them up. The local VDOT office number at Flatwood is 540-987-8939, and any of the staff there can help arrange for bag pickups.

Questions? Call clean-up coordinator Hunt Harris at 540-987-3366 or email him at

Last fall, appraiser Beth Pollack discusses a collection of stuffed bears with their owner as Jean Morris listens in. Photo by Gary Anthes.

Antiques Appraisal: Old stuff, new time

Though it’s only been six months since the last one, the Rappahannock Historical Society’s Antique Appraisal and Bakery Boutique returns March 19 for its third annual appearance — in a new spring time slot.

Celebrate the coming of spring-cleaning season by taking stock of the treasures that loom in both prominent and obscure locations of your abode — or even (blush) the garage. The historical society enlists the aid of an array of experienced appraisers to inspect, admire and evaluate your objects de arte, toys, trains, rare books, firearms — heck, nearly every assorted bit of old or not-so-old paraphernalia — plus they will date the approximate construction date of your vintage house.

You are practically guaranteed to have a “wow, I’m shocked” moment when the estimated financial value of your items is declared. (Warning: The shock can cut several ways.) Whatever the results, it’s all in great fun, and proceeds go to support the ongoing efforts to document and preserve Rappahannock’s history for present and future generations. The fee is $10 for one item, $25 for three.

While you’re there be sure to stop at the bakery boutique to choose from an assortment of specialty items.

The Appraisal and Bakery Boutique is 10 to 2 Saturday, March 19 at the Old Washington School on Mount Salem Avenue in Washington. For more information, contact the Rappahannock Historical Society at 540-675-1163.

A tote bag sale at the Book Barn

New tote bags are available at the Rappahannock County Library’s Book Barn, which is having a sale this weekend to mark the development: Fill one of the bags, white with blue “Friends of the Library” logo, with a dozen of the on-sale paperbacks for $5. Usual prices are 25 cents for one paperback or five for $1, and the tote bag otherwise would sell for $3.

The Book Barn, the big red building next to the library, is open 9 to 3 every Saturday. Filled with books donated by Rappahannock County residents as well as used books from the library, the Book Barn also accepts donations henever it’s open.

There are art and photography books, travel and garden sections, numerous hardback bestselling novels, reference books and a large children’s section. Tapes, DVDs and audiobooks are also available. Most hardcovers are $2 (hardcover novels are $1) and some books have prices a bit higher. Other sections include classics, science, how-to, crafts, foreign language and reference.

For more information, call the library at 540-675-3780.

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