Amissville column for Dec. 6

Christmas Basket update

Organizers of the annual Amissville Christmas Basket Project say they are thankful for the outpouring of support, both in food and funding, following recent publicity about the massive undertaking. However, they emphasize that additional donations of all kinds are still needed.

The original goal of the food drive when it began three decades ago was to provide a nice Christmas dinner to needy area families. Now, more than 30 families receive this assistance – plus a selection of such staples as flour, sugar and butter – to help feed extra mouths during the holidays. The extra supplies also assist the families after the new year when winter weather brings rising utility bills.

In recent years, additional baskets have been filled with fruit for about 100 area elderly residents and shut-ins. Moreover, if one of the basket recipients has lost a loved one during the past year, a flower is placed in the basket in their honor.

Donations of canned or boxed foods are still being accepted at Early’s Carpet, Hackley’s, Settle’s Cars and Trucks, Mayhugh’s Store, Gray Ghost Winery and Narmada Winery. Checks may be sent to: Amissville Christmas Baskets, 8 Carter Lane, Amissville, VA 20106.

Local entrepreneurs to offer health drink

Two Amissville brothers, Ryder and Trey Williams, are dreaming in more than a dozen flavors of kombucha as they near the start date when they begin producing the fermented tea drink in a leased commercial kitchen in Sperryville.

Kombu-what? It is a delicious drink that purportedly rebalances the gut, enhancing your own natural probiotics and strengthening the immune system with vitamin B.

As the first franchisees of Fauquier-based MTO Kombucha, they will be selling the health drink to both commercial establishments and to the public. They also hope to create a kombucha bar in the dining room section of their building, where you can purchase the beverage by the drink while surfing the web on a wifi connection. (See the photo and more about the Williams’ plans for their building in the Sperryville column.)

Taking olive oil to heart

Area cardiologists are increasingly sending their patients to the two local Taste: Oil Vinegar Spice stores, as the heart-healthy benefits of olive oil become better understood, remarked Amissville entrepreneur Jan Davis recently. She is co-owner of the stores with her husband, George Farrar.

“Who knew something so healthy could be so delicious and versatile?” she said, grinning.

Three years ago, Portuguese researchers identified the antioxidant DHPEA-EDA, which seems to be the component of olive oil that provides the greatest protection from heart attack and strokes. Those on a DHPEA-EDA quest can find more than two dozen infused (flavored) and non-infused olive oils at the Culpeper store at 202 E. Davis St. and the Fredericksburg store at 815 Caroline St.