The next meeting of the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District will be on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 9:30 a.m., in room 941 of the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035.
- The next Green Breakfast is scheduled for July 13 at Brion's Grille in Fairfax, from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Green Breakfasts are held on the second Saturday of every other month.
- Brion's Grille: 10621 Braddock Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032 -- located in the University Shopping Mall (Braddock Road and Route 123) across the street from the Roanoke River Road entrance to George Mason University.
- Cost: $10.00 for the Buffet, which includes tax and tip. Cash is preferred.
- Note: You may bring fliers about your organization's events and activities. There will be time for announcements. (If anyone wants to come and just have coffee, please email or call the Conservation District at 703-324-1460, TTY 711)
Fresh strawberries. Heirloom tomatoes. Summer squash. Artisan cheese. Garden-fresh herbs. Flower bouquets. Rainbows of fruits and vegetables, tables of pies, breads, rolls, stacks of eggs, jars of honey, bottles of milk, and an assortment of local beef, chicken, and pork.
Fairfax County farmers markets will be in full swing again soon, starting in early May and wrapping up in November. With twelve locations across the county, residents can find fresh, local food just a short walk, bike ride, or carpool from their front doors.
Green thumbs can buy plants at the beginning of the season, and during most markets Master Gardeners will be on hand to inspect plant or insect samples for pest identification and disease diagnosis. Visitors to farmers markets support sustainable agriculture and local food. Since each vendor must produce within 125 miles of Fairfax County, customers can be sure that their produce and baked goods are as fresh—and delicious—as possible!
For more information and for a complete schedule, see: Farmers Markets, Fairfax County Park Authority
You sir! And you ma’am! Step right up, don’t be shy! What would you say if I were to tell you, right here and right now, that you could turn regular household kitchen and yard waste into......gold? Skeptical? You should be, but I’m here to attest to you that where the ancient alchemists failed, we have succeeded! We have created a way to turn what was once considered rubbish into valuable, prized organic humus: the veritable black gold of gardener lore! And how do we accomplish this amazing transformation? Well, I’m glad you asked. We harness the power of millions of natural microbes and put them to work inside each of our tumbler style composters.
Our composters are made of the same durable, recycled pickle and olive barrels featured in our popular build-your-own rain barrel workshops. Tried and true! Each barrel is mounted on a recycled wooden frame and assembled with care and precision (by you!) so as to rotate around its central axis. This rotation allows the contents inside to tumble and mix hands-free, thus creating the perfect microbial buffet. The composter maintains your future gardener’s gold aerated via holes drilled throughout (also by you!). There’s no need to manually mix your compost pile anymore, allowing you to save time, money and avoid the dreaded “compost hand!”
At each workshop, participants will build a tumbler style composter using a recycled pickle barrel, gas pipe and pre-cut 2x4s. All material and instructions will be provided. The cost of the workshop will be $75.
If you would like to participate, please email Dan Schwartz (703-324-1422, TTY 711) to be contacted when we announce the next composter workshop. Many thanks to the composter workshop partners: City of Falls Church, ReBuild Warehouse, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Mason Sustainability Institute.
When you want to say thank you, consider a gift that will last a lifetime: the gift of trees. Through Reforest Fairfax, a new partnership between Fairfax County Restoration Project and Fairfax ReLeaf, five native trees will be planted for each gift you give, and a beautiful card and certificate will be sent to your recipient.
By giving trees, you will be helping to ensure a beautiful and healthy place to live and work long into the future. Trees clean our air and water, protect our streams, prevent soil erosion, lower city temperatures, and boost property values. When you give the gift of trees, you're not just saying thank you; you're helping to plant our future. To learn more or to give a gift, visit Reforest Fairfax.
We encourage you to stay informed about the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District's opportunities and programs! To subscribe, please contact us via our online form and specify which of the following updates you would like to receive:
- The Watershed Calendar, sent monthly by Dan Schwartz, features stream monitoring and other volunteer events across Northern Virginia,
- The Green Breakfast emails are sent by Nicholas Kokales to advise about upcoming Green Breakfast events, and
- Conservation Currents, the NVSWCD newsletter, is emailed by Lily Whitesell to individuals who prefer to receive an electronic copy. You can also subscribe to receive print copies of Conservation Currents.
Residential Rain Gardens: Design, Construction and Maintenance
A new guide will help you create a rain garden at your home. Rain gardens are depressions that temporarily fill with water when it rains. Runoff from your home, driveway and yard can be directed to a rain garden to solve drainage issues and protect our streams and the Chesapeake Bay.
Rain Garden Design and Construction: A Northern Virginia Homeowner's Guide is a step-by-step manual for creating home rain gardens. The guide includes tips on materials, a worksheet to help you design and size your garden and a plant list. The guide is a joint publication of the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District. Download your copy of the rain garden guide.
Are you looking to give back to your community, get involved in a fun volunteer activity, or simply get a few service hours in this year? The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District can help. Volunteers can:
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) works with lawn care companies to encourage watershed-friendly lawn maintenance in the Commonwealth. Lawn care companies voluntarily enter into a water quality agreement with the agency. They agree to train their employees to use lawn care products responsibly, follow appropriate lawn fertilization practices and provide environmentally sound advice to customers. In return, DCR maintains a list of watershed-friendly lawn care operators that is available to the public. This spring, consider choosing a watershed-friendly lawn care company or, if you take care of your own lawn care, consult the DCR publication "Tips on Keeping Your Lawn Green...And the Chesapeake Bay Clean" to try home lawn care - the watershed-friendly way.