1. blackops

    School is open. The Farm is not.

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    Farm work! Inspecting the hooves before trimming.

    I’ve been getting a lot of calls these days for farm tours and visits! I regret to say that we have temporarily closed the farm to visitors. The reason is, that we have opened our farm-based high school, LOCAL STEW U, in …

  2. blackops

    LoSU HAS A HOME!!

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    LoSU HAS A HOME!

    Grapevines overlooking open pastureland.

    We have found a beautiful farm just off of Route 60 through Powhatan. At over 100 acres, the new farm offers a mix of pasture, woodland, cleared timber, creeks, and a large pond. Our first through third year students will have an …

  3. blackops

    Well, hello.

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    I saw her last night in the mirror as I passed by. She was right there, unexpectedly, and smiling warmly. I stopped and stared. A flood of emotions swept though me. I had only ever seen her in older photos. She was a beautiful young woman and I had always …

  4. blackops

    Integrating Ocean Science

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    ..

    Invest/Sponsor

    Invest. In a school. In a philosophy. In the future.

    ..

    Jupiter Inlet, a passage between the inter-coastal waterways of Florida and the Atlantic ocean, was one of our favorite spots. We spent many, many hours fishing, snorkeling, boating, and exploring here.

    Tidal mangrove swamps once forested much …

  5. blackops

    Richmond News NBC12 – our first TV interview!

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  6. blackops

    Goodcall – Educators Challenged to Increase Interest in Agriculture

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  7. blackops

    LoSU Mascot Art Contest & Show – Deadline Extended!!

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    It’s not too late!
    DEADLINE EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 17TH!

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  08/22/2016

    Goochland, VA

    LOCAL STEW U, a new farm-based, alternative high-school moving to the Richmond area is holding a contest for the design of their school mascot logo art based on the American wolf.

    About the School

    LoSU …

  8. blackops

    Venison Roast

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    Well, we are at it again. Either it’s venison theme week or we are running low on groceries and short on choices. It just so happened we were going to be out fairly late in the evening helping with some fair preparations on a warm Sunday afternoon.…

  9. blackops

    Venison Tenderloin

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    I occasionally post photos of our food experimentations on Instagram or Facebook. I always have some ask for the recipe and I have to admit, I’m really bad about getting back to folks. This is my weak point. I don’t usually just make the recipe straight up because of the …

  10. blackops

    Coffee on the porch

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    There are few better ways to start the day than morning reflection over a warm cup of coffee on the front porch. Unlike the business of my mind, the place around me is calm, serene even. You cannot help but relax into it. There are no worries here on the …

  11. blackops

    The Farm School Gains Momentum!

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    It’s been a crazy week here at the farm. Really crazy! We are in the final year of our lease on this beautiful farm in Culpeper and looking to make some major decisions about our future. As we formulate the plans and requirements necessary to bring our farm-school to fruition, …

  12. blackops

    A Farm School – an idea takes shape

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    For many years, I have harbored the desire to start a school and a passion to help kids find direction.  I began working towards a Masters in Education and as I took education classes that focused on the rising difficulties of classroom management and remedial education, I realized more and …

  13. blackops

    Life’s Lessons…

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    I came downstairs earlier than I have been, fixed a cup of coffee and shot the closed, silent laptop a frustrated glance. Not this morning. After several long days of struggles and frustration, I needed my mornings back. With a cup of steaming coffee, I went about filling in my …

  14. blackops

    The Lazy Farmer

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    I am a lazy farmer. There. I said it. 

    I am also a mom, a homeschool teacher, an education specialist, a graphic designer, and a farm manager. Frankly, my success overall depends on developing systems that allow for as little intrusion from me as possible—on all fronts. The end result …

  15. blackops

    Small Farm Outreach Family Conference

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    Williamsburg, VA 

    Thomas, chosen to help pull door prize tickets, gets to spend some time at the “important” table for the dinner and awards ceremony.

    Eryn, Thomas and I just came back from the Small Farm Family Conference loaded with great memories, awesome connections and lots of great ideas and …

  16. blackops

    Oct 24-25 Fun Show and Trail Ride Treasure Hunt!

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    Join us for an old-fashioned show full of the fun events (no serious stuff)! Proceeds benefit the Orange County 4-H Natural Horse Addicts club. We’ll have games, obstacle fun, primitive camping, campfire, outdoor movie, s’mores and more! Sunday’s weekend finale will be a trail ride treasure hunt.

    Great prizes, ribbons, …

  17. blackops

    October 10-11 ACTHA Weekend Event!

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    Our last ACTHA competitive trail weekend event is October 10-11! We will have lots to offer. Some vendors, clinicians, 3 ACTHA rides, primitive camping, dinner, campfire, and more rides on Sunday! Arrive as early as 4 PM on Friday! For more details, visit our ACTHA page.

    ACTHA weekend Flyer

     …

  18. blackops

    Soft Cheese Success!

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    Our First Cheese Class!

    IF Farm’s first cheese class! We had a full house and a lot of fun tasting and learning about the cheese making process.

    What a great class with local Artisan Cheese Maker, Valerie Trojan! We covered the most basic of cheeses and moved to some tasty, …

  19. blackops

    We’ve got bees!

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    Sweet Honey Shares!

    Raw, unfiltered honey from the farm!

    Perhaps you are one of those who is concerned about the increase in chemicals used in agriculture or you are more attuned to the dangers of highly refined sugars in the body. Many health conscious people are looking for healthier, more …

  20. blackops

    7 Months. 13 Rides. Tons of Fun!

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    “For the Love of the Ride” Saddle Series

    We are all set for our summer ride series with ACTHA and you won’t believe what’s in store!

    Along with other great prizes for riders this summer is a Freeform Classic BTF Treeless Saddle ride raffle. This saddle comes from the local…

  21. blackops

    May 9-10 Hog Processing

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    Join us to learn one of the ultimate self-sustaining skills – meat processing. Twice a year we will be processing natural, pasture raised hogs and we invite you to come for this informative 2 day butchering workshop

    We start Saturday 11 am – 1 pm with a pasture raised hog.  …

  22. blackops

    April 26 Advanced Cheesemaking

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    This is a hard cheese workshop with cheese making guru Valerie Trojan! We will learn to make various hard cheeses and taste some wonderfully aged cheeses as we go.

    What’s covered:

    The hard cheese process The cheese press Drunken Goat Cheese Parmesan Swiss Montasio Trip

    Class size is limited. Cost …

  23. blackops

    July 5th Beginner Cheese Making

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    Discover the art (and ease) of cheese making!

    From yogurt and quark to mozzarella and ricotta, this soft cheese class will knock your socks off! You will be making and sampling cheeses, exploring deserts and other uses for them, and taking home some of the finished cheese.

    Cheeses covered:

    Yogurt…
  24. blackops

    2015 Summer Camps!

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    INTRODUCING SUMMER CAMPS! LOCAL STEW U is now offering summer camps – week long learning adventures with day camp and over night options!

    Our camps offer a variety of activities including hiking, photography, hands on farm life, orienteering, and more! There’s always time for learning as well! We sneak lots …

  25. blackops

    Making Movies…

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    Storyboard Scene 7 Sneak Preview

    Thomas and I are starting another learning adventure to go along with our Indiana Jones Archeology! We have added movie making to our repertoire and are embarking on our first series. I use “our” lightly as this is all Thomas’ doing and I am merely …

  26. blackops

    What? You are moving? A farm??

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    Yes. Moving. A whole farm. And what an ordeal it is.

    Why, we are asked, would you move your farm? Well, as it were, the beautiful, 60 acre farm we were leasing had some problems. Mostly problems with the owners who were temporary (life rights), older (like 80+), …

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