Deep eternal sadness pervades
…..Felt by the woods, now a single tree
Limbs stretched upward as if to keep the sky from falling
Overlooking homes with plastic faces
Factories manufacture land as “progress” continues to be made
…..Felt by the girl who silently farms on the Appalachian hillside
Knees black with dirt she tries, desperate to restore what had been taken
Root by Root…Seed by Seed….Earth and Hand……
Piercing the veil that lie between
Searching for the Source
..…She finds the Great Mother
An immortally stoic presence
Standing silently weeping…yet still strong and tall
Roots running so long and very far afield
Aching heart and knowing mind
She reaches out with her Gift unwavering
Bestowing light to her dying Mother
Her gift is met with a sigh…
Sounding on a passing zephyr
You are the gift murmured the Great Mother, from you I need no other
You are a brilliant star among many…balancing the dark of Night
Life is death and Death is life
....written by Audra Sandridge
Seeds are beginning to warm and sprout in the greenhouse. Medicinal seeds have been sewn and covered in the fall and are lying tucked into their beds dreaming of their new life ahead..Native woody florals are pondering over the right moment to burst forth. Trossachs Woodland Farm has become an approved vendor for the Staunton Farmers Market. On Saturday mornings beginning in April we will be on site selling our herbs, salves, soaps, bath salts, plants, florals and non timber forest products.
I have been thinking alot lately about creation. Creation, health, healing and modernism... My interior world consists almost wholly of creating my own personal Appalachian Amazon. Healing the earth from my own space..completely sacred. It seems that at Trossachs Woodland Farm we care so deeply about re-establishing the woodland, educating others about the importance of woodland medicinals and being good stewards..that we don't exactly fit back into the modern day world...all of these topics ...be it Reiki, Leadership, Spirituality in the Workplace, Woodland Walks etc. have been modernly successful because people EGO-TIZE them!!!! People are reluctant to actually take in the quiet spirituality of a forest walk...they are emotionally unable to deal with an effective Reiki session that prepares their spirits to heal...they don't want to walk the path of Truth because it seems lonely and ...and sometimes doesn't feel good. Our farm is here though..for those of you out there that are prepared to be Warriors...warriors of spirit...warriors of truth...warriors of light....We are here.
Autumn is upon us..the leaves are beginning to fall. At the farm I have been working non stop planting beauty berry, holly and sweet shrub in preparation for the addition of woody floral sales. In addition to this, our woodland medicinal root crop is prospering and we have been busy dividing our roots and preparing woodland beds. It is an Appalachian rain forest in the making! In the midst of a world full of chaos and destruction, what better way is there to find a balance than to add native plants to our forest?
Excited to expand our farm offerings into the woody floral market!! Been busy with fall planting!! Can't wait to share with you what comes from this!! Native wedding flowers and floral offerings will include hydrangeas, nine bark, beauty berry and holly to name a few!!
Well..I just had yet another Hallmark moment!!! Each one really is the best ever!!! Last night, Natural Bridge State Park along with Center of Gravity Yoga of Lexington ROCKED MY NATURE GIRL WORLD!! As a way to work toward earning their Dark Sky Certification Natural Bridge State Park will be offering Yoga under the Light of the Full Moon. What a fabulous way to commune with nature. As we began the trek to the summit, I noticed the wind moving through the wild grasses that surrounded the park trail. At the summit, a circular area had been mowed and the view of the hazy blue mountains beyond was like no other. Throughout the 45 min. yoga routine the sounds of birds and gentle wind gave way to the crickets harmonizing in the twilight. As the dark sky began to fall, fireflies lit up the sky like lost stars. Words cannot begin to describe how AMAZING this was!! I enjoyed it so much, I have posted the Center of Gravity Yoga Outdoor Schedule for you here. ENJOY!!
Outdoor Yoga Series
Monday June 17th: Full Moon Yoga at 8:00 PM Meet at Natural Bridge State Park @ 7:45 Caravan to Golf Course Rd. Short 10 minute walk up to Jefferson Point for an hour, all levels class. $10 covers class & admission
Friday June 21st: Celebrate the Summer Solstice at Boxerwood Gardens 5:30 PM. Arrive at Parking lot by 5:15. Short walk to the Meadows for a gentle all levels class. $10 for class & Admission
Tuesday June 25th- 5:00 pm- Rockbridge Winery
Wednesday, July 10th – 6 pm – Great Valley Farm Brewery
Tuesday, July 16th – 8 pm – Natural Bridge State Park – Full moon yoga
Sunday, July 21st – Noon – Halcyon Cidery
Some people view their life as a series of chapters in a book...I few mine as a compilation of books... Each has its own journey and its own location. As a young girl I would read the National Geographic and envision myself as a botanist deep in the velvet green lushness of some exotic rain forest. Studying plants and making medicine. As an adult, I appreciate my employment...however many of my friends find amusement in the fact that I am not an employee of nature..in the rain forest..I am instead nestled in a window less office. LOL! Such is life.
My involvement with nature is an inward dialogue. A mesmerizing incantation that occurs between myself and my surroundings. Nature is my sanctuary. Nature is my sanctuary. Nature is my sanctuary. Note: I repeat this three times..... The truth is that my journey has taken me to several homes. I have had numerous new beginnings..many curves in the road....For those of you who are fellow farmers...imagine preparing your soil, investing in your crop...and then just before the harvest...yep! you guessed it! Moving time!! This has occurred more times than I care to count. Yet for me nature is not an outward experience. It is the fiber of my being. Home is not a place that you go to...it is a place that exists inside of you... For me, it is the connection within. You will find me communing with the wild flowers, growing my own food and making my own medicine. And sharing my knowledge with those who support an authentic life.
I can't tell you how much I love a good adventure...I crave it!!! I crave it so much in fact that sometimes I wear myself out.. Any of you get stuck in the feeling of your day to day?? Hunker down in the office, stressing out over deadlines, lost in the moment of complete concentration to walk away at the day's end with a heaviness that won't subside??? Yes, I have a remedy. A good adventure is a sure fire way to get the stagnant energy out of your system and filter in some clean fresh goodness. Kayaking is one of my favorite ways to beat the stress of real work and a great getaway from the farm. Brian uses the Wilderness Ride 115. https://www.wildernesssystems.com/us/kayaks/ride-115 He loves it for fishing and it has great stability. I went for the big banana. A Pescador tandem. Great stability as well and I have the middle seat for use . Check out some adventure pics and let me know about your adventures.
As you may or may not know...we are now in the syrup making business!! Well for some, this is not "new" news..for others it may be. For many many years now, we have been working to perfect our Hickory Bark Syrup recipe...it is now perfection...or at least we think so! We are signing up to sell at events or you can schedule an appointment to come to the farm for a sample...it REALLY IS THE BEST!!! Be sure to sample "Appalachia" one of our signature flavors.
While working an event at our local Tractor Supply.. we happened upon a FANTASTIC couple of rock hounds with a top notch business. They are Mary and Bob McIntire of Treasure Tree Wire Wrapped Jewelry: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Treasure-Tree-Wire-Wrapped-Jewelry/587069147997064. They really are the best. You can take your found treasure to them and they will create a custom product for your pleasure.
Pictures coming soon....Seeds have been started...Spring is coming soon!!! Cucumber plants taking off, Tomatoes too. We will have fresh herbs for sale and plants too. If you stop by the farm we can assist you in cutting your own custom herb garden tea blend out of our herb garden.
Annually we commit ourselves back to nature. For the past couple of years we have done this by committing to take part in the First Day Hike in Virginia State Parks. This is a wonderful way to support our State Park systems and also to make a resolution to put our own health at the top of our priority list. Here are some of the photos taken on today's hike...hope you enjoy them! Maybe they will inspire you to get out in nature!!
This fall we will be posting several workshops for rustic building. We are also thinking of hosting several herbal and native plant workshops. One of the things that we love most about our woods is that we can head down a trail and go "shopping". When you shop in the woods, you never really have a list....if you do have a list it is usually forgotten upon entering the rich green body of forest. Stumbling upon a root, that is now inspiration for a special project...a downed hickory branch becomes part of a chair... Heading back up to the Shop, sometimes I pull out my various rustic construction book for a little back to roots inspiration. One of my favorites is Rustic Furniture Basics. It can be purchased through Amazon by following this link: https://www.amazon.com/Rustic-Furniture-Basics-Doug-Stowe/dp/1600850766
Lately I have been spending my time anticipating the fall. Fall foliage festivals and Octoberfests....cider, apple peeling, pumpkin picking and the smell of fresh fallen leaves.... Oh..I LOVE FALL!!!! Here in Virginia the turning of the leaves is such a big deal. We even have leaf chasers. These are people who travel the Blue Ridge Parkway chasing the Fall to see the leaves in their peak season at each location. Lately it seems that the change is near. Oh but when will it appear?? The colors in the sky, the grass and even flowers have started to intensify. Everything seems saturated. More vivid. Leaves have begun to brown and some fall. Some say it is linked to rainfall. If that is true this should be a brilliant year! When will the color appear??
As summer comes to a close and the Autumn Equinox draws near I wanted to post my thoughts on the coming season. Fall is a time for reflection. As the air turns crisp and the rain moves in, soon the trees will begin to shed their leaves and release branches that are no longer needed. Like the trees, sometimes we shed our own leaves and branches to make room for new growth... While watching the leaves turn gold and fall like rain, take time to reflect upon the changes that have occurred in your life over the past year....maybe something that was once ever-present is no longer there...maybe someone that you love is moving on to their winter.... As I reflect on fall, I think that it is harder to let go than it is to simply live without. Letting go is a process wrought with thoughts and feelings of what might have been and the painful thought of being without. It is a mourning process... I have found that loss only exists in the physical realm. Our connections transcend time and space. While learning to let go remember the richness of the memories made here in the physical and embrace the season with its crisp air, bringing us back now to the present moment...watching as the golden leaves fall down like rain....how spectacular!
Getting our products ready for the Rockbridge County Fair has brought up lots of questions from our clients about our preparation process. I am going to be posting information about our products on a frequent basis. Our Appalachian Barn Quilts are made with all of the warmth, love and memories of grandma's quilts....but they are finished with one of the best outdoor products we could find!! Helmsman Spar Urethane is the best for weather protection. We create custom carved patterns for our quilts, carve out the pattern, hand paint and then sand using a 120 grit sandpaper. Finally the product is coated with Helmsman. We are amazon affiliates, so help us out and follow our link to purchase!!
"The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The Oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities."- James Allen
Everybody come on out to the Rockbridge County Fair- Held at the Lexington Horse Center September 6-8. Trossachs Farm will be there selling Virginia Grown forest products and we are SO excited!! We will have our walking sticks, Appalachian Barn Quilts, Lamps, Artisan Notecards, Soulwood and more!!!
This past weekend our family went out to pick apples...Galas are in!!! We then went out and purchased Ironweed. The deep purple flag of Ironweed in bloom has long been a signal of fall for me. The colors of the Zinnias become deeper and the blossoms engorged. Red plumes of Cardinal Flower bless the meadows and wetlands..and then comes the Ironweed. It is just a beautiful time of year. The cricket song will hum late into the night as the temperature begins to drop ever so slightly. I think it is important to try to live within the seasons and notice the changes as the seasons come and go. Our farm is not far from the Interstate. Traffic whizzes by all day and all night. People don't seem to ever stop. As the seasons begin to change this year, try to take a moment to stop. Catch your breath. As dusk approaches listen to the cadence of the crickets singing out the Summers End. Smell the dampness in the lightly crisp air. Take notice of the purples, reds and deep yellows of the end of season flowers...goldenrod, aster, ironweed, cardinal flower. This is truly a festival of color. Fall is near.
What is in a name? Many of you ask what is Trossachs and why would you name your farm that?? Trossachs is a region in the Scottish Highlands comprised of woodland forests and braes. Balquhidder is a part of this forested region. I was on vacation in Balquihidder "visiting" my long lost Maclaren ancestors when suddenly I connected to everything around me and I became aware that even in death the deepest of connections remain. I knew that deep within the Trossach forests a part of me still resided. This was a place that I knew from my dreams. For me, it was an earth center. A place that my mind, body and spirit is completely connected and completely at peace. When we bought our 12 acre forest farm in Fishersville, Virginia, the same feelilng returned. Complete peace, completely with nature.. Do you have an earth center? Tell us about yours!!
We are finally getting back in action!! After taking a break from our business for a while to raise our children we are back to being fully committed to expanding our product line, promoting our farm AND oh yes!!! ENJOYING VIRGINIA STATE PARKS!!!!! No matter what happens in our lives, somethings never will change... You can now find Trossachs Farm products for sale at the Visitor Center at Natural Bridge State Park. I believe that the Visitor Center there is one of the largest on the East Coast. Natural Bridge State Park is a wonderful place to explore with your family. So get out and go for a HIKE!!! And don't forget your stick!! Our hiking sticks are CHARMED!!! They can be purchased at the Natural Bridge State Park Visitor Center.http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/natural-bridge#general_information
We want to know where you will add your next charm. We found our next charm at Grand Caverns...where did you find yours??
Spring has sprung here at Chestnut Sprout Farm. Blackberry & Raspberry leaves are forming and will soon be harvested for teas. Juneberries are bursting forth with stark white blooms. Roses are coming into bloom... Such a busy time of year. Every day something new begins to bud. We have planted over 20 heirloom apple trees, 40 plum trees, countless elderberries and more...can't wait to see what the season has in store!!!