Countryside: December 2023

Monticello Community 4-H Club Members Penelope Orsagh, Jessica Orsagh and Piper Lohan hand over pillowcases to the Crozet Chapter of the Charlottesville Area Quilters Guild, led by Adrienne Granitz, far left.

Monticello Club Members Sew for SHE

Sixteen young members of the Monticello 4-H Club learned a lot about sewing as well as charitable giving this fall. The members donated their carefully hand-sewn, colorful pillowcases to the Crozet Chapter of the Charlottesville Area Quilters Guild for the guild’s “pillowcase project.” 

It’s a long-running charitable undertaking for the guild. Every two years the quilters donate 250 pillowcases to Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE). The pillowcases are meant for more than covering pillows. Many SHE clients leave violent situations with only the clothes they’re wearing, or what they can grab in a hurry. They’re invited to keep the pillowcases when they leave as a way to carry their possessions. 

Hannah Orsagh, the home arts leader for the Monticello club, said the guild let her know that SHE was down to just a few pillowcases, so members were delighted at the club’s efforts.

“I personally think there is something very beautiful about our young members, from 6 to 13 in this sewing group, coming together with the older generation in this gift of community service,” Orsagh said.

The club gave the pillowcases to the quilting guild at the monthly meeting in November. 

Trees and Wreaths Benefit Scouts

Troops 79, 114, and 3125 are selling trees at Crozet Market parking lot. Also, this year the 3125 BSA girls troop are selling live wreaths, made by the scouts. Proceeds directly help fund local scouting activities in the community. 

Cow Sale set at Staunton Union Stockyard Dec. 12

The highlight of sales this month at the Staunton Union Stockyard is a cow sale on Dec. 12, said Travis Funkhouser, stockyard manager. He’ll have two lots of bred cows: the 33 cows in one lot are expected to give birth starting February 7; the second lot will be due in early March. Funkhouser said most buyers are familiar with the sires; others who are interested find out by word of mouth or at the sale.

This special sale will also include 40 or 50 cow-calf pairs from various stock farms. Farmers in the Valley have suffered from drought and some of them sold calves two months early. Most farmers have adjusted their herds to the feed they have and the grass that will endure for another month or so. 

Earlier this month, the stockyard held a customer appreciation day, serving buyers, sellers, and those who join them on sales day a huge lunch of brisket, shrimp, side dishes and dessert. Despite the challenging summer and fall, prices remain higher than the national average at the stockyard, a happy reality that Funkhouser expects to continue. “We just sell better quality than most,” he said.

Only half of Virginia farmers reported adequate moisture in late November. The total apple harvest was not affected by drough. The state’s orchardists reported a 1.5% increase over last year’s harvest, with almost all of the harvest completed. 


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