95th SABF is in full Bloom

Shenandoah Apple Blossom 2022

We are in full Bloom here in the Shenandoah Valley as the 95th Apple Blossom Festival is here.

Today will bring us some of the marquis events like the Grand Feature Parade which will have bands from around the country, floats, and this year’s Grand Marshall Terry Bradshaw and Sports Marshall Julius Erving.

Then put on your dancing boots for the Square dance or the Country Music Party.

Bloomin Sunday will cap things off at the Frederick County Fairgrounds with fun for the whole family.

For a full list of events, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Logan Series Community Day

The Safe At Home- Logan Series Community Day will be held from 4 pm to 8 pm today at Bing Crosby Stadium.

Reaching Out Now, the Front Royal Cardinals, and the Logan Maiatico Foundation are coming together for the event.

There will be three baseball games played by members of the community ranging from Alumni to current students.

The event is intended to become an annual gathering.

Proceeds will go to the Logan Maiatico Foundation to provide two scholarships for athletes from Warren County and Skyline High School.

Tickets are on sale now at reachingoutnow.org and admission is free for children under 13.

For more information on the Logan Maiatico Foundation, please visit their Facebook page.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

covid-19 vaccine arrival

Today is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Citizens who wish to discard unused, expired, or unwanted medications are encouraged to drop them off at one of numerous collection sites.

Removing unneeded medications from the home is an important step to prevent medication misuse or addiction.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Valley Health to provide a drop off location.

The Valley Health Complex on North Commerce Avenue will be accepting drop offs from 10 am – 2 pm.

To find the nearest collection site for you, head to DEATakeBack.com.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP investigates fatal crash in Rockingham County

Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal crash that occurred in Rockingham County on Thursday afternoon.

The crash was located along Interstate 81 at exit 245.

A Honda Accord ran into the back of a tractor trailer that had exited and stopped on the ramp.

The driver of the Honda, Selvin Turcios- Romero, 27, of Harrisonburg died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash.

The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured. Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Farmer’s Market Friday: A Conversation with Clarke County Farmer’s Market

Clarke County Farmers Market

Today’s conversation on The Valley Today with host Janet Michael featured Karie Griffin, Market Manager for Clarke County Farmer’s Market and was the official kickoff to the summer series: Farmer’s Market Fridays. Each month (maybe more!) Janet will highlight a local farmer’s market, fruit stand, or farmer on the show. Click here to have a listen.

Karie gave details for the 27th opening season of Clarke County Farmer’s Market. The market will open at 8am on Saturday, May 7 and then run every Saturday from 8am – 12pm through October. The opening day festivities will feature over 30 vendors, live music, a kid’s craft table, and a petting zoo.

Karie explained what kind of planning goes into making the market a success each year including the committee that works behind the scenes year-round to secure vendors and sponsors. The market is a 501(c)3. She gave a rundown of the the vendors you can expect to see throughout the season – some are there every week while others have a rotating schedule or come later in the season depending on their offerings/growth schedule. They talked about the other things you can find at the market like the products from local makers in our area as well as local, live entertainment.

The market accepts vendors from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Vendors must submit applications prior to the start of each market season. You can do that by clicking here.

Market vendors sell the following: fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh and dried herbs, bedding plants, cut flowers, dried flowers and wreaths, home-baked goods (without egg or cream base), local honey, herb vinegars, sweet cider, fresh and/or frozen meats and poultry, eggs, cheeses, properly-labeled home-processed preserves, jams, jellies, pickles, relishes , chutneys, soups, dips, sauces, fermented foods, teas, salves, soap, herbal medicines and artisan craft objects.

She highlighted their location at 317 W. Main Street in Berryville and told Janet how moving there during the pandemic proved to be a good decision that will continue for years (hopefully) to come. There is ample parking and the walking proximity to downtown’s restaurants & shops is less than 10 minutes.

She gave a quick shoutout to their market supporters and sponsors and explained why their dollars are vital to keeping the market coming back year after year.

To stay up to date on which vendors will be at the market each week, follow them on Facebook, and sign up for their newsletter on their website: http://www.clarkecountyfarmersmarket.com/

Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center: A Conversation About the Food & Beverage Accelerator Cohort

Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center

Today’s conversation for The Valley Business Today with host Janet Michael, featured Christine Kriz, Director of the Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center to chat about their business counseling services and a new program they’re offering through a partnership with the Loudoun County Small Business Development Center. Click here to have a listen.

Christine told us how the name change that Lord Fairfax Community College is currently undergoing will also affect her organization. The new name for the college beginning June 2, 2022 will be Laurel Ridge Community College. Once that takes effect, the SBDC will also rename to Laurel Ridge Small Business Development Center.

She explained the different services that Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center offers as the counseling arm of the Small Business Administration. These services include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Business plans
  • Financial analysis
  • Licenses and taxes
  • Marketing
  • Site location analysis
  • Sources of financing
  • Business library
  • Review of good practices
  • Financial planning and budgeting
  • Business loan assistance
  • Personnel assistance
  • Production planning and control

The Center’s core programs include small business seminars, business counseling,
operations audits, mystery shopper program, mentoring, and focus groups.
They work with people seeking bank loans, SBA guarantee loans, and state loans through Virginia Asset Financing Corporation. Besides the loan application process, they work with all types of business registration questions, tax forms, SBA assistance and writing business plans.

Assistance is also offered in the following areas:

  • Business start-up
  • Financial management
  • Marketing
  • QuickBooks assistance
  • Operation analysis and review for existing businesses
  • Business considerations and requirements for going into business

There is no fee in most cases to take advantage of their services since they are subsidized by the Small Business Administration and local government entities and economic development agencies (our tax dollars.)

Christine gave details for their newest program – a food and beverage accelerator cohort in partnership with the Loudoun County Small Business Development Center. The cohort is being offered to all businesses in the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Warren, Shenandoah, and Loudoun, plus the City of Winchester and Leesburg.

She explained that this program is for businesses that have a food item or non-alcoholic beverage that they sell and are trying to increase their distribution. She asked listeners to please share it with businesses they are familiar with that may also fall into this category. She gave a few examples:

  • Someone who produces their own jellies, jams, and wants to increase distribution.
  • Someone who produces a food product (pies, meats, meal kits) and wants to sell to hospitals, large chain grocery stores.
  • Someone who produces a non-alcoholic drink and wants to increase distribution.
  • Someone looking to meet other small businesses in Loudoun County as potential partners

In this cohort program you will learn from other small business owners, the instructors (many of whom have worked for Wegmans and Whole Foods) and via a workbook and instructional videos.  Once a week you will have an online live session with your classmates.  You will meet once a week for six weeks.  In between live meetings you will have homework assignments to do on your own.

She said there have been four previous cohorts around the state of Virginia and that AMAZING partnerships and new opportunities have come from these cohorts!

The deadline to apply is 5pm on May 4, 2022 and the program will begin on May 22, 2022. There is no fee to apply but only 10 businesses will be accepted into the cohort. You can get more information and find the application by clicking here.

For more information about the other programs and services offered by Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center, visit their website: https://lfsbdc.org/

Geraghty’s Micro Farm & Market: A Conversation with a First Generation Farmer

geraghtys micro farm

For today’s episode of The Valley Today, host Janet Michael traveled to Geraghty’s Micro Farm & Market. Joining her for the Tourism Tuesday chat was Justin Kerns from Winchester/Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Dayna Geraghty, co-owner of Geraghty’s Micro Farm & Market. Click here to have a listen.

Dayna explained the concept of homesteading and how their farm started off as a way to simply feed their family in a healthier, more sustainable way. Their plan was to educate others by sharing their day-to-day successes and struggles in the hope that they could inspire others to grow their own food. Three years ago, it became their family business.

She told us how they came up with the term “micro farm” because their property was substantially smaller than most of the traditional farms in our community. Because they sit on only eight acres, their need to raise livestock that is more manageable and easier on the land was vital and they needed to maximize each and every square foot.

On their micro farm you’ll find several different breeds of bantam chickens, furry pigs known as KuneKune (pronounced cooney cooney) and a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats.

Dayna explained that unless you grow your own food or personally know your local farmer that it’s impossible to truly know what you’re eating. They are very transparent about how they raise their livestock which includes being pasture-raised on locally sourced, whole grain, non-GMO feeds.

She talked about their CSA program (community supported agriculture) and how it’s grown in the last 3 years from just six families to serving twenty six this year.

Their CSA starts in June and runs through October each year. You pay for the 20-week program in advance and then come to the market each Sunday to pick up your basket. This year’s CSA will include:

• Each box will contain roots, fruits, greens & herbs when it comes to produce.

– For example – carrots, radishes, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans/peas, corn, peppers, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, cilantro, sage, thyme, basil, etc.

• Every other box will contain a dozen chicken eggs. 10 dozen total throughout the length of the CSA.

• Every other box will contain 1 whole, pasture raised chicken. 10 in total.

• Fresh cut flower arrangements as available.

• Occasional homemade soaps as a fun add-on.

• Canned goods here and there such as salsa, pasta sauce, pickles, etc.

• Plus, you can look forward to a few other surprise items as a thank you for supporting our farm!

To sign-up (they’re almost full) visit their website by clicking here.

For peeks of activity from Geraghty’s Micro Farm & Market, follow them on Instagram, on Facebook, or visit their website: https://www.gmicrofarm.com/

The market is open every Sunday from 12pm – 4pm and is located at 1659 Apple Pie Ridge Road, Winchester, VA 22603.

LFCC creates engineering program

luray-page county center

Lord Fairfax Community College is creating a new associate of science degree in engineering.

Previously, students with engineering aspirations pursued an associate of science degree with a specialization in engineering.

The new degree will provide more clarity to students in the field as well as to the four year institutions where they will transfer.

The first year of the program will feature foundational classes on a variety of engineering aspects.

The second year will allow students to choose electives based on their interested discipline.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP investigates fatal crash in Clarke County

Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal single car crash in Clarke County from Tuesday afternoon.

The accident occurred at 4:30 pm along Route 643 when the 2015 Jeep Cherokee ran off the side of the road.

The Jeep collided with a mailbox, telephone pole, tree, and five parked vehicles before coming to a stop.

The driver, Nicole Gray, 33, of Nashville, Tennessee, was not injured and was wearing her seat belt.

The passenger, Michael Ables, 34, of Bluemont, Virginia, was not wearing his seat belt and died at the scene after being ejected from the vehicle.

One of the occupants of the parked cars was transported to Winchester Medical Center for minor injuries. 

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Front Royal celebrates Earth Day

The Town of Front Royal will host their Earth Day celebration today starting at 10 am at the Main Street Gazebo.

There will be live music, food, and fun for the whole family.

Nature and conservation groups will also be on hand to discuss a range of topics including ways to explore the outdoors like hiking and fishing and green technology like solar panels and electric vehicles.

At 3:30 pm, the local Tree Stewards will lead a tree planting to help demonstrate the town’s commitment to its Tree City USA status.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.