COOK BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT- Shenandoah Valley Poultry and Garden Club Members are working on their first ever cookbook, featuring local and self produced foods. Home grown or raised foods. We are looking for folks who want an business card size add printed inside the cookbook to help us raise some needed funds in advance. All adds are same size and will be $25.00. Recipes can be sent to svpgc@hotmail.com. Jesse is looking for some great garden and poultry photos to use for the divider tabs. You can email your entry to jesseconner@hotmail.com and the best will be posted on the blog for votes! Additional Information will follow as it is determined! Thanks for your support!!!


Poultry or Garden related items to borrow, trade, buy, or sell. Click here to access the Recent PDF Listing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meeting : May 7, 2011 (Workshop)

Poultry Processing Workshop Meeting
Location: Paul Pavilion on Chicken Alley in Natural Bridge
Attendance: 18 and 4 youth 
New Member: Dawn Michelsen

Meeting Notes: Meeting opened with introductions by Elizabeth and brief chat about how meeting would be structured and what we get to look forward to.
-Dawn included welcome to Chicken Alley, thanks to everyone for coming, bringing equiptment etc. 
-Jesse added, please sign in, and be sure to help yourself to free copies of magazines provided by backyard poultry and countryside magazine for club members.

* Onto hands on with processing poultry with great demonstrations and comparisons:
-Chad (www.ninepoundchicken.com) brought along his home processing production includeing home-made plucker, wash and process table, and scalding pot. 
-Bob and Jeannine Keitzer brought along commercial grade mechanical plucker. 
- With two killing cones in steady operation a total of 18 chickens were processed. 
-Hand-Plucking was also demonstrated.
-After cleanup and a brief bag lunch intermission we moved into Chicken Health Talk.
-Jesse demonstrated de-spurring of a rooster and talked about what to do for frostbite, bumble-foot, mites, treating mild open wounds, injections, etc. (Thanks to Jobe for his patience and being such a great sample chicken for demonstrations)
-Dawn demonstrated how she cuts wing feathers.
-Note: Jesse is not an expert only sharing her experience and opinions.

Meeting Closed. 

Meeting : April 21, 2011

Location: Old Courthouse W& L Meeting Room 
Attendance: 13 of which 1 was youth

Meeting Notes: Business & Announcements first, 
- Stacy gave treasurers report- We now have a bank account with a starting balance at$200.00
-Secretarys report by Jesse:
      *Please sign in and include contact information in order to be included in email mailings.
     *Brief overview of minutes from March meeting read.
     *In the News Announcement made- Supervisors unanimously passed new zoning amendment allowing up to 6 hens on 1 acre lots in Rockbridge Counties Residential zones. Also amendments were passed in the City of Salem. Will Lexington be next?
     *Lending List Announcement - List is growing- be sure to start taking advantage of great offers available to club members.
      1.) Our request letter was sent to 68+ companies to date of which 7 had responded.
       2.) Kitchen Kraft- only participates in local organizations.
     3.) Ideal Poultry sent brochure with letter regarding concerns about bio-security in backyard flocks and wished not to participate for that reason. 
     4.) APPPA- sent us a book valued at $44.00
     5.) Others have sent brochures or info about their products and or services.
Thank you letters are sent to all responding companies. and copies of all letters can be found in Lending List Binder Ive put together. This book will only be available at meetings. Full list wont be posted on online version. Added to binder you can also find interesting articles and news or info from past meetings. 
     I will continue to do my best to keep up to date and accurate with lending list info. Dont forget to add your own information about items to lend. When adding information please be descriptive, add photos if available, dont forget contact information, name email telephone etc. 
     - Cookbook report by Kim - start submitting, gave description of what to submit and explained that goal deadline was post-poned.
     - Barbara made announcement about Penn-State Home Orchard Book, & Lots of useful info and references. ( will send letter for club list)
     -Meeting for May rescheduled to Sat. May 7, to also include poultry processing workshop and chicken health at the Paul Pavilion on Chicken Alley in Natural Bridge.
     - Bumper Stickers- sold 80 so far and raised enough money to send subscription of backyard poultry magazine to Local Library!!!! 
     - 5 min chat on homestead gardening by Kim- included summary of whats already in the ground, what to be planting now until end of April and great chat with hand-out about Natural Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, ants, birds etc. and the types of flowers to have around for them to pollinate with as well. 
Kim also shared her sample of "green-planting" using a oatmeal containter cut off with lid as a transplantable planter that easilt transports from greenhouse to garden by simply snapping off the lid. Zuccini plant included! (to be raffled) 
-Barbara attempted to settle some confusion between the Arucana and Amerucana Breeds. A handout shared differences like looks, eggs, sizes, colors, etc. But in the end 1/2 of the members still voiced confusion. 
     - Kim also demonstrated her anti-pest device that used in home for pests like stinkbugs and then emptied as a treat to the chickens serves dual purposes. A club request letter has been sent to bugzooka.com
     - Door Prizes Given- 
Calenders from USDA to Hannah and Kim 
and Zuccini Plant went to Larry McNeil
     - Very wonderful Sharpening demonstration by Larry McNeil : Here are some highlights: 
*"Push to sharpen, Pull to Dull."
*Sharpen all sorts of tools including those you wouldnt think to sharpen, for example: 
hand shovels
hand pruners
lawn mower blades
sheep shears
and more!
*Clean files with wire brush- side to side.
* To make sure a lawn mower blade is sharpened evenly try balancing on nail pounded into small board on its side. (demonstrated)
* Some tools used are: 
sharpening jog
ceramic stones
drill grinder

Meeting was closed- followed by some additional discussion at Nikkos by those who wished to participate.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NEWS FLASH ! 3/26/2011

The Legalize Chickens bumper stickers are in! And they're cute, too, so I bet that you'll want to go right out and buy one for $3 to support the Shenandoah Valley Poultry and Garden Club as well as to make your opinion known to the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors and the Lexington City Council. (Hint- If you are not so apt to stick anything directly to your bumper I'd like to suggest attaching the sticker to a magnet sheet first, so you can remove it more easily or transfer from vehicle to vehicle!)
You can buy them in Lexington at Healthy Foods Market on Washington Street and Cool Beans Coffee and Bagels on Jefferson Street. Or email us and we will send you one at svpgc@hotmail.com
Also: The Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors meets this Monday 3/28/2011 to decide the fate of hens in residential districts in the county. Please put a bumper sticker on soon! AND DONT FORGET TO WEAR YELLOW IN SUPPORT!!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meeting: March 17, 2011

Location: Old Courthouse Meeting Room 
Attendance:  35 (THE MOST EVER SO FAR!!!)  5 were youth

Meeting Notes: Business and Announcements: 
     - A big Thanks to Kim and Carol Elizabeth for such an excellent job on the Myth Busters Chicken Display at the Rockbridge Regional Library.
     -Elizabeth announced and showed sample bumper sticker " LEGALIZE CHICKENS" to be available soon, lets get them out there !!! They look awesome by the way - great designing!
     - Our April meeting with host Larry McNeil demonstrating how to sharpen tools of all different kinds. So bring your dull tools for some bright ideas. 
     - Reminder County Board of Supervisors Meeting to discuss chickens in residential zoned areas amendment, meeting will be March 28th.  For Agenda click here. Rob passed out a list of our supervisors so we may find an opportunity to get to know them in the meantime. For anyone interested in attending the meeting Pat asks that supporters please wear yellow, for we are better known in numbers! 
     - Treasurers report- Stacey continues to work on account setup. Don't forget to pay yearly dues if you haven't done so yet.
     - Secretary s report- Jesse gave very fast brief over view of last meetings minutes with announcement that all the minutes are posted here on the blogspot for anyone to view along with the link for the lending list which is slowly growing. Big Surprise announcement was made explaining the letter Jesse created and mailed out to over 30 some poultry and garden related organizations asking for items to be donated to the club for our lending list  with explanation of how this relationship between these companies and our club could be promotional as well. As of so far we have not heard any response but are hopeful for a great outcome. 
    - Kim talked about progress made from cookbook committee meeting that met at her home on March 3. Our next cookbook meeting will be March 24th at 6pm again at her home. Recipes should be sent to Carole Painter or to the svpgc@hotmail.com email so they may be forwarded to Carole.  Our Cookbook Completion goal is early August. 

Chats and Demonstrations- 
    - Kim's garden chat included March Checklist: 
           -Harden off seedlings in February: 
                  Cabbage 3/15 to 3/20
                  Broccoli 3/25 to 3/30
                  Kale 3/25
           -Direct Seed Cool Season Crops: 
                 Peas- through 3/22
                 Spinach- through 3/31
                 Potatoes- start planting on St. Paddy's through 6/15
                 Turnips through 4/5
                 Salad Greens
                 Radish through May
                 Kale through 4/15
         - Start seed for Planting in Mid May : 
        - Till your planting beds: ensure soil has correct moisture content. Planning: Follow cool season crops with warm season crops.
     -Demonstration by Dawn Paul on how to make a candler with a pop corn can (handout attached).
     - Demonstration by Jesse, What candling is and used for. She showed comparisons using four different types of candling techniques, then proceeded to show the candled eggs from the incubator ranging in stages from 3 days to 20 days. One chick was in the process of actually hatching (about half way out) and 5 chicks were happily hatched and fluffy.
     - Hannah presented the new Embryo poster and explained the chart that was donated by the University of Auburn, now also added to our lending list. Thanks Hannah. 
     - Dawn finished up with a brief overview of different types of incubators showing some she had and their pros and cons. She recommends that if your springing out for a new incubator you go ahead and get the more expensive one which has seemed more than worth it to her compared to a run-of the-mill incubator from say Tractor Supply. She suggests these foam type incubators work very well the first or second time but after that a hatch rate is reduced upon each use.
     - Q & A about all of tonight's demonstrations and topics followed for a while until we had to close up shop.
Meeting Closed  JEPC

3-18-11 Addendum- Two more chicks hatched!!!! I will be in contact with the interested parents to be as more come along!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Meeting: February 17, 2011

Location: Old Courthouse Meeting Room
Attendance: 19 of which 3 were youth
Minutes: Due to a speakers time restrictions the meeting was a bit backwards starting with: 
     - Info Lecture by JoEllen Parent about our local Lexington and Rockbridge Farmers Markets.
     -Take note of the Give Away table for giving away of itmes give and take freely.
     - Stacey presented good news as we are very close to having a club bank account!
     -Secretarys report was read by Jesse and announcement made about Lending List. Please get info in about items you want to have added to this list for it to be compiled onto one! 
     -Cookbook project update from Kim- would like to form a committee for this as it seems alot of work for just one person to decide on things like design, fund raising, sales, marketing, layout, types of recipes and arrangements of recipes. 
     - Barbara spoke about survey results and scores with printout of explanations summarizing the most popular interests among the 6 that responded to survey in time. Results as follows listed as most interest to least interest per subject. 
     - Poultry- (1) Coup tour attendee (2) Hatching eggs (3) chicken healthcare (4)candleing eggs (5) co-op butchering (6)Poultry shows (7)coup tour volunteers
     - Garden and Orchard (1) successful composting (2)insect profiles (3) fruit tree pruning (4) herbs for health (5) seed starting (6) gourds (7) Broom corn.
     - Kitchen- (1) building & using solar dehydrator (2) pickling (3) how to make and use earthern ovens.
     - Local Foods- (1) farmers Market
     - Misc. Skills and Crafts (1) elementary woodworking (2) intro to green building (3) analyzing natural products (4) beekeeping (5) analyzing energy saving products (6) basket weaving (7) Making whatever.
     - New Ideas - (1) canning (2) chicken breeds (3) raising earthworms for fertilizer
     -Some discussion from Elizabeth for Pat about poultry chain and co-operative chick ordering.
     - Kim- chat on Gardening getting seeds started, what to plant in March including beets, carrots, collards, mustards, potatoes, and radishes. Starting seeds demo in recycled containers such as pastic donut box or plastic salad box that can be used as a mini greenhouse when placed in sun. Passed out pea seeds to get started with. 
     - Elizabeths chat on finding and harvesting wild watercress, a natural antidote for curing scurvy and a high resource of vitamin c. Included was a recipe for watercress soup and we were well instructed how to wash to keep from getting the giardia bug!
     - Chat from Hannah and Cheyanne about buying and hatching eggs from hatcheries and breeds comparing Barred Rocks to Domineckers telling differances by things like eggs, combs and body type. 
     - Brief Q&A with Dawn Paul. 
Meeting Closed 


Board Meeting Followed with some great plans for future meetings.

Meeting: January 20, 2011

Location: Studio 11
Attendance: 19

     - Survey passed out.
     - Request for volunteer to do press release news info etc. No one volunteered.
     - Request for meetup site greeter volunteer, Kim Seroki has agreed to do this along with cookbook project.
     -Coop tour - proposed to wait until next year, all agreed.
     - Looking for speakers to talk at future meetings re: farmers market, beekeeping, 4-h poultry club, and workshops.
     - Homestead gardening chat by Kim Seroki- starting out with the basics, soil preperation, using manure.
     - Chat on poultry auctions and tailgaters club by Dawn Paul with demonstrations on using boxes for chicken transportation esp. for auctions. 
     -Lecture on making Maple Syrup with samples from Elizabeth Sauder. 
     - Chat by Hannah and Cheyanne all about chickens, highlights on how to use old crock pots as chicken waterer heaters, and some interesting facts about seabright chickens. 
     - Hannahs information came from Poultry Magazine June 2008 Vol. 3#1 Feb-March. 
Meeting closed.


Christmas Party December 19, 2010

Location: Barbara Mullinixs Home

A very lovely time with great food, fun gifts ( Chinese exchange) and wonderful fellowship.


Meeting: December 16, 2010

Cancelled due to snow!

Meeting: November 18, 2010

Location: Va. Horse Center
Attendance: 14

     - Co-Chairs announce themselves and present meetings organized and with agendas now!
     - Re-Confirmed dues for membership at $10.00 annually and will be due at first of year. 
     -Will be processing again at Paul Pavilion for anyone that may have missed it the first time and is interested. All are welcome.
     -Christmas Party plans announced will be held at Barbara Mullinixs home. Details to be announced.
     - Anne Mcclung wrote chicken book called This, That and the others, coming out soon. 
     - Discussed its time for planting garlic. Make a hole in soil with thumb, stick in then cover with 1in. soil, followed by straw or mulch. 
     - Elizabeth Sauder presents wild foods and included a sample (very delicious) of persimmon pudding with recipie.
     - Barbara Mullinix presents demonstration on wine making using notes from Mother Earth News No.41 Sept. 1976 Issue.
     - Other food samples shared: Linda Davis brought Corn Bread made with hubbard squash (yummy also)
     - Hannah Gould share fun facts about why roosters and hens make noise. "Crowing" and how. She also demonstrated her own talent of crowing.
     - Pat Foreman gave brief update on legal chicken issues. She says the "ship is turning, and January is target date for legalizing chickens in Lexington." The new electives on city council seem like a positive force towards "Chicken Goodness" this year. 
     - Discussion on using lights in coops during winter to increase egg production.
     - Hannah wonders how to sex americana chicks earlier than 3mo. of age. Pat says per Carl Mogenson of Natural Bridge Zoo Feel chicks pubic bone, if soft and wide apart its a Hen, If close and hard its a rooster. 
     - Nancy Wolfe asks why her chickens were roosting ok they started staying nights in Nesting boxes. Per Pat- could be mites- check underside of roosts, or maybe its just warmer in nesting boxes, check for drafts. Also sometimes if chickens are molting it makes it harder for them to fly up to roost. 
Meeting Closed


Poultry Workshop Oct. 17, 2010

Location: "CHICKEN ALLEY"  Paul Pavilion Natural Bridge Station, Va. 
Attendance: ?

Notes: Dawn opened up with a simple brief how to explanation with Pat adding in some extra thoughts and alternative processes. Then Hands on. Birds were processed and Dinner with lots of poultry and gardeing related conversations floating about were very much enjoyed. 


Meeting: September 20, 2010

Location: 4-H extension office
Attendance: 12

     -meeting dates changed to 3rd thursdays of every month due to other meeting conflicts, with official location to be announced.
          -President - Dawn Paul
          -Programs Chairs- Barbara Mullinix and Elizabeth Sauder
         -Treasurer- Stacey Gould
         - Secretary- Jesse Conner
Officers are all present and accepting of thier new positions.
     - Discussion on Humane ways to butcher with several different and interesting opinions.
     - Discussion coop bedding, whats best to use? Woodchips v/s straw, lime dust and diamataceous earth usage. 
     - Discussion on Egg Expiration- how long to collect or use eggs before egg begins to rot or develop salmonella etc. 
     -Announcement of poultry processing workshop at Paul Pavilion on Oct 17th. with potluck dinner to follow. Non-members welcome with fee. Members free. HANDS ON!
     -Interest expressed on having Andy M. to demonstrate workshop on sexing chicks. 
Meeting closed.



Ashley Conner's Buff Brahma Bantam Rooster "Chico" wins ribbons
At Rocbridge County Fair.

During the hot afternoon events Chico hangs out with the kids
and cools off at the fan.

This was published in the local papers!

Meeting: June 8, 2010

Location: 4-H extension Office
Attendance: 14
Poultry Guest: Edward (Brahma Rooster)

Minutes: Due to missing members, officers votes are post poned again until future meeting. 
     - Discussion on mission statement which election for Barbara Mullinix to put something together for club to go over and vote upon. 
    - Pat Foreman wonders about setting up coop tours and who is interested in participating and organizing. Further discussion to wait for club to become better established before setting more detailed plans in place for this.
     -Discussed options for workshops and programs regarding poultry and gardening and establishing better coops.
     -Pat Foreman announces Garden Chicks talk and dinner at the Red Hen Restaurant on 6/22 at 7pm. Reservations are required by calling 464-4401
     -Pat Foreman did slideshow presentation on using chickens as garden helpers.
Meeting Closed


Meeting: May 11, 2010

Location: 4-H Extension Office
Attendance: 15 of which 4 were youth/children.
Poultry Guest: Oprah Henfry

     -Voting for officers postponed again until a following meeting.
     -Discussion on developing a mission statement for club and notes reguarding where we want to go with our meetings.
     Talk about Club Visions, goals, and local food movement. Some ideas were put out on the floor discussed briefly, nothing set in stone and discussion was left on floor for future discussion.
     - Pat Foreman did slideshow presentation on using chickens for therapy for exapmle Oprah Henfry visiting local nursing homes.

Meeting closed.


Meeting: April 13, 2010

Location: 4-H Extension Office
Attendance: ?

     - Officer votes postponed until following meeting due to attendance(many officers nominated not availble to come to meeting). 
     -Discussions on club participation with the local farmers markets. No decisions made. 
     -Discussions on legalizing chickens in city limits, whats the next step? Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors and how we need to prepare to present our case. 
     - Plans for Fair July 21-24 Kids to bring show chickens for judging.
     Pat Foreman shares slide show presentaion about gardening with help of chickens. 

Meeting Closed


Meeting: March 9, 2010

Location: 4-H extension office
Attendance: ?

* Dues Set- Annual Membership $10.00
*Nominations for officers: Official vote set to take place at next meeting.
     - President- Dawn Paul
     -Vice Pres. not needed opt. for program chairs instead.
     -Treasurer- Stacey Gould
     -Secretary- Jesse Conner
*Announcements and Discussions: 
     - Randall Burky and the Chicken Whisperer are giving away baby chicks to club members on  3-18 & 19 to those interested.
     -Club Goal- to legalize Chickens in city limits.
     -Interest expressed in setting up tailgate poultry swaps at the Horse center mentioned.
     -Discussion on arranging coop tours in our area. Idea announced and left on the table for future discussion.
     - Meeting open for discussion on poultry related topics with Pat Foreman and closed shortly after.