Jon Branstrator’s farm in Clarksville was the location of the October 10 meeting of the Wilmington Garden Club.
Did the weather ever cooperate! It was a gorgeous day to tour this managed biodiversity of a prairie ecosystem which existed long before the traditional corn and beans which now dominate local agriculture.
During the Revolutionary War, our area was part of the Virginia Military District. Soldiers were given land in lieu of pay. (An aside, under the same circumstances, this writer’s family was given land in Pa.).
Colonel Stephen Nason received 1,000 acres in 1802, selling 400 of that to Jon’s great-great-grandfather. Doing the math, Jon is the fifth generation to own this farm established in 1821.
Jon spent time in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Central America, areas he believes are the birthplace of agriculture in this hemisphere. Working in seed breeding, he realized the importance of “Milpa” — crop diversity which is a carefully managed collaboration of cultivated and wild plants.
Presently he is interested in raising Hard Red Wheat, along with soft wheat and Rye. His objective is to mill that along with corn to produce cornmeal and flour.
An ultimate goal is to create new markets so farmers can step away from traditional corn/soybean rotations, and through diversification create an agricultural stability rather than an reliance on government assistance.
The meeting was called to order by President Vicki Trapp.
A donation was made to the County Youth Center for trees to be planted on their property. Susan Hunt and Flo Manning respectively reported on maintenance at Point Park and Sugar Grove; each area about to be bedded down for fall.
The Christmas party will again be held at Snow Hill Country Club — more information will be given at the November meeting. Cindy Green and Joan Hinman passed out the 2022-23 program books which promise a very exciting year!
The next meeting will be Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. at First Christian Church. Hostesses are Ann Carr, Vicki Trapp, and Terri Tobaben. Babs Sabick will be giving a program on a “Split Personality Centerpiece”.
As always, the Wilmington Garden Club welcomes new members. All one has to do is show up.