Brownsburg Update Newsletter

Brownsburg Update: October 9, 2020

Calendar Deadline is Approaching

For all you procrastinators out there: the deadline to order the 2021 Brownsburg Calendar is next Sunday, October 18.  Sales are lagging from last year’s sales, probably because a number of the events where folks typically place orders were cancelled, e.g., the annual BCA picnic, Wade’s Mill Apple Butter Festival, etc.  Calendar sales support the all-volunteer Brownsburg Museum. There are order forms in the Brownsburg, Fairfield, Raphine, and Rockbridge Baths Post Offices.  The calendar has some stunning photos this year, and you can see them at calendar photos.  You can even place an on-line order on the Museum’s webpage.  To place an order, use this link:  calendar orders

Fall Roadside Clean-Up

Fall clean-up is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 31.  The Brownsburg Community Association is responsible for Swope Lane and for Hays Creek Road from Brownsburg out to East Field RoadPlease let Bruce Patterson know if you’re available to help at

West Airslie Hosts Rodeo

This weekend, October 9-11, West Airslie Farm will be hosting the Virginia Junior/High School Rodeo. Sadly, because of the Covid pandemic, it is NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  Aspen Ladd has been competing very well this year at the High School Level in Breakaway Roping, Pole Bending, and Barrel Racing.  Good Luck, Aspen!

Produce Donations Continue

We’re closing in on the end of the Brownsburg Gardeners initiative in support of the Rockbridge Area Relief Association’s Food Pantry.  The last Thursday drop-off will be October 29.  At last count (excluding yesterday) our 2020 total was 1,618 pounds – only 382 pounds short of Jim Zimmerman’s goal of ONE TON!  Yesterday’s contributions looked pretty hefty: LOTS of butternut squash, apples, and sweet potatoes.  Many thanks to all of you who have made contributions this year.  Remember – three more Thursdays: October 15, October 22, and October 29.  This is some of what Jim delivered yesterday:

Brownsburg Update: September 18, 2020

It’s Calendar Time!

The Brownsburg Museum is pleased to announce that the 2021 Brownsburg Calendar is finalized!  Again this year, beautiful photographs from Brownsburg, Virginia and the surrounding area were selected from submissions throughout the year to create a uniquely beautiful thirteen-month calendar.  The annual calendar project raises money to pay operating expenses for our all-volunteer Museum. Due to the pandemic, calendar sales are the only fundraiser planned for the Museum in 2020, and your support is greatly appreciated. The 2021 photographs can be seen on the Brownsburg website at 2021 Calendar. Calendars are $16 each or $14 if you are a “Friend of the Museum” (plus $4 each if mailing is required). 

Sunrise on Dutch Hollow Road by Tami Bird

For local folks, order forms and payment envelopes are available at the Brownsburg, Fairfield, Rockbridge Baths and Raphine Post Offices and at Wade’s Mill. If you’re not local, you can send your order and payment to Brownsburg Calendar Sales, PO Box 82, Brownsburg, VA 24415 or you can request an order form at  And there’s a third option: you can now even order on-line at the Brownsburg Shoppe on the Brownsburg website and pay via PayPal!  (Many thanks to the BCA’s amazing all-volunteer IT team for making this option available!) New this year: All orders must include payment and contact information. 

As a special incentive to order soon, early birds get a chance to win great prizes! Orders received by September 30 will be entered into a drawing for three early-order prizes:

Gift Basket by Wade’s Mill

Living Holiday Door Wreath by members of the Green Hills Garden Club

Holiday Table Arrangement by members of the Green Hills Garden Club

Orders must be received by Sunday, October 18.  Calendars can be picked up at Wade’s Mill beginning Saturday, November 14.  Wade’s Mill is open 10 am – 5 pm Thursday – Sunday through December 20, 2020.  Mailing will also begin on November 14 for those who paid for shipping & handling.

Many, many thanks to all the photographers who submitted photos, and to the fabulous 2021 Brownsburg Calendar Committee:  Shirley La Croix, Karen Parker, and Karen Siegfried!  Get your orders in soon!

Brownsburg Update: September 14, 2020

SYF Bread Barn Grand Opening

The Grand Opening for the Seasons’ Yield Farm Bread Barn is this Saturday, September 19.  Daniel and Fawn Shear invite you to visit the farm from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. where you can purchase and enjoy breads, pastries and pizzas from their wood-fired oven (first come, first served). In addition, there will be 15 vendors, all of whom are local artisans gifted in their respective crafts.  Please plan to wear your masks any time you are unable to maintain a distance of at least six feet from other guests.  The second floor of the Bread Barn is now an Airbnb, and you can see some pictures of it here.  Can you even imagine how delicious everything must smell for the guests lucky enough to stay in the Bread Barn on a bake day?? The farm is located at 165 Oakland Circle in Raphine.   

SPCA Benefit: Shredding Saturday

The shredding truck will be at the Maury River Middle School (600 Waddell Street) in Lexington on Saturday, September 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. You can bring up to five boxes of paper or files and attendants will be available to offload shredding material for you.  Due to Covid-19, participants are asked to remain in their vehicles.  This event benefits the Rockbridge SPCA; please bring donations of canned pet food.  

Ruritan Chicken!

Here’s another event to put on your calendars for this Saturday, September 19.

Follow the blue and white signs (and your nose as you get closer) to the Bustleburg Horse Show grounds on Saturday for barbequed chicken.  Chicken halves ($6 each) will be available beginning at noon (or maybe a little earlier…. They ran out of chicken last time).  Support the Ruritans and enjoy delicious chicken cooked with Bud Martin’s famous BBQ sauce!

Verdant Acres Receives HLF Grant

On Labor Day weekend, Verdant Acres Farm hosted a MaskQuerade Benefit Silent Auction to raise funds to repair spring storm damage to two buildings and their plant tunnels.  The silent auction was a success, and John and Mary Pedersen are extremely grateful to the artists and artisans who donated paintings and other auction items; the musicians who entertained the participants; and all the auction bidders.  Unbeknownst to John and Mary, representatives from the Historic Lexington Foundation (HLF) were also there, and the grand finale of the day was HLF’s award of a $3,500 grant towards re-roofing the slave dwelling which currently serves as the Verdant Acres Farm Store.  In the picture below, Paul Hahn introduces members of the HLF delegation:  Suzanne Barksdale Rice, Jim Busch, Beverly Tucker, and Don Hasfurther. The slave dwelling is in the background.  Congratulations are in order for Verdant Acres Farm!

Brownsburg Update: September 4, 2020

Farmers Market & Yard Sale Tomorrow

The Rockbridge Baths Community Organization is hosting a Yard Sale in conjunction with their weekly Farmers Market on Saturday, September 5 from 8:00 a.m. until noon.  The event will be held at the Rockbridge Baths Fire Department on Maury River Road.  Go “treasure hunting” at the yard sale, take home some great locally grown produce, and support the RBCO!

MaskQuerade Benefit on Sunday

Don’t forget: on Sunday, September 6 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., Verdant Acres Farm will host a MaskQuerade Benefit Silent Auction with proceeds going towards spring storm damage repair.  In addition to the loss of their plant tunnels this spring, there was also roof damage to two historical structures on the property. The slave dwelling (now the Verdant Acres Farm Store) has a leaky roof that causes further damage every time it rains.  The 19th C. granary/root cellar roof was completely lost, and this building serves as John’s workshop as well as providing storage for grains and vegetables.  So put on your favorite mask and head out to the farm on Sunday.  Auction items are listed here:  MaskQuerade Flier  Note that bidding on the silent auction items ends at 3:15, so don’t wait until the last minute.  If you can’t get to the farm, you can submit a bid by emailing or calling 540-480-4710.  Verdant Acres Farm is located at 34 Beard Road, Raphine.

Halfway There!

With the August 27 delivery, our Brownsburg Gardeners passed the 1,000 pound mark!  After that delivery, Jim Zimmerman had delivered 1,023 pounds of produce to the Rockbridge Area Relief Association’s Food Pantry.  (That’s a lot of toting for one person to do – thank you Jim!) August 27 was only the eighth delivery week; last year it took us 22 weeks to hit 1,000 pounds.  So now we aim for ONE TON!!!  This is a much better year for gardens and we have some ambitious new gardeners really giving large amounts of veggies. Also more gardeners are giving each week whereas last year the weekly participation was much less.  The yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumber crops have been lush along with a good supply of tomatoes.  If you have extra produce, please drop it off on the Moore’s front porch (2664 Brownsburg Turnpike) before noon each Thursday.  Jim stops by about 12:15 to load everything, so please make sure your goodies get there in time for delivery. 

Virginia Humanities Film

Last fall, a team from the Saving Slave Houses project and Virginia Humanities visited Brownsburg to photograph and document slave dwellings at four local properties: Mulberry Grove, Sleepy Hollow, Verdant Acres and Whitehall.  That team collaborated on a film, Mapping Virginia’s Slave Dwellings, which was recently awarded a National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter Emmy Award in the category “Historical / Cultural:  Program Feature.” The six-minute film (which was released in June 2019 prior to the team’s Brownsburg visit) documents efforts to preserve the history of Virginia’s slave dwellings using Google Street View technology.  You can read more about the project and watch the film here: Mapping Virginia’s Slave Dwellings

Amazon Smile

Have you designated a charity or non-profit yet as part of the AmazonSmile program?  Under this program, .5% of the cost of your purchases is credited to the charity of your choice and paid quarterly by the AmazonSmile Foundation.  Currently there are five Amazon shoppers who have designated the Brownsburg Community Association (BCA) as their non-profit, and the BCA received $17.72 in the most recent distribution.  This might not sound like a lot…… but this was generated by only five shoppers.  Online shopping is more popular than ever and holiday shopping isn’t far away.  So if you haven’t set up your AmazonSmile account, you should do it soon, and consider choosing the BCA as your charity.  Here’s a link: AmazonSmile.  It doesn’t cost the shopper anything.  Most products are eligible and noted as such in the description. 

Editor’s Note

The Brownsburg Update doesn’t have an Editorial Page, and doesn’t publish letters to the editor. It’s not that kind of newsletter.  Its purpose is just to let folks who love Brownsburg – those who live here, those who used to live here, and those who wish they lived here – know about what’s going on in the village and the area.  It’s almost always good news (because that’s the kind of place Brownsburg is) but occasionally something crops up that seems out of character.  Recently there have been reports of political signs disappearing. We all know that the November 3 election is already quite contentious and will be hotly contested. Many people have made up their minds about how they’ll vote in November, and yard signs are probably less about influencing undecided voters than about expressing a personal opinion.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and should be allowed to express that opinion by choosing to put (or not put) a sign in their yard.  Please: let’s all be respectful of each other and of our neighbors’ property. This is Brownsburg. When we don’t agree, we can agree to disagree.

Brownsburg Update: August 25, 2020

Labor Day Weekend Yard Sale!

Got stuff?  Need stuff?  The Rockbridge Baths Community Organization is hosting a Yard Sale in conjunction with their weekly Farmers Market on Saturday, September 5 from 8:00 a.m. until noon.  The event will be held at the Rockbridge Baths Fire Department on Maury River Road.  If you’d like to reserve a space or if you have questions, contact Lucy Hayes at  And isn’t this a great new logo!!!

Award for Green Hills Garden Club

Our local garden club, the Green Hills Garden Club just won a major national award.  The club’s 2019 Yearbook was recognized by the National Garden Club as the best yearbook (in the entire country!!) for clubs with membership in the 20-29 range.  To get this award, the yearbook won first place in the Shenandoah District, the state of Virginia, the Southeast Region, and then the national award.  The club has a reputation locally for its excellent monthly programs, and its really good floral designers.  Sadly, the club had lined up an excellent series of programs for 2020 which have mostly been cancelled because of the Covid pandemic.  Mary Pedersen of Verdant Acres was able to give club members a peek inside her plant tunnels via Zoom in April (before the microburst collapsed the tunnels), but none of the year’s other programs were suitable for Zoom.  Once the pandemic is under control and we’re back to our new normal, contact a member of the club if you’ve ever considered joining a garden club and would like more information. 

Extra Row Update

Take a look at last week’s donations to the Food Pantry – there were so many veggies that they overflowed the table and some had to be placed on the floor!!  Those boxes and bags were all filled with a beautiful variety of local produce.  Our local gardeners are really out-doing themselves this year.  Keep up the good work!  Help Jim reach his goal of ONE TON!  Leave your extra produce on the Moore’s front porch (2664 Brownsburg Turnpike) on Thursdays before noon. 

Save the Dates

Some fun things to look forward to!

Saturday, September 5 – Rockbridge Baths Community Organization’s Yard Sale

Sunday, September 6 – Verdant Acres “Mask”querade Benefit Silent Auction

Saturday, September 19 – Grand Opening of Seasons’ Yield Bread Barn

Ongoing – Visits by appointment at the Brownsburg Museum. Email Julie Fox at