Sustainable Agriculture at Stratford

I first heard the term ‘sustainable agriculture’ while reading the December 1995 edition of National Geographic. It was a relatively new term back then, popping up amid the organic farming movement to encompass something more. Though no certain definition could be created for ‘sustainable agriculture’, it did find three common core aspects: economically viable, environmentally friendly, and socially acceptable. Agriculture …

Sharks in the Potomac?!

Well…not anymore. My name is Beth and I’m the Assistant to the Executive Director and I’ve been at Stratford Hall for two-and-a-half years. One afternoon, not long after I began working here, a co-worker of mine asked me if I wanted to go down to the beach and search for shark teeth. This small excursion was the beginning of an …

The Stratford Cliffs: Layer cakes of time

Towering over 100 feet about the Potomac River are the famous cliffs of Stratford Hall. Within the deposit that make up the cliffs are the evidence of animals and plants that lived here long before the first hunter walked the shores. For thousands of years most of these remains went unnoticed. It would not be until the mid 19th century …

A project of a different kind

Stratford Hall is still cleaning up from the major weather/natural events of the last month. With the exception of a crooked painting and swinging chandeliers (and a few rattled nerves), Stratford Hall did not experience any real lasting impact from the earthquake on August 23rd, 2011. Hurricane Irene did leave a lasting mark. In the days leading up to the …

A Late Summer “Gust”

Hurricane season has arrived in full force. Irene’s severe impact on Stratford, visible everywhere in the form of downed trees, blocked roads and damaged buildings, reminds me of Isabel’s arrival in September 2003.Hurricane Isabel had Stratford’s stalwart staff cleaning up the grounds during our two weeks without electricity (remember, no computers or lights) and the farm crew sawing up felled …

Update on the organic farming program

Stratford Hall’s organic farming program continues to make progress. With funding from the Department of Agriculture, Natural Conservation Resources Service, we received a grant to support our transition to organic farming. The Gatehouse field, subject of a failed attempt to pursue sustainable practices in 2009, has now been successfully planted with a thriving crop of organic clover. We are grateful …

Earth Day and the Environment

Happy Earth Day! I thought we could use this opportunity to talk a bit about environmental education at Stratford Hall. Many people know us as a historic site, but we’re always expanding our program offerings to include even more than history. With these changes, we’ll address more of Virginia’s Standards of Learning for school programs–not just history, but science and …