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Night and Day at Nottoway

From the Kitchen Stool of the Market Master –

We had a wonderful opening day at the Market with lovely weather and a very good first-day turnout which we all attributed to the support of the Connection Newspaper. I was reminded that this Vienna Farmers’ Market has been operating at Nottoway Park for at least 19years by Carolyn Sisson of Level Green Farm, and she should know because she was a vendor on the very first day of the very first Market. She should know but she is still trying to figure out if this 2007 market year is possibly our 20th anniversary instead. We await her further deliberations and you can be sure we will be planning something special to celebrate when we figure this all out.

She tells the story that on the very first day the weather was nice, there were at least 15 vendors, and most were participating in their first Farmers Market. Unfortunately, very few people had actually been informed of the opening and the Market welcomed a grand total of two people that first day and they were just taking a walk through the park. She says it took three years for the market to take off and she describes periods of relative retraction and growth in both the size of the market and its commercial success over the years.

The potential of a mid-week market will never equal the potential of any Saturday market but every week we have new customers who comment that they have just learned about the market after living here "for ages". I accept the challenge to grow this market and I welcome your suggestions about how to reach your neighbors, your team members, your congregations, your coworkers and any other group to which you belong. I will provide whatever it takes to inform about the Vienna Wednesday Farmers’ market and educate them about the value and virtue of shopping with us. We’ll get them to the market and they will be glad we did!

Text for IMA logo (the tree covered with vines): (305 words)

What could be bad about roses thriving in a public park? While this week’s Invader Plant—

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)—looks inoffensive, don’t be deceived by the fragrant, white flowers it sports in May and June. This thorny, bushy perennial shrub has upright, arching canes and grows to a height of 5-15 feet. The leaves divide into five to eleven sharply toothed leaflets. Small bright red berries (rose hips) appear in the summer and last through the winter. This invader reproduces by seed and roots. Birds and other wildlife love the seeds (and disperse them). An average plant produces about a million seeds each year, and seeds can germinate for up 20 years! The arching canes form new roots when they reach the ground and soon more plants appear. What is the problem? Multiflora rose grows aggressively and forms impenetrable thickets that crowd out native plant species and discourage native birds from nesting.

How You Can Help

Join the upcoming Invasives Control Work Parties on May 19, June 2 and June 23 (Saturdays from 9 am to noon). Wear long pants and long sleeves, gloves and hiking boots or sturdy shoes. Bring water, hat and loppers, pruners and a flat-headed screwdriver, if you have them (some tools available at site). If driving to 9601 Courthouse Rd in Vienna, take the main entrance and enter the first parking lot on your right. Walk by Field 4 (rectangular field next to parking lot), enter Fitness Trail behind the field, and walk past picnic tables/Fitness Station 2 on left. Continue past Fitness Stations 3 & 13 and look for bright orange ribbons on trees to the right; meet at first tree. To RSVP email friendsofnottoway@gmail.com or call 703-324-8681. Weather cancellation: in the event of lightning, thunder and/or heavy rain but will work in light rain. More information: http://fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resources/ima