Renegade Market, Community Gardening, Halloween

-Teresa Willoughby

The Byrd House Market 2013 season has come to a close.  October 29th was the last day.  The weather was pleasant and the live music was particularly lively on that day.  It has felt strange not working at BHM as usual on Tuesdays.  I feel it was a large part of my experience with WBCH.  I’m glad there is a renegade market.  It is much smaller than the regular market and is expected to become smaller, although, two vendors (Byrd Farm and Faith Farm) should be on BHM grounds on Tuesdays 3:00-6:00 pm throughout the winter.  I imagine I will continue to be involved to some extent with the renegade market through some set up, take down, etc.

Even with less focus on the market, I believe WBCH still offers plenty for me to do.  I have been more involved with the community garden and farmlet.  It’s nice to do some physical work sometimes.  I have started gardening in William Byrd’s community garden.  I am a little intimidated by gardening because I have very little experience with it and I hope the weather isn’t too damaging.  However, I am still very excited and hope something grows.  I think gardening and growing your own food can be very satisfying.  Food doesn’t get much fresher or more economical than when it’s grown yourself.  It’s an important skill to develop and to teach.  There is something empowering about growing your own food and therapeutic about working in nature. I planted some snow peas (not the best choice for this time of year), long white stalk/bok choy, and a couple of garlic cloves.  I purchased the greens and pea seeds from an Asian Supermarket as the farmlet manager had suggested.  I think community gardening has the additional perks of meeting people, sharing tips, and exchanging produce.  I have met some of the community gardeners and they really seem to put the “community” in “community garden.”  They have been friendly, informative, and supportive of my gardening. I helped them out in their gardens and I they offered me the freshest, crispest, most delicious vegetables picked right out of their garden for free.

I have thoroughly enjoyed autumn and Halloween at Oregon Hill.  I always get excited this time of year; Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I have been admiring the leaves changing colors and the beauty of autumn here.  The past few weeks have been particularly lovely.  I have loved this time of year ever since I can remember.  I have always enjoyed putting up decorations, wearing costumes, carving jack-o-lanterns, autumn foods, going to the pumpkin patch, hayrides, etc. Oregon Hill seems to be almost as into Halloween as I am!  So many houses had festive decorations.  The weekend before Halloween, I have attended costume themed events including one at a music venue and another at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  On Halloween night, I noticed how full the streets were with trick-or-treaters.  Luckily, my housemates and I were prepared with ~600 pieces of candy.  I especially enjoyed the Halloween parade that went right by our house.  Later that night, I noticed that the streets were packed with college-aged students dressed in costumes.  There seemed to be a lot of parties going on.  I walked around and enjoyed seeing everyone dressed up.  I wanted to end the night with going to Hollywood Cemetery but the gates were closed.  Overall, Halloween was really fantastic here! Below are some Halloween related pictures:
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Halloween themed music venue

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Pictures from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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My jack-o-lantern (I didn’t have the time to make anything fancy)

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Autumn’s beauty

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Getting ready for the trick-or-treaters

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Halloween parade!

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