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Meredith is on the left.
Happy Wwoofing, Meredith!

   Last night we bid farewell to longtime farmhand Meredith Roberts. She heads out Sunday to spend five months as a Willing Worker On Organic Farms in New Zealand. Meredith has internships lined up on several down-under farms that raise everything from bees to kiwis. We hope she acquires a lot of great skills and brings them back to use around here. 

   Check out her farewell post on   Barn Talk , and watch for updates on her travels. School tours won't be the same without you, Meredith!
At the Vineyard
We Won!
Virginia Wine Lover Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards for 2015 are in: we won the Gold Medal for Best View/Outdoor Space in the entire state! We also received the Bronze Medal for Best Fruit Winein the Northern region, and we're featured in one of the magazine's most popular articles.

Have you ever wondered how they get the cork into a bottle of wine? Find out by joining the bottling crew on January 13 and 14. Let Hailey know if you can help.
Save the Date
Thanks to everyone for being flexible! We've moved the staff meeting to February 25 and 28 so we can include training on the new Point of Sale system. We'll send a survey soon so you can sign up for one of those dates. If you can't make it, please let Hailey know.

On the Farm
Soil Conditioning 
The warm winter weather is making our cover crops look especially lush. In some fields we're growing vetch to avoid erosion and add nitrogen to the soil for the spring crops. In other fields we've planted radishes, which add potassium and  phosphorous to the soil and suppress weed growth in subsequent crops.

Beaver Attack
During late December, while most of us were getting ready for Christmas, the beaver family in the pond on the north side of Foggy Bottom Road chewed through the deer fence and lopped off more than 500 young apple trees, leaving row after row of spikey nubs: 
They dragged the saplings to their den and buried them in the cold mud, which acts like a refrigerator, preserving the sweet bark for winter snacking.
The trees were due to begin bearing next fall.Those beavers don't live in that pond anymore.

Spring Hiring
Opening Day is March 19. What are your plans for next season? Please let Michele know by text or email.

In the Brewery
Bottles Coming
Our Tart 31 Cherry Ale and Work Session IPA will soon be available in bottles! Janell is working with Maria Nicklin on label design--check out the descriptions we brainstormed earlier this week.

New Releases
Red Merl, our first red ale, is scheduled for release on the last weekend in January, just in time for the day named for Merl's favorite quarry: the groundhog. That release will be followed shortly by a potent Imperial IPA, which we'll be serving in 10-ounce glasses. Scott Brown Ale is back on tap, along with Winter Ale, which is mildly spiced with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg.

New growlers, hats, and henleys in stock!