out there

kids and chicks walking the line IMG_2389 - Version 2 - 2005-05-24 at 14-56-24 Broiler Chicks No, it's your method. No it's your feed... dirt

thought for the day:

organic = sustainable

what customers are saying:

I left Countryside for cheaper, "All-Natural" feed. When my customers started COMPLAINING about the taste of my eggs I came back to Countryside!

— Better Feed Makes Better Eggs, Better Eggs Make Happier Customers

Chicken Winter Care Courses From Chickens and YOU™ – Starting Tonight

Winter flock management, coop winterization and cold weather health care – REGISTER NOW!


American Hemp Bedding Now Available

We are pleased to announce that Countryside is now distributing American Hemp’s Hemp Bedding.  The product is biodegradable, 2x as absorbent as pine bedding, and less dusty. 

“Hemp Bedding”, 5 cu ft bag (30 pounds)

Kevin’s recommended usage: For chickens, 1 bag for 8′ X 8′.

For horses, 3 bags for 12′ X 12′. (about 1/2 as much as manufacturer’s website, but Kevin likes less-deep for horses)

Buy online, here: http://feed.countrysideorganics.com/animal-health/chicken-specialty/hemp-bedding-5-cu-ft-bag-30-lbs.html

Mfgr’s site: http://www.americanhempllc.com/  

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us here at Countryside Organics, we wish you all a safe and joyous Thanksgiving Holiday. Just so you know, we will be on holiday shipping hours which means that new orders, both Fedex and LTL, will not ship until Monday. We will have limited store hours Friday from 8:30 a.m. till noon.

Thank you for supporting organics and for putting delicious, healthy food on your table. Have a great weekend!

2014 Virginia Farm to Table Conference and In-Depth Soil Biology Training with Dr. Elaine Ingham

Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia’s USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Virginia Soil Health Coalition, Virginia Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and community partners have organized an exceptional educational opportunity for farmers, market gardeners, food entrepreneurs, community advocates, nutrition and dining service directors, technical service providers, and anyone interested in strengthening Virginia’s food system from the soil up and the connections between nutrition, health and sustainability.

2014 Virginia Farm to Table Conference and In-Depth Soil Biology Training with Dr. Elaine Ingham

Dr. Elaine Ingham, a globally-recognized soil microbiologist and renowned soil management educator, will kick off the conference with a presentation on soil and community health. Her presentation will be followed by Dr. Amy Tucker, a preventative cardiologist with UVA Health System, who will speak on nourishing healthy people and communities. Dr. Elizabeth Dyck of Organic Growers’ Research and Information Sharing Network (OGRIN) will talk about integrating grains and cover crops into regional food systems as part of a $2 million NIFA-AFRI funded project in the Northeast.


Panels & Discussion Options for Day 1:

Practical Applications of Soil Health: Dr. Elaine Ingham with Rick Felker of Mattawoman Farms, Don Flegel of USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Eric Walter of Black Bear Composting

Opportunities & Challenges of Value-Added Grain, Feed, and Flour Production: Dr. Elizabeth Dyck with Corwyn Heatwole of Shenandoah Valley Organic, Chris Lawrence of USDA-NRCS, and Philip Witmer of Grazeland Dairy

Nutrition and Health from the Ground Up: Dr. Amy Tucker with Dr. Ted Butchart, ND and Permaculturalist with Virginia Natural Health, Anne Buzzelli, MS RD of BuzzNutrition, and Amy Hicks of Amy’s Garden

Labor Issues for Beginning & Start Up Farmers: Hosted by Dr. Kim Niewolny and Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition


On day two of the conference, attendees will have two track options: 1) the main conference agenda with a focus on scale, ethics, and market development featuring Ann Karlen of Fair Food Philly; Amish organic dairy farmer, naturalist and author David Kline; and concurrent afternoon panels and discussions with growers and practitioners; and 2) the intensive 6-hour soil biology training with Dr. Ingham.


David Kline is an organic dairy farmer from Holmes County, Ohio who has authored several books, including Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer’s Journal, Scratching the Woodchuck: Nature on an Amish Farm, Letters from Larksong: An Amish Naturalist Explores His Organic Farm, and other essays. He is also editor of Farming Magazine: People, Land and Community. David Kline will be speaking Tuesdayevening and be a conference resource speaker on Wednesday morning.


Panels & Discussion Options for Day 2:

Interacting With Institutions from Schools on Up: Ann Karlen of Fair Food Farmstand; Andrea Early with Harrisonburg City Public Schools and Virginia Farm to School Liaison; Danny Boyer of Four Winds Farm;  and Patrick Simmons of UVA Health System; Moderated by Lauren Arbogast

Season Extension & Optimizing Markets: Chris Mullins of VCE, Greenhouse & Specialty Crops, VSU; Dr. Allen Straw with VT, Area Specialist Horticulture, Small Fruit & Specialty Crops; Clif Slade of VSU’s 43,560 Project Small Farm Outreach Program

Making Sure the Numbers Work for You: Tim long of Farm Credit of the Virginias; Betty Hoge of Central Virginia Small Business Development Center; Peter Callan, VCE Farm Business Management; Moderated by Dale Gardner

Veterans in Agriculture: Issues & Opportunities: Calvin Riggleman of Gourmet Central; Buck Holsinger of Holsinger Homeplace Farms; Wes Runion of USDA-NRCS; and Chip Jones of Stratford Hall Plantation Moderated by JB Daniel of USDA-NRCS

Gathering of Local, Regional, and State Food System Councils: Hosted by Kathi Colen Peck and Spencer Neale


Dr. Ingham of Soil Food Web  will help “demystify” soil biology and explain the many ways promoting soil life can increase soil productivity and agricultural profitability. Dr. Ingham is the primary author of the excellent Soil Biology Primer, and is world-famous for providing information that is both technically rigorous and highly practical.


What is unique about this year’s conference is that we are trying to go more in-depth on the topic of soil health and biology. Therefore, the intensive soil biology training with Dr. Ingham will be repeated at two Virginia locations: Weyers Cave (Blue Ridge Community College) on Weds, Dec 3 and Petersburg (Virginia State University) on Thurs, Dec 4, 2014.


During the soil biology training, multiple VA famers with diverse operations and experience will also speak.  Each day of training will include insights and case studies from at least three Virginia farmers who have been building soil health with cover crops, managed grazing, crop and livestock diversity, no-till, diverse rotations.


Anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how the soil works should be interested in this event, from grassland managers to long-term no-tillers to organic gardeners.


The cost for the conference is $40 each day, but the soil biology training due to funding from Virginia’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Program only $25 to attend.


In addition to a full day of mind-opening ideas from the speakers on food system topics, participants in the soil biology training will also get:

  • Networking with other like-minded growers.
  • A great meal made with food from local farms.
  • Your own copy of the Soil Biology Primer ($20 value)
  • For CCAs: 4.0 SW CEUs, 0.5 NM CEUs.
  • For conservation planners: 4.0 NRCS CEUs
  • For VA DCR-certified NMP planners: 4.0 CEUs

Luv-Nest Products Now Available

We are pleased to announce that Countryside is now distributing Luv Nest 100% organic nesting herbs and their new treat product for chickens “Nibbles”, along with our organic soy free feeds and other healthy products.

You can find more information about Luv Nest at www.luv-nest.com and on our new online store.


Gut Biosphere Survey

A survey of interesting recent articles on the gut, allergies and nutrition.

Reason Behind Increasing Food Allergies Discovered

Genetically Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food Allergies — Genetically Engineered Soybeans

Allergy Buster

American Gut Project

 Some of My Best Friends are Germs

Help Save a Working Heritage Farm

Help Neil Perin save a working family farm dedicated to saving heritage breeds and dedicated to non-toxic, biological, organic farming.

Here is the Kickstarter Page:

Arcadian Acres – Preserving Heritage Animals & a Family Farm

Read the FAQs and watch the video to understand how Arcadian Acres, a successful organic farm, doesn’t meet USDA standards for financing. He’s getting $8/lb. for his heritage Red Wattle pork but the USDA will only let him claim $0.60/lb. Help save Arcadian Acres!

More information on Arcadian Acres:






Heritage Harvest Festival


Celebrate the harvest and the legacy of revolutionary gardener Thomas Jefferson at the 8th annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, September 12-13, 2014. Thomas Jefferson, America’s “founding foodie,” championed vegetable cuisine, plant experimentation and sustainable agriculture.

Taste a bounty of heirloom fruits and vegetables and learn about organic gardening and seed-saving during this fun, affordable, family-friendly festival — unlike any other — held on the breathtaking West Lawn of Jefferson’s Monticello.

1st Annual Harvest Conference Presented by Organic Growers School

Savor the abundance

Friday & Saturday, September 5-6, 2014, Asheville, N.C.

Season Extension • Home Cooking • Fermentation • Preservation • Self-reliance • Homesteading Skills • Wild Ideas • Seed Saving • Herbal Medicine • And so much more!

Click here for more information and registration.

Central Virginia Meet Yer Eats Tour – Monday, Sept 1

Market Central’s 6th Annual Meet Yer Eats Farm Tour is on Labor Day, Sept. 1 from 10 to 4. The tour is about getting to know your farmer, and getting to know your food.

Over 1, 000 people are expected to hit the backroads surrounding Charlottesville for a local food enthusiast’s ultimate food field trip: the Meet Yer Eats Farm Tour.  In its 6th year, the tour highlights producers from the Charlottesville City Market, and 12 farms will open their fields, barns, and greenhouses to visitors this year.  By presenting the tour annually, Market Central aims to strengthen the relationships between producers and consumers, and encourages support of local farmers as key to economic, physical, and environmental vibrancy in our area. The Charlottesville area has emerged as a prominent force in the local foods scene owing at least in part to growers’ willingness to be transparent in their operations.

A $15 car pass admits everyone in your car on tour day to all of the participating farms, and most visitors will see 3 or 4 farms on tour day.  Each farm has a special program, lecture and/or demonstration scheduled between 10 and 4.  

2014 Participating Farms

BellAir Farm CSA
Babes in the Woods
Brightwood Vineyard & Farm
Caromont Farm w/The Rock Barn
Cygnet Hollow Farm
Grubby Girl @Meeting House Farm
Everona Dairy
Forrest Green Farm
Little Hat Creek
Sharondale Farm
Radical Roots
Vintage Virginia Apples

If you’re not doing anything for Labor Day, get in your and visit a farm!  It’s one of the best ways to honor those who work so hard for us.  For more information about programming and to purchase a car pass online, please visit our website at marketcentralonline.org