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Halifax Event - Blues, Brews and BBQ

Halifax Events kicks off the summer at the Farmer's Market in the Town of Halifax on Friday June 14th from 6-11pm with a great night of Blues, Brews and BBQ.  Music from the legendary Steve Bassett Blues Band (co-author of "Sweet Virginia Breeze") and Halifax's own Hot Damn! Band will fill the air along with the aroma of the finest BBQ around.

This Friday marks the debut of the Blue Flame Barbeque Sundae at the "Blues, Brews & BBQ".  It's barbeque like you've never seen it before.  No muss, no fuss, just sweet and spicy signature barbeque beans layered with fresh creamy homemade coleslaw and topped with succulent hand pulled smoked pork.  Just one of the many taste bud adventures that include smoked beef brisket and the tried and true hand pulled barbeque sandwich provided by Whitey Roark & Mark Dickerson's Blue Flame Barbeque.

There will be more of Halifax County's finest BBQ vendors on hand:  "Smokin' Jakes" will be offering free tastings of pulled pork BBQ, their original in house BBQ sauces and mascot "Lucky" will make his debut from 6pm till 7pm.  Eddie Tate "Tater Bug's Bar-B-Que" will be grilling onsite featuring his award winning dry rubbed fresh smoked pork, St. Louis style pork ribs, BBQ chicken and beef briskets.  "Ollies" will be featuring their awesome bone sucking ribs, pulled pork BBQ and chicken.  All vendors will offer a variety of sides to complete your dinner plate.

A great selection of wine and beer will be available from Bright Meadows Vineyards and Blue Ridge Beverage.  Iced tea, water and sodas will also be available.

No parking in Farmers Market parking lot - Handicap parking only will be available (first come, first served) along with a drop off area for the general public.  Parking will be available along S. Main Street and adjacent parking areas.  Tickets ar $15 in advance, $20 at the gate - Available at the Halifax Town Office (along with T-shirts), Peddler's Market Exchange Store, Common Grounds, Halifax Tourism Visitor Center, Molasses Grill and Bistro 1888.

Come join us in the Town of Halifax to eat, drink and dance in the "Sweet Virginia Breeze".  Bring your lawn chair, your appetite and dancing shoes for a great night of "Blues, Brews & BBQ."

June 8th - Master Gardeners Are For The Birds

By Laverne Fuller

Birds are an exciting addition to any landscape.  Just sit on your porch sipping a cup of coffee and listen to the different songs our feathered friends provide.  It is amazing.  Are they having conversations or just singing to celebrate the joy of living?  In our area, we are lucky to have a variety of birds to watch and listen to.  Birds also provide a service to homeowners.  They eat flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers and other insects.

To encourage birds in your landscape, there are four basics they require.  These are food, water, shelter and a place to raise young.  There are many commercial bird feeders available.  Homeowners can buy one or more and put them in strategic places in the landscape for optimal viewing from the porch, living room or kitchen window.  Once you have the feeders, it is important to keep them clean.  After a season of use, feeders need a good cleaning.  On June 8, the Southside Master Gardeners will be at the Halifax Farmers Market for the Second Saturday series to clean your bird feeders.  They will be available from 8 to 11am to clean feeders and provide information about birds in your landscape.  The Master Gardener Help Desk will also be available to answer any gardening questions.

To celebrate the Grand Opening of the Halifax Farmers Market on June 15th, the Southside Master Gardeners will have a display on Gardening for a Lifetime.  This will show many ways to grow vegetables in containers or raised beds with ideas to keep harvesting within easy reach.  Example gardens will show how to have herbs and vegetables in small spaces.  Ergonomic tools will also be displayed.  Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions.

For more information about the Southside Master Gardener Association or these events, contact Bill McCaleb at the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147.  You can also visit their website at www.ssmga.org or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Friday Night Jams 06-14-13 "Blues, Brews & Bar-b-que"

The Halifax Events series kicked off spring with the 4th annual Earth Day Celebration in April.  The summer features our Friday Night Jam, "Blues, Brews and BBQ" on Friday, June 14th, featuring Virginia's own Steve Bassett and his blues band.  According to Columbia Records Producer, John Hammond, Sr., "Steve Bassett's musical style is a synthesis of America's root music; blues, r&b, gospel and rock & roll.  Not only does Steve have a true feeling for the blues, he is a master of the gospel idiom, and in this combination of talents he is just about unique in music.  He is a singer's singer and he communicates with his audience in a soulful front porch manner that crosses markets and generations and leaves his listener feeling like he has sung to them alone."

Steve Bassett has been called one of America's great artists.  His singing moves seamlessly from soft and classic to a soulful gospel/blues shout.  Born in Richmond, Virginia, his professional career began at the age of 13 and has carried him around the country as Hammond B3 player for Delbert McClinton, solosit of over 100 network jingles, songwriter, and recording artist of 20 albums of jazz, blues, soul, and originals recorded in New York, Muscle Shoals, and Nashville.

Steve Bassett has been one of Virginia's favorite singers for decades and is co-author of Virginia's theme song "Sweet Virginia Breeze".  Steve's band performed with Halifax's own Robyn Robbins for the immensely successful Fund Raiser for the Halifax War Memorial.  His most recent appearance in Halifax County was at the 2008 Virginia Cantaloupe Festival with Delbert McClinton.

The Hot Damn Band is Halifax County's very own Blues Band and will kick off the Friday Night Jam from 6pm until 7:30pm.  Steve Bassett Blues Band will perform 8pm until 11pm.

There will be some of Halifax County's finest BBQ vendors at the Friday Night Jam:  Eddie Tate 'Taterbugs Bar-B-Que, new to Halifax, Ollies from South boston will be featuring their awesome ribs, and Whitey Roark and Mark Dickerson knownas 'Blue Flame Chili Cooperative and BQ Benevolent Society'.  Whitey and Mark, certified KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society) Judges, will be cooking onsite.  Smokin' Jake's will be offering free barbecue tastings.

Our beverage vendors will be Bright Meadows Vineyards and Blue Ridge Beverage.  Water and sodas will also be available.

Bring your lawn chairs, appetites, dancing shoes and join us in the Town of Halifax for a great night of Blues, Brews and BBQ!

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate and are available at the Halifax Town Office, Peddler's Market Exchange Store, Common Grounds, Halifax Tourism Visitor Center, Molasses Grill and Bistro 1888 for now.

The Grand Opening for the Town of Halifax Farmers Market is the next morning June 15th, from 8am till 12 noon.

The final event of the season is our fall festival, October Halifest, set for Saturday, October 26th, from 9am till 4pm.  Any interested vendors may contact Susi Robbins at 434.470.1602.

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon! Who doesn't like bacon...

Coming to the Town of Halifax Farmers' Market on May 18th a demonstration by Hudson Heritage Farms on the making of home cured bacon.

In Virginia's 18th Century Colonial Williamsburg, bacon was traditionally referred to as Gammon, but in today's world most people just refer to this delicacy as bacon.

Bacon is produced through a form of cooking referred to as Charcuterie.  This is a branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, salami, hams, and sausage.  Charcuterie was originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, but today many chefs and home cooks are reverting to these old-time preparation methods for the special flavors derived from the preservation processes.

Bacon, as most know is a pig product.  Fossils have been found which leads scientists to believe that wild pig-like animals roamed forests and swamps in Europe and Asia.  By 4900 B.C. pigs were domesticated in China, and were being raised in Europe by 1500 B.C.  Hernando de Soto from Spain is who many dub as "the father of the American pork industry."  He landed with America's first 13 pigs at Tampa Bay, Florida in 1539.  Native Americans reportedly became very fond of the taste of pork, resulting in some of the worst attacks on the de Soto expedition.  By the time of de Soto's death three years later, his pig herd had grown to 700 head, not including the ones his troops had consumed, those that ran away and became wild pigs (and the ancestors of today's feral pigs or razorbacks), and those given to the Native Americans to keep the peace.  The pork industry in America had begun!  Pig production spread throughout the new colonies.  Sir Walter Raleigh is credited with bringing sows to the Jamestown Colony in 1607.  As the seventeenth century closed, the typical Virginia farmer likely owned four or five pigs, supplying salt pork and bacon for his table with surpluses sold as barreled pork.

Since its introduction to the Americas bacon has maintained its popularity.  In this health-conscious day and age, you would think that bacon would be low on the list of preferred foods due to its fat content.  Yet, as anyone who dabbles in pork belly commodities can tell you, bacon is solely responsible for giving a boost to the pork market.  Bacon has become so popular as a sandwich ingredient and a favorite of chefs in fine dining establishments that bacon shortages have caused prices to soar.  However, bacon is still a bargain that can't be beat when it comes to adding flavor.

As the Farm to Table movement progresses and individuals become more aware of the sources of their food products, and curiosity surges in the old arts of cooking and food preparations, we see a renewed interest in charcuterie and the preparation of home cured bacon.  Hudson Heritage Farms located in Elmo is a local producer of natural pasture raised meat products.  Denise Hudson from the farm will be at the Town of Halifax Farmers Market on May 18th, andd will present a demonstration class on the home curing of bacon at 10:00 am.  Also, look for other classes presented by Hudson Heritage Farms on meat preparation later in the summer at the Elmo Grocery Store and the Town of Halifax Farmers' Market.

Preserving Produce Workshop at Farmers Market on May 4th 2013

Would you like to learn more about safely preserving the extra produce from your garden?  A food preservation workshop will be offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension at the Halifax Farmers Market on Saturday May 4th, 2013 at 10:00am.  Eric Bowen, Area Food Safety Specialist, will be discussing how to preserve fresh foods using pressure canner/hot water bath methods and the basics of food safety including bacteria and food spoilage, canning and equipment, and freezing.  Please call Chris Brown, Extension Agent, ANR at 434-476-2147 with any questions.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Chris Brown, Halifax County Extension Office at 434-476-2147 during business hours of 8am and 5pm to discuss accommodations at least 5 days prior to the event.

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