We learned how to cultivate our herbs and the best places to buy seeds or seedlings from. DeBaggio's was of course mentioned. I didn't know that herbs dislike over watering or that they should be watered from the base. I've always grown mine in pots but think that next year I may try putting them in the ground now that I know the more fragrant ones, such as lavender, sage or rosemary could be used to border the others since they will deter the deers. I also learned that cilantro doesn't really like bright light, preferring a filtered sunlight, and not to bother growing oregano from seed as it is a slow grower.
Click here for an awesome pesto recipe, and finally an opportunity to use my pestle and mortar!
I took a lot of notes during the workshop and now have plenty of ideas for next year. I shall also try to overwinter my woody herbs, (lavender, rosemary, sage) this year, not something I thought I could do in the past.
Peggy, who has the bed with perrenials and the sunflowers very kindly gave me a clump of brown eyed susan and a purple plant, which I've forgotten the name of. They had wilted by the time I got them home but I planted them immediately with lots of watering so have my fingers crossed that they will recuperate.
Once the class had finished I walked across to the old school house. The bell had rung out a few times while we were learning about herbs, and it had been delightful to hear that pealing, while thinking we were listening to the same sound that had called the children to class over a hundred years ago.
Built in 1887 on land donated by the Shackleford family, it served as a school until 1964, for white children until 1910, when they moved to a newer school, and then for African American children until it closed. It's now the only 19th century one room school in Fauquier county, and one of a small handful left in Virginia.
Most of the interior is original, including the blackboard, floor, walls and ceiling. Even the bell was restored although the cupola was replaced. There was no furniture inside but the old pot belly stove was replaced with a donation, along with old school desks from the era. There are markings on the floor still from the desks' legs and burn marks from the stove's cinders.
The photo above shows the school in the late 70's. There was an article inside from 1974, explaining the uncertainty of the building's ownership at that time. A James Hitt and his wife were living there rent free in exchange for guarding the dumpsters on the property.