Beekeeping 101

Are you curious about beekeeping?

Becoming a backyard beekeeper can be a fun hobby whether you want to keep honey bees for the delicious fresh honey they produce, or for their services as pollinators for your flower, fruit and vegetable gardens, or perhaps just for the fun of learning about a most interesting insect.   Bee hives can be kept almost anywhere with relatively little trouble and a minimum of expense.

Get some hands-on information and experience with beekeeping without investing in the hives and equipment before you get started can be very helpful.  Check with your community college about workshops or seek out a local beekeeping group in your county;  make a visit to your local library and check-out some reference books;  and lastly you’ll be able find a to z about beekeeping on the internet.  The best way to get information on keeping bees is to talk with a beekeeper about their process and tips for caring for bees.

Bee Keeping 101

We are happy to announce that our beekeeper friend, David, is offering a fun, fact-filled information session about the basics of backyard beekeeping. In June and September right here at Fox Hill we will be hosting a beekeeping 101 weekend.  The session are on Saturday and will be broken into two parts. One session in the a.m. after breakfast and the second session late afternoon.   Come learn about bees and the possibility of becoming a backyard beekeeper.  The cost per person is $50, or $90 per couple, which includes two sessions, gift bag, fresh honey bottled by hand, and delicious honey-infused treats and breakfasts.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 OR Saturday, September 21, 2019

Beekeeping 101 Session  1:  10:30 am -12:00 noon 

  • Overview of beekeeping
  • Basic equipment (suit, smoker, hive tool, brush)
  • Components of a hive (bottom board, entrance reducer, hive boxes,
    frames, inner cover, telescoping cover)
  • Looking inside an active hive (identify workers, drones, maybe a
    queen, brood, eggs, larvae)
  • Removing frames for harvest
  • Discussion of Pests (mites, hive beetles, wax moths, rodents, bear, skunk)

Beekeeping 101 Session 2:  4:00 pm – 5:30 p.m.

  • Benefits of keeping bees
  • Processing honey (extract and bottle your own honey from our hives)
  • Basic equipment
  •  Packaging and storing
  •  Processing wax cappings
  •  Beekeeping products, recipes, books and more

A signed waiver will be required. An Epi pen will be on-site.   Our standard reservation cancellation policy applies.

Honey Bee Facts

Honeybees are some of the most interesting insects.  Did you know that honeybees have been producing honey in the same way for 150 million years?  They are the only insect that produces food eaten by man. Honeybees are not born knowing how to make honey; the more experienced ones teach the younger bees.  The hive workers known as scouts search for a good source of nectar. Once found, the scout honeybee flies back to the hive and shows its friends where the nectar source. This is by doing a dance that positions the flower in relation to the sun and hive and is known as the ‘waggle dance.’  Honey is incredibly healthy and includes enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. It is the only food that contains “pinocembrin”, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.

Keeping honeybees can be simple, healthful, and rewarding!

Ready to learn more?

Get buzzing and book your “Bee with your Honey” Weekend via our website at www.foxhillbb.com. Make your reservation now then scroll down the list of add-on items until you locate the appropriate “Bee with your Honey” Weekend (single or couples), then add the beekeeping information session to your reservation.

 

Get Fit in the New Year?

new year's resolution listGet Fit in the New Year?

Are you still working on putting together your New Year’s resolutions list?  Is getting fit in the New Year on that list? How about travel, enjoying life, or have you ditched the list already and plan to pick and choose your resolutions as you go along!  If “get fit” was on your list, you will find an abundance of ways to push your fitness limits (inside and outside of the gym) whether you are a seasoned athlete or a fitness beginner.  Training for and running in a 5k, half, or full marathon will certainly test you.  On the other hand, you can get even crazier with a mud run!  There is no better motivation than signing up for a race.

5K Races, Marathons and ½ marathons

Here at Fox Hill, we love 5k races for many reasons.  First, a 5k race (around 3.1 miles) is a realistic goal for everyone.  You can begin training about seven weeks before a race and devote about 3 days per week for training. Running a 5K Some of the training health benefits include raising your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure and relieving stress all while toning your glutes and abs!   Of course, you want to ease into getting in shape.  Start slowly,  alternate between walking and running for equal intervals of distance.  During the training weeks, gradually decrease your walking time each week and eventually you will be able to run up to 30 minutes consecutively.

Deciding which training schedule to set for yourself will keep you motivated and focused instead of making excuses not to visit the gym. To keep you going – post your training schedule at work, on your refrigerator, or on your phone calendar.   We recommend the Active online site for training schedules and steps for 5k beginners to marathon running get their Couch to 5K training Guide

Because a 5K is a relatively shorter race, runners find that they can really tap into their adrenaline. Even if you train at a very slow pace (and hey, there is nothing wrong with that) chances are that the thrill and excitement of race day will pump you up and keep you going.

Lastly, by helping yourself you can help others, too.  Since 5k’s are such a realistic goal, many charities and non-profit organizations have adopted them as fundraisers and community events.  A few of the races we are looking forward to are listed below:

Mad Anthony Mud Run

logo-mad-anthony mud run February  23 – 9am-12pm –  Waynesboro
A battle awaits you at Coyner Springs Park as homage is paid to the City’s namesake, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, with the 8th Annual Mad Anthony Mud Run! All finishers will be awarded a custom-made Mud Run Medal as a reward for battlefield victory.

 

 

Run of the Mill (5K)

April 13 – 9 am – Brownsburg

Run-of-the-Mill-Nov-4-2017-Winner-Meghan-Beard

2017 Winner Meghan Beard

A point-to-point race in slightly hilly terrain through farmland, crossing Hays Creek on various occasions and arriving at Wade’s Mill.  Awards and activities will take place at the Finish.  Shuttle buses will return runners to the start of the race.  The top three male and female finishers will receive prizes.  The top three in all age groups will receive medals.  Proceeds benefit the community projects and events the Brownsburg Community Association supports.

 

 

Rockbridge Area Hospice Hustle 5K Run

September 21 – Buena Vista
(5k Night time “Glow Run and Walk” and half-marathon) All proceeds support end-of-life patient and family care so that everyone who needs hospice services has access to care, regardless of the ability to pay.

glowing people

Chessie Trail 5K

(Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K)

Saturday, October 19, 2019, McKethan Park Lexington, VA   The seven-mile Chessie Trail parallels the scenic Maury River and connects Lexington, Virginia, with Buena Vista.  You’ll run through an ever-changing landscape along the wild Maury River, through farmland and leafy canopies at their peak of fall color, past ruins of massive stone locks and dams.

Running Gear

To get your feet really moving, you are going to need a great pair of running shoes!  We recommend a visit to the Lex Running Shop, located in the heart of downtown Lexington.   They offer quality running shoes, apparel, lrs-round-logo_origaccessories, and nutrition for fitness enthusiasts of all abilities.   Their trained staff will take the time to lead you through the proper shoe fitting process.  Alternatively, if you are in the Staunton area, make a visit to the Sole Fsole focus runningocus Running Store.  They are a “run, walk, be active shop”.  They too offer personalized shoe fitting services.

One of our favorite acronyms is DNF > DNS. Simply put, it means that it is better to attempt and fail than to not try at all.  A DNF (Did Not Finish) Is Greater Than a DNS (Did Not Start).  We have on occasion come out of the starting gate full of race day adrenaline, only to lose our steam towards the finish line.  We never quit, we just walked rather than ran over the finish line!  DNF > DNS!

If you are a YMCA member, you will be able to get in pre or post workout at the Rockbridge Area YMCA.   You can make use of their full circuit room, free weight equipment, plus treadmills and elliptical machines.

Have we motivated you?  We would love to see many of you enjoying our local races!  Pick a race, book a suite, and of course, we would love to see you show off your race medal at breakfast the next day!!!!

running

Travel tip – plan to stay at a Bed and Breakfast

It’s time to plan a trip to a Bed & Breakfast

According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel is the clear-cut way to achieve the benefits of time off. A recent poll of travelers revealed some interesting facts:
• The vast majority of Americans (88%) are in search of a warm climate for their vacations.

Waffles & Bacon

• Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans say they prefer to indulge than be healthy on vacation.
• The traditional weeklong trip is still the gold standard for most Americans, with 72 percent saying they prefer that length to a long-weekend vacation.
• Americans are split on whether they prefer to save or splurge on vacations—just over half (52%) say save and just under half (47%) say splurge.

Airbnb or an Established B&B

A “real” B&B is an establishment making a living in the hospitality business. They typically charge more than an Airbnb property. Both are someone’s home but that’s where the similarity ends.

Why, you ask? An innkeeper is a professional that is much more than a person who rents a room in their house for extra money. Established B&B’s meet all the requirements of any other hospitality property. Proper inspections, insurance, and compliance with  state and local business requirements.  Innkeepers typically are trained in the hospitality industry and culinary arts, just like any other professional, that all cost money.  When visiting a B&B you usually have a higher quality of sleeping accommodations right down to the quality of the sheets. Innkeepers want you to enjoy their home and food offerings more than just an extra bedroom that someone sees as an opportunity to make some cash.

Plan your trip

Research shows that planners have a distinct advantage over non-planners: they use more of their time, take longer vacations, and are happier! Therefore, it is time to get planning!

1. Decide where you want to go and what time of year you want to get away

2. Consider the activities and atmosphere of the places in the region, and then pick the town or city that best fits your desires.

3. Plan enough time to enjoy your destination and do the activities you want

4. You’ll have a better chance of getting the reservations you want if you plan ahead

5. Making arrangements for pets while your away or bring them along on your trip

6. Put together a general activity list of what you would like to experience. On the other hand, plan to do nothing but relax, and leave your schedule wide open for endless possibilities.

7. Unplug! If you need some down time, consider using your phone or computer only when completely necessary. It will do wonders for you.

8. Maybe you have always wanted to stay in a bed and breakfast inn. Go ahead and try something new!

A Bed and Breakfast makes for a great vacation getaway.

While the price of a B&B might seem higher than a hotel at times, the actual value is much greater. The private accommodations are usually superior to that of a hotel…better linens, bedding, and furniture. The amenities are also often more plentiful from better shampoo, lotions and grooming items, to snacks, games and libraries of books/DVD’s, plus free Wi-Fi and parking.

In addition, B&B owners delight in serving made from scratch, scrumptious breakfasts with locally sourced ingredients, which rises above what you will find at a hotel.

We Innkeepers are also excited to share with you all the wonderful places to visit, explore and experience while visiting with us. Please ask us about our great restaurants, breweries, wineries and tourist attractions.

While staying at a Bed and Breakfast, you are sure to receive not only value, but comfort, variety, special amenities and local expertise that hotels cannot beat.

Are you ready to plan a B&B vacation? Put the Shenandoah Valley and Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast on your “to-visit” list. Regardless of your itinerary, we assure that your stay at Fox Hill will be memorable. Our welcoming philosophy is simply to keep it casual and comfortable. Our activity guide will give you a jump-start to planning your visit.

No two Bed and Breakfasts are alike. At some, the bar is set very high and deserving of a five star rating, while others’ efforts may reflect lower ratings.  A good place to check is Trip Advisor, for what other travelers say about the accommodations, atmosphere and especially the food. After all, it is a BED and BREAKFAST.

Traveling with Fido?

nellie with stubby ballWhy not travel with your beloved dog?  Fox Hill B&B is dog friendly. Four of our six suites are pet friendly, but you would never know there were dogs in the room before you. Our spacious suites are large enough for large breeds without crowding. All are almost 600 square feet; that’s almost 1/3 the size of the average house. There’s plenty of things to do with your pet while staying at Fox Hill. Explore 38 acres of fields with walking paths, a babbling stream; and in the summer months paths run through our cornfields with a large play area in the center.

City folks, your pet will thank you for the rest, relaxation and great place to run without too many distractions.

With all of these travel-planning tips, it’s now time to plan and look forward to a Bed and Breakfast getaway. Explore outdoor adventures, enjoy local art and culture, and indulge in delicious food and wine!

Holiday Baking – Cheesecake

Holiday Baking

Tis the season to be jolly & holiday baking does just that!

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Saint Nicholas Day, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Lucia Day, Kwanzaa, the message is the same. It is a celebration of a miracle that resulted in a celebration geared toward love, sharing and respect for everyone. Also associated with the celebrations are good fellowship and indulging on enormous amounts of decadent food. Why the food is so important is unknown.

A few years back, Chef Mike entered a holiday baking contest sponsored by a local television station and food market. In the deserts/cake category, he won a 100.00 gift certificate to the local market.

In the spirit of sharing, Chef Mike is sharing his award winning Cheesecake recipe. For those who like a New York style cheesecake, you will love this crustless version. “This is one of the best cheesecake recipes you’ll ever find”  and it has been kept a secret until now.

Chef never liked a graham cracker crust so he came up with this version.

Chef Mike’s award winning No Crust Cheesecake

The Wet Works
1 lb. Ricotta Cheese
1 lb. Cream Cheese
1-pint sour cream
Juice of ½ of a lemon (1 ½ tbs. Real Lemon)
1 tbs. vanilla
4 eggs
¼ lb. (1 stick) butter + extra for pan

The Dry Goods
2 tbs. cornstarch
1 ½ c. Sugar
3 tbs. flour for dusting pan

The Procedure
Using a handheld or stand mixer

Beat ricotta until smooth
Add cream cheese and blend
Add sugar gradually
Add eggs slowly, one at a time
Mix until smooth
Add lemon, vanilla, cornstarch and then softened stick of butter
Mix until smooth
Add the sour cream

Beat mixture until smooth (no lumps)

The Hardware & The Process
1. Coat a 9″ spring form pan with melted butter or Crisco and flour it *
*I brush melted butter on the inside of the pan and line with parchment paper then brush the parchment paper with butter again.
2. Pour mixture into pan ¾ of the way to the top
(this recipe will make more than enough for the 9″ spring form pan and you may have some left over – be prepared to pour remainder into a baby spring pan or baking dish)

3. Put on a cookie sheet into a COLD oven Bake at 350° for 1 hour.
4. Turn off oven and DO NOT OPEN the door.

5. Let stay in oven for two (2) hours with door closed.
6. Remove from oven and pan after it has cooled down.
7. Cool completely and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Your patience will be rewarded!

8. Enjoy by topping with your favorite fruit pie filling, whipped cream or just plain (the best)

 

 

Holiday Cookie Time – fill up your cookie jars and gift tins

It is that time of year again when we begin to fill up our cookie jars and gift tins with our tried and true cookie recipes.  While mixing the dough, have you ever thought about how cookies came about?  They are from the Dutch word koekje, meaning “small or little cake.”  According to culinary historians, the first historic record of cookies was their use as test cakes.  A small amount of cake batter was baked to test the oven temperature.  The English, Scotch, and Dutch immigrants originally brought the first cookies to the United States.  The simple butter cookies we make now strongly resemble the English teacakes and the Scotch shortbread. Chef Mike’s favorite cookie is Walkers English Shortbread. He is always trying new recipes to duplicate it, but he never gets it as good, one of the few store bought cookies found in the kitchen at Fox Hill.

Coming in second,  is Italian Pizzelles.  Chef Mike grew up in Philly in a predominantly Italian neighborhood where every Christmas, his mother and all the other neighborhood moms would bake holiday treats to share. I think some ladies had specialties and that’s why the task was split up. This recipe has been around since he can remember and he began using it at the age of 10. Chef Mike inherited his mother’s pizzelle irons that were originally purchased at Fantes Kitchen in South Philadelphia. Scroll down to see the recipe Mike still uses today

 

Eight Categories of Cookies

What is your favorite type of cookie to make?  Here at Fox Hill, our favorite is rolled as we have close to 100 cookie cutters!!!  There are eight categories of cookies – dropped, refrigerated, molded, bar, sheet, rolled, piped and wafer.

Drop cookies are made from soft, moist dough that is dropped from a spoon or ice cream scooper.   These would be Oatmeal, chocolate chip, or peanut butter.

Refrigerated cookie dough is rolled into logs or other shapes, wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled or frozen until ready to be sliced and baked.

Molded cookies are made from stiff dough that can be molded or shaped such as balls which can be left ball shaped or flattened on a sheet pan for baking.

Bar cookies are stiff dough formed into long, rectangular, flattened bars, baked and then cut into slices.  A good example is Biscotti  or mondel broit – a hardened sliced cookie bar.

Sheet cookies are made from a batter, thick or thin, easily spread evenly in a pan with sides.  Once baked and cooled, various shapes are cute.  Brownies are a good example!

Rolled cookie dough once mixed is chilled then rolled out and cut with various shaped cookie cutters.

Piped cookie dough is soft and easily pushed through a pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip to form various shapes.

Wafer cookies, also known as Tuiles, are a thin batter prepared from egg whites, sugar, flour, butter and cream spread over stencils placed on a silicon-baking pad.  They bake without changing shapes, and are easily molded while warm to form cups, tubes, mini bowls and even flowers.

Everyone’s Favorite Cookie

We can guess that everyone’s favorite is Chocolate Chip as there are 7 billion chocolate chip cookies eaten in the United States every year, with about 50% of those being homemade cookies.  That is amazing as the chocolate chip cookie was invented by accident. That’s right!  Being out of baker’s chocolate, a home cook chopped up a block of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate to use instead.  Expectation was the chocolate would melt and disperse through the cookie dough as regular baking chocolate would. Instead, the chocolate pieces retained their individual form, softening to a moist, gooey melt, and the world had its first known chocolate chip cookie!

There are endless lists of favorite holiday cookies such as 10 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes, All-Time Favorite Christmas Cookies, Best Christmas Cookies – Favorite Classic Recipe, etc.   We found this one – The Most Iconic Holiday Cookie In Your State – to be an interesting one!  When cookie season rolls around, Virginians bake up Lemon Cookie Cake and serve it by the slice.   We are sharing the recipe in case you would like to try something new this holiday season!

Lemon Cookie Cake 

Ingredients

¾ cup salted butter@ room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp. lemon juice*
1 tsp lemon zest
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½-¾ cup white chocolate chips

Icing

¾cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. lemon juice*

* You will need a total of 3-4 lemons

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 or 10 inch cake pan by placing parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and spraying the sides with a nonstick spray.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Mix in egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add flour and baking soda.
  5. Stir in white chocolate chips.
  6. Spread the dough evenly into the cake pan. Bake for 21-23 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. The center may still look a little undercooked but it will firm up and continue cooking as it cools.
  7. Remove from oven and allow cooling until almost completely cool in the cake pan, then transfer to cooling rack.

ICING:
1. Beat the butter until smooth.
2. Slowly add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
3. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until smooth.
4. Ice cooled cookie cake.
5. Slice and enjoy.

If you decide to make this recipe, please let us know.  Snap a picture and share it on our Facebook page.

While visiting with us this holiday season, you are sure to be able to sample some of our holiday baking treats!   Of course, you are welcome to bring some of your homemade treats and we will gladly exchange!

Recipe courtesy of Life Love and Sugar

 

Sylvia’s Pizzelle Recipe

3½cups all-purpose flour                                                            
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 eggs
1½ C. sugar
1¼ C. Vegetable oil or melted Crisco
1 Tablespoon Anise Seeds
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Before you start assemble all ingredients.
Blend the flour, baking powder and Anise Seeds in a bowl & set aside

Beat eggs and sugar until your arm gets tired.
add the oil or melted shortening, a little at a time.

Gradually add the combined dry ingredients

This recipe is the way my mother wrote it, but today, I use a food processor or stand mixer.
This is a simple traditional pizzelle, that makes an awesome cannoli too!

This post is dedicated to the memory of my mother, who would have been 99 years old last month.

 

 

Looking for a Stress-Free Holiday?

Stress Relief for the Holiday Season

Reset with a Countryside Escape

Take some time for yourself during these hectic fall months and book a stay at Fox Hill. Our suggestions for a Hiking in the woods at Natural Bridgestress free visit include: tour the quaint towns of Lexington or Staunton; hike along the picturesque trails just a few miles from the inn; relax with an in-room massage; or lounge outdoors and enjoy the serenity of the evening stars and the warmth of our fire pit.

A two-night trip can result in a recharging of the batteries.  Such a break allows you to return refreshed with more productivity and a readiness to resume your regular life.  The experiences you get during your quick getaway will make you a more interesting person in the eyes of the folks you work and socialize with.  They’ll want to know how your trip was and are very interested to hear your recommendations of the activities you enjoyed.

Unwind with a Luxury Massage

Whether you indulge in pampering for two with a couple’s massage or 60 minutes of solo relaxation, you won’t masseuse giving an in room solo massage have to go far to find your serenity. Conveniently located in the privacy of your suite, our massage therapists offer the perfect services to recharge for a busy holiday season.

There are surprising benefits of massage therapy besides helping you to relax.  For starters, it counteracts all the sitting you do at your desk job – think of all the tension in your shoulders, neck, and low back.  It eases sore muscle pain by increasing and improving circulation.  Who wouldn’t want their stress level reduced and to feel much more relaxed and happy after a massage.  Not only can a massage encourage a restful sleep-it also helps those who cannot otherwise comfortably rest.    Lastly, a massage boosts immunity and relieves headaches.

If you prefer a day-spa experience, we suggest scheduling an appointment at either Breezy Hill Day Spa in Staunton or Encore Salon 215 Spa in Lexington.  Both offer massages, manicures, pedicures, body wraps, waxing, and other specialty services.

Spark Some Creativity with Glass BlowingGlass blower cutting the tip off of a vase

Experience live and up-close glass blowing demonstrations at Sunspots Studios in Staunton, VA.
Feel the heat of the furnaces as you sit close enough to ask questions and chat with the artists.  To make your art happen, glassblowers will assist you in making your very own glass blown piece of art.

Carve out time for yourself. Our spacious suites and inn amenities make it easy to unwind. Book today to start planning your stress-free getaway!

RESET, UNWIND & SPARK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Season Celebrations

Celebrating Apple Season

 

Here at Fox Hill B&B, we look forward to apple
season and of course, we end up picking more apples than we could ever eat.   One of the ways we can use apples in the kitchen is by incorporating them in either sweet or savory dishes.  Since we focus on breakfast here, we will be trying out a few new apples recipes.



Apple Cake

One will be Fresh Apple Cake and we are sharing the recipe! The
recipes ingredients include 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 2
eggs, 2.5 cups of flour, and 1 teaspoon each of baking soda, baking
powder, salt and ground cinnamon.  The star of the show – 3
cups of finely chopped apples.  Simply cream butter and sugar
and beat in the eggs.  Add all dry ingredients, beating well
after each addition.  The batter will be thick so stir in
apples with a spoon or spatula.  Press batter into greased
9-by-13-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

HARD CIDER

Some folks prefer a cool glass of apple juice (the hard stuff) over baking!  If that is you, we recommend visiting a Halcyon Days Cider Company for some fine apple sipping.
Halcyon Days Cider Company is a hands-on, family owned and operated small farm and cindery only  twenty-one miles from Fox Hill.  The family has planted more than 50 varieties in their labyrinth, which consists of about 2,000 dwarf apple trees. Through an 11-circuit path, you are able to wind your way through the modern American, heirloom American, classic European, and Central Asian ancestral apple trees to a pavilion with epic 360-degree views of the Alleghany and Blue Ridge Mountain ranges.  The apples are combined in several ways to create sweet and sharp flavors – one of the blends has a taste similar to that of sipping a glass of bourbon.  Others flavors are sweet and easy to drink.


Hot Cider & Cinnamon


Halcyon Hard Cider

Halcyon Days Cider Company

will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through
Monday.  After Labor Day weekend, they will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. https://halcyondayscider.com/

 

Right along Route 11, slightly across from the cidery is another family-run farm – Virginia Gold Orchard!  They are dedicated to growing the very best tasting Asian pears.  Also known as, “Apple Pears”, the Asian pear looks like a cross between an apple and a pear, but the resemblance is only skin-deep.  They harvest up to 16 different varieties of Asian pears, each one ripening at a different time.  Well worth a visit for these juicy delights! From August through October they are open 10 am to 6pm, Wednesday-Sunday.  From November through February, they are open 10am-5pm Wednesday – Sunday. http://www.virginiagoldorchard.com/

To round out your tasting adventure you can pick up some country-cured ham, Amish jams and pickles, or a hunk of hoop cheese at Layne’s Country Store.  For a nostalgic treat, stop by The Pink Cadillac Diner
and enjoy one of their daily lunch or dinner specials. They also
have an ice cream parlor for a variety of sundaes, floats, malts and
shakes. Did you know that November 9-18, 2018 is Virginia Cider
Week?  Tasting, tours, and festivals await you.  R&R is a
spacious comfortable suite, a delicious made-from scratch breakfast,
and beautiful fall colors await you at Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast.
Plan a stay and enjoy apples, cider, and adventure!


Asian Pears

 

County Fair, fun for Everyone

A County Fair is a time-honored event that celebrates food, competition, animals and skills!

The county fair’s importance dates back to a history when people loved to get together and celebrate. They celebrated successful learning and showed their best harvest and crafts. They taste tested entries to determine the best pie. The county fair was a celebration everyone looked forward to. It is one of the oldest forms of community celebrations.

Who doesn’t enjoy going to a county fair?  There is something for everyone from show barns, exhibit halls, and amusement rides.  Of course, there is always plenty of food to sample.  Are you a usual dinner and movie couple?  Try something different. Visit a county fair.

Our county fair, Rockbridge Regional Fair and Expo, will take place on September 6-8, 2018 at the Virginia Horse Center, 487 Maury River Road, Lexington, VA 24450.

There are plenty of Fair Schedule activities such as:

Coon Hunting Dog Show & Trials           quilt image at the county fair                             coon hunting dog at the County Fair

Farm Girl Competition

American Devon Milking Open Show

Oxen Workshop

Rare Breeds Horse Show

Quilt Show

Local Artists Show

The musical entertainment at the County Fair will include PRIME in concert on the fairway Friday night (Sept 7) and Saturday night (Sept 8) will be Tim Elliott, Carolina’s Male Country Artist of Year!

The Fairway will have fun activities for the whole family including inflatables, mechanical bull, rock wall, obstacle courses, carnival games and various other attractions.

Entry into the fair will be free and there will be no fee to park.

FAIR Hours are:

9/6 – THURSDAY | 4:00PM-10:00PM

9/7 – FRIDAY | 2:00PM-10:00PM

9/8 – SATURDAY | 2:00PM-10:00PM

Baking Competition Recipe

A county fair would not be complete without a baking competition.  Bakers of all ages and types come together to share their baking talents and hopefully win a blue ribbon.

Here is a recipe for Blue Ribbon Jumbo Blueberry Muffins that you can make at home!

You will need – 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, ½-cup oil, 3 cups flour, 1-cup sugar, 5 tsp. baking powder, 1-cup fresh, and washed/drained blueberries.

Follow these steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. With wire whisk, combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry. Stir until combined.
  4. Fold in blueberries
  5. Divide batter evenly into the greased jumbo muffin tin. Finish them off by sprinkling with lots of sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

Each county fair has its own unique specialty that sets it apart.

No two county fairs are the same even across county lines.  Come and enjoy the delights of Rockbridge County Fair & Expo!   After all the fun, rest up Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast Suites and share with us your favorite part of the Fair!  In case you are wondering, it is a quick 18-minute car ride from the Virginia Horse Center to us.

For additional information visit the Rockbridge County Fair & Expo

See you at the Fair!

Meet some of our local farmers 

 

 

Fall Foliage & Leaf Peeping

No time like the present to make your reservation to see the mountains afire with the fall foliage

Fall Foliage & Leaf Peeping Science, first, let us have a quick lesson on how and why leaves change color.

Once the leaves fully develop on the trees, they start making and storing the carbohydrates that are required for the new tree growth in the following year. Therefore, weather conditions in 2017 were the major factor to predict when Fall Foliage Leaf-peepingthe leaves will peak in their color in 2018.  As the season progresses, in late summer or early fall, the trees enter a growth process that produces the colorful fall leaves, according to U.S. NATIONAL ARBORETUM.

Chlorophyll gives the leaves their green color. Once the nights get longer in the early fall, the cells reach a point near the juncture of the leaf and stem divide rapidly but do not expand. This action of the cells form a layer called the abscission layer.

The abscission layer blocks the transportation of materials from the leaf to the branch and from the roots to the Fall Foliage Leaf-peepingleaves. Once the chlorophyll is blocked from the leaves, it disappears completely from the leaves and the color changes begin. Lacking chlorophyll allows the yellow and orange pigments to be visible. The red and purple pigments are manufactured from the sugars that are trapped in the leaf. These pigments in leaves are responsible for the vivid color changes in the fall.

Temperature, sunlight and soil moisture all play a role in how the leaves will look in the fall.

Leaf  Changing Facts

  • Abundant sunlight and low temperatures after the abscission layer forms because the chlorophyll is destroyed more rapidly.
  • Cool air (especially at night) with a lot of daytime sunshine promotes the formation of more red and purple pigments.
  • Freezing conditions destroy the leaf’s ability to manufacture the red and purple pigments. Early frost will end the colorful foliage.
  • Drought during the growing season can cause the abscission layer to form early and cause the leaves to drop before they change color.
  • The best weather for brilliant fall foliage is a growing season with ample moisture followed by a dry, cool and sunny autumn with warm days and cool but frostless nights.
  • Heavy wind or rain can cause the leaves to fall before they fully develop color.

From Lexington to Staunton

Located between Lexington and Staunton Virginia Fox Hill B&B is a perfect home base for a variety of terrific fun Fall Foliage Leaf-peepingactivities for visitors. As fall comes, one attraction tends to take the cake – Fall Foliage & Leaf Peeping  in Shenandoah Valley. Miss the peak by even one or two weeks, and you will be disappointed. Now is the time to make your reservation, before there are no rooms at the inn.

September 15th typically begins the start of cooler evenings, which triggers the trees to once again to put on their show of brightly colored leaves. Many weather factors determine how intense the colors will be and how long the vivid leaves will be hanging around before they fall.

While enjoying your stay at Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast, whether a weekend or a week, there are numerous places to explore. Bring your camera to capture some of the most memorable fall foliage & leaf peeping moments of your visit.

Hiking Biking or Driving

A hike along any of the trails in the area will provide breathtaking views and lasting memories, and you will be able to see many vistas not accessible by car. We are close to Crabtree Falls and Natural Bridge state park.  Download our free activity guide for a list of hiking and biking trails.

There are a few driving routes that will take you up close and personal with the many fantastic colors, too.

Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway from Massies Mill, at mile marker 27.2 off VA Route. 56 just about 20 minutes from Fall Foliage Leaf-peepingFox Hill. We suggest that you travel south to the next exit outside of Lexington to mile-marker 45.6. Along the route, you will encounter many “scenic overlooks”. The return driving route is Route 11 North passing through Lexington.  Our free activity guide identifies many places for a bite to eat.

A few other routes travel through Bath County or south toward Botetourt County. No matter where you travel in the Valley, the Fall season provides breathtaking, colorful displays put on by the trees.

If you simply want to slow down, enjoy a glass of wine, and take in the colors of mountains, you can do that right on our enclosed front porch.  There is no need to worry about drinking and driving, as you will be comfortably at your destination! To top it off, if you did not bring along or purchase a bottle of wine from a local vineyard, we have Virginia wines from the Peaks of Otter vineyards for your enjoyment.

Plan your visit now.  Come see, as one guest described the fall colors – the  mountains are on fire!

Fall Foliage Leaf-peeping


View while sitting on the porch


Natural Bridge State Park

Equine Crown Jewel, the Virginia Horse Center

Equine Crown Jewel Virginia Horse Center

The Equine Crown Jewel is the Virginia Horse Center. The Virginia Horse Center sits on 600 acres of beautiful countryside.
Equine Crown Jewel Virginia Horse Center

Just a short 20 minute drive from Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast. Both destinations offer breath taking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and beautiful grounds. In between heading to the horse center for an event, you can enjoy your quiet and restful stay. Like getting lost in our cornfield walking the paths that run throughout our 30 acres.

The center boasts a 4,000-seat coliseum, 8 barns to accommodate 1,200 horses, 18 show rings, 2 large indoor Equine Crown Jewel Virginia Horse Centerarenas, internationally rated cross-country jumping and combined carriage driving courses. The internationally renowned Center serves as a venue for more than 80 events a year and is right in our backyard.

Equine Crown Jewel Virginia Horse CenterOf course, there are horse shows, but they also run clinics, have rodeos, dog shows, BMX racing and the Rockbridge Regional Fair. The onsite restaurant “Winner’s Ring” is a favorite among the show participants. Most of the time the events are free to the public, but it is best to check the schedule so there are no surprises.

When planning your visit to the Shenandoah Valley, stay at Fox Hill, visit the Virginia Horse Center and have fun!

The quiet tranquil setting of Fox Hill will give you the rest and relaxation you want. A quick get-away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, the slower pace here will help you enjoy your time. If you want other things to do, download a copy of our Activity Guide. The Activity Guide is chocked full of things to see and do while visiting the area.

Lexington averages a three-hour drive from the Washington beltway area. Time to get-away and relax, you know you’ve earned it, you know what you have to do; book today!