Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


More upcoming events — June and July

Galax Leaf and String is June 11-12 in Galax, Va. This is a great event with a weekend full of music, arts and crafts.

Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition is June 19 at Grayson Highlands State Park. Henderson is a famous guitar player and luthier. This competition draws thousands each year and is always held on the 3rd Saturday of June, the day before Father’s Day.

Another Hillsville Downtown Celebration concert series will be 5:30 p.m. June 26. I wrote about the concert series here.

Also on June 25 and 26 is Grayson County Fiddlers Convention. It’s located in beautiful Elk Creek, Va. I always enjoyed covering this event for The Gazette. I once saw and took a photo of Roni Stoneman. No joke! I also met Justin Robinson of Carolina Chocolate Drops there (I don’t think it was another fiddlers convention, although it could have been. There are several in the area). Good band. Go check them out here.

Smoke on the Mountain Barbecue Festival is July 16-17. This is another not-to-miss event. It’s fun to sample the barbecue and learn who the reigning team will be each year.

I knew most of these events were coming up but couldn’t find a good, complete online calendar. I was able to find info on these events through Davis-Bourne Inn’s calendar. It appears this inn is becoming a good resource. (Another source, and, yes I’m biased because I worked there, is The Gazette and its visitor guide.)


CSA bounty

This year, we’re participating in our first ever CSA — community supported agriculture. And today is the first box of the year. So excited!


Here’s what we’re going to get today — Broccoli raab, kale, oregano, lovage and green onions.


We’re splitting a share with another couple so we’ll only get a box every other week. Which is fine. I heard each week is loaded with goodies, which would be too much for just two people (although I could freeze or can most of them).


Splitting the share also helps out the pocket book. I wasn’t looking forward to paying $480 in just a couple of months. The farmer was willing to work it out with us so we could spread the payments out. But we split the share, cutting the cost to $240 so we were able to pay that by the April 1 deadline, which helps the farmers too. (The cost includes a deposit).


The farm is Groundswell Farm in Galax, Va., and is owned by Sara Fennell and Greg Korbler and their two young boys.


A bonus, a friend said both Fennell and Korbler are trained chefs so they’ve promised to share cookbooks, recipes and ideas with the group. That’s good because I don’t know what some of the items planned for this year are. Here’s what we can expect throughout the year (dates and veggies could change):


Summer Session (July 9 – Aug. 27):
basil, beets, broccoli, cabbage, chard, cucumber, dill, eggplant, fennel, lettuce, melons, parsley, peppers, potatoes, snap beans, summer squash, tomatoes
Fall Session (Sept. 10 – Oct. 29):
arugula, beets, chard, kale, leek, lettuce, napa cabbage, parsley, radish, red cabbage, rutabaga, spinach, turnips, winter squash

I can’t wait to try these veggies out and to eat healthier this year!


Chestnut Creek School of the Arts opens

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, Galax, Va., is now open and registering students for classes.


Most classes last a week or take place once a week for four or so weeks.


The school, in downtown Galax, was created to preserve and promote the heritage of Southwest Virginia, located in the Appalachian Mountains.

Here’s pdfs to the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts’ flyer: front page and back page.

I’m interested in Todd Price’s drawing classes in February and March and guitar or banjo lessons in February, March or June.

There’s also classes in pastels, basket weaving, woodcarving, creative writing, jewelry making, pottery and Appalachian dance.

I hope in the future they’ll include photography and canning/home preserving among the offerings.


Hillsville Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show

In case you may have forgot (and, seriously, how could you?), Labor Day Weekend is synonymous with flea market in Hillsville (Va.).

Every Labor Day Weekend, the center of Hillsville turns into a tent city when hundreds of vendors set up camp and wares for an event that attracts throngs of people to this small Blue Ridge Mountain town.

Traffic slows down to a crawl along U.S. 58 as motorists dodge the pedestrians walking in the street because the sidewalks are full of people browsing the flea market finds.

The event kicked off this morning and will last through Monday.

Off of I-77 in Southwestern Virginia, take exit 14 (Galax/Hillsville). Turn right and you’ll fall in line with the rest of the traffic trying to make its way through within a quarter of a mile.

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of parking and the friendly townfolk will point you in the right direction.

It could easily take you 3 days to walk the whole market, so feel free to book a room at the various hotels at the I-77 interchange, in Hillsville or Galax, just 12 miles west of Hillsville.