2009 Chippokes State Park, Virginia- Part 2

(click on the pictures for a larger view)

We arrived on 9/8 for out second tour of duty here this year.  I actually have been doing work for the park all summer.  I created the web page for the Friends of Chippokes.  Bruce Powell did the Friends page and I did the Park pages. 

08.jpg (67273 bytes)09.jpg (66226 bytes)Our first project was cutting brush.  The playground had become hidden by bushes and vines.  Ken and Phyllis Weber arrived a couple of days after us and we all took on the project.  We used a power brush cutting saw and then hauled away the cuttings with a dump truck.  The pictures show only a portion of the area.  It took about 8 truckloads all together.  The thing we didn't think about was that some of the stuff was poison ivy.  We all got a nasty rash and scratched for days!!!

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We also joined the Friends of Chippokes volunteer cleanup day in the mansion gardens.  We worked in an area that had become overgrown over many years. 06.jpg (58595 bytes)  
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11.jpg (31350 bytes) We even got to take a break for a free lunch !!!!  

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We got so good at clearing brush that they allowed us to clear the paths to the deer stands for the Heritage Hunt.  We only did 6 of the 35 before the poison ivy and mosquitoes changed our minds as to what a FUN project this was. 

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We visited the Nottoway Indian Tribe Pow Wow and watched the colorful costumes and dancing.  More pictures HERE

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  15.jpg (48226 bytes)  We got to see the harvesting of the crops in the park.  A local farmer leases the fields continuing the 400 year tradition of farming on the plantation.  01.jpg (46973 bytes)The picture at the left is plowing up the peanuts. 

We even helped a bit by picking and eating soybeans.  Edamame is a preparation of baby soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China, Hawaii and Korea. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole.  They were good!!!

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The last big project was building a storage shed for the camp host site.  It will be used to store the golf cart, wood splitter, lawn mower and all the materials used by the volunteers.  The Friends of Chippokes paid for the materials and the work was all done by volunteers and park personnel.  We finished a couple of days before we returned to Florida for the winter.  More pictures of the shed construction can be seen here.


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