Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. It has been described as, “Using a multi-billion dollar satellite system to find Tupperware® boxes in the woods.” Once a cache is found, the seeker goes to geocaching.com to log the visit, upload a photo and read what others said about the cache. This is also where participants find lists of caches and coordinates needed for the GPS unit. Geocaching is actually a lot of fun for the entire family.
You can find out more about geocaching at geocaching.com or by checking out this brochure on how to get started geocaching. You have to register to use the site, but it’s free and doesn’t take very long.
We are developing a series of caches to highlight the diversity, history and importance of Virginia’s largest industry, Agriculture. The agriculture industry contributes $55 billion annually to the state’s economy and provides more than 357,000 jobs. Virginia has more than 47,000 farms covering 8.1 million acres, the equivalent of 32% of Virginia’s total land area. Virginia’s diverse agriculture industry includes commodities such as broiler chickens, beef, milk, apples, Christmas trees, clams, corn, cut flowers, goats, hay, lamb and wool, mushrooms, peaches, peanuts, potatoes, soybeans, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, trout, turkeys, watermelons, wine grapes and many other items.
You will find below a list of the AgCaches that we have placed along with a link to the information on the coordinates. We hope you enjoying finding these AgCaches and learning a little more about the diversity, history and importance of Virginia Agriculture…
College Run Farms is a diversified, family farm operation owned by Steve and Jordan Berryman. The farm offers “you-pick” strawberries, blueberries and sweet corn, as well as, a wide range of vegetables available from the farm store during the summer. During the fall, College Run Farms offers the opportunity to search for that perfect pumpkin and “get lost” in a corn maze.
The cache location is friendly for all members of the family and is located in front of the farm store, with plenty of parking available nearby. It is requested that you limit your caching visits to daylight hours. Given that this is a working farm operation, the farm owners have requested that you do not venture out into the fields or behind the farm store without prior permission. Steve, Jordan and all of their employees are aware of the cache, so feel free to say hello while you are there and ask any questions that you may have about their operation.
The agricultural system within the southeast portion of Virginia encompasses mainly row crop operations, which consists of wheat, corn, soybeans, peanuts and cotton. On your way to this cache location, may have passed any or all of these crops. During the winter and spring, wheat is being grown with some of it being harvested for seed and eventually made into the loaf of bread that you buy in the grocery store. In fact, one acre of wheat can produce 2,500 loaves of bread. The remainder of the wheat is grown for “cover crop” in order to improve the soil conditions for future crops and prevent erosion. During the summer time you will see corn, soybeans, cotton and peanuts growing in the fields.
The fall brings long hours in the field for farmers as the harvest season begins, with the corn crop being the first to be harvested. Next comes the cotton and peanut harvest. Nothing beats the smell of freshly dug peanuts! And nothing beats the taste of the quality Virginia peanuts grown in southeast Virginia. (Be sure to stop in Wakefield or Courtland to pick-up some Virginia peanuts to enjoy as you cache.) The peanuts are dug from the ground with the plants being inverted and allowed to air dry in the field for several days prior to being harvested. Once harvested, they are placed into trailers for further drying. As the peanut harvest winds down, the cotton harvest continues and the soybean harvest begins. Did you happen to notice any large, white “bales” about the size of a school bus? These are actually cotton modules, which contain approximately 14 bales of cotton, enough cotton to produce 17,000 men’s t-shirts or 2,800 pairs of jeans.
Southampton Agriculture & Forestry Museum is dedicated to preserving antique farm equipment, hand tools and rural wares. Located on 10 acres of land, visitors enjoy an extensive collection of indoor and outdoor displays and exhibits related to farm life and the lumber industry. Included within the grounds of the museum are an old farm house, a country store, and a sawmill.
On the third Saturday in September, be sure to checkout the annual Heritage Day Festival, which draws hundreds of visitors from various parts of the state. Visitors help celebrate Southampton County’s rich cultural heritage on the grounds of the Southampton Agriculture & Forestry Museum with attractions include local arts & crafts, entertainment, food and fun for the entire family! In addition, you can watch the operation of the sawmill, grist mill or the printing press and learn how things were done in the past.
With nearly 150,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation is Virginia’s largest farmers’ group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization governed by and representing farm and ranch families united for the purpose of protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply.
The organization works to support its producer members by providing membership benefits, such as leadership development programs (including a Women’s Commitee and Young Farmers Committee), commodity associations, rural health programs, insurance products, agricultural supplies and marketing, and other services.
Featuring Local Produce and Virginia Grown Products! Hethwood Market prides itself in providing you a locally owned market with a family atmosphere while providing quality customer service, hospitality, and convenience.
The cache location is friendly for all members of the family. The container is large enough for trading small items.
Cullipher Farm Market is a family farm operated by the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of the Cullipher family, who have been growing fresh fruits and vegetables in Pungo area of Virginia Beach for decades. Growing over 72 varieties of fruits and vegetables, they specialize in strawberries, sweet corn and tomatoes.
Given that this is a working farm operation, the farm owners have requested that you do not venture out into the fields or behind the farm store without prior permission. The Cullipher family and all of their employees are aware of the cache, so feel free to say hello while you are there and ask any questions that you may have about their operation.
The cache location is friendly for all members of the family and is located in front of the farm store, with plenty of parking available nearby. The cache contains a logbook and is big enough for small collectibles. Bring your own pen.
Are you interested in placing an “AgCache” at your farm or agriculture related location? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the placement of an “AgCache” at your location.