Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 18- Rustin,Virginia

Yesterday we moved our home here to Rustin, which is outside of D.C. This morning we headed out for Manassas Battlefield. We had good company for this trip-- our son Dan and his friend Amanda, as well as our niece Laura, her husband Mike and their children Joshua and Bethany. We also had a nice sunny Spring day in our favor. I had not realized that there were two battles at Manassas, which took place about a year apart, and meant disaster both times for the Union army. We went on two different walking tours with rangers who were well versed in the details of the battles. For the second battle area, called Deep Cut, many trees have recently been removed so the topography can appear as it had been in 1862. Having those trees out of the way certainly helped to understand the various battle strategies and why that all meant success for the Confederates. It was also very sobering to think of the many lives lost in those two battles. Those battle tours took up most of the day, after which Mike and Laura left us to return home with their children. We then went on to Accotkeeek Maryland, to have supper with Dan and Amanda's friend Mike who lives there. Mike manages an organic farm, which we were fortunate to tour even though it was getting on toward dusk. As I understand it, many small farmers, who could not compete any more with the bigger farms, have organized into farm cooperatives. And a lot of these cooperatives, as this one, focus on ecosystem or organic farming. It definately is a healthier way to eat, and I now can appreciate more where this food comes from.

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