Spinning Yarns, Planting Trees

Sales Of Bobby Whitescarver’s Swoope Almanac Get More On The Ground

When Bobby Whitescarver published a collection of his award-winning stories about life on the land, he used the occasion to do something for the land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. So the conservationist and farmer gave memberships to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to people who bought the hardback version of the book’s first run. And he partnered with Conservation Services, Inc. to plant a tree in the name of the book buyers. As a result, with help from students from James Madison and Eastern Mennonite universities, over 100 trees were planted on a farm near Harrisonburg, Va., in early December.

In Swoope Almanac: Stories of love, land, and water in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bobby describes the hardships and joys of farming and nurturing the land while raising cattle, producing clean water, and creating wildlife habitat.

“Taste the wine, feel the soil, smell the rain, hear the warblers, see the wonders…join me on these pages to experience the surge of life’s energy in spring, the healing power of trees, and life on the farm with a ninth-generation, pearl earring-wearing, calf-roping farmer, my wife, the Princess of Swoope. Restoring streams, wildlife habitat, and soil are core themes that weave through this journal,” he writes.

The Downstream Project provided design, editing, and marketing support for Swoope Almanac.

No stranger to soil and water conservation, Bobby spent 31 years with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. He is now a private watershed restoration consultant. He teaches natural resources management at James Madison University and has received many awards for writing. In 2016 and 2018, The Virginia Outdoor Writers Association awarded him first place for his widely-read conservation blog, Getting More On The Ground, a site designed and supported by The Downstream Project.

The book was released on Earth Day 2019, and is the result of a lifetime of experiences. It is published by the Shenandoah firm of Lot’s Wife Publishing with generous grants from the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment and from George Ohrstrom II. 

“We are thrilled that we were able to help bring Bobby’s wit and humor to print,” said Bill Howard, executive director of The Downstream Project.

You can get your own copy of the Swoope Almanac at www.SwoopeAlmanac.org. A small quantity of signed and numbered hardback edition are still available while supplies last.

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