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Green since 1968

 

Announcement

Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences -Alumni Organization have selected our own Louis Brooking, Jr. as the Outstanding Alumnus for the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for 2012-2013. Louis was honored in Blacksburg Friday March 22nd, 2013 at the Alumni Annual Ceremony.

The Virginia Agribusiness Council's 2012 Special Recognition Award was given to Brookmeade Sod Farm, Inc. a press release can be found on the Virginia Agribusiness Council website under Council Awards. click here

August 2011 - Environmental Stewardship Legislation signed at Brookmeade Sod Farm. Brookmeade Sod Farm Inc.

 

Spring Green Lawn Clinic 2010

    Brookmeade Sod Farm held its 3rd Annual Spring Green Lawn Clinic. Sunny skies and blustery winds greeted homeowners as they approached Guest Speakers from The Virginia Green Council, Hanover Extension Office, VA Tech and Virginia Home Grown as well as the Experts at Brookmeade. Everyone was available to field questions about Zoysia and Fescue sod, Seed, General Lawn Care, Weed Identification, Lawn Mower Maintenance and more. Many brought in their worn out blades for a free sharpening. Several home owners brought the results of their soil test for interpretation and samples of weeds they are fighting in their yard.

    Dr. Mike Goatley Turf Specialist from VA Tech had a crowd under his tent with samples of weeds in cups for identification and to discuss treatment options. Many were interested in learning more about Zoysia – which owner Louis Brooking was enthusiastic to discuss at length. Although the Zoysia was still in dormancy - samples of the sod and plugs were cut for visualization.

    Demonstrations included Sod Installation, "How to Measure" for sod installation graph, and a display illustrating Installed Sod vs. Seed and Straw run off comparison. Even Dr. Goatley was impressed with the obvious advantages to sod and its positive effect on the environment.

    Homeowners each received a free square yard of Fescue and were able to buy more on demand if they wanted more. A couple of Brookmeade’s veteran employees were readily available to harvest Fescue in the front field - next to all the activities. Door Prizes were awarded every ½ hour for those who registered. 

 

Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers Summer Expo 2009 made a stop at Brookmeade Sod Farm Saturday, August 1st  to tour the Hanover farm and learn the ins and outs of sod farming first hand.  Brookmeade’s owners Louis and Ginger Brooking welcomed the convoy of approximately 100 Young Farmers and their families as they gathered around the hay wagon that the Brookings stood on with their son Louie. Louis a natural story teller and educator answered the questions that have repeatedly been asked over the 41 years of sod farming.  Standing above the enthusiastic crowd of 18-35 year old farmers and their young families Louis explained about soil depreciation, one of the most frequently asked about subjects.  In the 41 years of farming this land located on the South Anna River, Brooking has never replaced the soil. Holding up a strip of freshly harvested sod he explained how little dirt is actually taken up when the sod is harvested. The Brookings went on to tell the group about how they got into sod farming; in addition to the highs and lows of running a business.  As well as educating the farmers about the environmentally healthy benefits of sod.  Many did not know that sod provides oxygen, has cooling effects (hot sandy beach vs. grassy knoll) and aids in erosion control benefitting the Chesapeake Bay. An angled display of Sod vs. Seed was close by to visualize how much water is absorbed into the grass with much cleaner water run off from the sod side.  Louis quoted a study on hospital patients that got healthier quicker when able to look out and see grass where others did not have that opportunity.

            Directly behind where Louis and Ginger stood, large farm equipment was on display in order of use, illustrating the steps for planting a field of sod. The freshly graded field with the Allis Chalmers, a large orange enclosed cab tractor, stood at attention with discs attached. To the right a John Deere with a seeder in tow was set up for show and tell, along with a 17+ foot roll of green netting lying next to it. It was immediately followed by a couple blue Ford tractors for mowing and spraying for treating the sod. The office was open for the needed break from the heat with informational brochures, pictures of farming, irrigation, and installed lawns. Ginger discussed scheduling and day to day operations of the running the farm.         

            The tour continued out to another field, across the parking lot, past the fleet of tractor trailers, where the “Dog” a white 18 wheeler parked with empty pallets stood waiting for its load.  A Princeton Fork Lift was ready to show off its talents while a crew of veteran employees were ready to demonstrate the actual harvesting of the sod. Brooking stood in the middle of the group and explained the process of lining up the harvester, setting the depth of the blade, pointing out the conveyor belt that brings the sod up the belt, rolling it up for a farmhand to catch and stack onto a pallet to the left of him.   Louis stood up on the back of the harvester and fielded questions from the group who were all quite impressed with the operation and Louis’ expertise.

 

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