May 2022 Hickory Farms Newsletter
- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)
By Jim Bever
FIRST of all, I would like to thank the Hickory Farms Community Association Board for electing me to serve as our interim president until this coming October’s Annual Meeting. My wife Barbara and I have lived in Hickory Farms since 1998 and have been more actively engaged here since we both became retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in mid-2017. We are pleased that our two grown sons live nearby with their families, including our two grandchildren!
SECOND, I would like to express our Board’s deep appreciation to outgoing president Sean Coleman, who moved into Hickory Farms in the mid-1990s. Sean soon became HFCA vice-president and also the president of the Braddock District Council, which represents all homeowners associations in our Braddock District of Fairfax County. As HFCA president, Sean helped us reorganize our Board for even more efficiency and led our progress forward on addressing long-term needs of Hickory Farms. We wish Sean and his wife Claire an exciting new chapter in their lives as they move this July into their new home which they designed in North Carolina!
HICKORY FARMS WINS “FRIENDS OF TREES AWARD!”: On April 21, the Fairfax County Tree Commission broadcast its award live on-line to Hickory Farms Community Association as one of only four County-wide winners for this annual recognition! The Chief of Staff for Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw commended our community, and HFCA president Sean Coleman gave remarks on our behalf. Many thanks to the Common Areas Committee Members and especially Melissa and Jarrett Stark and Bob Cosgriff for the hard work that made this prestigious award a reality which reflects so well on our neighborhood!
NEIGHBORHOOD BRANDING: The Board received helpful feedback from ten homeowners on the various Branding Design Options that were posted for comments in the March Newsletter. Based upon those and Board discussion, the Board voted in favor of the “colored leaf tree” design, which you will now see on the header of our monthly Newsletters, including this month’s, as well as soon on our website homepage, our stationery, and signage in the future. This Branding effort was in fulfillment of one of the goals in our Strategic Plan, approved by the Board in 2021, which is posted on our website hickoryfarms.org.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Yes! After a two-year suspension, we are re-starting this community public safety practice, beginning May 20th. We are grateful to the forty Hickory Farms neighbors who participate to make sure we can have one “Watch Couple” slowly drive around the neighborhood on Friday and Saturday evenings, with magnetic signs on their car, to help make us a safer place to live. We would love to have more volunteers! It’s only up to a couple hours of your time every three months and you can do this with your spouse, or other adult relative, friend or neighbor! Please email me if you’d like to join our Neighborhood Watch team! Our new Coordinator is Christina Crockett.
PROGRESS ON LOWER COMMONS PATH & DRAINAGE: As promised in our April Newsletter, some of our Ad Hoc Working Group (Bob Cosgriff, Ben Noviello, Ellie Codding, Keith Ferguson, Larry Rogers, Jarrett Stark and I) met April 21 with two officials of the Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District to assess the causes and possible solutions for the drainage issues at the bottom of the Lower Commons hill. The officials promptly gave us their written findings and landscape designer/constructor references, as well as instructions for grant application(s) to possibly defray costs. Stay tuned as we address improving the asphalt path and drainage!
COMMUNITY BIRD WATCHING FOR ADULTS & TEENS: Saturday, May 7, 9-11am. (Rain date May 8.) Meet at the Little Library box at the bottom of Farm House Lane & Cotton Farm. Led by Bob Cosgriff!
ACC PROCESS REVIEW: Per the April Newsletter announcement of this review, we plan to start up our work on this effort together with the ACC, Sat. May 21st 3pm-4pm via Zoom. If you would like to join this review or talk with the review team, please email me.
NEIGHBORHOOD YARD SALE: Coming up Saturday morning, May 21st, with Rain Date Sunday May 22nd --once again, thanks to Pete Scala for organizing this for all of us! RSVP to Pete at email@example.com.
HICKORY FARMS SPRING FLING!" May 29th: Dessert Truck provided by HFCA! 4:30pm Upper Commons
Enjoy this beautiful month and wishing everyone a safe and Happy Memorial Day!
(You are welcome to please reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Bird Walks with Bob & Judy
Birds of Hickory Farms
By Bob Cosgriff
This April did not turn out to be as notable as last April in terms of migratory birds seen. Only Gray Catbird, House Wren, Chimney Swift, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird made their initial appearances, more or less on schedule, along with a small flock of Cedar Waxwings (a year-round resident, but very irregular as to where and when it will show up) and one female Purple Finch, for a total of four new ‘year’ birds, compared to nine last year, including three warbler species. As the month drew to a close, every day brought the hope that the doors of the spring migration would open and birds would arrive in numbers. But the cooler-than-usual weather and blocking winds from the north thwarted those hopes. Various birding websites reported plenty of migratory birds to the south of us and some even in our area, and other sources tell me that migrants have overflown us and shown up in places like upstate New York! Sometimes it happens like that. “April is the cruelest month” indeed! But hope springs eternal, as the saying goes, so I hope to have much to report in the June installment of this article.
Despite the lack of migratory songbirds, there is initial good news to report from the bluebird trail. We have three bluebird nests, with a total of nine eggs (one nest was complete, but no eggs laid as of submission of this article). There was also the beginning of a House Wren nest in one box. So we are off to a good start for the year.
Just a reminder for the Adult Bird Walk scheduled for Saturday, 7 May, starting at 9 a.m. at the Little Free Library box at the corner of Cotton Farm Road and Farm House Lane. We will check out the creek area, then work our way up through the lower commons to the upper commons, ending up around 11 a.m. The date was picked because it is right in the middle of the peak of the spring migration. The walk is open to 7th-graders and above. We will cover the basics of birdwatching, to include visual and aural identification, as well as where and when to look for various species of birds. Bring binoculars and a field guide, if you have them, and curiosity. As this goes to press, the long-range weather forecast is favorable, so we hope to see you on May 7th to see the many beautiful birds of Hickory Farms.
Bird of the Month
By Bob Cosgriff
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)
There are 51 species of warblers in North America, of which it is theoretically possible to see 36 warbler species here in Northern Virginia—with any luck, since some are very uncommon even in migration. Over the years, I have recorded 24 warbler species in Hickory Farms itself, which is a very impressive number for a suburban neighborhood.
For most birders, warblers are their favorite birds, no doubt because of their generally colorful plumage and delightful buzzy songs which are the hallmark of springtime in the Northeast. It is also because they are not often easy to see as most species search for insects high up in the tree canopy. Small and active, they can be very frustrating as they move about quickly, often being hidden by leaves and branches, taunting birders with their songs as they forage high in the treetops. Because of this, the term “birder’s neck” was coined to describe the physical feeling you get after spending lots of time with your head thrown back trying to catch a glimpse of these birds in your binoculars. Frustrating, indeed, but even a momentary sighting of any warbler is enough to be worth a stiff neck!
So why did I pick the Yellow-rumped Warbler as the representative warbler? First of all, the eastern subspecies (“Myrtle Warbler”) is the only warbler that you can see year-round here in Northern Virginia, since it is able to digest myrtle and bayberries. Secondly, it is very common and unlike most other warblers, tends to travel around in small flocks instead of being by itself. Third of all, it is relatively easy to identify. Perhaps its most prominent field mark is a bright yellow patch at the base of the tail, which gives it its name. Birders also refer to it as “Butter-butt.” Breeding male and female birds are “sexually dimorphic” meaning that their plumage differs. Both have a white throat, the yellow rump patch and yellow under their wings, but the males have a more solid, dark-black chest and facial markings than the female, which has dark streaks on the chest and flanks and smaller and lighter facial markings. The male also has a more prominent yellow head patch than the female. In either case, you are going to see black, white, and yellow as the prominent colors. For photographs, please see https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-rumped_Warbler/id
Some species, including the Yellow-rumped Warbler, will come to backyard suet feeders or to a birdbath. especially if you have a pump or a dripper to create movement of the water. We have had some of our best warbler sightings at our birdbath.
I mentioned the eastern subspecies, “Myrtle” (Setophaga coronata coronata). This is the “nominate” species, shown by the ‘coronata coronata’ species and subspecies name. The western subspecies is termed “Audubon’s Warbler ” (Setophaga coronata audubonii). It looks very much like the Myrtle Warbler, except that it has a yellow throat instead of a white throat, and the adult breeding male has a prominent white wing patch instead of two white wing bars. The “eastern” subspecies actually migrates through the western states and winters along the West Coast, whereas the “western” subspecies only very occasionally shows up in the central or eastern states. They occasionally interbreed in the Rocky Mountains area.
Calling All Walkers!
HFCA newsletter delivery volunteers wanted! If you can spare a few minutes each month delivering newsletters to your neighbors, please contact the Newsletter Editor at email@example.com. Thank you!
Community Yard Sale is Almost Here!
By Pete Scala
Finally! This is the last newsletter article on the Community Yard Sale.
NOW it’s time to sign up!! Well, from now until May 18th. Call and leave a voicemail [(703) 764-0730] or send an email [firstname.lastname@example.org] to Pete Scala to sign up.
Some details about the Yard Sale:
We plan to hold it on May 21st, with a rain date of May 22nd. We run it on a Saturday (or Sunday if we get rained out on Saturday) from 8 am to noon.
As in past years, HFCA does the advertising, posts signs, and distributes maps showing yard sale locations (but not names). Because we usually have many families participating, we always get a much better customer turnout than single family or 2 or 3 family yard sales.
The way it works: that Saturday morning you put out your items for sale in your front yard, and shoppers use the map we provide to go to participating houses.
In order to cover costs, a nominal charge is required for people participating. Never more than $10, could be less, depending on how many sign up. Pete will come by to collect after the yard sale is over.
Hints for preparing for a yard sale:
- Select worthwhile items to sell. You may have some true junk to sell; but your chances of selling it, or anything else, go up if you get people to look at your stuff by having good things out there.
- Prepare your merchandise ahead of time. Wash and press clothes, dust and polish furniture, paint and oil old bikes, make sure electronics work and have demo CDs, tapes, etc.
- Buy some change from the bank ahead of time. You'll need bills and coins; how much depends on how many things you have for sale, and what prices you pick (if your stuff is all 5.99, 11.59, etc., you better have a lot of pennies).
- Put prices on your sale items the night before; use large tags. People will try to bargain you down, so take that into account when you pick your asking price.
- Put out your sale items in an attractive display. Run extension cords to power electrical appliances, so you can demonstrate they work.
- Be ready early on Saturday (Sunday) morning. Aggressive yard sale shoppers start as early as 6:30 a.m., going from yard sale to yard sale. If you're out there, you can get their business.
- Have a chair to sit on and a partner to work with. The day will get long. You might have to take a break. You might want to make up some lemonade the day before, as well.
- Sign up with neighbors . . . the more adjacent houses that are selling things, the more likely buyers are to stop by. The yard sale maps will highlight which sales are close to other sales, and you will get more shoppers.
Hickory Farms' Spring Fling
Don't Miss Any News! Join Our Listserv
Want an easy way to stay in touch with the community, learn about going-on's, sell your goods, and more? Connect with Hickory Farms by joining the Hickory Farms ListServ! Hickory Farms utilizes Google Groups to manager our listserv. We chose this platform because it's simple, easy to use and free.
While any email address works with Google Groups, we highly recommend having a Gmail account because it is most neatly integrated with Google. If you don't have a Gmail account, you can sign up for one at http://www.gmail.com.
Once you have an account, visit https://groups.google.com/my-groups to sign into Google Groups. From there, you can go straight to http://groups.google.com/g/hickory-farms-hoa/ and click the "Ask to Join." In the Reason for Joining, please include your address, phone number, and own/rent status to include in the neighborhood directory.
Once your membership is approved, you'll receive emails when they are sent to the listserv. You can adjust your membership settings - like changing single emails to a weekly digest - in your Google Groups Settings.
Please don't forget to review the guidelines on the Hickory Farms website here: https://hickoryfarms.org/hickory-farms-listserv. There's also information on how to post to the listserv, manage your account and more.
Finally, if you need basic Google Groups help, visit: https://support.google.com/groups/answer/1067205?hl=en. You can always contact the admins of the listserv for help or questions by emailing email@example.com.
HFCA Board Meeting Notice
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, HFCA Board Meetings are now conducted using the Zoom audio/video conference application. That means that every Hickory Farms Community Association member can observe their Board in action without leaving home! Unless otherwise notified or due to an unforeseen change, HFCA Board Meetings will be held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. To join the meeting, contact any HFCA Board Member or send a request to join to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be provided with the Zoom meeting URL, meeting number and passcode.
Call for Historical Neighborhood Documents and Photos
Our webmaster is working on a historical archive of our neighborhood and is asking if anyone has images or documents from the last 40+ years. Specifically, we are looking for any photos taken in or around the neighborhood, or any of the original flyers advertising the different home models and the development. If you have anything you would like to share, please email: email@example.com.
Student Yellow Pages
If you offer services such as raking leaves, lawn mowing, babysitting, general home maintenance, dog walking, tutoring, etc., and wish to be included, please email the Newsletter Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Cody Dempster (17)||703-776-0101||Yard work, housework|
|Lauren Turner (17)||Angmturn@hotmail.com||Pet Sitting|
|Shannon Turner (16)||Angmturn@hotmail.com||Pet Sitting|
|Nathan Turner (11)||Angmturn@hotmail.com||Dog walking, yard work and watering, leaf removal|
|Kiera Stark (11)||email@example.com||Pet sitting, plant/tree watering, weed picking and leaf raking|
|Kent Codding (18)||703-317-7319||Yard work, leaf raking|
|Xavier Gilmer (15)||703-862-2192||Lawn mowing|
|George Codding (14)||703-223-4101||Yard work, leaf raking|
|Greysen Berg (14)||210-428-5535||Yard work, leaf raking|
May is Outdoor Spring Cleaning Month for Hickory Farms
By Pam Barrett
In June, the ACC plans to do a return check on homes that had mold and mildew on siding last fall. We will re-inspect the houses that got mailbox notices about siding in the fall.
As chair of ACC, I do get questions on maintenance issues, like mold on siding and decks My experience has been that contractors sometimes do more harm than good to my siding and deck. Below are some of the tips about easily cleaning siding and decks that I have shared in the last two May newsletters.
I have a north facing wall that eventually turns green every few years and I spray it with a environmentally safe, non-toxic product called Mold Armor E-Z House Wash. You connect this product to a regular garden water hose and follow the directions. It does get rid of mold, algae, etc. on siding and concrete.
I also use another product called Spray and Forget for wood decks, fences, and roofs. Mix this one according to directions in a home garden sprayer – one with a good reach. It is completely non-toxic and will not harm plants, pets or even your bare skin - although the directions do recommend that you use gloves. I have done it in sandals several times and just rinsed well with water after finishing the work. You will not see instant results, but over time the moss and mildew does dissolve and stays away for a few years. I have had great success with it. I attached the links for these products below.
There is a product that was available before the Pandemic at Costco, Wet and Forget. It came out after Spray and Forget. I believe it is not the same formula, but a ‘marketing knock-off’ and not quite as well reviewed, although I have talked to homeowners who are happy with the results.
Wet & Forget Moss, Mold, Mildew & Algae Stain Remover 0.75-gallon, 2-pack at Costco
POWER WASHING SERVICE
If you choose to power wash your home's exterior, deck, driveway or patio, Rob Banks at Northern Virginia Pressure Washing Service and his crew pressure washed up to fifty homes in our community back in 2020 for half of what some other firms charged. Rob has been offering our community his group deals since 2011 thanks to one of our former Board Members. Pricing is based on the amount of siding on your home: small = $200, medium = $210, and large = $225. When you contact Rob, please tell him that you are with Hickory Farms. Call 202-330-9922 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Note: HFCA neither endorses, guaranties, nor vouches for this firm or normal homeowners' service risk.)
Grass Height Reminder
As warmer weather approaches, HFCA residents are reminded that excessive grass growth is a deficiency/violation of the Hickory Farms Property Evaluation Checklist, which is posted in the Architectural Control Committee section of the Hickory Farms website.
Also, per Fairfax County Code, Chapter 119, Grass or Lawn Area, grass height cannot exceed twelve inches (12"). Violations may be reported to the County, which may take action, including cutting the grass for the owner and then billing the owner. Unpaid bills can become a County lien against the property.
Thank you for doing your part in maintaining our community, which has resulted in excellent, ever increasing resale values and keeping Hickory Farms an outstanding community to live in!
ACC Quarterly Report (Jan-Mar 2022)
By Pam Barrett
Property Improvement Approvals/Real Estate/Transaction/Violation Corrections
- 21 ACC actions taken through 03/31/22
- 97 Sent emails generated
- 9 Property improvement applications submitted and reviewed
Applications for 2022
- Solar panel -- 4316 Still Meadow Road
- New roof -- 4377 Farm House Lane
- New roof -- 4331 Still Meadow Road
- New roof -- 4371 Harvester Farm Lane
- New fence -- 4331 Still Meadow Road
- Deck extension -- 4285 Country Squire Lane
- New fence -- 4377 Farm House Lane
- New roof -- 10002 Tumbleweed Court
- New fence -- 10007 Cotton Farm Road
Virginia Property Owner Association Packages
- 4285 Country Squire Lane – serious violations corrected. Required 28 emails, 3 inspections and 4 weeks to close
- 10007 Cotton Farm Road – violation negotiated with buyer
- 10000 Cotton Farm Road - no violations
- 4289 Country Squire Lane- two violations being corrected
Four inspections for property sale settlements completed
- Two new violations noted by drive by inspections.
- Six homes identified with serious ongoing violations.
- Two of the serious violations may be brought into compliance with the next month. Board action may be required. Addresses and names protected for time being.
Questions? Contact Architectural Control Committee: email@example.com
Architectural Review Guidelines
Projects that do not alter the outward appearance of structures on your property DO NOT require review by the Architectural Control Committee, including:
- Repainting your home the same color and shade. Includes doors, storm doors, windows, storm windows, trim, gutters, and shutters.
- Replacing your roof with the same type, style, color and shade of shingles.
- Replacing your gutters with the same type, style, and color.
- Replacing your driveway or sidewalk in the same size and material type.
- Replacing your windows with the same color and shade and appearance and style. (i.e. six pane over six pane divided lites)
- Replacing a door with the same type style, color and shade. (Includes a garage door)
- Planting of flowers, shrubs, trees, or creating planting areas.
- Replacing your fence with the same style, height, and color and shade.
- Replacing a storage shed with the same type including size, materials, and color and shade.
- Installing a television antenna or satellite dish on your roof.
Examples of alterations or repairs that alter the outward appearance of structures on your property including, and DO require review by the Architectural Control Committee, include:
- Repainting your home a different color or shade.
- Includes doors, storm doors, windows, storm windows, trim, gutters, and shutters.
- Replacing your roof with other than the same style, type, and color or shade of shingles.
- Replacing your gutters with other than the same type, style, or color.
- Replacing your driveway or sidewalk with materials different than the original.
- Enlarging your driveway or sidewalk.
- Replacing your windows with other than the same color or shade or appearance and style. (i.e. installing a bay window)
- Replacing an entrance or garage door with other than the same size, type, color or shade. (i.e. steel with wood)
- Installing or replacing a fence with other than the same style, height, or color or shade. Includes painting a pre-viously approved fence that was left natural.
- Constructing a storage shed, changing the color or shade of a previously approved shed, or painting a shed that was previously approved to be left natural.
- Replacing the siding on your home.
- Any additions to your home including room, garage, porch, or deck.
- Completely or partially enclosing a carport.
- Installing a permanent basketball hoop or any type of batting cage.
- Installing a “pole” light fixture.
- Installing storm windows or door.
- Installing any type of swimming pool or water garden.
- Installing a television antenna or satellite dish anywhere on your property other than on your roof.
- If you are unsure whether your project needs review, please contact an ACC member.
- President's Column
- Bird Walks with Bob & Judy
- Birds of Hickory Farms
- Bird of the Month
- Calling All Walkers!
- Community Yard Sale is Almost Here!
- Hickory Farms' Spring Fling
- Don't Miss Any News! Join Our Listserv
- HFCA Board Meeting Notice
- Call for Historical Neighborhood Documents and Photos
- Student Yellow Pages
- May is Outdoor Spring Cleaning Month for Hickory Farms
- Grass Height Reminder
- ACC Quarterly Report (Jan-Mar 2022)
- Architectural Review Guidelines
- May 2022
- April 2022
- March 2022
- February 2022
- January 2022
- December 2021
- November 2021
- September 2021
- July 2021
- May 2021
- April 2021
- March 2021