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Second annual Plow Day brings parade of antique tractors to turn soil in rural Virginia Beach

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE CREEDS — Farmers and tractor enthusiasts traveled to Bonney Bright’s Farm on Buzzard Neck Road on Halloween Day, and many of them brought their antique workhorses in all models, sizes and colors — and then they put… Continue Reading

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You-pick pecans now available from the Market at Land of Promise Farms in Blackwater

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE BLACKWATER — You-pick pecans are now available through the Market at Land of Promise Farms, which began selling fresh pork earlier this year.  The pecan orchard was here when Diane Horsley’s parents bought Land of Promise in… Continue Reading

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Project studying submerged aquatic vegetation in Back Bay shows promise, needs funding

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — A couple of years ago, Dr. Sara Sweeten, a research scientist at Virginia Tech, stumbled across specimens of an aquatic plant called wild celery that had been started from seeds left behind by undergraduate… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Plant a tree for a healthy ecosystem — or just a nice spot to nap

Ed. — This originally ran in the Sunday, Aug. 23, print edition. BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — I woke up from a nap the other day, after reading about trees, and I had a visceral feeling of being tethered to the atmosphere… Continue Reading

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Column: A word about apples — and varieties of a fall favorite

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE VIRGINIA BEACH — Nothing seems more American than apple pie – unless it is either apples packed into school lunches or spiced apple cider on Halloween.   Apples are such a part of our national identity that it’s hard… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Plant a tree for a healthy ecosystem — or just a nice spot to nap

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — I woke up from a nap the other day, after reading about trees, and I had a visceral feeling of being tethered to the atmosphere by my lungs and breath. There is a bubble of air around… Continue Reading

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After controversy, Virginia Beach will refocus on assembly uses for land zoned for farming

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Following the recent approval for a nonfarming commercial venue that will operate on farmland in the rural city, city officials are renewing efforts to create clear guidelines for assembly uses such as weddings on land… Continue Reading

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Ignoring farmers, City Council approves event venue on land zoned for agriculture in rural city

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE OCEANFRONT — Moments after a stunning reversal by the Planning Commission, the City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 25, voted to approve a conditional use permit so an event business can operate on land zoned for agriculture in… Continue Reading

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Column: City decisions about land use have real consequences for farms and rural communities

BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — Weather wreaks havoc on farmland?   So, too, do city decisions.   It’s a bit overwhelming — the myriad articles about the way our ever-changing climate affects our farmland.   A quick look at… Continue Reading

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Column: We should have fought the Wolfe Bros permit harder, but keep fighting

BY JARED BRANDWEIN BACK BAY — An editorial in the pages on The Independent News warned us all that we needed to show up at the Tuesday, Aug. 25, City Council meeting to be heard on a proposal to use land… Continue Reading