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Farmer John: I learned to love the land, what it gives us — and sustaining it

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — I can still remember the smells of my first garden back home in small town Indiana. I walked into the garden, saltshaker in hand. I was heading to the big boy tomatoes. My bare feet remember the… Continue Reading

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This weekend’s Winter Wildlife Festival connects you with ‘watchable wildlife’ in Virginia Beach and beyond

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — The Winter Wildlife Festival this weekend will feature a number of exhibitions and activities for families and outdoors lovers at the Princess Anne Recreation Center and the Princess Anne Area Library next door. But that’s… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Sustainable farming practices help prevent erosion

“A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself” — Franklin D. Roosevelt “Civilization itself rests upon the soil” — Thomas Jefferson. BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — Providence Canyon State Park near Lumpkin, Ga., is called Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon. It takes… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: With biochar, looking at past practices for better soil today

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — Imagine being in the paradise state, inside a condo on a beautiful day. I was there, in Hawaii, back when I was blond-haired. Now I still have three or four blond hairs left. My dermatologist told… Continue Reading

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Sea level rise meeting dealing with Back Bay, part of Virginia Beach series of talks, set for January

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE – A public meeting about flooding issues and how sea level rise will be felt in the Back Bay area is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 22, at Kellam High School, part of a series… Continue Reading

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At Back Bay refuge, a homebuilding workshop benefits local, helpful bats

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — Attendees at a workshop at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, Oct. 28, built custom housing for bats, the small, flying mammals that – despite perceptions fueled by horror flicks rather than ecological reality… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Waste not, want not by growing a recycling mindset

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — The first law of thermodynamics, also called the law of conservation of energy, says energy cannot be created or destroyed in isolated systems. We can think about this in terms of soil. As I’ve written here… Continue Reading

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Sandbridge: With no federal dollars coming, Virginia Beach will fund next sand replenishment project alone

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Virginia Beach will go it alone again to replenish the beach at Sandbridge because the federal government won’t pony up. Officials in September confirmed that the replenishment project will go ahead next year, possibly in… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Soil is a key resource as we seek sustainable agriculture

“Sustainable: Conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.”  – The Oxford Living Dictionary BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — I began using the word “sustainable” some years ago to describe the practices I used on my farm. The term “organic” lost… Continue Reading

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Essay: Making things grow in a Virginia Beach community garden

BY DENISE FINKBEINER HOLDEN VIRGINIA BEACH — I’m no farmer, but I can get stuff to grow. Whether I can get family to eat all their vegetables is another matter.  I planted myself out of our Strawbridge-area yard a while… Continue Reading