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


No, the post office in Back Bay is not closed or planning to close

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE BACK BAY — Despite online rumors, the post office in rural Back Bay remains open, and there are no plans to close it. The property the U.S. Postal Service leases for Back Bay Station is for sale, according… Continue Reading


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


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


Column: We must preserve farmland and rural communities

  BY KAREN BEARDSLEE KWASNY VIRGINIA BEACH — In 2002, when my husband and I were looking for a new house, a friend said to me, “You need to live in Pungo, Karen. That place will feel like home to you.” … Continue Reading


Editorial: Rural residents should speak because a commercial venue is proposed for agricultural land

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS BACK BAY — A pending conditional use permit request deserves attention before the Virginia Beach City Council makes a decision that could have consequences for rural communities. The City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 25, is scheduled to consider a… Continue Reading


Planning Commission recommends denial of proposed event venue on farmland in rural Virginia Beach

Ed. — This story originally appeared in the Sunday, July 5, print edition. It has been updated to include the date upon which the City Council is scheduled to consider the proposal. Additionally, it now appears unlikely the City Council will… Continue Reading


Blackberry season is underway in southern Virginia Beach

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE PUNGO — Summer’s heat and sun are ripening the blackberries, and this fruit is becoming available locally at markets. Blackberries aren’t as widely grown commercially as strawberries in Virginia Beach, but farmer Roy Flanagan grows them to… Continue Reading


After initially announcing closure, Pungo Blueberries Etc. is open this summer for you-pick business

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE PUNGO — It was barely 7 a.m. on one recent humid, overcast morning, but already customers were in the orchard plucking the plump berries that were ripening at Pungo Blueberries Etc.   Farm owners Robert and Juanita… Continue Reading


So long, strawberries: A big year for iconic Virginia Beach crop

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE PUNGO — This spring may go down in local lore as one of the best strawberry seasons ever in southern Virginia Beach. There was a bountiful crop thanks to the weather conditions – and there were… Continue Reading