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Farmer John: Benefits of a beloved fowl mean it might just be time for a chicken in every Virginia Beach yard

BY J.D. WILSON VIRGINIA BEACH — Why did the chicken cross the road?  To rule the world, of course.  There are some 20 billion chickens in the world, plus or minus a few. This dwarfs any other bird species. Next in… Continue Reading

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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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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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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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Agriculture: Efforts continue to connect veterans, Virginia farmers to build food security, opportunity

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE A gathering called American Farmer tonight in Hampton will benefit the Virginia chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, which aims to link veterans and the agriculture industry to get them farming. The tribute to farmers will include… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: Here’s the dirt about soil, a key to sustainable agriculture

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — Please don’t call the soil “dirt.” Dirt is what you sweep off the kitchen floor. Soil is a glorious life-filled layer that sustains us. Soil is, as the subtitle of a great book by William Bryant… 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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Farmer John: Farmers and consumers reap benefits from local food systems

“‘Ere long, the most valuable of all arts will be the art of deriving a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil. No community whose every member possesses this art can ever be the victim of oppression in any… 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