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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

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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

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Farmer John: Building a garden starts with healthy, living soil

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — I call it the garden of eatin’.  I love that fresh food, and I love working – really, playing – in the garden.  It’s rewarding just to stand there observing the bees, butterflies and flowers. Or maybe slipping… Continue Reading

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In Memoriam: Pungo’s Roy David Flanagan Jr., farmer and family man

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE PUNGO — Farmer Roy David Flanagan Jr., who died on Tuesday, April 7, in his Pungo home after a long illness, will be remembered for the turkeys, sweet potatoes and crops he raised – and for his devotion… Continue Reading

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Farmer John: We need to stop treating sustainable agriculture practices as edgy ideas

BY J.D. WILSON SIGMA — I read a book, Children of the Mind, by the science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, which used the terms “edge nations” and “center nations” to discuss cultures on the fringe compared to dominant ones.  I then… Continue Reading

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Agriculture: ‘Plow Day’ today at Bonney Bright’s farm in Creeds

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE CREEDS — A nostalgia for the sight of freshly turned soil, an interest in retro machinery and a willingness to wear red bib overalls can drive antique tractor enthusiasts – and local tractor buffs will come together for… Continue Reading

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2019 Virginia Beach Elections: Questions for candidates for Virginia Dare Soil & Water Conservation District Director

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS Ed. — The following are responses to questions posed by The Independent News to candidates for two seats as Virginia Dare Soil & Water Conservation District Directors in the election on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Answers to our questions in this series… Continue Reading

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Eying a storm, local farmers head into the corn fields for an early harvest

Ed. — This story originally ran in the Sept. 6 print edition. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS VIRGINIA BEACH — Over the Labor Day Weekend, well before Hurricane Dorian neared, farmer H.M. Dudley and his son, Ryan Dudley, harvested field corn near the intersection… Continue Reading

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The dignitaries, theme for Pungo Strawberry Festival held over Memorial Day weekend in rural village

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE PUNGO – Memorial Day weekend will find Bob and Phoebe Braswell, the honorary mayor and first lady of Pungo, presiding over this year’s Pungo Strawberry Festival, with “Rise and Shine — It’s Strawberry Time” as this… Continue Reading

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Strawberries: Where you can find — or pick — them in Virginia Beach

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS PUNGO – Strawberry season is in full swing.  The following is a list of Virginia Beach U-pick and pre-picked strawberry farms, markets or stands from a list compiled by the Virginia Beach Cooperative Extension office.  Please check… Continue Reading