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


Us: Virginia Beach Master Gardener Stacie McGraw

BY STACIE MCGRAW I was an accidental volunteer – helping out at my daughters’ schools, participating in other organizations – but never feeling that I was making a real difference until I found the Virginia Beach Master Gardener program. It was… Continue Reading


Coyotes, a foe to livestock and a curiosity to some, now a regular part of landscape in Virginia Beach

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE VIRGINIA BEACH – Coyotes, which are native to the Great Plains, are now so comfortable in Virginia Beach that they sometimes saunter out on an open trail during daylight hours and in full sight of humans.… Continue Reading


Virginia Beach farming industry saw overall growth, some changes in past year; budget anticipates restored agricultural reserve program dollars

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Agriculture in Virginia Beach had an estimated $124.6 million economic impact in 2016, an increase of $3.8 million or 3.1 percent from the previous year, according to the local cooperative extension office. The estimate from… Continue Reading


Elections: Candidate for conservation board supports family farms, suburban backyard hens

BY AMY POULTER COURTHOUSE – Virginia Beach resident Leslie Jones is one of two candidates running for two open seats on the Virginia Dare Soil and Water Conservation Board during the election on Tuesday, Nov. 3.  The board helps manage… Continue Reading


Soy summit: extension service hosts a look at plant progress in neutral soil

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE NORTH LANDING — Along North Landing Road, near a large test plot tended for the Virginia Cooperative Extension by Curtis Wolfarth, dozens of local growers joined agriculture officials, as well as seed company representatives, to see how soybeans had… Continue Reading


For private water users, a way to check quality, understand issues

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE About one in five homes in Virginia use private water, but what’s in it? A variety of factors contribute to water quality for wells, and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program can help homeowners understand potential issues… Continue Reading