From the category archives:

Environmental

A new list from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has identified 87 non-native invasive plant species in Virginia www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/documents/nh-invasive-plant-list-2014.pdf.   These invasive plants affect everyone, from the government, to the farmer, to the homeowner.  The United States has seen a $34 billion yearly economic loss due to these invasive plants.   They have a negative effect on natural areas, parks, forest land, farms, yards, as well as wildlife habitat and our ecosystem.  

According to an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, the DCR, “… used a risk-assessment protocol to determine an invasiveness rank for each species listed. If they are discovered in Virginia, the goal for these species is eradication to prevent their establishment and spread. People who spot these in Virginia should notify DCR.” 

The plants on this list can be aggressive in your yard or nearby natural areas, and unfortunately, can actually replace plants that are native to Virginia.  These invasive plants tend to grow quickly, copiously produce seed, germinate and colonize, and are difficult and costly to remove and/or control.  Kudzu is an invasive plant that has taken over many natural areas of land in Virginia.

Whether you’re a farmer, landscaper, or homeowner, this list will help you identify the list of non-native invasive plants to keep away from your land.

For more information, please visit:

Virginia Invasive Species Working Group: www.vainvasivespecies.org

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Program: www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/invspinfo.shtml

National Invasive Species Awareness Week:  www.nisaw.org

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Support Our Local Farmers

by Staff on November 11, 2014

Virginia has some beautiful farms, ranging from fruits and vegetables, cattle and many local vineyards. Supporting our local farmers is important to the environment and the community. Here are a few important reasons on why everyone needs to support our local farmers.
Virginia Heirloom Tomatoes
1. When you buy local, the food tastes better and is fresher. Crops are picked at their peak for the best flavor and sold at local farmers markets, sometimes hours after its picked.
2. When buying local, you support the community and the farmers. Farmers get full price and the ‘middleman’ disappears. The money stays locally and doesn’t leave the community.
3. Supporting local farmers help ensure our future and that there will always be farms in our neighborhoods.
4. Buying local, helps save on energy. Since you purchased fruits and vegetables at the farmers market, we save on omissions and wasted packaging that harm the environment.

Supporting the local farming community is very important and has a variety of benefits, all which have a positive impact on our community and economy. Next time you are out, stop by a local farmers market and discover how amazing the local food is!

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Bats!

by Staff November 3, 2014

When you think of bats, images come to mind of a crazy animal that attacks you at night. The truth is, bats are a forgotten animal that helps everyone, especially farmers. They come out at night, working while we sleep. They eat a tremendous amount of bugs, ranging from mosquitoes, to moths and beetles. They [...]

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Pastures Streams and Trees Advice

by Staff September 29, 2014

The Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (VDACS) sponsors a lot of interesting workshops and seminars.  Some workshops  aim for an audience of new or potential farmers while other target the existing experienced farmers in the state.  On 11-8-14 they have a seminar scheduled that should attract farmers in all stages of farm experience. [...]

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A Solar Crop For Farmers

by Staff July 17, 2014

If our Virginia farmers say that there’s a crop that blends well with animals or grains, a crop that can succeed on a farm of any number of acres, a crop that requires no innoculations nor food/water nor harvest,  and in fact the crop is currently getting tax breaks and attracts investment … would you be curious? Actually farmers all over [...]

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Gas Pipelines Across Virginia

by Staff June 22, 2014

Recently we wrote about a Spectra Energy proposed gas pipeline that would cross central Virginia north-to-south across Culpeper to Buckingham counties.  If all goes as they plan, it could be operating as soon as 2018.  According to reports from the DOT there are approximately 2,000 miles of these high pressure lines already in VA.   A high-pressure line [...]

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