Use landscaping to add value to your home
Every gardener has the potential to bring back the dwindling honeybee population—and they stand to benefit at the same time, noted Mark Viette of Viette Nurseries in Augusta County.
“Bees help pollinate our gardens,” he explained, and so do other insects, like butterflies. “And you can plant flowers and shrubs that pollinators survive on.”
Some of Viette’s favorite plants that attract pollinators include Russian sage, New England aster, butterfly bush, nepeta, ironweed, goldenrod, rudbeckia, helianthus, sedum and sunflowers.
“Some might say, ‘Who cares about honeybees?’ but they do their part in nature to pollinate fruit or your squash or pumpkins,” he said. “If we help nature, then, in turn, nature benefits us.”
Goldenrod and Russian sage are native plants, which means they grow wild in Virginia. Some people consider them weeds, Viette explained, “but a weed is nothing but a plant out of place. And honeybees and bumble bees love them.”
Many of Viette’s favorite plants begin blooming in the spring and continue to flower all the way through the first frost.
Pay careful attention when farm equipment is on the road
Farmers often need to use rural roads to move equipment from one location to the next.
During busy spring planting and fall harvesting seasons, drivers must use even more caution.
Most farm equipment travels slower than 25 mph and takes longer to stop than a car does.
Each year in Virginia, accidents involving farm equipment on the highway result in property damage, injuries and occasionally deaths.
Watch the video below and learn more about slow-moving vehicle safety.
Penne Pasta with Fresh Peas and Gorgonzola Cheese
This rich pasta dish uses fresh spring peas and is creamy and decadent. The richness comes from the blend of cream and cheeses. Serve this pasta with a tossed salad and crusty bread for soaking up any extra sauce.
Source: Kendra Bailey Morris
For good nutrition, don’t pass on the peas
Garden peas, snow peas or sugar snap peas—no matter what pod they’re packaged in—green peas are a rich source of B vitamins and folate, which assist with the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Peas also are high in vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Naturally packaged in pods, peas are one of the healthiest ‘fast foods’ and taste best in season—making spring eating that much better.
Garden peas need to be shelled before eating, but snow and snap peas have edible pods. Interestingly, garden peas have more nutrients than their snow and snap cousins.
One cup of cooked green peas has about 130 calories, contains 51 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, almost 38 percent of the recommended amount of vitamin C and 27 percent of the daily amount of vitamin B1.
Garden peas are available from spring through the beginning of winter, while sugar snap peas have limited availability from late spring through early summer. They also are a favorite among kids who otherwise might not like vegetables.
Sugar snap peas can jazz up salads and stir fry dishes. Additionally, they are great to serve with low-fat dips as a healthy appetizer or tailgate food.
Peas can be steamed, boiled or sautéed. They lose their flavor if they’re overcooked, so cook Peas just long enough to soften them.