Monthly Archives

September 2016

Back to Basics

How Does Your Garden Grow: Just Start digging

September 26, 2016

Childhood

The fondest memories of my childhood were spent on the ten acres of gardens on Shelburne Farms. From an array of garden and farm adventures, my favorites included being in the woods, attending summer camp every year, and swimming in Lake Champlain. My least favorite activities were stacking firewood (but I’m quite good at it), lugging buckets of water to the chickens during wintertime, and that one turkey who didn’t like people. I also went in waves of liking/disliking gardening (just ask my parents), and still have dreams of that “tomato tar” that is a struggle to get off your fingertips. So as you can only assume, my “green thumb” is a work in progress.

My most favorite part of gardening NOW, is getting to share it with my three boys, as well as the children at a local pre-school. The best part about having them participate in the process of preparing the soil, adding the seeds, examining pests and eventually (and hopefully!), and tasting the end results is that you get to see a garden through their eyes. I’ve also learned that gardening is about trial and errors, sometimes the plants do exactly as you had thought they’d do, and other times it’s not the case.

It’s not too late to get started on your own garden, here’s how.

STEP 1: PLAN (Anywhere from the end of August – present day September)img_5940Making a plan is very important. Figure out what you how much sun you have, and what exactly you’d like to plant (take care of), and when you want it by (growing span). Don’t forget, you can veer off this plan at any point, but it’s a good idea to go into it with a general idea of what you want to do. Write it down.

Since I’m in that experimental stage of my garden career, I’m lucky to have a friend locally to guide me along. My friend Brad Wynne of Veg Out Gardens is my go-to resource of all things vegetable gardening. A Virginia Beach native, Brad followed his passion of gardening, and has created something quite unique. From custom built raised bed gardens, good soil, plants from his greenhouse grown from seed, and most importantly his vast knowledge in the subject of vegetable gardens. Brad makes the whole process simple and enjoyable, which is exactly as it should be.

After meeting to discuss the space I have to work with, a line-up of plants was created as to what we . We settled on kale, a few herbs, and we set a tentative date for the delivery of the plants. There wasn’t a huge rush, the school garden’s summer plants were still happy and producing, however there was the goal of harvesting by Thanksgiving that I had to keep in mind.

STEP 2: JUST START DIGGING (Beginning of September)img_8422I made a list as to how much organic compost/soil I needed to add to the three gardens (donated by a local Virginia Beach business. Ordered worms (Brad’s suggestion), ordered seeds (or so I thought!), and cleaned up the three raised beds of weeds. We have about 1/2 of bed of strawberries which I left since they’re a perennial plant.

~ Brad’s tip of the month ~

Favorite Soil
I break from the norm a bit in that I prefer bagged soil.  Even if you have never sprayed your lawn with pesticide, herbicide or fungicide, has your neighbor? Are you certain?  Do you know the run off and drainage of the water from your neighbors?  Plus, it is mosquito season.  Most companies use a synthetic pesticide called pyrenthoid to kill the mosquitos.  The problem is that this pesticide is a kill all, even the good bugs, and has a long residue on the plants.  I prefer being in full control of the soil and knowing exactly what is in it, which is what you get from bagged soil.  The major downside for me, obviously, is that you have a ton of plastic left over.
 
Without a doubt, it is the Happy Frog from Fox Farm.  I am addicted to all of their products.  They really take the time to know that there is a ton of great bacteria in the soil and this can really help the plants thrive.  However, at the higher price point of about $14 per 2 cubic feet (and some stores sell it for a much higher price,) it can add up quickly.  After all, a 4’ x 8’ x 18” bed is 48 cu. ft.  This means it would cost $672 + taxes to fill up the bed.
 
A great company that offers a great brand of soil and a good price is Harvest Organic Soil.  It is aMUCH lower cost at $5.50 per 1.5 cubic feet.  This same raised bed would cost $264 + taxes using this soil.  Certainly a big difference.  You can find this soil at Lowe’s.
 
My suggestion is to have the base soil as the Harvest Organic and then add a bag or two of Happy Frog Organic Potting Soil to the top.

STEP 3: PLANT (Mid September or if you’re me: Late September)

img_8714
garden-handsBecause of various factors, the garden is getting it’s plants and seeds this week. The soil in the beds are ready to go, as are the happy worms that were plopped into the soil by approximately 60 children, several of which replied “no thank you” when asked to stick their hand into a bucket of dirt and wiggly worms…

With the guidance and healthy plants from Brad, I fully expect for it to be a successful season and am looking forward to the children being a part of the process.

Please stay tuned on following along with the process! And, in case you’d like to buy beautiful vegetable plants, Veg Out Gardens sells his plants at various local nurseries; London Bridge Greenhouse and NurseryJack Frost Landscapes & Garden Center, and Taylor’s Do It Center on Independence Blvd. Just look for the biodegradable pot! You can also find Brad at the Old Beach Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. baby-lettuces

baby-lettuce-plants

plants-for-sale
5b3da2fd53824ae0b51981580782578a

Blog post in collaboration with Veg Out Gardens

Facebook | Instagram

What's Up

A VB Basics Giveaway: Win 2 tickets to GoBe+ Women’s Event

September 20, 2016

ball-jar

I fully believe that certain people are put into your path for a reason, at the exact right moment.

This person for me is my friend Becky, of Rev Creative & part owner of GoBe+. If you run into Becky, you are immediately greeted by a contagious bright smile, and a wave of good energy. As a mother, and business owner herself, she fully understands the in’s and out’s of finding, following and accomplishing your dreams.

Our friendship began as we bonded over attending the same intense fitness classes, especially during “The Murph” workout challenge! It quickly developed into a shared love of strong coffee in the ViBe Creative District where we would meet for weekly pep-talks/brainstorming sessions. Now, she’s the type of friend who I don’t think twice in helping, even if it might mean braving the threat of snakes, hungry mosquitos & hot weather! And vice-versa (except for those snakes!).

sami-montella-photography-2016-1
GoBe+ partners Becky, Sami & Brent are “a community; a movement to inspire, reveal & transform your true self & greatest potential!”

In true GoBe+ fashion of helping women SHINE, one lucky VB Basics’s reader will win TWO tickets to the GoBe+ Radiant Women’s Social & Networking Event of the year.

THIS is the event that I have been looking forward to all summer. I’m really looking forward to meeting and networking with other local women who are following their dreams, and hearing the three speakers share and speaking from a place of encouragement and empowerment to the heart & mind of women.

13603482_1383694241647335_7975001255409301953_o
WHAT
RADIANT Women’s Event
Network, gather together and be inspired with like-minded Women
Shop LOCAL small businesses run by Women

WHEN/WHERE
THIS Saturday, September 24th
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Top Golf
Virginia Beach

WHO
YOU. Hampton Roads women!
Three powerful guest speakers:

SHOP
18 Vendors!

Even though the holidays are approximately 90 some odd days away, walk through the eighteen tables of local women vendors, from all things under the sun! Young Living Essential Oils, LuLaRoe, Plexus, #tessadrawsthings (That’s me!!!!), Beauty Counter, Raising Arrow Art, Stella & Dot, Boudoir PhotographsSteeped Tea, Origami Owl, Auntie For Hire, Thrive, Usborne Books, Demarle At Home, GoBe+, Zoom Room, Crazy Confident Clothing, Center for Vein Restoration,

TO ENTER
Simply leave a comment on this post of what your  +word+ ?
(Ex: +free+, +authentic, +strong+, +compassionate+….)

P.s. Mine is +balance+

EXTRA ENTRIES

Contest ends Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.. Winner will be chosen at random, and announced Friday, September 23, 2016.

GOOD LUCK!

P.s. In case you want to purchase tickets, maybe for a group of your friends? Go to Eventbrite!

scarfsami-montella-photography-baby

sami-montella-photography-2016-14

sami-montella-photography-jump
sami-montella-photography

sparkler
gobe-logo

Blog post & Giveaway in collaboration with GoBe+ 

Photographs by the talented Sami Montella Photography

 

Lifestyle

Sneak Peak

September 20, 2016

unnamed-24

tessa

unnamed-20
unnamed-2

 

Location: 89th Street, Virginia Beach

Photography: Jess Hill

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer worn by my Nana in the 1940’s

Weather: Quite windy, thanks to Tropical Storm Hermine

 

What's Up

A VB Basics Giveaway: Win a mini session with Jess Hill Photography {Closed}

September 7, 2016

Jess Hill Photography 05If you haven’t figured out by now, I love photographs. Usually, I’m the one behind the camera, documenting the heck out of my life and those around me. So when I need someone to capture photos with me actually IN them, I’m quite particular as to who I choose to work with. I want someone who is comfortable with lighting & location, flexible on scheduling, up for a challenge, and they must be good with children.

Jess Hill has all the qualities I want in a photographer. Having recently relocated with her family to Virginia Beach, she’s been settling into the easy going beach life that we all love so much here. When she’s not working as a Labor & Delivery Nurse, you can find Jess at the beach with her kids and husband, camera in hand. She’s always loved taking photos, especially of births, newborn babies, beloved pets, children & families. Jess Hill Photography 03With each photoshoot that she’s done for me and my family, her photographs have been exactly what I wanted, and they speak for themselves. She knows her stuff! She works quickly, efficiently, has great ideas, has a great sense of humor, and is a wiz at getting children to smile. She’s also great at dealing with the elements and being flexible: crazy summer heat index? No problem. The windy aftermath of Tropical Storm Hermine, bring it on says Jess! Maybe the best part was sneak peaks of the photographs popping up in my email just a few short hours after the shoot.

Take a peak at a few of her beautiful photos she’s taken over the years.Jess Hill Photography 02

11896553_896500620435226_2876288860589950604_o

13937993_1090168404401779_7074712378221118619_o

14125071_1103733689711917_3969652358797268988_o

Jess Hill Photography 2

Jess Hill Photography 01Ok, now on to the fun part. To properly introduce and welcome Jess to Virginia Beach, she will sponsoring a giveaway here on VB Basics. One lucky winner will receive a FREE Mini Session! PicMonkey Image

TO ENTER:

Simply leave a comment (on this post) of a LOCATION in Hampton Roads you’d like your mini session to take place!

EXTRA ENTRIES:

Winner must be a local resident or be able to travel to the Hampton Roads Area. Mini session is to take place in September or October of 2016. Winner will also receive a CD with all full resolution edited photographs produced from your session. No cash value. Contest ends Monday, September 12, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.. Winner will be chosen at random, and announced September 13, 2016.

GOOD LUCK!