Bloom - Spring 2019

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A Path To


Leons Kabongo finds purpose at Our Community Place.






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his issue of Bloom represents a new chapter for our magazine. We have decided to expand it to be more inclusive of all the people, places and organizations that make our corner of the world special. Longtime readers may have noticed we featured a man on our cover story for the first time. Though we no longer see Bloom as simply a women’s magazine, we have continued to feature many of the same topics readers have come to appreciate. Explore these pages and see why we have decided to Celebrate Valley Life.

14 Healing A History Of Trauma Leons Kabongo, the activity and programing coordinator at Our Community Place, overcame hardships and offers hope to others.

all photos this page: Daniel Lin




18 Make Townie American Pale Ale

Jeremy Hunt, Editor

Jeremy Hunt, editor

From Limited to Limitless! Overcome the stumbling blocks in your life to reach your goals.

Rich Furlong, of Keezletown, works on a speed bag during a Rock Steady Boxing Rocktown class at VMRC.


Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s Rock Steady Boxing offers Parkinson’s patients an ability to improve symptoms.

Shelby Mertens, staff writer


Jessica Wetzler, staff writer

Daniel Lin, photography

Health benefits of essential oils are numerous–with proper knowledge.

Jennifer Dehoff, design

Rhonda McNeal, ad director

Special Thanks To Our Community Contributors

Food.Bar.Food chef Beau Floyd preps a zucchini in his kitchen.

Virginia Cutchin Ivelisse Estes Di-Ann Hand Shawn Gatesman Jack Needham

An interior designer suggests ways to incorporate Living Coral in your home.

231 S. Liberty St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Cover photo: Daniel Lin Cover: Leons Kabongo, activities and programming coordinator for Our Community Place, leads an African drumming workshop.

HOMES & HEDGES 10 The Pantone Color Of The Year

Bloom is a quarterly publication of the Daily News-Record

For advertising information, call 540-574-6220. Copyright © 2019

Essential Oils: A New Alternative Medicine

An estate 18-karat white gold ring with a 2.3-carat natural sapphire with accent diamonds sits on display at James McHone Jewelry.

12 Gardening Year-Round A local master gardener offers her experince with Cytospora canker fungus.

The Friendly Fermenter shares a brewing recipe.

20 Chef Floyd Explores Global Food Beau Floyd’s passion is to diversify his restaurant’s selection.

22 Chips: A Reflection Of The Potato Route 11 Potato Chips has released a new chip flavor.

STYLE 24 Alternative Cosmetic Solutions A local company offers its own line of natural skincare products for beauty without compromise.

26 It’s A Vintage Proposal Local jewelers offer their thoughts on vintage rings.

29 Find Your Wedding Dress On A Budget Small ways to save BIG on your dress.



From Limited To Limitless! Getting To The ‘Ice Under The Snow’

Metro Creative

Virginia Cutchin, Community Contributor, Whole Life Health Coach he holidays are over. The new year is underway! Maybe you’ve made some new resolutions; maybe you’ve dusted off a few from year’s past; or maybe you decided not to make any at all. (My resolution one year was to wear more purple. I figured I could handle that one!) Maybe, like many, you approached the beginning of the year with renewed resolve, energy, goals, plans, directions, enthusiasm, ideas, tools, strategies, friends, habits and determination. For some, the new year began with uncertainty, anxiety or changed circumstances. Others face a need to shift resources, reprioritize or rethink goals and plans. Some of you may have made some great progress in the beginning but now find your resolve waning, energy slacking, the importance




of identifying and reaching goals – what you said you wanted – under threat for some reason. You’ve hit a stumbling block. What happened? As a health/wellness and personal leadership coach I’ve observed that when we talk about our professional or personal health and wellness goals, those goals actually turn out to be what we think will get us what we really want. But, we may not even know or be able to articulate what we really want! Think of it this way: the obvious (or comfortable, or familiar) barriers to our success are like snow; but the deeper story underlying those barriers is like the ice underneath that snow (and it is sometimes just as hidden and potentially just as treacherous). Sweeping away the snow is certainly helpful but any ice

underneath must also be cleared away. If we don’t see that ice or we fail to acknowledge it, it remains and we never have a truly clear path. But I have good news! Whatever your circumstances are now, there is a way to get on track and stay there long-term. I’ve seen many reasons for this inability or unwillingness to get at the “ice under the snow.” Among them are: Having what you want would change, challenge, or refute the “story” you have always told yourself and what has been told about you Fear that articulating what you really want would sound selfish, unrealistic or ungrateful Lack of clarity about what you really want – you just know you

are unhappy with one or more aspects of your life Fear that getting what you really want would disrupt or cause conflict with what you already have The desire for what you really want is overruled by the desire or need to protect yourself or others from any conflict or resistance that having that thing might cause This sounds complicated, but you can begin to untie the knot and uncover the real issues that might be keeping you from reaching your goals. When you do this, you may find that you’re plagued by limiting thoughts – thoughts and messages “from you to you” about your talents and capabilities; opportunities (including missed ones); intellect;

New Patients Welcome!

appearance; level of success; past choices (good and not-so); personal history; current circumstances; or family/societal roles, expectations and obligations – that keep you from pursuing what you really want and should have. Examples of such limiting thoughts are: Over-generalizing: “I forgot to send that attachment. I can’t do anything right!” Catastrophizing: “Another resume unanswered. I might as well just give up.” Labeling: “Oh, I’m such an idiot…” “I have ZERO willpower.”

NINA K. SMITH M.D. Gynecology & Women’s Health Care 1956 Evelyn Byrd Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA




Wrong-sizing: Exaggerating the importance of something negative; or minimizing the importance of something positive. Deflecting/justifying: “If I go to the gym my _____ will feel lonely and get resentful.”

Conditioning: “If I could just lose these last ___ pounds life would be great!” I truly believe that we all do the best we can do with the information, resources and support we have at the time, and that we develop mechanisms and strategies (functional or dysfunctional) that keep our life and the roles we play balanced and consistent with our self-beliefs. What leads us to engage in limiting thoughts may be of some interest but I consider it more important (and effective) to focus on developing lasting habits (which are just choices that get repeated!), behaviors, attitudes and self-stories that decrease the occurrence and power of these limiting thoughts, and increase the inevitability of success at reaching our goals. We can’t do this unless we clear away not just the snow

(the obvious barriers to reaching our goals) but the underlying ice – the real issues. A word of caution: Finding that ice and clearing that path can be exhilarating and frightening at the same time! Any profound change potentially disrupts the “status quo” of your life and your critter brain (that safety-and-survival guarantor part of the brain) may resist too much change too quickly. Its job is to reinforce what you know about yourself to be true – limiting thoughts, consequent behaviors all! So you have to banish those limiting thoughts and replace

them with positive, affirming g (b (but but ut still realistic) ones while giving ng tthe he he structure of your life time to ad adjust djust ustt.. So, be patient and understanding nd ding ng with yourself, but be determined ineed tto o avoid self-sabotage. Slowly but systematicallyy uncover, accept and then banish anis issh ish the thoughts that are keeping g yyou ou ou stuck. An accountability partner rtnner ne r – someone you trust to be honest onnest and objective but also won’tt let leet yyou ou “wiggle away” – can help get et aand nnd d keep you on track. The transformation from lim limited mite ted to limitless is a profound one, e, and aannd nd you are so worth the journey! y! Do Do it! it! Because you deserve to thrive. vee.

Virginia Cutchin is a certified health/wellness and personal leadership coach, oach,, and an independent intercultural awareness consultant. Her Whole Life Healthh coaching program helps people thrive! Contact her at or 571-527-6363. Read her blog att Attend her spring short courses (Attitudes For Whole Life Health) at JMU’s Lifelong Learning Institutee (

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540-564-6735 Patrick D. Keefe, D.C., C.C.E.P.

Shenandoah Chiropractic P.C.

2040 Deyerle Ave, Suite 104. Harrisonburg, VA 22801 • SPRING 2019


Jimmy Riddle, of Elkton, left, and Darrell Bachman, right, work on punching bags during a Rock Steady Boxing Rocktown class at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s By Shelby Mertens Photos Daniel Lin loyd Mast, 74, has suffered from complications of Parkinson’s disease, including slow movement, leg tremors, muscle tightness and lack of balance and agility, for the last several years. But Mast, diagnosed in July 2012, is fighting back through a new non-contact boxing program, Rock Steady Boxing Rocktown at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. Parkinson’s is an incurable degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 1 million Americans will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease by 2020. The foundation says 60,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed each year. The Rock Steady program, based on professional boxing training tailored to people with Parkinson’s disease, seeks to improve a person’s endurance, balance, agility, coordination and strength. The organization says non-contact boxing can reverse,




reduce or delay Parkinson’s symptoms. The program is open to both VMRC and non-VMRC residents. The classes began on Jan. 14 and are offered three times a week. “They said at the beginning that if we feel a downturn the first month that’s noticeable, but then the strength starts building and I think I can see that happening in me,” said Mast, who moved to Harrisonburg from Lancaster, Pa., 10 months ago. Rock Steady Boxing, a national nonprofit, was founded by Scott Newman in Indianapolis in 2006. Newman, who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s at 40 years old, created the program after discovering that boxing greatly improved his symptoms. Today, there are 800 Rock Steady Boxing affiliates across the world. Randy Simpson, the owner and head coach of Rock Steady Boxing Rocktown, said boxing is an intense exercise that he described as “Miracle-Gro in the brain.” He said it strengthens

“The training a boxer does really emphasizes the de icits that can appear in Parkinson’s.” – Randy Simpson existing neurons and synapses as well as cognitive functions and mood. “The training a boxer does really emphasizes the deficits that can appear in Parkinson’s,” he said. “So, you’ve got coordination, balance, changing directions and different speeds. You’ve got to pay attention to things coming toward you and moving away from you.” Simpson, who holds a master’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences and is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, saw the need in the

Harrisonburg area. “I’ve worked with Parkinson’s patients as a personal trainer and got involved with Rock Steady after I noticed that boxing training produced much more significant results than any other approach that we tried,” Simpson said. “After seeing the effectiveness of the [Rock Steady Boxing] method I wanted to help make it available in Harrisonburg.” Participants wear gloves and punch the heavy boxing bag. The class also incorporates other exercises, including an agility ladder, medicine balls, push-ups, squats and stretching for people at all stages of Parkinson’s. “We always try to get their feet moving and their hands moving, and we try to include things that make them have to coordinate from top to bottom, left to right, side to side,” Simpson said. The boxing program helps people complete simple daily tasks hindered by the disease, “anything from getting dressed in the morning, being able to walk to the mailbox to having good

Randy Simpson leads a Rock Steady Boxing Rocktown class at VMRC for community members with Parkinson’s disease.

“It’s a diagnosis that really affects all parts of a person. ... They are ighting back against this disease.” – Melinda Noland conversation, making eye contact and having good posture,” said Melinda Noland, the director of the VMRC Wellness Center. While Rock Steady Boxing helps relieve the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s, it also alleviates the psychological and emotional symptoms. “It brings a sense of a social aspect to it. It always becomes a social group or a support group. It’s like-minded persons who are struggling with the same things,” she said. “It gives them confidence and allows them to maintain a sense of independence although they have this diagnosis.” Because boxing requires quick reactions, someone with Parkinson’s who suffers from slowed movement can practice the sport to gain swiftness. Hitting the punching bag is a channel to release the stress and frustration that people with Parkinson’s disease experience. “It’s a diagnosis that really affects all parts of a person. … They are fighting back against this disease,” Noland said. Mast has tried yoga, walking and exercise classes geared

toward seniors to help his symptoms. This is his first time participating in a boxing program. He said he’d seen improvement after only a few weeks. “It’s made some difference in my coordination and stamina, I think,” Mast said. “One thing that’s energizing and exhausting at the same time is boxing the punching bag.” Mast also has enjoyed the social aspect of the program with being able to meet others who share his experience. “It’s nice to have that comradery to know we’re all working through this together,” he said. “We work as teams generally; so, we have the interaction on a more personal scale.” There are two separate groups that meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for each hourlong session. One class is geared toward more independent individuals while the other is for those with more progressed symptoms. The VMRC Wellness Center is located at 1481 Virginia Ave. For more information, visit www. or rocktown. SPRING 2019


Essential Oils: A New Alternative Medicine By Shelby Mertens Photos Daniel Lin Essential oils are displayed for sale at Kate’s Natural Products in Harrisonburg. ssential oils and aromatherapy products have exploded on the market in recent years, representing a consumer shift toward organic and natural goods. Many claim essential oils can heal a variety of ailments, some more controversial than others, but just how effective and safe are they? “I think essential oils have value for a variety of different conditions, but like any medication or supplement, it needs to be used properly and understanding how to use it and what potential harms there are,” said Dr. John Wenger, a doctor of osteopathic medicine at Sentara RMH Medical Center. “It’s important to get guidance and direction from someone who has expertise in them.” In 2016, essential oils became a nearly $6 billion global industry, according to a report by Stratistics MRC, a market research company based in Gaithersburg, Md. The consulting group expects the essential oil market to more than double by 2023 globally, becoming an almost $13 billion industry. Essential oils have been credited with relieving stress, anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia and inflammation, as




well as having antibiotic and antimicrobial uses. Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that frequently uses essential oils, which are compounds extracted from plants, according to health information website Healthline, that “capture the plant’s scent and flavor, also called it’s ‘essence.’” The oil is acquired through a distillation process that is fused with a carrier oil. Essential oils can be rubbed on the skin, inhaled via a diffuser, or taken internally. Nearly 100 different essential oils exist, but the most popular ones include lavender, which is used for relaxation, insomnia and stress relief; tea tree, which can fight acne, heal wounds and treat skin inflammation; peppermint, known to relieve the common cold and flu symptoms and provide other pain relief; and Eucalyptus, most commonly associated with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral uses. Other common essential oils include bergamot, rose, sandalwood and jasmine for reducing stress, anxiety and depression, in addition to boosting concentration and focus. “It’s like a medication. A specific essential

oil has a property that is appropriate for specific conditions,” Wenger said. Christy Teter, owner of Taylor Made Organics in Port Republic, incorporates essential oils into her bath and body care products. She started working with essential oils in 1997 and opened her business in 2007. “I purchase the essential oils, and I blend them to make therapeutic creams, lotions, herbal salves, bath and body care products, and facial care products,” Teter said. Teter researches to find essential oils that target specific skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea and psoriasis, or other ailments like muscle and joint pain. She mixes the essential oils with other organic ingredients, including shea butter, coconut oil and herbs. Teter herself frequently uses lavender and tea tree oil for relaxation and stress relief. “I think it’s safer than some over-the-counter prescriptions,” she said. “There’s always a time for medical creams or prescriptions, if needed. But if it was my choice, I would choose something more natural that’s going to help my skin, as opposed to something I’m not sure what it’s

going to do.” Wenger recommends consulting someone with expertise in essential oils before using them as an alternative. He said an expert can point you to the brands that sell the highest quality product. “I think perhaps one reason people are looking to essential oils or other ways to improve their health is because of concerns for use and overuse of pharmaceutical products,” he said. “People are looking for alternatives to taking a prescription drug. I think that’s understandable, but I would also caution that whether we’re talking about supplements, essential oils or botanicals or prescription medication, all of them need to be used simply as a tool, and a person must recognize potential benefits and harm.” Ralph Magri, the owner of Kate’s Natural Products, a Harrisonburg-based health store, suggested trying essential oils first and if they don’t work, resort to pharmaceuticals. Kate’s Natural Products sells several dozen essential oils, as well as blends and pure oils. “It’s one of our biggest areas for sure,” Magri said. “We try to have

The risk associated with essential oils is not using them appropriately, Wenger said. “My understanding is that using certain essential oils in the wrong manner, such as using something internally that is only to be used topically, could cause harm to a person, and it can vary. It can be anything from Kate’s Natural Products owner Ralph Magri said essential oils are one of the store’s biggest sellers. a good variety.” Magri prefers Eucalyptus oil, which he uses to clear his sinuses and headaches, as an alternative to Tylenol or ibuprofen. He said essential oils are “generally effective.” “It’s certainly demonstrated that there’s a connection between your senses and your emotional health,” he added. Magri said the internet and social media

have contributed to the growth of essential oils. The self-care movement may also play role. “It’s a way to take care of yourself,” Magri said. “Essential oils and aromatherapy is part of the bull’s-eye approach to health, what you can do for yourself — diet, medication, exercise — and one of those is aromatherapy.”

making a person feel sick to their stomach versus actually harm to certain organ systems,” he said. Wenger said anyone taking prescription medication should be particularly careful when using essential oils. “If you’re taking multiple prescriptions,” he said, “you won’t know how it’ll react.”

Broadway Drug Center

Williamson Hughes


1380 Little Sorrell Drive Harrisonburg, VA 22801



Worship with Us We look forward to welcoming you! To include your house of worship here contact: Coty at 540-574-6204 or Marissa at 540-574-6208 or Ivelisse at 540-574-6203 or

Mountain Grove Church


12769 Third Hill Road, Fulks Run, VA Sunday School Service 10:00 am Sunday Worship 11:00 am Pastor Eric Wetzel

SPRING REVIVAL! April 25-28, 2019 Evening Services begin at 7:00 pm April 28: Sunday Worship 11:00 am

Miss Mae’s Thrift Shop A MINISTRY OF THE MT. BETHEL CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN Located at 8516 Robinson Rd., Dayton adjacent to the Mt. Bethel Church of the Brethren (formerly the Mt. Bethel COB parsonage)

Call 540-867-5326 for Additional Information Hours: Monday 4 PM-8 PM, Wednesday 4 PM-8 PM, Saturday 10 AM-4 PM

God gives us hope, joy, and energy. Come join us!

ometimes a big-church leaves you feeling lonely. You won’t feel that way at Beldor Church. We are not perfect, but we know the One that is perfect. If you haven’t met Christ, we would be honored to share what we know. If you’re well aware of Jesus Christ, we’ll challenge you to make a difference.

Beldor Mennonite Church 540-421-4577 2512 Beldor Rd, Elkton, VA 22827 • Sunday Worship 11 AM • Sunday Bible Study 10 AM

Bear Lithia Springs Baptist Church 2145 N. Eastside Highway, Elkton, VA 22827 540-298-4715 SUNDAY: Sunday School 10 AM • Worship 11 AM • Evening 6 PM WEDNESDAY: Service 7 PM Senior Pastor Donald Leatherman • Associate Pastor Mark Leatherman



Metro Creative

The Pantone Color Of the Year By Shelby Mertens ince 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has released its Color of the Year, selected by a team of experts who analyze color trends across the world in the areas of art, fashion, design, technology and entertainment. While the designation drives interior designers and other industry insiders with color inspiration, it is also meant be a reflection of the times. For 2019, the Pantone Color Institute has chosen Living Coral as its Color of the Year. Living Coral is a shade of pink with a tinge of orange. The institute describes Living Coral on its website as “vibrant, yet mellow” and embracing “warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.” “Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, stated on its website. “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE LIving Coral hit a responsive tone.” Maggie Bebel, an interior designer at Gaines Group Architects in Harrisonburg, said Living Coral is a beautiful color to freshen up your home this spring. “It’s such a bright and energizing color that really warms up a space, and because it’s derived from nature, like a lot of Pantone colors, I think it connects with Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah




Valley,” Bebel said. “Even though it’s a nautical color, you can look at the mountains and see that color.” Bebel said the color can be incorporated into any room of the house in small ways that make a big impact. Think pillows, rugs, lampshades or even artwork. “From a decorating standpoint, it’s a really easy way to highlight particular features in your home by having an accent pillow or a throw rug,” she said. “Little elements of it that appear in smaller places.” The eye-catching hue makes a great focal point for a room. Bebel suggests painting one side of a room Living Coral to create an accent wall. “That’s one great, inexpensive way to incorporate the color into your space,” she said. Bebel said it’s best to balance the bright coral hue with foundational colors such as grays, whites or maybe browns. The color can also be paired with luminous neon and aquatic shades as well. “You can run with that brightness or have it be its own entity as the only pop-up color in the space,” Bebel said. “I think there’s so many ways this color can be incorporated into your space. It’s so versatile.” But Bebel recommends using Living Coral sparingly to make more of a statement. “I think it stands out more that way,” she said. Bebel expects to see the coral color making a bigger appearance in the next few months. “I think clients will be drifting more that way because it’s so energizing, and in the spring, everybody is out more in nature,” she said. “I think it’ll be more exciting.”

“From a decorating standpoint, it’s a really easy way to highlight particular features in your home by having an accent pillow or a throw rug.” – Maggie Bebel

27 White Picket Trail Mt. Crawford,VA (540) 564-1322

Porches, Arbors & Pergolas, Handicap Ramps


Tired of seeing the same gifts in every shop? Then it is absolutely a necessity you come visit! Our philosophy is simple! We do things differently & have fun along the way, come join us, we are working for you!

Rebecca’s Well Gift Shoppe 405 N. Main St., Bridgewater • 540-828-4949 5WV ;I\ 8TMV\a 7‫\; ٺ‬ZMM\ 8IZSQVO


BBQ E QUIPMENT S ALES & R ENTALS Meadow Creek® Smokers, Cookers Residential & Commercial


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We’re located on Rt. 11 between Exits 240 and 243 off I-81

Open Most Weekends “When the Flag is Flying”

By Appointment during Week A Call Ahead is Recommended SPRING 2019


Gardening Year-Round

ou may think of the winter months as the dormant season, with little gardening to be done. That, however, is not the case. Weather permitting, these months provide good opportunities for early pruning. Besides the initial planting of healthy plants, proper pruning is key to keeping a plant in optimum long-term health. This winter, while working on my backyard, I discovered trees that were not doing well and ultimately would need to be addressed. By chance, my yearly “tree guy� stopped by in January just before the weather turned. It was a fortuitous stop, as my husband I were considering the removal of three Colorado blue spruce trees planted in the back corner of our lot. These trees were not doing well and had branches that were dying. I removed some of the dying bottom branches to increase air flow and provide more sun to see if that would help. Earlier seasons I noticed the neighbors’ spruce had dying lower branches. I assumed it was a natural process on more mature trees. I learned in a master gardening class that Colorado blue spruce are vulnerable to the Cytospora canker fungus present in our soils. Beside dying lower branches, I learned a further sign of infection is a white, oozing sap on dead branches usually near the trunk. After this class I inspected my




trees and found these fatal telltale signs of the disease. This fungus attacks the branches of the trees and leads to their eventual death. Another fungal disease attacking blue spruce is Rhizosphaera needle cast. This fungus causes the inner needles to die, leaving only green tips. These fungi thrive in moisture. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, wet years, such as both 2017 and 2018, provide nourishment for fungi. In addition, disease can be transmitted to healthy trees by birds, wind, rain or humans cutting and pruning with infected tools. Sanitizing tools is always recommended in general, and more so when dealing with diseased plants. The second fungus can also be combated with fungicide chlorothalonil, which requires a labor-intensive treatment. It is not practical on large trees. It requires multiple applications at intervals of growth with no guarantee of success. I attempted to help delay the inevitable by pruning my trees hard. It was all for naught. This year, one tree was completely dead, with the others close behind. So, with the convenient knocking on my door of a tree trimmer looking for pruning work, I decided to remove three trees entirely. We worked out a proper disposal plan with the arborist. Other not so dramatic pruning can also occur during the winter

photos courtesy of Di-Ann Hand

Di-Ann Hand, Community Contributor, Central Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Volunteer

The Colorado blue spruces in our yard were damaged and eventually killed by Cytospora canker fungus. A symptom of infection is a canker of white oozing sap on dead branches near the trunk.

season, such as trimming ornamental grasses to the ground. Moving deciduous trees or shrubs can be accomplished provided the ground is not frozen or waterlogged. Bulbs, lilies and bare root roses (placed in a sunny location) can be planted. The list of winter work is more extensive and includes planning your summer vegetable and ornamental gardens, just to name a few examples. It is important to plan for the spring, and when we do get some wonderful warm weather during the winter months, there are things that can be done in the garden.

Central Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association Spring Workshop & Events These workshops and events are open to the public.

Seed Starting Workshop • March 16th, 1-3 PM

photo courtesy of VCEMGV

$15 fee, Pre-registration required. Held at the Rockingham County Extension Office at 965 Pleasant Valley Road, Harrisonburg

Bug House Workshop • March 23rd, 10 AM $15 fee, Pre-registration required through Staunton Parks and Recreation.

Harrisonburg Farmers Market Visit our table on the first and third Saturdays starting in April.

Staunton Farmers Market Visit our table on the second and fourth Saturdays starting May 26. The Central Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association is under the guidance of the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and Virginia Tech. To become a master gardener volunteer, an individual must complete 50 hours of classes and 50 volunteer hours on approved projects. In addition, VCEMGVs are required to complete 20 volunteer hours and eight continuing education hours in subsequent years to remain active in the association. The Central Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association serves the communities throughout Augusta and Rockingham Counties, including the cities of Harrisonburg and Staunton. A full list of programs is available on

Earth Day Staunton Display and Activities April 13th, 9:30-2:30 PM Held at Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton.

Annual Plant Sale • May 11th, 9-1 PM Local master gardeners grow, dig, and prepare plants from gardens to be sold at this event. Held at the Rockingham County Administration Center. Questions about these events or about the Central Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association? Refer to or call the Rockingham County Extension office at 540-564-3080. Also, our helplines open in March at the Rockingham and Augusta County Extension offices to answer your horticultural questions.






Leons Kabongo, activities and programming coordinator for Our Community Place, drums with James Madison University nursing junior Stephanie Dowdy, of Richmond, during an African drumming workshop.

Healing A History of Trauma Leons Kabongo has a unique viewpoint to help others recover from emotional wounds. By Shelby Mertens


eons Kabongo has had many ups and downs in his life. As a refugee from the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kabongo said he became an adult at a young age. “You’re forced to grow up when you’re 2 years old. You’re aware. You get it. You see stuff happen,” he said. “Your body just builds that so you can save yourself.” Kabongo, 29, is now the activities and programming coordinator and volunteer coordinator for Our Community Place, a nonprofit located in Harrisonburg’s Northeast neighborhood that provides homeless and marginalized people with volunteer and job training opportunities, housing assistance, case management services, laundry and shower services, as well as educational programs aimed at empowering individuals. Kabongo is in charge of creating and maintaining OCP’s activities and programs, such as the weekly African drum circle, the restaurant at OCP on Fridays, and the community trash pickup days. “All these activities are to get marginalized people involved and to be mindful and to feel like they’re a part of something, to look forward to 14


Photos Daniel Lin something,” Kabongo said. Sam Nickels, the executive director of Our Community Place, said Kabongo has a “very energetic and loving attitude toward people.” He’s developed a passion for serving the marginalized populations in the Harrisonburg community. “I’ve been marginalized. I know what it feels to have, and I know what it feels to not have,” he said. “Now, I’m healing. I want to share my journey.” Kabongo was born in the capital of Kinshasa, in what was then known as Zaire, in 1989. His father was a pharmacist and his mother was lab technician. He is the second eldest of six boys. After he was born, the family moved to the eastern part of the Congo in Goma, a town located in the region of North Kivu, where Kabongo spent most of his childhood. Kabongo witnessed the hundreds of thousands of Tutsi refugees who fled into Goma and the eastern part of the Congo following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, a scene captured at the end of the movie “Hotel Rwanda.” Kabongo said his house was right along the border with Rwanda. “As a little kid, you go through that and I [thought], ‘I

Leons Kabongo leads an African drumming workshop.

guess it’s just part of life to see blood, death and all this stuff,’” he said. In 1996, Kabongo and his older brother moved back to Kinshasa. The following year, the government was overthrown by rebels, which was when Zaire became the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997. “It was hell in the capital,” he recalled. “Houses were blowing up. It was like a 007 movie. You’re running around, something blows up, you hit yourself against the wall and you can’t stop.” They returned to Goma in 1999. By 2000, Kabongo’s father left for Belgium. On Jan. 17, 2002, Mount Nyiragongo erupted 12 miles north of Goma. Nearly 250 people died, 15 percent of Goma’s buildings were destroyed and more than 100,000 people were displaced. Kabongo, his mother and five brothers evacuated across the border to Rwanda. “I was homeless. I have been homeless many times, and that was one of the times,” he said. “It was just so stressful and so bad.” By that time, another president had been overthrown, and the country was deep into the Second Congo War, also called the Great War of Africa. More than 5 million people died from the conflict between 1998 and 2003. Meanwhile, Kabongo’s father moved from Belgium to the United States. For two years, he worked and saved up as much money as he could. He applied for documents so that Kabongo, his mother and

“I’ve been marginalized. I know what it feels to have, and I know what it feels to not have. Now, I’m healing. I want to share my journey.” – Leons Kabongo brothers could all leave the Congo. In two years, they all were granted refugee status, allowing them into the U.S. “It took two years for seven people: one woman and six kids,” Kabongo said. “I believe in miracles.” They landed in New York on July 4, 2004. His father had been living in Woodbridge. Kabongo was 15 years old. “Coming to America was a shock,” he said. “It’s a different culture.” Kabongo started at Gar-Field High School in Prince William County. He couldn’t understand any English, so he walked around with French and English dictionaries to translate, which made him a target for bullies. Kabongo wanted to join the football team because he thought it would be a way for him to make friends and learn English faster. SPRING 2019


Leons Kabongo moved to Harrisonburg in 2017 and joined the staff of OCP.

Weighing 140 pounds, his adviser said she wouldn’t let him play football. He was confused. He meant soccer, not American football. He persisted until he was finally introduced to the football coach. He said the first time he walked in, “they were laughing hysterically.” The coach let him on the team, and once he went home that night, he did some research and realized what he signed up for wasn’t soccer; so, he had to learn an entire new sport. On the football field, he didn’t know any of the plays, and didn’t know left from right in English. He struggled to learn the game and was told he didn’t belong there. “I laugh at my pain so I process it better instead of staying bitter,” Kabongo said. “That’s how I got to be where I am today. That’s how I can even speak about it.” The coach took Kabongo under his wing, teaching him not only the game of football, but also about American culture. In the next few years, Kabongo became a star player on the football team and began to fit in. By his senior year, his GPA was 3.8, he had been named All-American twice and Division I colleges were interested in him. An August 2007 story in The Washington Post, “Gar-Field Linebacker Kabongo Plays With Fire in His Belly,” said Kabongo had a reputation as “one of the hardest-hitting and hardest-working players on the team.” As noted earlier, Kabongo has had many ups and downs in his life. He was riding high his senior year of high school when suddenly everything came crashing down. He broke his leg, which caused him to miss out on the Division I recruiters who scout players during their first two games of the season. “I was depressed,” he said. “Once again, the depression of … being in the Congo and feeling so little and feeling like there’s always someone who’s bigger than you who’s going to terrorize you and traumatize you. That feeling came back again.” He graduated from high school in 2008 and went on to attend Shepherd University in West Virginia, where he played Division II football. He immediately fell in love with West Virginia because the mountains and farmland reminded him of home. “I hung out with basically everybody, and I got to grow,” he said. “I got to learn. I got to fail. I got to fail a lot.” 16


During his junior year, Kabongo said he got into a relationship that didn’t work out. He said his emotions got the best of him and he ended up being charged with domestic violence. He had to complete community service and anger management. He also lost his scholarship. He graduated from Shepherd University with a bachelor’s in economics in 2013. After graduation, he decided to reconnect with his roots, which he found through farming. He went to work for Butler’s Farm Market in Martinsburg, W.Va., a large family-owned farm. For a year, he learned farming methods and began to heal. “I just needed a lot of healing,” he said. “I just had been through a crazy eight to nine years. I needed a break.” He returned to school in 2014 to obtain a master’s degree in agriculture and natural resource and design from West Virginia University, where he graduated in 2016. Kabongo then began a nonprofit project in Lewis County, W.Va., to help people who suffer from opioid addiction. “I dreamed of building an OCP before I knew about OCP,” Kabongo said. But starting his own nonprofit wasn’t paying the bills. He said he became homeless again. By 2017, Kabongo had given up on his project and moved to Harrisonburg, where his parents had been living since 2010. He felt like a failure. Things began to look up for Kabongo when he discovered OCP. He started volunteering for the nonprofit and joined the staff in March 2017. “I just needed a lot of ‘no’s’ to get to where I belong,” he said.

“All these activities are to get marginalized people involved and to be mindful and to feel like they’re part of something, to look forward to something.” – Leons Kabongo Kabongo is able to connect with the marginalized people at Our Community Place because of his own life experience. “Like many refugees, Leons has experienced a lot of trauma in his life, and I think that has helped him to be very sensitive and empathetic toward people who come to OCP who are dealing with their own history of developmental trauma,” Nickels said. “I think he’s really connected with a lot of those folks and has a lot of compassion working with people who have their own histories of trauma.” As a side project, Kabongo is planting a new garden on Madison Street. He hopes the green space will become a community space for various activities. He’s also become involved with Vine and Fig, a local sustainability initiative, and he’s the president of the Congolese Youth club. Nickels felt Kabongo’s community impact during a recent Wednesday afternoon drum circle at OCP. “I remember looking around the circle and everybody was smiling or laughing or dancing, and some of these same people earlier in the day I had been talking to and helping because they were really struggling with challenging problems in their lives,” Nickels said. “That’s one of the programs he started that brings a lot of healing to people.”



photo courtesy of Shawn Gatesman

Make Townie American Pale Ale Community Contributor Shawn Gatesman, The Friendly Fermenter, LLC

Townie American Pale Ale Recipe INGREDIENTS: Water Additions: Gypsum 6g, Calcium Chloride 3.5g, Epsom Salt 3g 2 lbs Vienna Malt 1 lb Carapils 8 ozs Caravienne 6.6 lbs Golden Light Liquid Malt Extract (LME) 0.75 ozs Warrior Hops** (16.2%) – Boil 45 mins 9.6 ozs Golden Light Dry Malt Extract (DME) 8.0 ozs Dextrose/Corn Sugar 0.50 ozs Loral Hops (11.5%) – Boil 5 mins 0.40 ozs Calypso Hops (14.9%) – Boil 5 mins 0.50 ozs Citra Hops (12.0%) – Whirlpool/Steep 15 mins 0.60 ozs Calypso Hops (14.9%) – Whirlpool/Steep 15 mins 0.50 ozs Loral Hops (11.5%) – Whirlpool/Steep 15 mins Wyeast American Ale 2 or White labs California Ale V Yeast – 1 pack 1 oz Citra Hops – Dry Hop 5 days 0.75 oz Calypso Hops – Dry Hop 5 days 4-5 ozs Dextrose/Corn Sugar – for bottle Conditioning STEP BY STEP This recipe assumes using RO water. Adjustments to brewing salts can be made to your water’s chemistry, if you know it. If in doubt, water additions can be left out. Below are instructions for extract brewing, with steeping grains, and assumes a partial boil is being done. **NOTE if you are doing a full volume boil (~6 gals.), then the 45 min hop addition should be lower to 0.50 ozs. Place crushed grains in a steeping bag and stir into 2.5 gals of water, in a 3-4 gallon pot (or larger). The water can already be hot, around 170 °F, once mixed in well, you want a steeping temp of 155-165 °F or so. Gentle heat can be added to the pot to maintain the temp. for 20 mins. After steeping is complete, remove grain bag and gently squeeze and/ or rinse with some hot water, to get more of the color and flavors from the grains. Top up your kettle with water (depending on size boil you can do), and remember to leave space for the extracts to be added. Max volume of your wort should not be over 6 gallons, with all extracts in there – and this would be for a “full volume” boil. IF you are doing a full volume boil, the late DME can be added before the boil with the LME.



Metro Creative

(5 gallons, Extract Recipe) OG = 1.057 FG = 1.012 IBU = 42 SRM = 5 ABV = 5.8%

Once topped up to the level you need, heat to near boiling, then cut off heat and stir in LME (and DME if doing full volume boil). Boil the wort for 60 minutes, adding hops at the times indicated in the recipe. Whirlpool hops are added when boil is finished. Whirlpool wort very well, most likely with a spoon. Keep it moving for 5 mins at least, then let rest for at least 10 mins. Cover while resting to keep your wort clean! After 10 min rest, cool the wort to 65 °F as quickly as your setup allows (partial boils can use CLEAN cold water to top up fermenter, which speeds up cooling!) Oxygenate wort and pitch the yeast, allowing temperature to rise toward 70 °F as fermentation gets closer to completion (4-6 days in typically). Secondary fermenting vessel is not necessary, but if you desire to do so, move the beer within a day or so after fermentation calms down – approximately 1 week. You can either dry hop in secondary or add dry hops directly to primary at around the same time you would have transferred beer to secondary. After dry hop, cold crash beer if possible, to help drop hops and clear the beer. Fine the beer with gelatin if desired but if bottle conditioning, I usually warn against this, unless you want to add fresh yeast at bottling. If kegging the beer, fining and allowing to drop “brite” is very nice, but again not necessary. Once you have beer to desired clarity for how you are carbonating, either Prime and bottle condition (at room temp.), or keg and force carbonate. NEED MORE INFO? The internet has many sources to gain basic knowledge of homebrewing, but you are welcome to read the instructional articles I have written on our website! Shawn Gatesman is the Owner/Brew Guy at The Friendly Fermenter LLC on 20 S. Mason St., Suite B10 in Harrisonburg. Call them at 540-217-2614. You can also reach them at


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Chef Floyd Explores Global Food eading into its fifth year, Food.Bar.Food became a family-run business when Beau Floyd became the restaurant’s executive chef in late July. Floyd is the husband of Food. Bar.Food’s owner, Amanda Cannon, who opened the global comfort food eatery at 126 W. Bruce St. in the summer of 2014 with business partner and chef Jeff Minnich, who left in June. Floyd and Cannon, who married in October 2017 and have their first child together on the way, are looking forward to sharing their passion for food side by side. “We help push each other to do better and keep going,” Cannon said. “There’s a lot of mutual respect and admiration. It’s really great to work together.” Floyd, 33, has racked up years of experience in kitchens, serving


a variety of cuisines. The ability to explore many different types of food at Food.Bar.Food is what appealed to him. His goal has been to introduce more global cuisine and utilize more local farm vendors. “Our menu theme is global comfort food, so I have the freedom to do just about anything from anywhere. So, it’s really helping me along, I think,” he said. “This is my first real opportunity to shape my own style and dimension.” Since joining in the summer, Floyd has put his mark on Food. Bar.Food’s lunch, brunch and dinner menus, diversifying the restaurant’s selection. “He’s really brought a lot of passion and creativity to the menu,” Cannon said. “There’s just a whole world of flavors and cultures of food, and different ways

people enjoy and share food. So, for Beau to really be exploring that helps the restaurant achieve its goal and what I want to offer, which is exploring global comfort food.” Before joining Food.Bar.Food, Floyd was the executive sous chef and VIP chef for James Madison University special events and catering. For about 10 months, Floyd wrote the menus for the university president whenever he entertained guests, the JMU board of visitors, and the suite level food served at Bridgeforth Stadium during football games. He was also in charge of the university’s catering operations. “It helped prepare me for this place; that’s for sure,” he said. Floyd worked at Clementine Cafe followed by Bella Luna for a year. He was the restaurant’s first sous chef when it opened in 2013.

Daniel Lin

By Shelby Mertens

Food.Bar.Food chef Beau Floyd poses for a photo in the restaurant’s kitchen. He also worked at the Joshua Wilton House as a line cook and pastry chef. He was the sous chef at Food.Bar.Food from 2015 to 2016. Floyd said Food.Bar.Food is where he’s meant to be. “I’ve been with [Amanda] since the beginning of Food.Bar.Food, since it was just a concept,” he said. “I’m attached to Food.Bar.Food in some way. It’s a familiar space to me, and it’s always easier to work in a space where you’re comfortable.”

“Bringing Flavor to our Community”

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Since 1990 Gratitude to our patrons for your loyal support.






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Chips: A Re lection Of The Potato Jack Needham, Community Contributor, Friendly City Food Co-op Photos courtesy of Route 11 Potato Chips t their essence, potato chips contain three ingredients: potatoes, oil and a salt. They’re one of America’s favorite snacks year after year, and f the t crowded market reflects that: countless flavors and varieties, too c many brands to count, massive marketing campaigns and more. So, how can a small producer hope to compete? How do they set themselves apart? If you ask Sarah Cohen, president of Route 11 Potato Chips, she’ll say, “Less is more.” The folks at Route 11 have found success with that motto since their founding in 1992, and their resume shows it: a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream collab, a name drop from Oprah, a featured ingredient in the cookbook of two-star Michelin Chef José Andrés. The list goes on. When a food product has so few ingredients, quality becomes even more important. “With snack foods, manufacturers look for what’s cheapest,” Cohen said. That’s not the case at Route 11, where they’ve been using organic produce since day one. “The quality of the potato is essential,” she says. “The better potatoes we get, the better chips we’ll make. All of our potatoes come from the East Coast, all the way from Florida to New York. We work with a local grower in Harrisonburg and we get close to 1 million pounds of potatoes from him every season. ... The beauty of a kettle chip is that it really reflects the potato.” But to stand a chance against large brands, that commitment to quality must extend beyond potatoes. Salt is often taken for granted in cooking and


The potatoes are peeled a a mind-boggling rate of 50 pounds per second.

Each batch of chips cook for approximately eight minutes.

Chips fresh out of the kettle are inspected before bagging.



commercial food production, but at Route 11, it’s an opportunity to create an even better product. They use a mineral salt mined in Redmond, Utah, the standard salt for most Route 11 flavors. “What we love about Real Salt is that – first of all – it’s really delicious. And it’s unrefined, which means that it still has all of the 70-plus minerals inherent to salt. Most commercial salt is just sodium chloride, and is missing all the mineral goodness essential to good health.” Their brand new Salt & Pepper flavor uses salt from J.Q. Dickinson, which is sourced from the Iapetus Ocean, an ancient body of seawater that lies isolated below the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, about 250 miles west of the Route 11 factory. “We were playing around with creating the Salt & Pepper flavor for years,” Cohen said. “There are about 20 salt and pepper chips on the market, most of them containing 15-plus ingredients. Our goal was to do it with just salt and pepper. We just couldn’t find a good balance until we discovered the JQD salt. As soon as we tasted it, we knew. ... We consider this the best flavor we’ve ever developed.” Route 11’s production process is as dedicated to sustainability as it is to quality. When they rebuilt their factory in 2008, they didn’t cut down trees; they planted them. Sustainability is a focal point at every step of production from the moment the potatoes arrive from the farm: The residual dirt washed off the potatoes is collected by a filter to be used as topsoil. After the potatoes are peeled – at a mind-boggling rate of 50 pounds per second – the skins and rejects

are sent half a mile up the road to a farmer whose cow herds have developed an affinity. Next, their slicer, which can process 100 pounds in 42 seconds, prepares the potatoes for the slow-cooking process in the kettle. “The key is removing moisture,” Cohen said. “We cut the potatoes to a deliberate thickness. We want them crunchy but not too hard.” This combination of factors creates irregularly shaped chips, some flat, some folded in half or even in quarters: “It takes Frito Lay about 30 seconds to cook a batch, where as it takes us close to eight minutes, what would be considered an eternity when it comes to mass production. ... There’s more opportunity in our process for folding and undulating.” These irregularly shaped chips seem to hold onto seasoning better, creating a flavorful, satisfying crunch. Fresh out of the kettle and still glistening with hot oil, the chips are inspected as they’re transferred up one level to the seasoning room on a vertical conveyor belt, which Cohen affectionately calls “the giraffe.” There, the chips are hand seasoned by two employees before making their way to a scale that weighs the appropriate amounts and drops the chips into bags in the room below. Cohen says when things are running smoothly, they can fill 80 two-ounce bags in a minute. From peeler to bag, the process takes about 14 minutes. “On a good day,” she clarifies with a smile. From recycling potato dirt to selling excess used fryer oil to biofuel producers, Route 11’s production process demonstrates

and to control the things we can control.” Cohen also knows Route 11 chips are for more than just snacking. She also recommends crushing them to use as breading. “It creates a panko-like texture,” she said.

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Spicy Potato Chip Breaded Oven Baked Chicken Tenders (serves 4) BRINE: 1.5 lbs chicken tenders 1.5 c buttermilk ¼ c hot sauce 1 tsp black pepper ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp onion powder 1 Tbs salt 2 Tbs spicy brown mustard 2 eggs

photo courtesy of Jack Needham

a dedication to incorporating sustainability at every level: “Next on the road is finding packaging that will keep the chips fresh and is also biodegradable,” says Cohen. “That would be a big one for us. Our long-term sustainability plan is to keep doing what we’re doing

BREADING: 2 c panko 1 6-0z bag Route 11 Mama Zuma’s Revenge potato chips ½ tsp salt ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp onion powder ½ tsp smoked paprika ½ c flour In a medium glass bowl, whisk together brine ingredients until combined. Add chicken and mix to ensure all pieces are covered. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator for 4-8 hours. In a large mixing bowl, whisk panko, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika until combined. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned. Using a food processor, grind potato chips to a panko consistency. Add to mixing bowl with flour and panko mixture. Whisk until combined. Shake off excess brine and bread tenders one at a time. Press each tender firmly while it is covered with breading to ensure it adheres. Place breaded tenders on a wire rack and refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake tenders on wire rack for 18-21 minutes, flipping once halfway. Serve with spicy brown mustard and enjoy.



Ingredients for house-made cosmetics sit on shelves at withSimplicity.

Alternative Cosmetic Solutions By Jessica Wetzler fter Irina Dovganetskiy had her third child in 2013, she began to worry that her infant would ingest certain ingredients in her makeup, such as glitter, when the child touched or kissed her face. This concern sparked her to create her own line of natural, organic beauty products that would be safe for her newborn. It was a hobby that turned into a business, withSimplicity, and with the rise in popularity for alternative makeup, it sells safe and sustainable products without the harsh chemicals across the United States. Organic makeup has made its way across the country in recent years, with companies like LUSH and Sephora creating their own skin care and makeup lines for a more natural feel. Dovganetskiy, 34, of Harrisonburg, said makeup always




made her more self-confident. “I didn’t want to give up makeup,” she said. “But I also didn’t want my child to consume the glitter or toxins that was in some makeup lines after touching my face.” She was determined to find a safer alternative and began researching different products without artificial colors, fragrances and preservatives. After doing some research, she began experimenting and created her own line. “Our goal was to be more natural with our products and to help people become more aware of the artificial ingredients people are using on their skin,” Dovganetskiy said. “Alternative makeup is a movement that has been so rewarding over the years. We don’t use any preservatives, artificial colors or dyes, no glitter. Everything we sell is more natural and supports local business and families.”

Photos Daniel Lin Dovganetskiy began selling her products through Etsy, an online marketplace, in 2015. Items can still be found on Etsy for purchase, but most can be purchased through withSimplicity’s website or in store. Dovganetskiy opened her first store inside of a vintage 1975 Airstream trailer beside the Jess’ Quick Lunch parking lot in downtown Harrisonburg in mid-2016. The trailer was refurbished to have countertops to showcase her products along with a white-painted interior to enhance natural lighting. As her success grew, she outgrew her trailer. Toward the end of 2017, her business moved to the current location at 108 S. Main St., giving her the storefront she desired. Dovganetskiy said she strives to find the best and most versatile ingredients to use in her products.

House-made body scrubs sit for sale at withSimplicity in downtown Harrisonburg.

Molly Whitmore, of Harrisonburg, tests lip gloss on her daughter, Zoe, at withSimplicity.

“We don’t use any preservatives, arti icial colors or dyes, no glitter. Everything we sell is more natural and supports local business and families.” – Irina Dovganetskiy Without fillers and preservatives, products made at withSimplicity have a shelf life between six to 12 months. Lavender buds, shea butter and charcoal are a few of the most popular ingredients the company uses to make its products. Charcoal was found to be an excellent source for eyeliner and eye shadows due to its pigmentation and easy application. Most of the products at withSimplicity are made on site, which is a draw for local shoppers. The process of creating the products takes anywhere between two hours to 48 hours. Items such as lip balm can be created and packaged within a few hours, but foundations and other mineral makeup can take longer. Items that are sold on site include: nail polish, cosmetic brushes, lip, skin, and eye products, body scrubs, oils, candles, and hair products. For those looking for gift ideas, prepackaged gift sets can be purchased as well. “Everything we have here is locally made and supports local

employees. Supporting our business helps the community and helps to support someone else through our giving back projects,” Dovganetskiy said. Dovganetskiy has partnered with several organizations that she donates portions of sales to. Those include a partnership with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to provide meals to the Verona-based nonprofit. With every nail polish sold, one meal is provided to the food bank, with 1,062 meals since September. Since 2017, withSimplicity has been supporting Woodnaika, a young girl living in Haiti who the company can support through NewMissions, a religious organization establishing churches and Christian schools in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Daily donations provide Woodnaika her education, food and medical care. In December, the company gave a portion of makeup sales to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro. “Giving back,” Dovganetskiy said, “has always been a part of the business.”

withSimplicity employee Kourtney Layman applies labels to jars of house-made cosmetics.


May 25, 2019 Noon– 7 PM Massanutten Resort Gates open at 11:30 AM Held Rain or Shine

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It’s A Vintage Proposal By Shelby Mertens

Photos Daniel Lin

A variety of estate and vintage-styled rings from Hugo Kohl.

hat’s old is new again — the idea that cultural trends are cyclical. That’s certainly true for the jewelry industry, which is seeing a resurgence of vintage styles in engagement rings. But at the same time, modern brides and grooms are also breaking long-held ring traditions. Hugo Kohl Jewelry Boutique and Workshop, located at 217 S. Liberty St. in the Ice House building, sees clients wanting to mix old and new styles. “One thing that I see that is really contemporary is that we’re not locked into anything that’s too traditional now,” owner Hugo Kohl said. “The engagement ring still exists, and that’s very traditional. But what it’s made out of and what stones are set in it doesn’t necessarily have to be white gold with a diamond in it. It could be all kinds of things.” Kohl said couples are interested in buying engagement rings that have a personal touch. The jewelry boutique and workshop specializes in vintage styles from the 1800s through the early 20th century, up until the 1950s. Those engagement ring bands often have


Hugo Kohl solders a ring in his workshop (above), and steam cleans a ring (below).



an engraved continuous pattern of florals, ribbons or other symbols. “They’re beautiful designs, but all of them are sending messages,” he said. “I think what a lot of people are looking for these days is something that speaks to them personally or to their relationship. I think that’s important.” For example, the dogwood flower represents strength and endurance, while a ribbon embodies commitment and bond, dating back to the Victorian era, according to Kate Hill, Hugo Kohl’s boutique manager. Ivy is meant to represent growing together and the intertwining of marriage, and the orange blossom symbolizes fertility, fidelity and eternity. “There’s all sorts of symbols throughout these pieces, whether it’s orange blossoms, dogwoods or ribbons,” Hill said. “Tulips still hold that same romantic notion of love.” Hunter Woodard, a manager at James McHone Jewelry at 75 Court Square, also sees vintage, engraved details are now favored more often than solid bands. “It’s a little something that’s

different than just a modern, plain band,” Woodard said. “People want something that is unique to them. When they come in, they’re looking for something that speaks to them. They don’t want something necessarily that everybody else has.” In addition to engraved detail, Woodard said vintage milgrain and filigree designs, as well as bezel settings, are trending. “It’s just an added depth to the piece,” he said. Kohl said more couples are also considering the effects of climate change and other ethical issues when shopping for a ring, opting for lab-grown gemstones instead of traditionally mined gems. “People are a lot more environmentally conscious today. … People are not wanting gemstones that are mined out of the ground,” Kohl said. “They’re caring that there’s no slavery involved; it’s conflict-free.” Kohl said at least half of the rings in his shop are lab stones, which he said contain all the same chemical properties of a mined stone without the impurities that come from Mother Nature.

“Typically speaking, they’re less expensive,” he said. “So, you get a tougher, more durable, more beautiful product for a little bit less money.” Durability is a greater desire for modern women who tend to have a more active lifestyle, Kohl said. “An engagement ring is one piece of jewelry that takes a tremendous amount of abuse,” he said. “So, besides being super elegant, it must be super tough and durable.” Halo engagement rings became popular in the 2000s, which Kohls attributes to the 2008 economic recession. A halo ring consists of many tiny diamonds that circle a center diamond. “Everyone remembers in 2008, when the economy tanked, one of the things that happened as a byproduct of that was a lot of people sold their jewelry,” Kohl said. “All of the sudden the market

was flooded with a bunch of itty bitty, teeny tiny diamonds.” Aerika Williams, the head sales associate of Christopher Williams Jewelers’ Weyers Cave store, said halos are the more affordable option. “Halos give you the feel of a bigger diamond,” Williams said. “Even if you’re on a smaller budget, giving a halo will give you the look of a bigger ring.” But Kohl doesn’t think the halo style works well for engagement rings because the little diamonds tend to fall out more easily, resulting in more trips to the repair shop. He said the halo ring is on its way of out style in favor of better quality rings. “These halos were kind of a fad, it seems,” he said. “Our observation is that fad is starting to diminish a little bit. People are asking us questions that seem to be more thoughtful about how

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long something will last.” Williams also said the center diamond is becoming more of the focal point of the ring. Contemporary twist mountings, which resemble a braid or an infinity symbol, are among her store’s top sellers. “It’s just something that’s classic, but a little bit different,” she said. The most popular color of gold has also shifted, according to Williams, who said the trends have gone from yellow gold to white gold to now a shade with a pinkish tint. “Now, you’re seeing a lot more people get rose gold,” Williams said. Yellow gold, popular a few decades ago, is also coming back, according to Hill. “For a while, rose gold was really hot, and it’s still popular, but there’s definitely a move,” she said. “We see yellow gold coming back into play big

time. The women getting married today look at what their mothers were wearing in the ’80s and early ’90s.” The square-shaped princess cut and the football-shaped marquee cut may have had their 15 minutes of fame, but the round cut has always been No. 1, Woodard said. “Other shaped stones have increased in popularity but never overtook round-cut stones as the most popular,” he said. Kohl said couples are also picking gemstones that are not diamonds, including birthstones and sapphires, which can come in a variety of colors besides blue. “They’re not feeling locked into ‘it’s got to be a diamond,’” Kohl said. Woodard said he has noticed these trends over the last six months and expects them to continue to build.

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Inset: An 1920’s platinum ring with a 0.78-carat emerald-cut diamond and art deco filigree sits on display at James McHone Jewelry.

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Your story of forever begins here at... 75 Court Square, Harrisonburg VA 22801 (540) 433-1833 • Monday-Friday 9:30am to 5:30pm Saturday 10am to 4 pm

James McHone Jewelry manager Tina Shull examines a ring under a microscope.

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Find Your Wedding Dress On A Budget Ivelisse Estes, Community Contributor, Blogger,

ears before a bride walks down the aisle to marital bliss, she will think about her wedding dress. In an age where people are spending over $20,000 for a wedding, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to keep a strict budget. Luckily for you, I have come up with a couple of small ways to save BIG on your perfect wedding dress. 1. SHOP FOR A CAUSE Before being proposed to, I already had my wedding dress picked out. Unfortunately, by the time I was engaged, that dress was no longer being manufactured in stores that were in my area (or state for that matter) and I was left to search for the perfect dress. One day I received an email about a nonprofit company called “Brides Against Breast Cancer.” The nonprofit company goes on tours around the country allowing brides to donate their used dresses and accessories for future brides to purchase at a largely discounted rate. All of the proceeds go to cancer patients and their families. As a two-time cancer survivor, I immediately looked for the nearest trunk show and made it a mission to get my dress, while also helping others who were currently fighting cancer. I was able to get my dress, alterations, a crown and a free veil


for under $850! The dress alone was originally over $1,000 because of the intricate beading on the bodice as well as on the train. 2. FOLLOW FOR FUNDS If you are one of the 800 million people on Instagram or nearly 1.5 billion people on Facebook, I highly suggest that you follow your favorite bridal boutique on social media. Not only will you be one of the first to know about sales and what dresses are on trend, but you will also have the chance to enter various giveaways that the boutique may provide! A tip that I have for Instagram is to make sure to turn on your post notifications for your favorite boutiques. You can do this by going to the boutique’s Instagram page and clicking on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner. Scroll down to where it says, “Turn on Post Notifications” and voila! Now whenever this brand makes a new post, you will be notified. 3. THEY TRY, YOU BUY I recently discovered that several bridal boutiques will let you purchase a sample dress; many discounted at least 30-40 percent off retail prices. Even if you do not see a “sale” sign, it won’t hurt to ask the boutique if there are any sample dresses that you can buy. Another benefit to purchasing a sample dress is that

there will be some wiggle room for negotiations since some boutiques will be trying to get rid of dresses to prepare for new inventory. 4. SEASONS AHEAD It’s winter time and you have set the date for a gorgeous spring wedding, but did you know it is suggested to order your gown at least three-six months in advance? Yes girlfriend! If you would like to avoid rush fees, as well as, last-minute alterations, which can easily add up to over $400, ordering in advance is a MUST. Plus, you won’t have the anxiety of having to schedule a fitting so close to the wedding. Another reason why I suggest getting your dress months in advance is because of the discounts! Dresses that are shorter, strapless or sleeveless tend to go on sale in the winter, making it perfect for those who are getting married in the warmer months, and dresses that are long sleeved and heavier tend to go on sale during the warmer months. 5. MIX TO MASTERPIECE If going traditional isn’t something that you are interested in, consider wearing a lace top and a chiffon or tulle skirt. If you are looking for something a bit simpler, you can always try a solid top and an embellished skirt. You can also consider altering vintage

thrift store finds. By choosing to purchase separate pieces you are not only getting a gorgeous wedding outfit, but you can also style the pieces differently later on, if you choose to wear them again. Purchasing mix pieces allows you to be more creative and increases the flexibility of your budget. 6. RENT AND RETURN Don’t want to splurge on a dress that you are only going to wear once and shove into your closet? Not to worry! During my college years, I was introduced to the practice of renting a dress for a special occasion. Various websites, such as “Rent The Runway” or “Gwynnie Bee,” have everything from dresses to accessories that you can rent. Generally, the price depends on the amount of time you need the rental and they will even take care of the dry cleaning for you once you return the dress. Lastly, remember that you and your spouse will love and cherish your wedding day no matter what kind of outfit you have on. This once-in-a-lifetime moment with you and your family will go by so fast. Cherish every moment of it. Love fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts? Follow Ivelisse Estes on Instagram @CarnationDreams as well as her blog SPRING 2019


Make Memories In The Kitchen

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie Prep: 20 min Cook: 30 min Ready In: 4 h 50 min

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut 3 cups half-and-half 2 eggs, beaten 3/4 cup white sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake it, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and the vanilla extract. Reserve the remaining coconut to top the pie. Pour the fi lling into the pie shell and chill until fi rm, about 4 hours. Top with whipped topping and with the reserved coconut.

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