NRV Magazine Mar-Apr 2024

Page 1

NRV’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine Agility Dogs | Eats Natural Foods | Artist - Steven Kenny HOME ISSUE March/April 2024 New River Valley

A first home to make your own.

Purchasing a home can be intimidating for first-time buyers, but you don't have to do it alone. Our team of experts is on your side from contract to closing and beyond. We'll help you secure the financing you need, so that you can focus on making yourself at home. Choose a team you can trust.

Easily apply online

Quick processing times

Customized solutions

Expert mortgage advice

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 2
Scan to Learn more
Apply online at
subject to credit and collateral requirements. Not all applicants will qualify.
3 March/April 2024 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 540-231-5300 | MOSS ARTS CENTER PERFORMANCES | EXHIBITIONS | EXPERIENCES BAMBERG SYMPHONY JAKUB HRŮŠA, conductor HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD, piano  Friday , April 26, 2024, 7:30 PM  10TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 4
5 March/April 2024

Federally insured by NCUA.

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of a HELOC is indexed to the Prime Rate as published on the money rate table in the Wall Street Journal + a margin for the life of the loan. Prime Rate as of 7/27/2023 is 8.50%. Our current lowest APR for credit lines over $100,000 is 8.50%, which includes + 0.00 margin and for credit lines under $100,000 is 9.00%, which includes + 0.50 margin. HELOC APRs are variable and subject to change. The maximum APR that may be imposed is 18.00%. Maximum loan-to-value as high as 90%, depending on creditworthiness. No closing costs for loan amounts of $100,000 and less except for legal fees, if required. For loan amounts over $100,000, estimated closing costs may range from $1,625 to $2,897. A review of the credit eligibility, adequate property value , and a clear title is also needed for qualification. Other restrictions may apply. The minimum loan amount is $10,000 and the maximum loan amount is $300,000. The term is up to 240 months. Pay interest only on the amount drawn or 1% of the balance. Membership with Freedom First is a requirement for this offer with a $5 share account. Property insurance, if applicable, must be in effect on the property being secured and the said property must be in the Freedom First Credit Union membership area.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 6
The property must be owner occupied . Please consult a tax adviser for further information regarding the deductibility of interest. All credit union loan programs, rates, term and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Contact a Freedom First Credit Union representative at (540) 389-0244 for complete details. For qualifying credit lines of $100,000 or less, an introductory rate as low as 8.25% fixed APR applies for the first thirteen (13) months of the loan. After the introductory period, the APR will revert back to the original rate indexed to the Prime Rate. Your actual rates may vary, depending on credit history, loan amount and term, loan to value ratio, and other factors. Maximum loan-to-value as high as 80%, depending on creditworthiness. No closing costs for loan amounts of $100,000 and less except for legal fees, if required. Contact a Freedom First Credit Union representative at (540) 389-0244 for more details. (540) 389-0244 local | (866) 389-0244 toll-free | TAP INTO YOUR HOME’S EQUITY A Home Equity Line of Credit gives you access to funds for large purchases, emergencies, or even college tuition. There are many reasons to get a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). No matter the reason, we’re here to help you. make the most of your home’s equity! Reasons to get a Home Equity Loan: Consolidate Debt College Tuition Home Improvements Medical Expenses Vacation Planning Appliance or Auto Repair Emergency/Rainy Day Fund Scan to learn more about applying for a Home Equity Line of Credit.
NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 8


P. O. Box 11816

Blacksburg, VA 24062

o: 540-961-2015


Country Media, Inc.

Phillip Vaught


Joanne Anderson


Vickey Lloyd


Dennis Shelor


Joanne Anderson

Emily Alberts

Jo Clark

Becky Hepler

Nancy Moseley

Caitlyn Koser

Evan Hull


Tom Wallace

Christy Wallace

Kristie Lea Photography

Kevin Riley

Madison Underwood

Jon Fleming

WWe all know the “shop local” mantra. It’s easy to say and, as one who shops almost exclusively local(ly) – for my grammar-minded pals -- it’s easy to do. This past season, I intentionally went to Eats Natural Foods on the lookout for gifts for 50-something and 60-something folks who don’t really need anything. Yet, everyone needs food, soap, nice chocolate, healthy products and a puzzle, so I may have made more visits in a month, since January birthdays roll around in my family, than in the year. That’s not going to happen again, not a month will go by without finding me near the tea, gifts, lotion, nuts and/or fun bottled sodas at Eats. Story on page 46.

Pasture Talk

to join Josh full-time. Again, it’s a momand-pop small business. They still turn the economic engine of our country, ya know, these small businesses.

As this natural health foods (and gift) shop moves into new management at the half-century mark, I am astonished at other local stores in business for decades, especially retail, which can be a tough road across decades. Robert Miller started Miller off Main 50 years ago, and John Klein has had a camera shop downtown for 46 years. Jane Bonomo takes the cake for 51 years in fashion and retail, same owner, with others are nipping at those heels for longevity and communityminded spirits.

While not counting in decades, I must share the news from my former business [1994 to 2011], Clay Corner Inn. Though ownership did not move consecutively from my hands to Josh Roseberry, he has had the B&B since just before the pandemic. What a wicked welcome into the real world of economic chaos, as people halted traveling first, big blow to the small lodging industry. He persevered and expanded the business with Clay Corner Catering. His charming wife (I mean that, she is so sweet!), Jenna, left her Corporate Research Center job about a year ago

Reveling in a new opportunity, Josh and Jenna have acquired The Oaks Victorian Inn in Christiansburg. Now, back in the day, when people called for a special occasion like a wedding anniversary, birthday or other occasion, I’d say: “If you want the lace, silver and luxury accommodations, you should call The Oaks.” And now Clay Corner Inn and The Oaks are rolled up under the warm, professional, astute management style of the Roseberrys.

You know what they say about special occasions and champagne? You don’t need a special occasion to open champagne. Opening champagne makes any occasion special. I think it’s the same with a night away, staycation or surprise --- staying at Clay Corner Inn or The Oaks makes any ordinary night or weekend special. Very special. If those Virginia Tech or hospital search committees want to impress a candidate, stay local!

Predictably, the days get longer, daffodils find their way up from under the soil, temps warm, and the trails beckon. You don’t have to ride a horse to enjoy the miles of trails in the New River Valley. Find a new one. Walk. Take photos. Breathe. Smile.

9 Mar/Apr 2024
© 2024 Country Media, Inc. Country Media, Inc. will not knowingly publish any advertisement that is illegal or misleading to its readers. Neither the advertiser nor Country Media, Inc. will be responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints, or typographical errors. The publisher assumes no financial liability for copy omissions by Country Media, Inc. other than the cost of the space occupied by the error. Corrections or cancellations to be made by an advertiser shall be received no later than 5 p.m. the 20th of each publishing month. No claim shall be allowed for errors not affecting the value of the advertisement. Paid advertising does not represent an endorsement by this publication. Content cannot be reproduced without written consent from Country Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Real Estate advertised in this publication is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Another Man's Treasure

remodel echoes family's active, outdoor lifestyle

AAfter years calling the Roanoke Valley home, Matt and Kristin Shortt had their hearts set on returning to the New River Valley because they wanted to start their family closer to family. They just needed the right residential opportunity to come along.

"We've been in Blacksburg now for 13 years. It's such a beautiful place to raise children," Kristin Shortt says.

Matt and Kristin were intimately familiar with the allure of the area, having attended Virginia Tech and Radford University respectively. Both collegiate cheerleaders, they met one summer coaching youth cheerleading camps. Currently, Matt is the director of operations for OrthoVirginia,

and Kristin coaches cheerleading at Blacksburg Middle School. Both also coach area youth sports.

"When we first walked through the house, we loved the lot but decided to pass on it due to the finishes and a tiny kitchen. We spent the next year continuing our search, but always had this home in the back of our minds because we loved the location," Matt explains.

The home is in Blacksburg's Country Club neighborhood on a quiet cul-de-sac overlooking mountains and the pristine golf course. It was built in 2007 by a man as a surprise for his wife.

However, she didn't want to leave their current home, so onto the market it went. Eventually it went under contract to another family.

"We were surprised that we were sad about that,” Kristin shares, “but that contract fell through and shortly after, we put an offer in, knowing one day we would remodel." The couple closed on the property in July 2011 and spent 10 years hyper-focused on exactly what they wanted to change and how they wanted each space to function for their lifestyle today and in the future.

"Nothing was left untouched,”

11 March/April 2024
“We completely gutted the house down to the studs, moved walls, raised the roof, added additions on both sides of the house, and expanded the front porch." - Matt

states Matt. “We completely gutted the house down to the studs, moved walls, raised the roof, added additions on both sides of the house, and expanded the front porch."

Cassidy Jones, business development manager and lead designer for Slate Creek Builders, agrees: "This remodel started with curb appeal, where new windows, siding, paint, roof and architectural details were added. Inside, no room was untouched in the complete overhaul of the home's interior, turning it into an incredible showpiece that highlights all the talent that can be found in the

construction industry."

The home grew from 4,700 square feet to 7,200 square feet and expanded from five bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths to six bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths. They also added a third car space to the garage and a golf cart garage.

Notable add-ons on the main level are his and her offices, a full bathroom, a reconfigured grand foyer, a renovated kitchen with a hidden pantry, and a walk-in closet off the master bedroom with a fun, lazy Susan shoe rack.

The "workhorse" of the home,

as Kristin candidly designates, is the combined laundry and mud room with built-in lockers for each family member, a dog feeding station for resident pup, Jasmine, and a built-in water station for easy bottle-filling before the daily rush out the door.

Also on the main living level, the Shortts created an open space with glass railings and a spiral staircase that overlooks the new all-sports simulator and game room on the lower level. No matter the weather, family and friends can play baseball, softball, soccer, football, basketball and golf. The simulator doubles as a theater screen,

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 12
13 March/April 2024 OUR 2023 NEST MARKET REPORT HAS LANDED! NESTMARKETREPORTS.COM Stay up to date on the New River Valley real estate market! NEW RIVER VALLEY 118 Country Club Drive SW, Blacksburg, VA 24060 540.443.6100 | @NestRealtyNRV |
NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 14
15 March/April 2024

perfect for movie nights, karaoke parties and sleepovers for daughter, Bellamy (13) and son, Beckham (11).

"We were very intentional about not just having an open floor plan but having open levels of the home as well so that everything feels connected. If we’re entertaining friends in the kitchen or working in our offices, the kids can all be downstairs in the game room or gym, and everyone still feels connected due to the open levels," Matt declares.

There is detailed millwork, all new cabinetry, countertops, flooring, lighting and appliances throughout. Jones adds: "Overall, it was about

two years of working closely together. This was an especially fun project as the clients had an incredible sense of space and style. Thus, the process was really collaborative."

The home sits on a little over half an acre, but due to overlooking the golf course, "it feels like the backyard is endless!" Matt exudes. As a family they love sitting outside to watch golfers go by or their children and friends play on the in-ground trampoline.

A self-proclaimed energetic, outdoorsy family, they wanted as many rooms as possible to open out to the one of the decks or patios. The new screened-in back porch is a

highlight. "We installed an ActivWall for the sliding doors so when open it is a true indoor-outdoor living space that feels like another room of our house. When the weather is warm, we leave the door open all day, and we don’t have to worry about bugs or weather elements."

For the Shortt family, the ol' real estate adage "location, location, location" rings true. When you fall in love with the land, the views and the exact address, it's relatively simple to change everything else. You can't move a mountain, after all, but you can certainly renovate the kitchen so the windows all have sweeping views of that mountain.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 16
17 March/April 2024

12 Home Essentials

Question: When is the best time to plant a tree or start a savings account?

Answer: Today.

Well, the same answer rings true for the question: Do you know where is your electric breaker box, water shut-off valves, underground pipes and other systemsrelated things at home? This is not information you want to discover after an incident which could have been avoided or minimized. Today is a good day to review these essentials for yourself and with family members.

1. Electric breaker box. Know where it is and read the guide on the inside door which indicates which breakers go to which rooms and appliances. Learn how to shut off the main circuit and individual breakers, and how to turn them back on in the event one became overloaded.

2. Gas valve. It’s possible the water heater, stove, washer and dryer, fireplace, furnace and/or something else is powered by natural or propane gas. Typically, every gas

fixture is required to have its own shut-off valve, but that varies with municipalities and structures. Chris Nicholson, manager and lead auditor at Energy Check, says it’s a good idea to periodically check for gas leaks. “It is amazing how many gas leaks we find when doing energy audits,” he states.

3. Water and well Know where to find the main turn-off handle, as well as all the individual ones in your bathroom, laundry space and other places. A water leak can go from minor to major if you do not know how to stem the tide in the event of a burst pipe or loose pipe fitting. Being aware of a well location and design can assist repair technicians. “Every home should also have a backflow preventer to keep unwanted water from back feeding from your home in case of lost pressure,” explains Ed Tuchler, owner of Shelter Alternatives. “The best practice is to turn off the water when

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 18
19 March/April 2024 REP-16540-A-AD EXP 31 DEC 2024 © 2023 EDWARD D. JONES & CO., L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. AECSPAD 20238076 Financial advice that puts you first. Serving the New River Valley with distinction. Let’s talk about your financial goals. Contact me today. Trevor S Gray, CFP®, AAMS™ Financial Advisor 1901 South Main Street Suite 4b Blacksburg, VA 24060 540-552-1241 2023 Forbes Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors Best-in-State in VA, published August 2023, research by SHOOK® Research LLC, data as of March 2023. Compensation provided for using, not obtaining, the rating. Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

you are gone on a trip and no one is watching the house. You might also consider turning off the water heater, which can burn out if it has no water or suddenly gets hit with cold water.”

4. Filters Furnace and air filters are simple to change and a huge preventive measure in efficiency of all the air handling in a home. Buy filters in multi-packs to have on hand. Depending on traffic and pets in the home, air filters are best changed out every 30 to 90 days year-round.

5. Sewer and septic. In the event of a wastewater plumbing issue, it’s handy to know where the key parts of the sewer lines or the septic tank are located. There may be a clean-out valve at the house which requires occasional inspection. “If you’re on a town water system,” Tuchler explains, “you may need a backflow preventer on your sewer pipe if the elevation of your lowest fixture is too close to sewer pipe levels. This is designed to keep sewer backups out of your basement.”

6. Attic, basement, crawlspace access. These can be found obviously outside or in a ceiling or not-soobviously under a deck or behind a closet. Many of these spaces house water heaters, air handlers, furnaces and air conditioning fixtures. Nicholson cautions that these spaces can present uncomfortable problems if they are not properly sealed, contributing to unnecessary moisture and unhealthy air.

7. Smoke alarms. There should be at least one on every level and replaced every 10 years. Each one has an

expiration date, and it’s wise to check them once a year so you know the sound you hope never to hear.

8. Property lines. Becoming familiar with property lines may avoid any issues with neighbors or municipalities regarding fencing, fallen trees, landscaping and potential boundary issues.

9. Gutters and downspouts. Poor drainage from clogged or broken gutters and downspouts seep into many a garage, basement or home. Depending on your gutter system, and there are some wonderful new ones on the market, inspect things annually. “At Shelter Alternatives, we are typically installing 6-inch, rather than the standard 5 inch gutters,” Tuchler offers. “They carry a lot more water and help avoid problems, though they still need to be maintained. Also, pay close attention to where that water goes once it gets off the roof. If it is getting to your footing or foundation, that can cause problems.

10. Fireplace, dryer, pellet stove. Anything which has its own exit to the outdoors needs attention at least once a year. Chimneys need inspection and sweeping from soot build-up, and it’s wise to look at dryer vents and pellet stoves to assure unobstructed clearance to the outside. Hard metal pipes are recommended for dryer vents.

Bonus essential: Have a fire extinguisher on every level and show each family member how to operate it quickly and effectively if it is ever needed. This is a “show and tell” exercise. Do this without actually pulling the pin!

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 20
21 March/April 2024

A Stroke of Genius

the latest developments in home improvement's simplest solution

It too often carries a negative connotation: To "slap a coat of paint" on something means going for the quickest, easiest spit-spine. Maybe you're covering up prodigious crayon masterpieces. Maybe those picture-hanging strips that promise not to damage your wall did, in fact, damage your wall. Or maybe you're just further procrastinating on a pricier, fancier renovation. When are tax refunds expected? However - as with most things these days - it's not too far-fetched to also apply the word 'smart' to paint. Thanks to continuously developing technologies and folks whose careers are built on research and innovations of the chemical kind, in 2024 we can look forward to the following trends in the paint and coating industry.


Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are chemicals found in traditional paints that emit harmful fumes, negatively affecting air quality and respiratory health. Coatings with a designation of "no" or "low" VOC contain a lesser amount of the bad stuff, therefore offering a more eco- and user-friendly decor product. VOC-free paints are also prostrate to stricter Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Cover Story, a startup company from Finland, utilizes a water-based solution and organic paint binders harvested from plant oils to manufacture a plasticand VOC-free odorless paint.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 22
23 March/April 2024

Natural Ingredients

Speaking of organic, another trend in paint technology can perhaps be viewed as a regression of sorts. Because conventional paints contain complicated chemical compounds, solvents and pigments, there is now greater attention on producing sustainable, environmentallyconscious products. The industry is "going back to nature." Extracting colors from plants, minerals and similar biodegradable elements is one step forward for the paint industry, focusing less on science, more on quality-of-life.

Self-Healing Paint

of the above, improved air quality, hygienic integrity, and environmentally sound conditions. Uses are perhaps best for rooms susceptible to higher moisture levels, like below ground basements or airy garages.

This 2024 trend has a decidedly sci-fi feel to it. Exactly what it sounds like, self-healing paint takes on damage and then [magically?] restores itself to the original condition. How, exactly? From the website, startus-insights. com, "these innovative coatings contain microcapsules that release restorative agents when the paint is damaged or scratched, effectively healing the surface and minimizing the appearance of imperfections." Application is likely to be more widespread in industrial environments and is already well on its way in the automotive sect. Though as selfhealing paints become more of a household phrase, junior's dining room wall art may just one day ... disappear.

Fast-Drying Paint

Again, exactly as it sounds, utilizing fast-drying paint products provides a savings both in time and in energy, perhaps our two greatest currencies. These paints can be water-based or oil-based, each with preferred applications and results. All contain elements that reduce the need for multiple coats and extended ventilation. Also, when drying elements are found within the paint itself, not the conditions of the immediate environment, climate control - humid vs. dry locales - becomes less of a consideration.

Anti-Bacterial Paint

Fun Stuff

Don't let the big scientific words and chemistry rhetoric be intimidating. Painting is still the most affordable and fun way to change the look and feel of spaces we occupy. While chalkboard, and even magnetic, paints have been on shelves for a while, now glow-in-the-dark paint is starting to emerge, paint that emits light after being exposed to such. Luminous paint applications are obvious to improve safety in low light conditions, with artistic uses being a bit more endless, and ageless.

Lastly, many paint distributors are starting to offer 3D color visualizers. Aimed at enhancing the customer experience of choosing and applying products, this digital technology allows consumers to virtually inhabit their living or business space and try out different applications (accent wall or no?) and colors. The interactivity makes the selection process less of a guessing game and more of a known known.

When we live (and work) within walls coated with copious amounts of the colorful stuff, it would be nice to know it's not growing bacteria, fungus and germs of any kind behind our backs. Anti-bacterial paint is manufactured with antimicrobial supplements that fight off creepy microscopical invasions. The result? As with most

If you are taking strides to be eco-friendly with paint selection, make sure you are equally intentional with paint waste. According to "Never throw away leftover liquid paint or stain in your trash. Water-based paint or stain can be dried with absorbent material such as cat box filler, shredded newspaper or sawdust. Solvent-based paints or stains are ignitable and present additional hazards to the environment." These oilbased leftovers should be saved for a local hazardous waste collection program or contact the state's environmental protection agency for guidance.

Until global warming advances to a [literal] degree rendering walls unnecessary in which to contain ourselves, it's worth utilizing - when convenient and financially viablethe latest in paint trends and technology. If only to stave off, well, global warming.

Nancy S. Moseley is a Blacksburg-based freelance writer. Don't get her started on "wall safe" picture-hanging strips. She's hoping someone, somewhere, is focused on advancing that technology, else her demeanor will no longer be environmentally-friendly.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 24
25 March/April 2024 GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE Indulge yourself in a three-course gourmet breakfast from our very own French-trained chef as you take in the most beautiful sunrises in all of Virginia. A boutique-style Inn with on-site private massage services, and everything else in the utmost finest detail. 540.910.3123

How Does Your Garden Grow? Sharon, Sharon

with lots of care, water and sun and a little rest under the snow

Sharon Scott grew up with gardens. Her grandmothers, aunts and mother grew flowers and vegetables, and the delicate fragrances of lilacs, butterfly bushes, clematis, morning glories, peonies and roses wafted in the air. “My family would gather in the shade of the yard and talk about things. Flowers were always close by, and early on, I wanted to be an extension agent,” she recalls.

When she and her husband, John Tutle, purchased their Christiansburg property in the fall of 2000, Sharon had all winter to develop her 5-year landscape plan. There were a few trees in the front and on the side, but the backyard was a blank canvas. “I planted flowers and shrubs so something is blooming in three seasons. I love daffodils and tulips. I love peony season, and sometimes that

coincides with the first bloom of my roses. I LOVE zinnias and black-eyed Susans, and I think they SCREAM summer and remain healthy until late fall. The sedum turns from pink to red to maroon. Hydrangeas are another favorite. I have cut flowers in my house from May through October.”

The trees have grown in the back and created shade, which many of the original plants did not thrive in. Those plants have been moved, and new shade-loving plants are spread throughout. “Today, my garden is only a faint reminder of my original plan,” Sharon states. Her gardens have been influenced by world travels and her family. When in England, she fell in love with dry stacked stone. The wall she added the first year adds structure and texture, while travels to Japan opened new ideas for pathways.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 26
27 March/April 2024

Herbs, Dirt and Bugs

Because she and John enjoy cooking and entertaining, she planted more than a dozen herbs including lemon, English thyme, oregano, fennel and mint. “I made a rookie mistake,” she confesses, “in planting my first year with mint and oregano outside the fence. They migrated inside eventually, and twice a year I rip up mint and give it to friends who love mojitos or mint tea. My beautiful rosemary shrubs froze a couple years ago, and I started over with new ones last year.” Most of the herbs are perennials.

Sharon never did become an extension agent and currently owns the consulting firm Fully Engaged at She loves being outside in the gardens where she can get lost in time doing the weeding and deadheading. “Gardening is not for everyone,” she advises. “It might be less expensive to purchase fresh flowers for your home rather than garden, especially if you like having lovely, manicured fingernails. But if you love dirt, bugs, bees and watching things grow, then create a garden.”

Family Dedications

From once a barren ground, their backyard living space now includes the deck, a greenway, “The Hill” patio, a shade garden, a formal garden, the original garden and special family gardens. “Everything in the Letty Garden [for her mom] is white, pink, and red in roses, hydrangeas, coneflowers, lavender and Russian sage. The zinnias, sunflowers, gladiolas, cleomes and four o'clocks grow in the Myrtle Garden [for her grandmother].” Her dad loved shade, and after he passed away in 2020, the stone patio became a refuge for being secluded and shady.

Pathways and More

Sharon has flagstones and slate pieces from both her parents’ and grandparents’ properties in some places, but she especially likes her pea gravel path. “The shifting soil and low-lying spaces made carrying heavy pots difficult. I love how pea gravel is used in gardens I had visited in the UK. It lends color and texture, and I like the sound of walking it.”

Raised beds embrace a different method of gardening, and Sharon reserves those for her lettuce, cucumbers and peppers. She has very few house plants and, perhaps like most avid gardeners, is not a big fan of winter. “The garden is less vibrant, but I enjoy the catalogs, always planning what can go in and what to remove. I have stringed lights on The Hill, creating a magical space while the plants are sleeping and dormant.”

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 28
29 March/April 2024 our whole-home approach home performance audits more comfort less energy make your home the best it can be! 540.443.9966 701 Progress Street Blacksburg, VA 24060 insulation air and duct sealing heating & cooling basements and crawlspaces roofs, windows, and doors fresh air systems Also find us on Facebook! 540.951.0358 homes additions remodels

It's likely that her family gathering and “talking about things” when she was young influenced the poster in Sharon Scott’s garden. She had it framed by Original Frameworks to withstand the elements.

“When I visit the garden after 5 p.m., it is often with a glass of wine. I see the flowers that graced my ancestors' yards, farms and gardens, and I smile. I enjoy the payoff of weeding and deadheading. In drinking wine, I also appreciate the fruits of someone else's gardening labor. Farming and agriculture are part of my life and DNA. Gardening brings me peace and great joy. The poster speaks to me.”

Sharon’s Top 5 Gardening Tips

1. Know what you like and what is possible in your space. Visit gardens, read, ask questions, take photos.

2. Understand how much time you really have and/or hire a gardener. It should bring joy, not dread.

3. Research how much space your plants require and growing conditions like sun, water, shade. Do not crowd plants or grow tiny things in a large space.

4. Have lots of vases on hand for flowers in your house and to give away, vase and all.

5. Use the dormant season for planning and resting. Pruning can start as early as February.

Jack Turner, The English Country Gardener, was tapped for the pea gravel path. “He understood my vision and completed it in an afternoon,” Sharon beams. Turner is a native of England who operates a traditional gardening service in the New River Valley using his experience from some of the UK’s most reputable gardens and estates. He is a certified horticulturalist and gardener under the Royal Horticultural Society.


NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 30
31 March/April 2024 One company that does it all! CHECK OUT OUR PROGRAMS! Pruning & Trimming Visit our website to schedule a FREE consultation! • 540-619-5454 Get high quality services! lawn & landscape Weed Control Aeration & Overseeding Fertilizer Applications Lawn Mowing Mulch Installation LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM TURF CARE PROGRAM SAVE 50% OFF FREE YOUR FIRST SERVICE SOIL TEST With the turf care app or mowing service only. With this card. Use Code: TTSC24 NEW CLIENT SPECIAL! WITH PROGRAM SIGN-UP DESIGN, OUTDOOR LIVING, PATIOS & RETAINING WALLS BLACKSBURG, VA FREE 3-year warranty Use Code: DESIGN24 See back for details. 50% OFF yourdesignlandscape Use Code: DESIGN24 See back for details. Turn your outdoor space into an oasis with a custom design! Enjoy installation of: PATIOS (PAVERS, FLAGSTONE, CONCRETE) | WALKWAYS | RETAINING WALLS | FIRE PITS | PLANT INSTALLS | DECKS 540-340-6854 • Contact us today to schedule your FREE Consultation SCAN HERE

Tunnels, Jumps and Poles, oh my!

dogs love running in ‘em, over ‘em and around ‘em!

Dogs are wonderful for myriad reasons, muddy paws and all, and playing with them is a bonding experience that strengthens the relationship. Those who spend time training their dogs and participating in agility sports find enhanced trust and obedience, in addition to physical exercise, mental processing and excitement that benefits both people and dogs.

Pups and their owners of all shapes and sizes can

participate in agility workouts. “Some dogs find the activity itself to be intrinsically rewarding, and others enjoy it because they are being rewarded with food or toys or praise,” states Andrea Lengi, owner of All-American Dog Sports in Blacksburg. “I would say that any size and shape of dog can be good at and love this sport. I have had everything from tiny Chihuahuas to Bernese Mountain Dogs in my classes that have done really well. Competition is grouped by

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 32
33 March/April 2024

dog height, so a little dog will only be competing against similar sized dogs.”

But one does not have to be interested in competing in agility trials and contests to enjoy the benefits of the sport. A tired dog is a good dog, and the physical exercise cannot be matched at the end of a leash. A variety of equipment helps dogs overcome fear, build confidence and develop selfcontrol. It’s a great form of distraction training, as your dog must be focused on you for instructions on when and where to go, turn and stop. Among

the obstacles are tunnels, jumps, poles, seesaws, cones and ramps.

All-American Dog Sports

Andrea Lengi has been obsessed with dogs for as long as she can remember. Despite pleading for a dog, the largest animal she was permitted to have as a child was a gerbil. She adopted her first dog as a graduate student and joined a local training club. “I planned on doing competition obedience because that was available,”

she recalls. “Then the new sport of agility came over the horizon, and I was hooked.”

She participated in an instructor training program and advanced to become a dog training program manager. She also credits having trained horses in hunter jumper style for her natural acuity in dog training.

When she moved to the New River Valley in 2001, Andrea did not find much in the dog agility sport, so she started All-American Dog Sports on her own. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who conducts private agility and obedience training, clicker training, trick training and problem solving sessions. She also offers beginning agility classes and events, as well as the relatively new “nosework” training which involves search and scent activities.

Canine competitions often use “All-American” to refer to “mixed breed” or “mutt” as there are no restrictions on what kinds of dogs participate. Rescue dogs are often found in competition. Andrea’s pooches have competed successfully at the highest levels of agility, and four of them are in the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) Hall of Fame.

Fun for You and Your Dog

The cliché “something for everyone” might be over-used, but Andrea believes it works with dog agility. “I have students who aspire to compete at a high level and others who have no interest in competition but are looking for something fun to try with their dog. There are some dogs with physical limitations that may preclude them from doing much jumping, but

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 34

even in competition, there are classes that don't have any jumps. There is one class that is all tunnels, and some that have hoops the dog runs through instead of jumps.”

An encouraging note is that there's a “veteran” division for older dogs which provides lower jump heights and extra course time. And, thinking of e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e., there’s also a “veteran handler” division that allows older humans a little more time to get around the course. It’s like they have considered every angle to make the experience – with or without competition – be enjoyable.

Is your dog a candidate, whether for fun or competition? People often ask Andrea if she can evaluate their dog to see if it’s a good match for agility. “I'm happy to do it but, honestly, the answer is almost always going to be yes.

What I love most is seeing my students excitedly posting their agility photos and videos and sharing their dog's accomplishments. I feel like I have contributed something positive to their lives, and to their relationship with their dogs. Teamwork in agility builds an amazing connection between dogs and their handlers, and I love being able to provide a vehicle for that.

35 March/April 2024
Photo courtesy of Andrea Lengi

Steven Kenny’s Art – Visual Harmony

by Jo

Photos courtesy of Steven Kenny

Steven Kenny’s art possesses an underlying theme of our interaction with nature. He accurately states that we are animals, and even though we think of ourselves as intelligent, most of our decisions are influenced by nature and animal instinct.

“We humans explore the world but do not look inward – at our own interior landscapes. If we understood how we function, we’d be better off,” he explains.

The Person

Three-year-old Steven’s imaginative drawing of a five-legged horse clearly indicates his future artistic abilities. He was off and running toward the art world. There are no other artists in the family, but his mother was a crafter and seamstress, and his father was handy with repairs. He grew up with three older brothers in Peekskill, N.Y., and an understanding that you can do

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 36

Between Man and Nature

37 March/April 2024

anything you want with your hands. Steven earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, spending his senior year in Rome, studying independently in a European honors program. The Baroque works of Italian and Dutch masters spoke to his impressionable spirit.

Despite having majored in illustration, Steven didn’t aspire to become an illustrator but rather a fine art painter. After college, he made the rounds of New York City galleries, which were impressed and receptive but didn’t want to represent the artist. Six months later, the “starving artist” turned to his talent as a commercial artist to pay the bills and continued his creative artist endeavors on the side.

Over the next decade, he became more successful and realized he didn’t have to live in a city. He could live anywhere as long as he was close enough to meet with gallery owners in a city like Washington, D.C. Virginia seemed to fit the bill. Fast-forward 13 years, a divorce, reconnecting with his high school sweetheart, a move back to New York state, another move to Florida to get warm, and finally, three years ago, the search for just the right spot in Virginia — Floyd!

The Artist

Chatting with Steven about his thought processes and how he designs, he shares that he usually starts with a human figure, often in a photograph. When looking at photos of people or animals, if he pauses, he knows there is a possibility for a painting. The story builds around the image in his mind and triggers his creative vision. Steven has a unique style of surreal montages blended

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 38
39 March/April 2024 Ceramic & Porcelain Tile - Natural Stone - Hardwood - Carpet - Laminate - Luxury Vinyl - Window Treatments 1140 Radford St. Christiansburg, VA 24073 (540)-382-3271 - Celebrating 60 years of serving the NRV! 1964 2024 Anniversary Diamond Anniversary 60th Est.

into landscapes, figures and nature while employing oil painting techniques from the Renaissance and Northern Baroque periods to create contemporary works of art. His admiration of the 16th-century Dutch and Italian painters from his university days appears not only in the human forms reminiscent of the old masters but also in his use of nature. Many of his works seem to morph into imagery from 1940s advertisements, likening back to his days as a commercial illustrator. His work is a natural collage of many things and influences—and blends beautifully.

He has created equine-themed works; one is a lovely white horse flying across his Facebook page called The Flock. When he painted this one, he first thought of a Northern Virginia fan who loves horses. The painting quickly sold when he emailed her a photo of that white horse. The Flock appeared on the cover of the 2022 edition of Artemis Journal, an annual literary and art publication which has showcased creative poets, authors and artists in the Appalachians and beyond for more than four decades.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 40
41 March/April 2024

The Art

Steven Kenny paints in his home studio. Each painting takes about a month, although he created 16 during one exceptionally productive year.

He exhibits in galleries throughout the United States, like St. Petersburg and New Orleans, as well as in Australia. He also sells paintings and prints from the online gallery on his website.

He says he is an art history fanatic and likes contemporary art. Steven has never taught an art class, but the future may hold that option. His philosophy is to have no goals, just work and do what he loves, and opportunities will come and find him.

The Future

His wife also loves horses, and the couple plans an adventure in Northern Spain this summer. While staying in that area, they’ll ride each day, so it’s highly possible that there is another horse portrait in the not-so-distant future!

Speaking of his wife, Diohn is a retired psychologist. The couple collaborated on a project and developed Sacred

Story Cards. The cards show one of Steven’s paintings on the front, and the reverse has an affirmation written by Diohn. To use the cards, you imagine a problem facing you, like: “What childhood influences are affecting my relationships?” Then, you randomly select one or more pictures or pick the ones drawing you in. When you turn the card over, you’ll find statements to interpret, like: “Expressing authentic self” or “Trust innocence.” The advice is to consider the thoughts and memories you have when you read those words, perhaps even write down your insights to capture your sacred story.

(845) 545-5978


Instagram, @stevenkennyart

Writer Jo Clark has tried and enjoyed numerous arts and crafts, starting with Sewing Cards at age 3 and creating Swedish Weave Dishtowels at 4. A beach girl at heart, her favorite works by Steven Kenny are The Vessel and The Lighthouse. Keep track of Jo’s adventures on Instagram @ JoGoesEverywhere and Facebook @HaveGlass,WillTravel.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 42

2024Congratulations Design Excellence Award Winners

43 March/April 2024
Best New Custom Home - Progress Street Builders Best Remodeled Home - White Builders, Inc. Most Creative Home Feature - Blue Ridge Design Build Best Outdoor Living - Back to Nature Landscaping Best Bath over $50K Slate Creek Builders Best New Spec Home Progress Street Builders Best Kitchen over $100K Slate Creek Builders Best Bath under $50K Slate Creek Builders Best Curb Appeal Slate Creek Builders Best Kitchen under $100K White Builders, Inc.

4 Wheels and Your Imagination

suitable for a crowd, a work van, an adventure home

If you need to transport a dozen or so people regularly or you need a cleverly outfitted work vehicle, or you make deliveries of medium and large things or you want a mobile tool box or you crave taking to the open highway like a turtle – with your home on your back - then the Ford Transit cargo van might be your new set of wheels.

Interestingly, this Ford model was conceived, manufactured and sold with great success in Europe before coming to America. The original design was conceived by Ford Motor Company’s divisions based in Germany and the United Kingdom in 1965. In four years, production topped a million, and 49 years after it was introduced across the pond, Ford’s Kansas City assembly plant began manufacturing the Transit in the U.S. Seven years later, the one millionth Transit rolled out the door.

David Duncan, dealer principal-general manager of Duncan Automotive, says the Transit design has been influenced by the Mercedes Sprinter. “It’s a versatile platform

with a wheel base a little longer and wider for enhanced stability and a very large windshield,” he states. “We are finding painting contractors, plumbers, cabinet makers and other businesses incorporating the Ford Transit into their fleets.”

Transit for Fun

One adventurous pair, who can be found at Wandering Out Yonder on Facebook, chose the Ford Transit after a couple years of research. The photo shows a neatly organized space with twin beds and baskets underneath and a vertical locker. They purchased it the day they took it for a test drive. Among many reasons, the most important may well have been the ability to find a Ford dealership wherever they go. Its first life was as an Enterprise rental van, and their philosophy on buying used was to spend money on adventure not their vehicle.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 44

Transit for Work

Closer to home, Sci-Tech Carpet Cleaning in Christiansburg added a Transit van to its fleet in 2018. “We selected this model for the spacious interior, extra height and maneuverability,” states Michael Surratt, who started the company in 1999 with Robert McCutcheon. The two men were working separately out of their own vans and decided to merge and create Sci-Tech. The name is a clever merger as well of science and technology. Carpet cleaning and floor care is a chemical and technologically-based process, they point out.

This extended cab [higher, not longer] Ford Transit was purchased new locally from Duncan Automotive with only the front passenger and driver seats. “It was a blank slate for us to design the optimum placement of all our equipment,” McCutcheon explains. “We installed a Prochem Everest 650 hp floor cleaning machine, which provides 220-degree heated water for steam cleaning and hot water extraction and 700 cvm of suction power. It is also capable of power washing at 3000 psi.”

The company also installed a hose reel, fresh water source, waste water tanks and shelving for chemical storage. “The extended cab height allows us to store tools in an up-right position instead of laying them down to be dragged out and set up,” Surratt says. “And the sliding side door offers vastly improved accessibility.” The equipment is securely bolted to the floor.

Bobby Mitcham of Blacksburg Plumbing, Heating & Electrical loves his Ford Transits (plural!) and will buy more for his work fleet as soon as he can find another one.

Transit for People

When the elders at Blacksburg Christian Fellowship decided to replace an old van, they tapped Bill Schiffer for recommendations. “After looking at several van types and models, the Transit stood out as the best choice for our needs,” he says. They’ve become very popular and are hard to find. Bill kept looking around and when on a visit to Connecticut a year ago, he found a new one on Long Island, bought it for the church and drove it home.

“We purchased it with the 15-seat capacity,” Bill says, “and the only change made is adding a tow hitch. It’s quiet, smooth and handles really well. Passengers love the windows, and the driver has an expansive view.” The only issue they have experienced, which apparently is common, is the sliding side door being hard to open. “It needs some adjustment, and after watching a youtube video, it was fixed in 10 minutes.”

The Transit comes in three heights. Sci-Tech loves the highest one for its equipment and storage, while the church is happy with the medium height. The shortest height would be challenging for people ducking in and out of a 15-passenger van, but it works perfectly for many other Transit owners.

The dilemma at hand is for Ford to ramp up production of its wildly popular Transit van to meet the demand.

Electric vehicle supporters are delighted that an eTransit model is manufactured, and the Duncan enterprise has one in service right now. “It’ll probably go up for sale at some point,” David Duncan concedes.

45 March/April 2024
Tyler Van Campen with Sci-Tech Carpet Cleaning

Wonderful, Loyal Customers Enhance Success

Eats Natural Foods is a success story, not only because of one man’s dedication across 50 years, joined by his wife more than half that time, but also for the dedication of wonderful, loyal customers who are now into second- and third-generation shoppers.

From a humble beginning and a $250 investment each by a few Virginia Tech students, Eats Natural Foods Cooperative has positioned itself as a premier organic grocery and health food outlet, bulk buying hub, eclectic gift shop and all-around friendly place. Stan Davis was a vegetarian seeking an alternative food source from mainstream grocery stores in 1974. A small 2nd floor shop in downtown Blacksburg about 12 x 15 feet, where Top of The Stairs (TOTS) is now, housed a small food enterprise which turned out to be for sale.

Eats (named for a diner at the top of Catawba

Mountain) Natural Food Cooperative was incorporated under the new ownership in April of 1974. “Its mission has never wavered,” stated Stan. “Our state purpose then is the same as now in providing the highest quality food at the lowest possible price to our community.”

Stan was an electrician by trade, but a back injury sidelined him. As he spent more time in the store, it grew, and he became the first paid employee. Eats moved to a 20 x 20-foot space on N. Main St. a few years later where Stan installed a wood stove to heat the store during the gas crisis. When a place twice that size became available, he and his wife, Becky Farnham, moved the business across the street.

“We weren’t quite sure what to do with all that space,” Becky recalls. “We filled the windows with so many plants that people thought we were a florist store. But, it

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 46

didn’t take long to fill our floor space and business continued to grow.” Stan says they became experts at space utilization and offered an amazing amount of merchandise. “We made most of our shelves out of wood,” he states. “The store had a nice healthy feel, and we were happy there for many years.”

On June 27, 2006, the store was nearly destroyed by fire. Becky remembers being devastated the morning after. “We were in shock. We didn’t know what to do but our wonderful, loyal customers did. They started showing up with mops, gloves, buckets and sponges saying ‘put us to work’.”

With their huge customer team, Stan and Becky salvaged what they could and opened just four weeks later inside Oasis World Market. “We were back in business, which was only possible with the help of our wonderful, loyal customers,” Stan declares. Several years later, Eats moved to its

current location, again with help from those wonderful, loyal customers. “We started the move on a Saturday morning. There must have been 100 volunteers helping us move things in cars, trucks and vans. They broke down shelves, moved them, set them up and stocked them according to a detailed drawing we made.” Two days later, on a Monday morning, Eats was once again open for business.

As Stan and Becky step back from store operations, Hannah McKnight and Andrea Langston embrace the mission of Eats and bring their own experience and enthusiasm. “I started working here in 2005 when I came for graduate school,” Hannah relates, “and I’ve never left.” She loves natural foods and here was the opportunity to eat well with her discount and learn and expand her own knowledge of the industry.

Andrea enjoyed a long career in public education and

47 March/April 2024

had been a shopper at Eats for many years when she decided to make a change in 2013. “After leaving teaching, I wanted a job that would keep me connected in the community. I was drawn to Eats for its longstanding reputation and my personal commitment to healthy eating. The community aspect of Eats has far surpassed my expectations.”

Hannah and Andrea began taking over day-today managing of the store shortly before the pandemic hit. “Through industry trade shows, we learned about an organization called INFRA (Independent Natural Food Retailers Association) which is a co-op of small independents,” Hannah explains. “It helps with buying power to compete against big stores as well as supporting businesses in all aspects of operation. We became an INFRA member in 2019 and are beginning to realize the benefits now that the supply chains have become more reliable and the majority of customers are back face-to-face.”

One opportunity INFRA membership provides is the ability to offer sales on popular products each month that

the organization has negotiated. “In addition to hundreds of monthly products on sale through INFRA, we can offer a low price tag on more than 100 CADIA brand grocery essentials,” Andrea adds.

Beginning in February 2024, Eats introduced an Eats Essential program with permanent price reductions on popular staples in all store departments. “We continually strive to find ways to retain our wonderful, loyal customer base as well as bring new shoppers into the store,” Hannah shares. “ And we support our larger community by donating to local food banks. This past holiday season, our wonderful, loyal customers helped donate $2,500 of healthy food to neighbors in need.”

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 48
Save the Date 50th Anniversary Party Sat., April 27, 1 to 5 p.m.
Andrea Langston and Hannah McKnight.
49 March/April 2024

Activewear, ANYwhere!

comfort is king

Activewear -- also known as athleisure – is gaining serious traction in the world of fashion. Whether it’s for versatility, durability or sheer comfort, more and more people are turning to activewear for their everyday, on-thego lifestyle fit. “I wear my leggings every single day,” says Kathy Alberts, who turned 73 recently. “I can style them up or down, they go with everything, and they feel great!”

Insulated leggings, which are lined with fleece, are an excellent option during the colder months, and the compression-fit also improves lower extremity blood flow. You don’t have to be an athlete to appreciate athleisure. Coordinated activewear sets allow people to move through the day – from home officing to walking the dog to grocery shopping -- without having to step into the closet to change clothes like Clark Kent stepping into a phone booth to become Superman.

Good-bye buttons and zippers, hello Lycra and spandex.

“Tight-fitting, light-weight athleisure makes anyone feel like an Olympian, or Superman, just running errands around town,” says Seth Pekoe, a 31-year-old VCOM

student. Men will often wear leggings under shorts (think NBA players) to enjoy the compression fit without being over-exposed.

“Jogger style pants, especially for men, are huge right now,” Seth continues. “They are a bit more fashionforward and look good on all different body-types. And because brands such as Nike and Under Armour® tend to be on the pricey side, wearing them in a social setting can project health AND wealth.”

Brands such as GymShark and Avia are more affordable, and easy to up-style with the addition of a few accessories. “I have found that by adding jewelry, a scarf or swapping out my tennis shoes for long socks with boots, I can create an entirely different look,” relates Kaitlyn Horton, a nursing student at Wytheville Community College. Pairing leggings with a long, knit top is a classic feminine look that is a bit more modest and perfect for chilly weather. Oversized sweatshirts are great any time of year and easy to simply throw on over a sports bra and go.

For summer menswear attire, quick-dry nylon shorts are gaining popularity, as they can go from fishing

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 50
51 March/April 2024

with friends to dinner and drinks while still looking handsome and put-together. Plus, they can be worn without underwear since it is most often built into the shorts. The quick-dry feature is great for moisture-wicking in the summer heat, and the odor-control is an added bonus.

“The fashion trends have seen a return of ‘70s style high-cut shorts for the squatter bros,” notes Seth. Not just for the gym, college campuses are filled with this vintageinspired look. And forget ironing, activewear is wrinkle-free! A pair of hybrid khaki hiking pants will look great whether you’re hunting for jobs or hunting for mushrooms in the woods. The nylon and elastane materials are snag-free, too, which makes getting caught in a thorny patch much more bearable. These are also a great choice for bouldering and rock climbing. The possibilities are literally endless.

Since many of us spend long hours sitting at a desk for work, when we get the chance to take a little break, we might opt to go hit some balls at the driving range or walk a nearby trail -- anything to get up and moving. A formfitting cotton-poly blend golf dress or a pair of high-rise nylon ankle pants can work well for both strutting around the office and putting around the green.

Local retailers such as Tangent Outfitters and Walkabout are great choices for finding stylish clothing that can transition from work to play. Some of the more recognizable brands, such as Patagonia and The North Face, are omnipresent in these stores. Though expensive,

these brands hold up well to rigorous training activities and will last for many years with proper care.

Lululemon®, Athleta® and Alo Yoga® are higherend brands with a loyal fanbase in the world of activewear and plenty of colors, patterns and prints to choose from. Proving that active is attractive, the demand for athleisure is at an all-time high and so is the supply.

Though polyester is often used for its moisture wicking and odor control properties, some people prefer a cotton blend or jersey fabric for their activewear because it is softer on the skin. For women, there are improvements to the design and materials every season-- with pockets being added to sports bras for convenience, cumbersome pads being swapped for full coverage, and shirt lengths being shortened to accommodate higher waisted pants.

In men’s activewear, matching ensembles like tracksuits are now being offered in bolder colors and crazier patterns than ever before, because who doesn’t want to appear comfy AND creative? Comfort is truly king these days.

“Don’t tell anyone, but I wear my wife’s yoga pants,” says a local Blacksburg gentleman who would like to remain anonymous. “She doesn’t mind, and they’re just so comfortable!”

NRV freelance writer Emily Kathleen Alberts loves activewear, because let’s face it, we could all use a little “wiggle room” in our lives.

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 52
53 March/April 2024 Some days you just need a play day!

Spring Migration Delight: Bird Seed Essentials for Southwest Virginia

As spring unfolds its vibrant tapestry across the rolling landscapes of Southwest Virginia, birdwatchers eagerly await the annual spectacle of avian migration. To ensure your backyard becomes a haven for these feathered travelers, choosing the right bird seed is paramount.

Sunflower seeds stand out as a perennial favorite among migrating birds. Bursting with energy-rich nutrients, they provide the fuel needed for birds to sustain their journeys. Opting for hulled sunflower seeds minimizes mess and waste, making them an attractive option for both birds and birdwatchers alike.

Nyjer seed, also known as thistle seed, is another staple for attracting migratory birds, particularly finches and sparrows. Its tiny size and high oil content make it a favorite among small songbirds, offering them a quick and nutritious pit stop during their long flights.

Incorporating a mix of seeds and nuts in your feeder lineup ensures you cater to the diverse dietary preferences of migrating birds. Blend sunflower hearts, Nyjer seed, and peanuts to create an irresistible buffet that appeals to a wide range of species, from colorful warblers to lively chickadees.

Furthermore, offering fresh water sources alongside seed offerings is essential, especially during the spring migration. Providing bird baths or shallow dishes replenished daily offers weary travelers a much-needed respite and encourages them to linger, enhancing your birdwatching experience.

By stocking your feeders with a variety of high-quality seeds and providing supplementary water sources, you can transform your backyard into a vital rest stop for migrating birds passing through Southwest Virginia. Embrace the beauty of spring migration by welcoming these winged visitors with open arms and well-stocked feeders.

A-1 Hearing & Cooling

Anne Collins Albimino

Back to Nature Landscaping

Blacksburg Battles Cancer

Blue Ridge Heating & Air

Brown Insurance

Bull & Bones

Celco FCU

Clay Corner Inn

Crab Creek Country Store

Dehart Tile

Dirt Works Excavating

Duncan Ford

Dwight Atkinson

Energy Check

First National Bank

Freedom First

Giles County Tourism

Goldsmith Design, Build Interiors Unlimited

Joba Studios

Kesler Contracting

Lilly Valley Inn

Long & Foster Blacksburg


Matrix Gallery

Member One FCU

Mike Weber

Moss Arts Center

Mutt's Primitives

Nest Realty

New River Art & Fiber

NRV Home Builders Association

NRV Intellectual Property

P Buckley Moss

Pearis Mercantile

Progress Street Builders

Rayne Stenger

River Ridge Dermatology

Shelter Alternatives

Star City Greyhounds

The Mitchell Law Firm

Trevor Gray - Edward Jones

Virginia Furniture Market

Virginia Shoreline

Walker Valley Market

NRV MAGAZINE March/April 2024 54
39 56 31 53 17 21 21 41 35 17 39 23 53 8 29 23 6 53 29 25 49 21 25 4 27 29 2 39 3 27 13 29 43 27 27 23 49 56 25 29 29 55 19 5 23 51 Advertisers
Sold! Building Relationships One House at a Time Anne Collins Albimino, Realtor® | 540 239 3246 | ac@nestrealty com Rayne Stenger, Realtor® | 540.641.4006 | Christiansburg Blacksburg Roanoke Blacksburg Pending! Pending! Pending!
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.