Outlook 2022: Hands, Land & Sea

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Outlook 2022 Edition from The Coastland Times

Theresa Schneider Publisher

Philip S. Ruckle Jr. Summer Stevens Danielle Puleo Staff Writers

Hannah Russ Marketing Consultant For additional copies, stop by our office at 207 Queen Elizabeth Ave., Ste. 10 in Manteo. Contact us by calling 252-473-2105, emailing news@thecoastlandtimes.com or by mail at PO Box 400, Manteo, NC 27954

CONTENTS Beekeeping: More than just the honey ............. 6 Vegan food truck takes root on the Outer The art of crafting cast stone creations ..........10 Banks ........................................................................34 Carol Busbey: Surfer, surf shop owner, Electric Saving the dunes ...................................................36 Beach Party host ...................................................14 Fill up your cup at Shine On Juicery ................38 Crafting: More than just a hobby ......................16 STAG’s: Sauces, seasonings, catering and more ........................................................................ 40 Liz Browning Fox: Bead weaver, volunteer, radio host ................................................................18 Waterside Weaver: From sheep to chic ...........42 WRV: Shaping surfboards to ride the waves ..46 Horticulture program serves a higher purpose ....................................................................20 Jewelry by Gail: Celebrating 45 years of Flying Fish Charters: From dream to reality ...22 unique, handcrafted designs .............................49 Microgreens pack mega nutrition ....................24 Somerset Charters: Fun, authentic experience Serene, plant-filled nursery worth the drive .26 crabbing and shrimping ......................................50 Nora’s wish has come true .................................28 Community theater now has a stage of its own ...........................................................................52 Pachamama: Art takes many forms from many sources .....................................................................32 Recipes .....................................................................54

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Beekeeping More than just

the honey

by Summer Stevens In Lower Currituck, Dalton Hyde pulls off the highway onto a gravel road, driving slowly until he reaches a sprawling green field dotted with dandelions. As he turns off the ignition, all is quiet. The grass is tall. He makes his way to several plainly constructed wooden boxes. To him, precious boxes. Within the boxes are his bee hives, containing tens of thousands of the small pollinators. After lighting some dry pine straw to create smoke to alert them, he gingerly lifts the lid to engage with his bees. They are aware of his presence, but they aren’t agitated. He moves slowly, carefully, reaching into the box to remove a “frame” – or wooden struc-

tural element that holds the honeycomb. Thousands of bees crawl around the frame, their perfect honeycomb pattern evident in the afternoon light. The queen is there, but well protected, and Hyde can’t spot her today. One by one, he removes and inspects each frame, checking for intrusive moth larvae, changes in the honeycomb, and generally looking for anything that could affect the health of his hives. The process can take several hours. Sure, it’s about honey. But for Dalton Hyde and most beekeepers, it’s about so much more. The Coastland Times caught up with Hyde for a Q&A session about all things bees, honey, getting stung and why he’s

drawn to the unique art of beekeeping. 1.

How did you get into beekeeping?

I began my beekeeping journey in 2015. My grandmother, Thelma Ganyon, told me about a beekeeping group she had come across that I should check out. She’s the one in my life that cultivated my personal interests in nature, landscaping/plants and accompanying animals and pollinators. I attended my first meeting and was greeted by Denise Deacon, one of the founders of the Outer Banks Beekeepers Guild and its first president. Eventually, she became my mentor in all things bees, and I would not

Outlook 2022-23 • 7 be as advanced without her. 2. Walk me through a typical day in the busy season… Well with most things in our area, there are not just busy days but a busy season! I would say that late winter into springtime is the most chaotic when you are coming out of winter and preparing for the honey flow. Many may think winter is a slow time for bees, but it’s when you should be planning and preparing for your season. It’s the time to lay out your actions, clean existing equipment, purchase/build new equipment and assemble your go bags for swarm calls! I’m sure many beekeepers agree with me when I say most long for the fair-weather days when they can casually observe their hive and its processes… watching a hive is a mesmerizing experience. Once spring arrives, you’re trying to find fair weather to crack open your hives and take note of their state. You’re checking for the size/quantity of bees, what stores/ resources they have left (if any), and is the queen around and viable, etc. As spring progresses, it enters swarm season… a natural phenomenon which is when a hive splits itself to reproduce. When they do this, it’s an opportunity to catch the departing hive and reduce your apiary’s losses/setbacks. A hive that has swarmed can be delayed in honey production by up to four weeks (if lucky). We get calls about swarms often during this period, and it can be a mad dash to work out who can respond and how to successfully capture said swarms without issue. You can minimize losses by preparing and staging a swarm trap, a little box built to specifications that honeybees search for when seeking a new home. Lastly, ensuring your hive supers and frames are all assembled correctly with some sort of foundation for the bees to build off is essential. Once a healthy hive

Summer Stevens photo

This healthy hive, comprised of tens of thousands of bees, is busy protecting the queen and making honey. gets going in a flow, it can fill a super in 7-10 days… this period is when you should be monitoring your hives closely to prevent lack of space for incoming resources, laying, etc. Not giving them enough room to bring in a healthy honey harvest can lead to crowding and thus swarming. 3.

How many hives do you have?

I currently have about four hives going… had six last year but lost two over the winter. I’m hoping to increase those numbers going forward as I endeavor to provide myself, friends/family, locals, and visitors with a taste of NE NC’s flora. 4. How do you feel about getting stung? HAHA – Well, most people are wary of such encounters, but as a beekeeper, you learn to brush them off. Not that there aren’t some that land in an awful spot (see nose), stick a little worse, or take longer to heal… yet sometimes they are welcome, as there are suggested benefits from bee venom, along with noted therapeutic

effects provided by the sting. I try to see them as learning experiences about what actions I just conducted that resulted in that sting or why that bee felt its hive was in such jeopardy that it sacrificed its life for it? This line of questioning is good to employ in one’s beekeeping journey… Is what I’m doing good for the bees or good for the beekeeper? 5. How much honey do you collect every year? Not enough! HAHA – To be fair, honey harvest can be fickle… there are many factors that affect a honey crop. A full-frame of honey can be from 6-10 lbs., you have 8-10 frames per super, with at least two supers and you’re looking at approximately 100 lbs. Other times it can be much, much less or even none at all. It’s critical that a hive is left with enough honey to survive on its own, in order to be able to produce more. Leaving one full super of honey is suggested. While I have yet to yield a harvest that’s considered massive, we have had members of the OBBG harvest 500+ lbs. of honey one spring!

8 • Outlook 2022-23 6. Why should people get involved with beekeeping?

7. Can an area get saturated or is there always room for more beekeepers?

People should only get involved if they are truly prepared for everything that comes with it. I spent an entire year attending meetings before getting my first hive. Many think it’s an easy pastime but it’s an active hobby that easily compares to a part-time job. You have to learn so much about the animal you’re caring for – its nature, behavior, and anatomy. Many will tell you that even after years of keeping bees, there is always something new to learn or observe. I would say that it’s vital that we acknowledge the struggle of pollinators of every kind, not just the ones that produce a honey crop that supports an entire industry, but on a local/ regional level, we must do what we can to support our local ecosystem of bumblebees, butterflies, moths, wasps, and honeybees.

Absolutely, an area CAN be saturated by the number of apiaries in it. Honeybees usually forage within a few mile radius around their hive, so as not to attract predators to its location. With that in mind, each morning the entire foraging force zips out seeking nectar, pollen, and propolis… if you have multiple hives, they are all competing for the same local resources. Add in a bunch of neighbors with hives doing the same thing, and you get an area that’s unable to produce enough resources. While that’s not usually the case with hobbyists or backyard keepers, it can be when near large-scale/commercial apiaries. I believe one study showed that when left to their own device, hives proliferate until there’s about one hive per square mile. Which is fascinating isn’t it… how do they know or figure out their locale’s population density?

Summer Stevens photo

Dalton Hyde inspects each frame of his hive for bee health, productivity, and potential problems.

8. How much space or acreage do you need to keep bees? Is it practical for most on the OBX? Great question and usually one of the first things a person figures out when getting started… Where do I put them? First and foremost, ALWAYS check with state, county, townships, and neighborhood laws to ensure all your preparation isn’t for naught. Luckily, NC legislation protects the right of a beekeeper to have up to five hives in their yard, and the only township that has further restrictions on the practice is Manteo. Southern Shores proposed some alarming updates to its laws last year, but those were benched I believe. After confirming no laws are hindering you, give your neighbors a heads up… bees make people nervous and it’s smart to educate those near you of common behaviors bees exhibit like seeking water from a pool/pond/birdbath to swarming in the spring. So many people think they want to attack when the act of stinging someone extinguishes its own life, its last resort. It doesn’t take much space at all for one or even four hives, as they are small and stackable. The size of a normal yard can do, but you want to take some factors into consideration such as the direction of the sun, wind speeds, flooding concerns, etc. Space for hive placement doesn’t take much, but you’ll want to consider what the few miles around the hive have to offer… this is where more space the better! Ask yourself what comprises the forage area for my bees? Is it made up of city/concrete, natural landscape, residential gardens, agricultural land, urban or rural? If agricultural, are they managed with chemicals that could harm or kill my bees? If the answer is yes or I don’t know, you’ll want to explore some of the options and tools out there to assist with concerns of that nature.

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9. Is this a good area for beekeeping? Why or why not? Yes, I believe it is. We enjoy a rather rural landscape here in NE NC, with a lush natural landscape and small-scale agriculture surrounding our small towns. Hosting hives in the vicinity of agriculture can be dangerous though, due to the chemicals and pesticides used… take steps to protect yourself and your hives from these dangers. NC weather and climate are mild (besides the storms!) compared to many other states, and bees can enjoy the bevy of flora offering a wide variety of nutrition for your bees along with a longer growing season. 10. What do you enjoy the most about the hobby? What about the least? Witnessing nature in all its glory. Observing the power of time and evolution on a species that seems almost as adaptable as our own species. As far as what I like least, that would be what we call a dead-out. That’s when a hive has passed for one reason or another – winter freeze, starvation, pests/ disease – and you have to get in and perform a sort of autopsy. Whether it’s seeing them all huddled together in their last moments or dealing with a big mess from wax moths it can be a very frustrating and discouraging part of the hobby. 11. Tell me about the Outer Banks Beekeepers Guild, how do you support one another? Joining a local beekeepers guild/ group is probably one of the best things someone can do for themselves whether they are new and interested in getting started or a longtime keeper of bees. The resources/support provided by a gathering of local beekeepers is incalcu-

lable. It’s always a blast gathering together to exchange stories, tips, advice, or equipment! We try to pair people in similar areas or interests with a mentor who is willing to show them the ropes and/or provide assistance with issues that arise. We support each other in other ways too, like donating educational books into the library system for all to share, sharing/lending expensive equipment, networking to answer swarm calls or cutouts, notification of equipment sales or picking up orders from suppliers sometimes located too far, locating emergency queens, etc. At the end of the day, we are all just friends who enjoy beekeeping and want to share in that with each other and others. 12. Any other important information you’d like to share? If interested in learning about beekeeping or joining the Outer Banks Beekeepers Guild please visit our website – outerbanksbeekeepers.com, where you can subscribe to our email newsletter, our main method of communication. Anyone is allowed to attend our meetings whether you’re seeking to get started, need assistance, or looking to become a paid member. Join our FB group called “OBX Beekeepers” and/or shoot us an email at outerbanksbeekeepers@gmail.com. We aim to meet on the second Wednesday of every month, in the Meeting Room of the Kill Devil Hills Public Library, at approximately 7 p.m. The library is usually closed by this time and the room is located in the back, so use the sidewalk to the left side of the building. We communicate meeting details, etc., through our email newsletter, so please ensure you’re added if looking to attend.

Beekeeper Dalton Hyde inspects the comb on his hives.

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The art of crafting cast stone creations by Danielle Puleo

Jo and Vasilios Kiourtzidis, owners of Cast Stone Studio located in Powells Point, craft high-quality, locally handmade cast stone creations. Their collection really takes customers on a journey around the world, with statues capturing the essence of Japan, Italy, Greece, India and more. Mythological creatures, religious figures, animals and architecture spanning from all crevices of the continents are located on the grounds of Cast Stone Studio, while the craftsmen stay hard at work bringing their visions to life. Vasilios grew up in Greece making molds before arriving to the Outer Banks area over thirty years ago. Once he met Jo, a Manteo native, the two started making molds and producing concrete designs together. “Thirty-some years ago you had to kind of make your own thing work,” said

Jo. “If you weren’t doing construction or working in restaurants, you had to come up with your own thing.” Their combined knowledge led Jo and Vasilios to open up a business together selling their garden adornments. They started by molding, pouring, setting and selling their designs in their home. After marrying, the couple took their business from a small scale and expanded to the current location of Cast Stone Studio, right off of Caratoke Highway. “No one wanted this old building thirty years ago,” Vasilios laughed. Jo mentioned it was a potato packing shed back in the day, lacking any character and absent of visual appeal. The back was built in the 1800s, where most of the work takes place today. The shop now embodies rich white stucco walls and blue-sky ceilings with

by Danielle Puleo

Jo and Vasilios Kiourtzidis, owners of Cast Stone Studio.

antique reproductions and original cast stone pieces aplenty. On a typical day, Vasilios can be found making molds either for wholesale or for custom orders, most found in a catalog provided on the company’s website. Several molds are made on the same day, and anywhere from ten to fifty molds are poured daily. The whole process could take months. Vasilios shapes a mold (depending on the delicacy and intricacy, this could take many weeks to complete) that is then held in place by latex and fiberglass upside down. Concrete is poured into the mold and left to set. Once the piece has set, rough edges are sanded, holes are patched and the finishes touches are added. “The process is pretty much the same for all of them,” Jo noted, “but the ones with a little more detail to them of course take more finessing to get them right.” Certain pieces are extremely delicate,

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Danielle Puleo photos

Left: A reproduction of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton. Right: A custom ordered recreation of the Hope Bridge in Cleveland, Ohio made by Vasilios Kiourtzidis. Courtesy Cast Stone Studio.

especially for a substance such as concrete – something that sets Cast Stone Studio apart from the big box brands. Jo said the thing she loves the most is seeing what new designs Vasilios comes up with each year. Every now and then he will concoct a new color or add a new feature to a preexisting design. But Vasilios shared his favorite creation to date: a commemoration piece of the Hope Memorial Bridge in Cleveland, Ohio during its construction. “There was a guy from there [Ohio] that asked us if we could create it,” Vasilios explained. The Hope Bridge design is followed by a statue of a mermaid on a crescent moon as his treasured creations. Cast Stone Studio delivers their wares up and down the east coast, from Miami all the way to upstate New York. They run with a crew of about four to five employees and have found through the years that more and more people are interested in adding a Cast Stone creation or two to their yards. “[During the pandemic], we noticed that there were a lot of people spending time in their yards,” said Jo. “It was crazy there for a while, we got a lot of orders.” Luckily, Cast Stone Studio was able to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A good thing too, in that the sales were noticeably increasing due to the amount of people who chose to stay at home. “I found a lot of people who had wanted to do things with their gardens before but were too busy doing outside activities, were all of a sudden like, ‘I guess we’re going to fluff the nest since we’re spending all of our time out here.’” Not only was the shop experiencing more sales, but the garden stores that Cast Stone supplies to were seeing the rise as well. That, added to the newly launched website housing the store hours, gallery, wholesale and catalog became readily available for those driving by. The traffic has since leveled out for the storefront, but Jo and Vasilios rarely take a day off. “We’re pretty much pouring every day. We try not to skip a day because we need a stock built-up,” said Jo. There is an exuberant amount of time

Outlook 2022-23 • 1 3 and heart put into each piece that is crafted at the studio. Jo noted that the most challenging part of running their business is Vasilios having to hand over some of the work to others. “It has our name attached to it, and we’re trying to turn out the best quality possible, we just want to do it all,” said Jo. “Quality is a big thing,” added Vasilios. “We are top quality.” To learn more about Cast Stone Studio, visit their website at www.caststonestudio.com. Or to visit Jo and Vasilios and see their creations first hand, check out the studio located at 8021 Caratoke Hwy in Powells Point. 

Danielle Puleo photos

Cast Stone Studio really takes customers on a trip “around the world” with the statues that are produced in the shop.

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Carol Busbey: Surfer, surf shop owner, Electric Beach Party host by Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy Carol Busbey is tied to the Atlantic Ocean and the home of the “Wave Magnet.” Most every day, she rides a bicycle to the surfing beach at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, makes a video and posts it on the Facebook page for Natural Art Surf Shop. Surfers can see for themselves what the East Coast’s famed surfing spot looks like. Carol and Scott Busbey own and operate the Natural Art Surf Shop on NC 12 in Buxton. The surf shop started in an old burger joint in 1977. Scott is an accomplished surfboard

builder. His skill was celebrated by the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2018. In addition to surfing, Carol is a Hatteras Island seamstress. She’s altered prom and wedding dresses. Early in the pandemic, Carol created brightly colored masks. Carol has a large collection of electric surf instrumentals. Her show, Electric Beach Party, airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on Radio Hatteras. She shared her clam chowder recipe for two with the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway. 

Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo

Carol Busbey shared her recipe for clam chowder with the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway. That recipe is found under Taste of Buxton on an interpretation panel beside Natural Art Surf Shop in Buxton.

A Taste of Buxton - Hatteras Style Clam Chowder 2 cups of shucked clams, chopped and juice (about 12 chowder clams) 1 cup diced potatoes 1/2 cup diced onions

1 cup of cold water 1/4 pound salt pork, fried and grease rendered Black pepper and sea salt to taste

Drain juice from clams and reserve. Chop clams and set aside. Combine water, clam juice, potatoes, onions and salt pork grease in a medium-size pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are tender. Add chopped clams and simmer for about 10 more minutes. Add a pinch of sea salt and a few good grinds of black pepper. Serves 2

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Crafting: More than just a hobby by Philip S. Ruckle Jr. Making craft items can be more than a therapeutic hobby, it can also progress into a money-making activity. “It’s a great distraction from all the other stuff and stress in life that’s going on,” says Chelsea Matusko of Barco. “I’ve always been into the crafting thing. I painted for a while and then I drew some, but my hands couldn’t handle it.” Matusko says about the time she gave that up, she saw some jewelry and necklaces she liked and decided to try making some of her own. “Some of them were kind of pricey,” Matusko recalls, “so I thought I could make these myself. I just got into it then and basically it turned into a love.” Starting out with macrame, Matusko says she started making small jewelry items, primarily hemp jewelry, and that led to wall pieces like tapestries and dream catchers. She then progressed to micro macrame, a technique that uses a thinner cord than traditional macrame to create more intricate and delicate macrame jewelry. “I’m doing micro macrame items like mini key-chains and things like that,” Matusko continues. “Recently I started dabbling in resin.” Known for its crystal clear and often beautiful surface, resin is an almost ideal choice for the production of jewelry and small accessory items. Even so, Matusko says she likes to stay with certain basic materials for her creations. “I like to use a lot of natural stuff like flowers, shells, rocks, and things of that sort,” she explains. “But I also like to use other things at times. Pretty much whatever I can find and put in it.” Once an item is created Matusko might give it away or sell it. “When I first made items it was for gifts,”

she advises. “Then I started accumulating a lot of stuff. So I started doing a flea market here in Elizabeth City. I would do that during the springtime. Now I have my own Etsy account for an online marketplace, then there is Instagram and a Facebook page where I try to sell stuff to people online.” Matusko says making an appearance at places like the River City flea market in Elizabeth City can help on two fronts. People browsing the vendors there can make a purchase on the spot or, having seen what she has to offer, they might go through an online account for a purchase. “It just depends on what is better for them,” she continues. “The online sales are a little better when I go to the flea market and I’m able to put my cards out there. I’m able to get to know some customers. Typically that’s when I get a lot of hits online, when I’m selling in person.” That’s not to say the cash is always flowing at a flea market. “There was one flea market,” Matusko recalls, “I can’t remember the name of it, but we just went one time because there really were not any sales. You really do have to find your demographic.” Often helping Matusko at a flea market is her neighbor Sharon Bryant. “A lot of times I help Chelsea man and fill the booths,” says Bryant. “She brings most of the stuff.” Bryant says most of her items are crocheted, although she used to do a little bit of quilting. Like Matusko, Bryant started out making gift items before advancing into the retail market. “I would do a little bit of quilting, crocheted stuffed animals, mostly for gifts when babies are being born, for my nieces and nephews, or I would make them blankets,” explains Bryant. “Of course my kids

Sharon Bryant photo

Sharon Bryant produces most of her craft creations as a hobby during her free time.

love it.” Branching out, Bryant started setting up booths at her daughter’s elementary school craft fair. Now she still does craft fairs but also frequently helps Matusko at flea markets. “Usually we do the flea market over the summer,” Bryant continues. “And then crafts show at the school around holidays. Schools often have a lot of craft shows leading up to Halloween and Christmas. And there are several schools around.” Setting prices requires a lot of Googling to check what prices others are selling at and what people are paying for them. “I try to check and see what other craftsmen are selling at, and of course cover my cost,” Bryant continues. “I try to set some kind of median price around what other people are selling. The ideas for craft items generally come from a pattern or a book. “I can pretty much make anything that has a pattern,” Bryant explains. “I don’t do a whole lot of freehand crochet, but if I can

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Chelsea Matusko photo

Chelsea Matusko sets up a flea market display of her craft items along with Randy Matusko Jr., her boyfriend of 10 years and craft fair partner. find a pattern on Pinterest, or in a book, I can make it.” She says the most unique thing she made was when a friend’s child asked for a cat octopus. “It was basically an octopus with cat ears and I gave it some whiskers,” says Bryant. “She was happy with that.” And when is the best time to produce her creations?

“Mostly in my free time,” she says. “It’s mostly a hobby for me, so at night we have the kids go read for about an hour before bedtime. That’s when my husband and I will watch an episode or something and I’ll crochet while we’re watching something. And car trips are a great time to crochet as well. If I’m looking at my crochet, I’m not looking at Tony’s driving.” 

MANTEO, NC | 252.473.2449 | ELIZABETH CITY, NC | 252.335.4395

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Liz Browning Fox

Bead weaver, volunteer, radio host by Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy Liz Browning Fox makes beautiful things every day. She’s a bead weaver using international resources. She weaves glass beads and crystals from Austria, the Czech Republic and Japan. She follows or adapts beading designs from around the world and across the United States. With the international resources, she locally creates pendants, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Fox explored bead weaving as a teenager. She returned to it later in life. She now calls her bead weaving “cheap physical therapy.” Liz has arthritis in her fingers and the tactical moves required by beading help. Fox descends from island families who

have lived on Hatteras and Ocracoke for over three centuries. She makes her beaded creations in her home on the Pamlico Sound in Buxton. She doesn’t spend all her time beading – she also volunteers. In the winter, she searches for coldstunned sea turtles along the Pamlico Sound shoreline. In the summer and fall, she sits with turtle nests to document hatching. Her Radio Hatteras show “Celtic! Old World to New Age” has an international following. The show airs at 8 p.m. on Thursdays. She also prepares and voices the station’s “Hatteras Island Sky Watch,” which airs at 7 p.m. weeknights. See Fox’s beautiful, beaded jewelry at her

Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo

Liz Browning Fox’s beaded creations offered at Light House Local Artists show feature necklaces and bracelets.

Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo

Liz Browning Fox

Outlook 2022-23 • 1 9 booth The Crafty Fox at the Light House Local Artists monthly shows, which also feature other Hatteras Island artists. Light House Local Artists shows are held at the Lighthouse Assembly of God Community Center, across from the Cape Hatteras Secondary School’s tennis courts, at 48733 NC 12 in Buxton. The show schedule for the remainder of 2022 is May 28, June 18, July 2, August 18, September 3, October 8, November 18 and 19 and December 9 and 10. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Courtesy Liz Browning Fox

Liz Browning Fox created a Faberge-inspired beaded egg pendant for the latest Light House Local Artists show. The original design is by Sharri Moroshok, Tallahassee, Fla. Courtesy Liz Browning Fox.

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Horticulture program serves a higher purpose by Summer Stevens

It’s a Wednesday morning at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Office in Manteo and Dare County director Tanya Lamo has set up the conference room for her guests. At each place at the table there are two marigold plants and a small pot, and at the head of the table are several large containers of potting soil and a watering station. About a dozen individuals from The Monarch Beach Club, which serves people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, arrive promptly at 9 a.m. offering hugs and big smiles. Lamo directs them to take a seat and explains the morning’s project. Whereas last time the group planted seeds to donate to children at an upcoming Extension event, this time, Lamo says, “you get to pot marigolds for yourself to take home and enjoy.” Explaining each step carefully and demonstrating the instructions, Lamo

then encourages the group to add dirt to their pot, place the flowers carefully inside, add a little more soil and top it off with fresh water. Mornings like this happen once or twice a month at the Extension office at 517 Budleigh Street. Lamo started the therapeutic horticulture program last fall as a way to reach out to an underserved population. “I’ve always liked to work with individuals with special needs,” she said. “Personally, I find great joy in plants. To be able to share that with people, to see how it impacts their self worth, is amazing. I reached out to The Monarch Club about the idea and they were really excited about it.” One of her goals is to have a team of master gardeners who can offer therapeutic horticulture programs. Though no one in the group is certified in therapeutic horticulture, Lamo has been involved in the concept and

Summer Stevens photo

Matthew proudly shows off his marigold plant at the therapeutic horticulture program sponsored by the NC Extension office. working with youth and adults with mental health needs since her graduation from college. “I partnered with community colleges and did teaching and hands-on education. I worked in the high school with people with behavioral issues and we did landscaping, floral design, all sorts of things. The programs teach fine motor skills, and really create a sense of purpose. It’s restorative. It helps to build life skills, or even process a loss. Some people will build a memory garden for a loved one,” Lamo said. Even though Lamo and the volunteers at Extension want to serve the people at the Monarch Beach Club,

Outlook 2022-23 • 21 the club members find joy in serving others! “I like making things like cards at the Dare Center for people who don’t get out much, to make them happy. I like making plants and donating to them,” said Christine as she added soil to her marigold plant. Gina shared what kind of plants she enjoys: “I like tulips and lilies and roses and violets,” she said. “And marigolds!” She was sure show off her completed project and smiled proudly as her photograph was taken. For many gardeners, Steve’s statement rings true: “I like to see things grow. They’re pretty,” he said with a smile. As the morning’s program concludes at about 10 a.m., the group members finish their snack and say goodbye until next time. “They are just the coolest group of people,” Lamo said. “It’s really fun.” For information on how to participate or volunteer with the therapeutic horticulture program, contact Tanya Lamo at telamo@ ncsu.edu. 

Summer Stevens photo

Left: Christine says her favorite part of gardening is giving to others. Right EJ waters his newly potted marigold plant at the Extension office in Manteo.

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Courtesy Flying Fish Charters

Mike Mathis from Mechanicsville, Va. with a cobia.

Flying Fish Charters: From dream to reality by Summer Stevens

Courtesy Flying Fish Charters

Captain Hank Heerman with a nice king mackerel caught with live bait off Hatteras.

Hank Heerman was just a kid when his dad took him out to the Outer Banks for his first fishing trip in Rodanthe, igniting a lifelong desire to one day captain a boat. “When we arrived, the wind was howling and the rain was coming down. We were trying to set up one of those old canvas tents. We finally managed, but I think we spent that first night in the car, it was a little too much,” he chuckled. “But I remember the group next to us had a little Boston Whaler, and they had gone out and caught all these little bluefish. And I was like, ‘wow, I want to do that so bad.’” Fast forward 50 years, and Captain Hank Heerman is living the dream, though it was a journey to get there. His father served in the Air Force, so growing up, the Heerman family moved around frequently. “My dad did not like to fish, but he did everything he could to get me out. And he would go. He always encouraged me,” he recalled. As a young adult, Heerman always managed to find his way back to the Outer Banks, even proposing to his wife Pam during one Ocracoke fishing trip. “We would come down every year. We didn’t have any money, so we would camp. We had a little tent and

we stayed in an $8 camping spot. Pam would put up with me hauling my surf rods over to the beach… we’d see those charters when they came over the bridge and I was always in awe of that.” Heerman worked in construction for 15 years before moving on to do IT for Bank of America. Fishing remained a hobby, though he was a shore-bound angler until purchasing his boat Sea Hunt, a 23’ long single outboard fishing vessel with a tower. He has shared his love of fishing with family and friends for many years, but after taking an early retirement, he and his wife decided to move to the Outer Banks full time and turn his lifelong interest into a charter fishing business. “I love putting people on the fish. I love that,” he said. “Being out on the water, sharing that with other people, there’s nothing better.” He earned his Coast Guard captain’s license and launched Flying Fish Charters. He meets customers at the lighthouse in Manteo and tailors charters according to their level of experience and desires, and what’s in season. Common catches include red drum, cobia, mackerel, bluefish, and dolphin (mahi mahi). He offers 4-hour and 6-hour inshore and near shore charters. Flying Fish Charters provides all the bait and tackle needed, and coolers packed with ice. Customers supply their own food and drinks (no alcohol,

Outlook 2022-23 • 23

Courtesy Flying Fish Charters

Conner Heermann from Mechanicsville, Va. and Nate Johnson of Kill Devil Hills with a wahoo and nice catch of dolphin.

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please), and any additional tackle desired. No fishing license is required – Heerman’s NC For Hire Fishing Vessel license covers all customers. Heerman can take a fishing group of up to four people. For those interested in an adventure tour for sightseeing, he can take up to six passengers. His goal is to make sure his clients have a good time, for any type of trip they desire. From seasoned fishermen to those giving it a try for the first time to families with special needs children, he will do everything he can to ensure it’s the highlight of their Outer Banks visit. For Heerman, what makes a great captain is someone who knows the fish they’re going after, who will make sure the fishing party is safe and has a great time, and who doesn’t want the charter to end. “I have a real honest desire to make them happy. I want them to learn, and tBook a trip with Flying Fish Charters OBX on Facebook, look through great catches on Instagram, call Captain Hank Heerman directly at (252) 455-7522 or visit flyingfishcharters.net. 

24 • Outlook 2022-23

Microgreens pack mega nutrition

by Summer Stevens

Courtesy Harrison Microgreens

Brett Harrison grows mega-nutritious microgreens for local customers.

Tucked behind an ordinary Nags Head house is perhaps the tiniest farm in the county, Harrison Farms Microgreens. Microgreens – not to be confused with sprouts – are tiny plants, harvested after the first set of leaves have developed, usually 7 to 21 days. They’re jam-packed with vitamins and antioxidants and can be up to 40 times more nutritious than adult plants. Harrison Farms Microgreens got its start when owner Brett Harrison got tired of buying bagged salad at the grocery store, only to bring it home and it find slimy and smelly. “Nutrient decay starts happening the moment you cut a plant. It’s much more nutritious to buy produce on a local scale,” he said. He had always enjoyed gardening. “We try to grow our own food,” he said. “But sometimes you spend all this energy and it burns up or you end up with 200 cucumbers.” So he started researching microgreens. “I like systems. I liked the idea that I could make this controlled environment that would consistently provide all year if we wanted.” He started experimenting with the greens and sharing them with friends and neighbors. It wasn’t long before friends were asking for more. Harrison Farms grows sunflower, red radish, broccoli, kale, red cabbage, arugula, basil, cilantro, nasturtium and amaranth microgreens, and pea shoots. Though the farm is not USDA certified organic, he uses all organic soil and follows practices consistent with an organic farm. Harvesting microgreens is catching the plant is in its sweet spot – the leaves are tender and flavorful, and they are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. And the taste? “My five- and six-year-old clients love them,” laughed Harrison. So what can you use these tiny greens on?

Apparently, just about everything. “They taste amazing!” said Harrison. Popular uses are on eggs, sandwiches, tacos, avocado toast, cream cheese bagels, soups, and pasta. “You can put them on every meal. They make your meal look and feel special, like you’re at a fancy restaurant,” said Harrison. His favorite are the basil microgreens on a homemade sourdough pizza. “Oh my gosh they’re so good. It’s like everything you ever dreamed basil would be,” he said. Don’t have time for homemade pizza? “Even buy a local pizza and throw some on there,” he said. The sunflower microgreens are great in smoothies – “they give you so much nutrition,” Harrison said, who has so much energy it’s obvious he’s been eating his greens. The company’s Facebook page has a dozen pictures of ordinary foods like fried eggs and pinto beans transformed into restaurant-worthy presentations by a sprinkling of microgreens. But microgreens don’t just add visual appeal. “When I eat them I can tell it’s benefiting my system. I definitely have more energy,” said Elizabeth Bradley, who has worked at the farm since April 2021 and does much of planting and harvesting. The process for growing microgreens is quick and repetitive. “We joke that it’s like Groundhog Week,” Harrison said. Bradley plants densely layered seeds in trays of organic soil. Within a couple days, the seeds have sprouted and they are moved under the grow lights in Harrison’s small greenhouse. The greenhouse is kept at in the mid 70s and is equipped with a heater, an air conditioner and a dehumidifier. A fan blowing constantly keeps mold (which is all around us) from settling onto the greens. Bradley keeps the plants moist as they grow a total of two to three inches, depending on the variety. Wednesday is harvest day when the microgreens are cut, washed, dried,

Outlook 2022-23 • 25 packaged and refrigerated for Thursday’s market. Most of the greens have an eightday turnaround, while varieties like basil and cilantro take two to three weeks to reach the microgreen stage. During the summer, Harrison set up a booth at Secotan Market in Wanchese and at Dowdy Park Farmer’s Market in Nags Head on Thursdays. “It’s my local community,” he said. “It was awesome. I feel more a part of this community than I ever have, going to these markets, having conversation. We pretty much sold out every week. People are so grateful, and honestly, we’re grateful that they want to buy it.” He sells now at Secotan Market in Wanchese every Saturday morning from 8 am to noon and at Shine On Juicery in Kill Devil Hills. Home delivery is offered year ’round from Manteo to Southern Shores. New this year, customers can opt for a subscription to avoid the weekly hassle of placing an order. With microgreens, because the plants are young, they have a shorter shelf life and should be consumed within 7-10 days. Because of that, Harrison is focused on local distribution only. “You’re getting it within a day, two days from harvest,” he said. Aside from the product itself, there’s another thing that Harrison is excited about. When a tropical storm blew through, he ended up with a lot of unsold microgreens. “We took them over to the food pantry. I didn’t know if they’d want them, but they

were stoked. Since mid-summer, we’ve donated over 100 boxes to the food pantry. This year we will do a weekly donation. We try to grow a little extra for that,” he said. In 2021, the urban farm donated 141 small boxes and 187 large boxes of microgreens to the Beach Food Pantry. “This more than doubles our donation in 2020. We look forward to improving on this effort in 2022. By supporting our business, our customers help to support this practice of giving back to our local community and we are so grateful!” Bradley said. When asked if he plans to expand his crops, Harrison replied, “I’m just focusing on the microgreens for now. Keeping the quality high is more important than conquering the world.” Bradley agreed: “Quality is very important to him. He’s not going to cut corners. He’s very environmentally conscious.” One of the ways Harrison Farms cares for the environment is by using compostable containers. “They’re made out of corn and not petroleum, so they’ll break down faster than regular plastic,” Harrison said. Whenever possible, returned containers are reused after being cleaned and sanitized. The national interest in buying local produce, or growing your own food, is increasing. “There’s a movement toward decentralization in agriculture. It’s fun to really be a part of it.” Large (4 oz.) boxes sell for $12 and the smaller ones (1.5-2 oz. depending on the

Learn. Grow. Explore. There’s a place for everyone in Girl Scouts!

gsccc.org (800)77SCOUT Serving girls K-12

Courtesy Harrison Microgreens

Elizabeth Bradley plants and prepares microgreens each week. crop) go for $6. Like many food producers, Harrison Farms had had to raise their prices due to an increased cost for seeds, soil and containers. But Harrison makes sure the boxes are chock full. “We over fill them by 15 percent – we load those boxes,” he said. “There’s a lot more in there than you realize.” Harrison Farms can be reached online at www.obxmicrogreens.com, via Facebook (Harrison Farms Microgreens), Instagram (Harrison Microgreens), email (harrisonmicrogreens@gmail.com) or by calling 252489-1040. 

26 • Outlook 2022-23

Serene, plant-filled nursery worth the drive by Philip S. Ruckle Jr.

Philip S. Ruckle Jr. photo

Sherry Foreman, the owner of Nature’s Harmony in Manns Harbor, stands near a bougainvillea, a tropical plant that is estimated to be at least 40 years old.

Sherry Foreman says if you’re looking for a unique gift for someone, Nature’s Harmony in Manns Harbor is the place to get it. Although in days past Manns Harbor was better known for fishing and boat building, today Foreman’s plant nursery near the end of Shipyard Road is becoming a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Following a winding and sometimes lonely road will reward a driver with an almost 11 acre assortment of plant life of so many different colors it could easily rival an artist’s paint palette. “We’ve been doing this for 30 years because we love it,” says Foreman. “You grow plants because you love it or you wouldn’t do this business.” Foreman says before the nursery, she and her husband Ron were videographers and crabbers.

“The outboard motorboat died and it was $5,000 to fix it,” she relates. “I said I wanted to greenhouse and Ron said no because that would tie us down the rest of our lives. I said I was going to do it with him or without him.” Foreman says Ron did build her a greenhouse. Today there are three and, just like he said, they were tied down. But, she added, he loved it until he passed away just as much as she did. “We built our house ourselves, in our twenties, right here on the property we bought from a person who bought it from my grandmother,” recalls Foreman. “In the early ‘50s she sold 48 acres here for $1,400. We bought back a bit of it at the time. Then my parents gave me 8 acres so now it’s 11 acres of land I played on 70 years ago.” The transition from crabbing to nursery came in 1995. In the spring, there are about seven employees with a need for more. “We close a couple of weeks at Christmas,” says Foreman, “but otherwise we’re open year-round. We do slow down in the winter and take a few days off. But somebody’s got to be here to tend to it. We spent a lot of time on the road picking up and delivering plants, since a lot of people would not deliver, so we had to go get them.” Foreman says she and her staff grow as many plants as they can. What they can’t grow at the nursery, Foreman searches for lower-cost sources so she can keep her prices as low as possible. Philip S. Ruckle Jr. photo

Miriam Fernindez waters plants in one of three Nature’s Harmony greenhouses at the Manns Harbor nursery.

Outlook 2022-23 • 27 Although her nursery may have the largest selection in eastern North Carolina, not everyone comes to buy plants. “Most people come here for serenity,” says Foreman. “It’s amazing how many people will hunt me out, and tell me how good they feel when they come here. And they tell me they love to come here because there’s such a peacefulness here. I even had one woman, bald-headed from chemo, who said she had a bad report, so she had to come here to feel better.” Foreman says that in itself has been a treasure to her, knowing that people feel that way here. Another reason to visit is the bougainvillea, a tropical plant that is probably 40 years old. “We named it Barbara,” says Foreman, “because the woman that gave it to us was named Barbara.” With 2,700 followers on Facebook and customers from Raleigh to Virginia along with people from South Carolina stopping in, Foreman says even with lots of tourists it’s the locals that are the backbone of her business. “I think everybody here is important,” says Foreman. “One thing I hear often is that I have a great crew, or I have the best crew. And they all get along. We know it’s a-ways to drive, but our motto is we’re worth the drive.” 

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28 • Outlook 2022-23

Nora’s wish has come true by Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy The idea for a gift shop in Rodanthe started in 1960s. Nora Elizabeth (Midgett) Herbert wanted one and convinced her husband John Edgar Herbert to build a small shop for her venture. The building with ship timbers for a foundation was finished in May 1969. Merchandize was ordered. After Sunday services on May 4, 1969, the couple was on the way to visit a sick friend in Salvo. John was driving and Nora was riding in the passenger seat. A vehicle coming onto NC 12 hit the car with John and Nora. John survived. Nora passed away. The little building, built on the present day site of North Beach

Campground store, was moved across the highway and remodeled as a small rental cottage and became a single unit residence. That use ended in 2011 with Hurricane Irene. In 2012, Nora’s Wish opened and the dream was fulfilled. It’s a fascinating shop. Filled with history, original family art, handmade items, it’s a place to spend an afternoon. Look for Salt Air soap by Trisha Dempsey, specially prepared swordfish bills by Izzy Nunos, seashell bags from Stephanie O’Neal, Bertie K. Midgett’s starched, clever crocheted fish, microwave koozies, hand-carved decoys by Nick DeSimone, boats

Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo

Cooking up batches of clam chowder is a family tradition for Jonna Midgette, Jazania O’Neal and Robert Midgette, who are standing in the boutique gift/history shop called Nora’s Wish. In 1969, Nora Elizabeth (Midgett) Herbert was about to open her gift shop where her husband John Edgar Herbert would carve his decoys and serve his Hatteras Island clam chowder.

Outlook 2022-23 • 29 and wooden toys by Talmadge Willis. And then, look at historic photos about the Rodanthe/Chicamacomico families. On the Rodanthe interpretation panel, Jazania H. O’Neal is credited with the family’s clam chowder recipe. Son-in-law Robert Midgette asked her to make the chowder so he could capture the traditional recipe. Jazania O’Neal is the granddaughter of John Allen Midgett Jr., chief warrant officer at the time of the famed 1918 Mirlo Rescue by the crew at Chicamacomico Life-saving Station. Most recently, Mrs. O’Neal served as sponsor of John Allen Midgett Jr. U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter. At the ship’s christening ceremony Dec. 9, 2017, she broke a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s bow. “Midgett’s legacy and love of the Coast Guard run deep in his family: more than 200 members of the family have served in the Coast Guard and its predecessor

branches since 1874. Seven members of the Midgett family have been awarded Gold Lifesaving Medals, and three members have been awarded Silver Lifesaving

Medals,” states a U.S. Coast Guard media release. Nora’s Wish is open Tuesday through Friday. 

A Taste of Rodanthe - Rodanthe Clam Chowder

10 large potatoes 1 large onion 7 cups water 4 to 5 slices of bacon

1 dozen fresh clams or three 6 1/2 oz. cans Snow’s Bumble Bee minced clams Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cut potatoes into small squares. Peel and cut onion into small pieces. Put in pot, add water, bacon, clams and salt and pepper. Cover pot. Turn burner on high until it comes of a boil, then turn on medium and boil for 25 minutes. Now enjoy!

32 • Outlook 2022-23


Art takes many forms from many sources by Summer Stevens In 2019, Cameron McCubbins took a trip to Peru that changed her life. “I don’t know what happened, but I came home from there and said, ‘I want to be an artist.’” Inspiration happens like that. Sometimes it provokes, sometimes it clarifies. After working for 15 years as a nurse, McCubbins realized she needed a change. Although she had finally achieved her goal of being a hospice nurse, it wasn’t satisfying to her anymore. The beauty of nature called to her. “For two years, it seemed like I woke up before sunrise at least five days a week.” She started capturing stunning sunrise and sunset photos, and other people started to notice. “Anyone can take pictures,” she said to herself. “Yes,” her mother reminded her, “but you have an eye for it.” So she bought a “real” camera and started shooting nature, but also architectural elements like windows and doors. And because McCubbins is not only an artist at heart but also a thrifter, she started combing thrift stores for frames with mats, transforming the frames through layers of paint, sanding and more paint. Turquoise, blues and greens emerge in her artwork. “Color is definitely one of my main components,” she said of her use of bright colors. “Part of my thing, in my creativity, is to find objects, putting them together, upcycling, recycling. Those neighborhood cleanups they have? Those are two of my favorite times of the year!”

Upcycling and recycling everyday household items are recurring themes in McCubbins’ work. She uses glass Oui yogurt cups to make candles with soy wax and essential oils. In one design, she layers strips of brightly colored torn tissue paper and adds a layer of Mod Podge to create an image like a mountain range. Last year she pulled out a storage bin of jar lids that she’d saved over the years and made hand painted Christmas ornaments. She is also experimenting with maracas made from orange juice lids, colored duct tape and dried beans. “I’ll say to my husband, look what I made out of that! That stuff you thought I should throw away,” she laughed. Like any art form, there’s a risk in putting yourself out there. “Are people going to think these are weird?” she’s asked herself. “I’m my own worst critic. It has been interesting to accept what I’m making and compliment myself. It’s a learning process.” For McCubbins, that learning process has brought tremendous joy. Her artwork draws people – some who admire, some who purchase, some who share their own travel stories or upcycled artwork ideas. She values the conversations with new people and the opportunity to share the work that she loves. “I have this one photo that I took of ladies in the central square of Peru. No one has ever bought it but people come up all the time and ask me about it.” So let’s get back to Peru. For McCubbins, it was magical. Mysterious.

Summer Stevens photo

Top: Cameron McCubbins with several of her photography pieces and hand painted frames. Above: Custom, hand painted Christmas ornaments made using recycled jar lids.

Outlook 2022-23 • 33

Summer Stevens photo

Top: Cameron McCubbins makes custom, hand painted Christmas ornaments using recycled jar lids. Above: An old football transformed into a creative hanging planter.

She even had a strangely prophetic dream about a boat made out of reeds, before she planned her visit to the town that makes everything – including boats – out of reeds. But more than just the landscape, the people possessed a calm strength that appealed to McCubbins. Peru sparked a creative fire that had been buried for a while. When she returned home and began getting serious about art, what better name than Pachamama, which loosely translates as Mother Earth. “It’s fun, it’s fun to say,” she said, but more importantly, it takes her back to the place that inspired her. Children are particularly attracted her artwork. They like the bright colors, the animals and the use of everyday materials. “It’s so fun. That wondrous creativity, no rules,” she said. When she enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond after high school, it was to become an elementary art teacher. Though she didn’t graduate and went instead into the healthcare field, that desire has come full circle, as children often come up to her booth at

farmer’s market to look at her creations. “They’ll look at my stuff and we’ll talk and then tell me what they made at school with water bottles.” She is able to enjoy, teach and inspire children, just as she dreamed about so many years ago. This summer she’ll by busy at various art markets in the Outer Banks including the Dowdy Park Farmer’s Market in Nags Head, First Flight Market in Kill Devil Hills, The Coastal Gardening Festival at the Baum Center and Rock the Cape event in Rodanthe. Her son is into skimboarding, so she’s experimenting more with action shots. Regardless of where McCubbins’ art takes her, she will be exploring with her eyes wide open, looking for the next opportunity to highlight the unique, from majestic sunrises on the beach to recycled orange juice lids. “There’s so much beauty all around us,” she said. Find Cameron McCubbins on Instagram at @pachamamaobx, on Facebook at Pachamama Productions or email her at pachamamaobx@gmail.com. 

34 • Outlook 2022-23

Vegan food truck

takes root on the Outer Banks by Danielle Puleo

In July of 2021, Natalie and Luke Harris opened the windows of Roots & Leaves Food Truck on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This was after having left their jobs in Martinsville, Virginia, moving their family down to the island in an RV and coincidentally acquiring vintage donut making equipment off of eBay from local restaurant owners. The COVID-19 pandemic altered the lives of many when it hit the United States in March of 2020. Natalie and Luke are no exception; they were running a fabric and textile company in Virginia at the time. Australia-native Luke had set up shop in Martinsville printing fabric for swimwear brands in the early 2000s. After meeting Natalie – at a coffee shop of all places – the two married in 2007 and Natalie ran the HR and marketing side of the company. The pandemic forced the company to stop selling fabric and switch to making isolation gowns and face masks instead. “It was morbid,” Natalie said. “We had a good run, but sometimes you just know when it’s time for a change.” The couple decided it was time to resign and took a vacation down to the Outer Banks. Leading up to this point, Natalie had already been selling vegan baked goods at local farmers markets. The couple had planned to open up a food truck offering vegan coffee and donuts and found vintage donut equipment for sale online. The seller just so happened to be located in Frisco, North Carolina, near where they had planned on vacationing. Sue and Gary Patchel, owners of the Gingerbread House Bakery, had listed their donut equipment on eBay and met with

Natalie and Luke for the exchange. After talking, the Harrises asked if they could set up Roots & Leaves in front of the restaurant to sell coffee and donuts, to which the Patchels’ responded: “Come on down!” “I used to make pizzas on Friday and Saturday nights when tourists were in town during the summertime,” Luke said, “and then when we went to the Gingerbread House and they said they only make pizzas at night time, no baked goods throughout the day, that just reminded me so much of my childhood.” Roots & Leaves was parked in front of the Gingerbread House for two weeks in June of 2021. During that time, Natalie and Luke met the Thompson family, who invited the couple to park their truck at the Avon Pier. That is when the two decided it was time to move. The Harrises sold their house in Virginia in July, bought an RV and made their way to

Danielle Puleo photo

Luke and Natalie Harris, owners of Roots & Leaves Food Truck Frisco Woods where they lived for the summer of 2021. The food truck starting making its way up and down the beach during the summer, offering fresh Aussie style coffee and handmade vegan donuts. You can’t miss the charcoal colored truck with bright, vibrant vegetables painted around the sides, a hot pink donut looking out the driver’s side window and an adorable

Danielle Puleo photo

Roots & Leaves Food Truck is parked right in front of the Avon Fishing Pier from Tuesday through Saturday.

Outlook 2022-23 • 35

Danielle Puleo photo

Left: Natalie Harris spends each morning decorating donuts one by one with unique, colorful designs that differ by the day. Right: Luke Harris grew up in Australia, where coffee culture is big, and uses his knowledge to craft Aussie-style coffees on the truck. koala making his appearance on the passenger side. A 25-year-old espresso machine sits inside the truck along with their donut making equipment, flavorful syrups and frosting colors galore. “We’ve always loved coffee,” said Natalie, “and the city that we were living in only had two coffee shops… and not many vegan options.” The couple found it important to offer something different and obtainable for those who have dietary restrictions. The coffee and donuts at Roots & Leaves are dairy-free with no animal product ingredients; the coffee is made with oat milk in place of cow milk and the donuts are a secret recipe that look just as good as they taste. “I think a lot of people don’t realize the donuts are vegan and it’s changing people’s minds,” said Natalie. “There’s people that come that are not vegan and probably never will be that tell us these are the best donuts they have ever had, and I think that’s the highest compliment you could ever get.” While Natalie is the artist behind the donut designs, Luke

makes fresh batches every morning, and is the barista behind their Aussie style coffee. “Coffee culture in Australia is really full on and bigger than anywhere in the world I think,” he said. “Everything with coffee has to happen around twenty-seven seconds. If it doesn’t happen around that timeframe, it either tastes really bitter or is washed out.” Luke explained that the 25-year old coffee machine he has on deck has to be adjusted each morning so that the weight hits right at twenty-seven seconds. “We can’t just hit a button and walk away,” he said. “The same with the donuts, a lot has to do with batter temperature and the level that drops and the time the donut stays under the oil and the oil levels.” Luke and Natalie enjoy hand baking and hand crafting their goods, and they are happy to “lower the impact” while showing their customers a new way to consume. “I guess the point of this is to show people look you can take your daily coffee, you can take a donut and make

it vegan, that’s not hard to do and it’s still really good,” Natalie offered. “We’re not on a mission, but this is a great way to introduce people to it: donuts and coffee. It’s not scary.” Natalie and Luke planted their roots in Buxton after pur-

chasing a home in October of 2021. Roots & Leaves Food Truck can be found right in front of the Avon Pier, with daily updates shared through both Instagram and Facebook. More information can be found at their website: www.eatrootsandleaves.com. 

36 • Outlook 2022-23

Saving the dunes by Philip S. Ruckle Jr.

Although most people probably don’t give a lot of thought to grass, Donny King and Sandy Cross are two people here on the Outer Banks dedicated to grass. That’s because each operates a program aimed at planting beach grass on the dunes all along the oceanfront. While oceanfront dunes serve as a natural line of defense against storm surges by preventing or limiting coastal flooding, beach grasses help hold this natural barricade together and prevent some of the sand from being washed out into the ocean. When Nags Head lost some of its dune line following a major storm, Donny King decided to do something about it. Intent on making a difference, King formed a group of volunteers named Better Beaches OBX. Starting with a small group, his stable of volunteers now numbers around 250. “We wanted to help create a more sustainable future for our area which locals and visitors can all enjoy,” said King. “We knew we could work with nature and make a difference.” Working in various different beach areas, King said in addition to beach grass, his group plants sea oats at different times of the year. Christmas trees discarded after the holiday season can be used on the dunes as well. “Beach grass goes in from November to February,” he explained. “Sea oats are best planted between Easter and Memorial Day, and Christmas trees that act as sand fencing go in between New Years and Valentine’s Day.” King went on to say the beach grass comes from Drake Farms in Pinetops and sea oats from a native nursery in Florida called Earth Balance. “The Christmas trees come from all over

the community,” he added, “and a pizza place in Virginia brings us a crazy amount every year.” According to King, his group does about 50 plantings a year in sessions running about an hour to hour and a half. Beach grass is planted between noon and 3 p.m. to take advantage of the warm weather and sun while sea oats are usually a little earlier in the day. “We did have one day when we did a mile long area with the Carolina Panthers,” King continued. “We worked longer and it was sunny and hot in the 80s. That was a brutal day. Coordinating a similar program in Duck, Sandy Cross uses volunteers along with paid contractors. “We’ve been planting beach grass in the

entire town of Duck for about 10 years,” offered Cross. “When we had our beach nourishment in 2017 we knew we had our paid contractors lined up, but we also knew that was probably not going to be enough in the nourishment area. The town manager at the time basically said in a field of dreams type comment, ‘if you can get the volunteers I can get you the grass.’ So I got the volunteers.” Cross said her program was so successful in terms of volunteer hours and the number of volunteers that Duck’s Town Council was just overwhelmed with excitement. “We had somewhere close to 250 different people come out,” said Cross. “Council was also excited at the potential to involve the community and visitors and non-resident property owners.” Town of Duck photo

Volunteers in Duck work together planting beach grass in an effort to stabilize an oceanfront dune helping it weather storms better.

Outlook 2022-23 • 37 “That first year we basically winged it, not really knowing exactly what we were doing,” Cross continued. “But with guidance from Donny King we were able to get most of the entire 7,500 linear feet of beach nourishment area in Duck planted with a 20-foot wide stretch. Cross always starts the planting season on Veterans Day, November 11, with sessions running 60 to 75 minutes. “So you could literally take a lunch break and get some grass planted,” she added. “I actually have some people doing that.” Although volunteer numbers are down, Cross said her groups are still getting close to the same amount of plants into the ground with about 20 events each year. “It does wonderful things for the dune,” Cross added. “Grass is our first line of defense. It’s our sacrificial base and very inexpensive to put in the ground with volunteers and much less expensive than sand fencing because there’s no maintenance involved, so to speak, with the grass. With sand fencing, a storm

can cause damage that has to be repaired. You have to take it out and cut it out, but with these plants they just grow and do their own thing.” Because not all of Duck beaches can be covered by volunteers, Cross still utilizes paid contractors along with her volunteers. She schedules volunteers in one area and paid contractors in another. Cross said she is also looking at other planting options. Her crews currently plant three different species now, and she’s looking at a possible fourth to that mix. “Beach grass is just one of maybe six that are ideal for the dune system depending on where you are in the geographic heat zone,” she said. And, while the dune system benefits from multiple plantings, Cross said there is a benefit for volunteers as well. “Beach grass planting is one fantastic way to get involved in your community,” she added. “You can meet new people and do something good for the environment.” 

Philip S. Ruckle Jr. file photo

Donny King prepares to lay out a line during a May 2019 Better Beaches OBX sea oats planting session in Kitty Hawk. Sea oats on the dune line help stabilize a dune, enabling it to weather storms better, and the line helps volunteers plant more efficiently.

Philip S. Ruckle Jr. file photo

Philip S. Ruckle Jr. file photo

Carolina Panthers representatives Khevna Desai, left, and Kelly Ballance came in from Charlotte on May 1, 2019 to help Donny King and his Better Beaches OBX organization plant sea oats on the dune line in Kitty Hawk. The endeavor was part of the Panthers’ “Keep Pounding Day” and, along with other volunteers in ten groups, planted about 6,000 sea oats.

Volunteers from Duck and Kitty Hawk work together as one of 10 groups planting sea oats on the dune line during a May 2019 Kitty Hawk planting session. Sea oats planting is a proven method to help stabilize a dune to better weather storms.

38 • Outlook 2022-23

Fill up your cup at Shine On Juicery by Danielle Puleo Food for thought: What if the food we consume allowed us to feel so much more than physically full? What if food served as a way to help us ease our anxieties, gain strength, feel more energized, got us out of a mental fog and uplifted us on a regular basis? That is what Amy Landes, owner of Shine On Juicery, has aspired to show her customers through the food she prepares. Landes grew up in northern Virginia and attended college at James Madison University. After graduating in 2007, she decided to take a year to decompress and spend some time on the Outer Banks. Landes loved it so much, she chose to stay. Another great love of hers? Food. “I have just always loved food really, and I’ve always loved preparing it myself, being creative and trying different things,” she said. “At some point along that journey of creating, I started getting really curious as to how what we are eating affects how you feel and what makes a person healthy and happy in general.” While waiting tables and dipping her toes in several side projects, Landes developed a deep appreciation for how food affects the human body, not only for herself, but for her newborn daughter. She was introduced to the concept of raw and living foods during this time after reading a book on the matter and started researching. The Living Light Culinary Institute piqued her interest enough that she attended two weeks of classes out in Fort Bragg, California. “I learned so many, at the time probably odd, ways to prepare your food,” she said. Some techniques that were taught included sprouting and dehydrating, focusing on how to preserve the vitamins and minerals in food. She also learned how to eat for “vibrant health” in a tasty way. Landes felt like these classes had opened up a whole new door of possibilities. She spent time taking online courses with the Matthew

Danielle Puleo photo

Amy Landes, owner of Shine On Juicery. Kelley Culinary School, where she was introduced to juicing. “Once I got into the juicing world I started realizing there’s a lot of different ways to make juice too.” Not all juice is the same, she soon found out, and neither is the way in which to prepare juices. She opted for the cold pressed method. While practicing her preparations, Landes started selling her homemade juice at local pop-ups and markets. She would cook for clients in their homes and then began creating juice cleanses for those who were interested. “I just wanted to create my food and share it wherever turned up,” she said. In 2020 an opportunity came knocking on Landes’ door that she could not turn down, an opportunity to set up shop at the former location of The Pit Surf Shop in Kill Devil Hills. A community had already begun forming in the complex; a group of like-minded individuals was coming together who all agreed the world needed some uplifting. “Part of the reason this felt like such the right spot was because of our neighbors, Ascension;

Shree and I had collaborated on pop-ups before, I was providing juice for her markets at Ascension and we had worked at The Well together too, so it was community already in place.” Landes added, “A like-minded community, interested in raising the vibration, so it felt really good to have this place open up. It just felt right.” Shine On Juicery found its home in July of 2020, but the next year was filled with readying the space and preparing. It was on April 22, 2021 that the juicery opened its doors to the public and the response has been a positive one. “People are happy to have the option to go somewhere and know they can get something special and tasty that is good for them,” Landes shared. “They love being able to experience the whole compound. Go fill up your cup in so many different ways.” Shine On Juicery offers cold pressed, fresh, flavorful juices that each embody their own health benefits. The juice is prepared in-house, with ingredients that Landes picks out by hand

Outlook 2022-23 • 39

Danielle Puleo photo

All of Shine On’s juices offer a range of health benefits to promote overall wellness.

locally. Most of the shopping is done at Harris Teeter, where organic ingredients are abundant. When the shop is closed, Landes is busy shopping and prepping. Not only does Shine On offer juice, but delectable food options are available daily. “We make small batches of juice and put them out, but we also have summer rolls with ginger sauce, avocado toast with microgreens, smoothies… lots of house made fixings that go with things, like the strawberry daydream smoothie has the house raw butter in it that I make finding high quality, high vibe ingredients,” Landes said, “and putting them all together in delightful ways.” The amount of time and care that goes into each juice preparation is noteworthy. From the water that is used to wash the produce to the way the juice is prepared using a high-quality juicer, Landes said all of the little details is what makes the final product something worth sharing with the world. All of the juice is bottled locally as well, with an ingredient label printed

at the shop and placed on each lid before they hit the shelf. “The best part about doing this is serving people something and then them coming back and saying, ‘I think I feel better after eating that or drinking that,’ and they’re almost kind of surprised.” Landes offered, “You should feel uplifted, you should feel energized and you should feel good from your food.” To those that are thinking of trying her juice, Landes said it’s good to be open-minded. “Really just check in with yourself and be intuitive about your self-care, which includes your food,” she said. “Honor what it is that your body needs and be both open to trying new things and letting things go. Sometimes you realize things are affecting you in a way you didn’t even realize.” The Shine On Juicery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Landes also offers juice cleanses to those that are interested. To learn more, visit www.shineonobx. com. 

4 0 • Outlook 2022-23

STAG’s: Sauces, seasonings, catering and more

by Summer Stevens

Summer Stevens photo

STAG’s Sauce Co. & Catering owner Andrew Stagikas and son Demetri offer a wide assortment of BBQ sauce, hot sauce, jellies and rubs. Five years ago, Andrew Stagikas grew some hot pepper plants in his garden in Elizabeth City and started making hot sauce. His mom brought some bottles up to members of the Coast Guard in Portsmouth and “they loved it,” he recalled. “So we decided to give that a go.” From hot sauce he moved on to experimenting with barbecue sauce and before long, he created STAG’s Sauce Co and Catering, adding to the mix handcrafted gourmet wing sauces, pepper jellies, pepper vinegars and BBQ rubs and seasonings, as well as a catering company that offers smoked pork and chicken using their own products and seasonings. He combined his many years in the corporate restaurant

management industry with his interest in being a part of his local community. He sells at farmers markets across the Outer Banks, in Edenton, Elizabeth City and at festivals and events. “For us, it’s always a change of scenery, relationships with the customers. You make friends along the way,” he said. Stagikas is clear that it’s a family operated business. He has significant support from his 19-year-old son Demetri and his mother, who makes all of the jellies, cowboy candies and seasonings and does all the accounting. Everything is homemade and, as much as possible, Stagikas uses local or homegrown herbs and vegetables. On his small

homestead, he grows his own hot peppers, greens, collards, kale and radishes. “It’s really important to me to use fresh, local ingredients. You can tell the difference in quality,” he said. Though it’s not practical for everything, “when you can, do raw, do fresh.” That commitment to quality and flavor has resulted in a loyal fan base that has made him popular at markets and boutique stores. “I’ve got customers that will come over [to the market] and buy us out of every jar of Cowboy Candy we brought,” he said of his unique blend of spicy and sweet sliced jalapenos. Another customer favorite is Cranberry Jalapeno Pepper Jelly, and Stagikas’ personal favorite – Smoky Apple Barbeque Sauce. “It’s one of my babies,” he said. At any time, they have about 10 different BBQ sauces, and between seven and 12 hot sauces depending on what’s in season. The business has won awards for their famous macaroni and cheese offered on the catering side of the business. The next challenge for Stakigas is a food truck, which is in the works now and should be operable this summer. And through it all, Stakigas is grateful. “When we first started out, we just offered a few sauces. We were getting excited to make $140 that first Saturday – to now having a food truck. It’s nice to have that support from our community. Without help and support we wouldn’t be where we are,” he said. The food truck is called Stags Soulshine Kitchen Revival, named in memory of a dear friend whose life was lost to suicide. “We

Outlook 2022-23 • 4 1

were big Allman Brothers fans. To me, it’s very personal, this truck,” he said. Stagikas donates to suicide prevention charities and one day hopes to help support recovery houses on the Outer Banks. “I’m open about being in recovery. [The business] occupies my time, gives me something to focus on . . . I’ve come from rock bottom, the lowest point of life. I can offer hope to people who are struggling with addiction or alcoholism. Hopefully this can help people see that, hey, ‘we can do this.’” For Stagikas, the connection with his community is what fuels his passion and makes it all worth it. “It’s a celebration of agriculture, it’s a celebration of life. I saw a side of our community – fishing, cooking, agriculture – that I hadn’t before. We’re all in it together. It’s a feeling of unity. With the markets, the artisans or the other food vendors . . . I love to see what other people are passionate about.” And if there are setbacks? Stagikas isn’t worried. “We don’t look at hindrances or roadblocks. We’ll get there, that’s how we roll.” To connect with STAG’s Sauce Co and Catering, or Stags Soulshine Kitchen Revival, visit them on Facebook or email dstagikas@gmail.com. 

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4 2 • Outlook 2022-23

Waterside Weaver From sheep to chic

Summer Stevens photo

The sheep grazing at Island Farm by Summer Stevens

Summer Stevens photo

Waterside Weaver Beth Burns models a handwoven, handspun wool wrap on the front porch of the welcome center at Island Farm, where her small flock of sheep graze nearby.

On Roanoke Island, there lives a little flock of sheep at Island Farm. Most visitors would think that the sheep are the property of the farm, to serve as a picturesque backdrop of what life might have looked like in the 19th century. However, the sheep belong to Beth Burns of Waterside Weaver, who uses the wool to create handspun and handwoven shawls, wraps, blankets and more. Her fabric arts process isn’t that different from the traditional methods families have been using for hundreds of years. The raw wool is gathered and washed, and then begins carding – a process of combing the wool so all the fibers are in the same direction – using two wooden paddles that

resemble wire dog brushes. With the wool smoothed and detangled, it can be spun into yarn using a spinning wheel or a top whorl drop spindle. Though Burns does send some of the wool to be commercially spun, “I like spinning it myself,” she said. “It gives you some diversity in the yarn.” Island Farm has a fully operational antique spinning wheel that Burns and others use. On Sheep Shearing Day, visitors to the farm practiced carding the wool while Island Farm volunteers demonstrated how it was spun it into yarn on the wheel. After the raw wool has been turned into yarn, then it must be woven into fabric using a loom. There are two looms at Island Farm

Outlook 2022-23 • 4 3 – one large “barn loom” that is housed in the welcome center and another one in the farmhouse. Burns owns them both, as well as another loom she keeps at home. The barn loom is the showpiece of the visitor’s center. According to Burns, it came from West Virginia and is engineered according to the German style. When beginning a project, the first step is “beaming it” – or putting all the threads on the loom as wide and long as you want your fabric. How many “ends” per inch depends on the delicacy of the project. Weaving rags might be six ends per inch, whereas a finer project might use 40 ends per inch. The harness is the frame of the loom that holds the threads. A standard loom starts with two harnesses and can create a plain weave; but more harnesses mean more complex patterns that can be created. For Burns, “I can pretty much do anything I want to do with eight.” The harnesses are controlled with foot pedals called treadles. To this writer’s surprise, Burns sat down at the loom and began adjusting it, stepping on the treadles, and weaving with all the gentleness of opening a jar of pickles. Though the machine looks delicate, it’s a fully functioning working piece of equipment, and Burns is clearly comfortable putting it to use. “I’ve put this one together and taken it apart so many times,” she said.

4 4 • Outlook 2022-23

Summer Stevens photo

Left: Island Farm volunteer Inger pressing the treadles of the loom. Right: At work on the loom in the upstairs bedroom of the Island Farm farmhouse. Historically, barn looms were assembled and disassembled frequently. Because of their size, they were often set up on the front porch in temperate weather. It’s easy to imagine the scene 100 years ago – a mother running the loom while she watches her children play in the yard on a warm spring day. Though the process isn’t complicated once you get the hang of it, it is time consuming. Weaving a simple cotton dishtowel can take Burns all day, so it’s easy to understand why they retail for $60 at market. As the years go by, that dishtowel will outwork its store-bought companions and end up paying for itself. “Some of my friends have had them for 25 years,” Burns said, “and they keep getting softer the more often they’re washed.” She sells the dishtowels because they’re so

popular and relatively easy to make, though her spotlight items are the shawls and wraps she makes directly from her little flock of sheep. “It’s a sickness,” she laughed. “You kind of have to do the whole thing,” she said of her unique participation in creating fabric arts from the first step of raising baby lambs to the commencement of direct-selling her wares. She owns eight sheep, all pastured at Island Farm, and once a year they are hand sheared by Frederick Inglis of Somerset Farm near Edenton. One sheep can yield about 10 to 15 pounds of fleece. When Burns does send out the raw wool to be commercially processed and spun into yarn to a small facility in Vermont, there is a 100-pound minimum for each type of wool. “It takes me ten years

to get enough,” she said. She was able to reach that threshold this year after the April sheep shearing, and she expects the wool may last her the rest of her weaving days. For her signature handwovens, Burns primarily makes naturally-colored throw blankets, shawls and wraps using wool from her own tiny flock of Romney and Merino sheep. She modeled a wrap while sitting in one of the rocking chairs on the front porch of the Island Farm welcome’s center, and one can instantly see the artistry in not only the material, but in the elegance of the pattern. The wrap rests on the edge of the shoulders, making a V and touching just past the hips. Though she used to place her items at various galleries, she now sells them directly at Secotan Market in Wanchese, or through her website at watersideweaver.com. She has a

Outlook 2022-23 • 4 5 large following of clients and sells everything she makes. Purchasing a Waterside Weaver item is a financial investment, but the price probably barely covers Burns’ expenses, not to mention her time. “It’s not really a money-making thing,” she said simply. When she first learned to weave 26 years ago, she was reeling from the personal loss. “I was planning on getting married and it all fell apart. I was heartbroken, so I poured myself into it. It was really good timing.” She took a weaving class at Pocosin Arts in Columbia, and a couple years later bought the first of her animals in her flock. When she retired as a biologist for the state ten years ago, she increased her flock and started spending more time on her artwork. Beyond the wool items, Burns also uses a variety of other materials that are more suited for the balmy Outer Banks weather like silk eco-print or eco-dyed scarves, using native plants or flowers and natural dyes. She makes stunning Tencel scarves by hand painting and hand weaving superfine Tencel yarn in shades of deep greens, blues and turquoise. One scarf takes weeks to create, but the final product is a piece of wearable art. Find Beth Burns and a photo gallery of her work at watersideweaver.com. 

4 6 • Outlook 2022-23

WRV: Shaping surfboards to ride the waves by Danielle Puleo The Outer Banks has become a highly sought-after destination for surfers, providing perhaps the best surfing waves on the east coast. The sport has gained extreme interest from athletes around the world, now having reached an Olympic level. So, what is the most important factor while riding the waves? What takes a surfer to the next level? Most would agree it’s the vehicle by which a surfer transports themselves across the water. Situated in Kitty Hawk is a surf shop that has gained national, even international, recognition: Wave Riding Vehicles (WRV). Founded in 1967, WRV began as a surfboard manufacturing company out of Virginia Beach. Current WRV Kitty Hawk general manager Chris Williams said that the initial goal was to get high quality surfboards into the hands of east coast surfers. “It all started in the Virginia Beach area, which is where the company was born,” Williams said. “Naturally, the Outer Banks is a regular pilgrimage for the traveling surfer that wants to surf the best waves and the best conditions. People were driving down to OBX since day one looking for the best waves.” After the company got its feet off the ground, it opened the doors of a second location in The Dune Shops complex in the early 1980s. Once surfing gained more popularity and the culture grew, there was need for more space, so WRV moved to its current location on N. Croatan Highway in Kitty Hawk. WRV was originally founded by the Morris and Snyder families. The company changed hands when it was bought out by Les Shaw and Bill Frierson. The partnership lasted a few years, Shaw focusing on the business side of the

Danielle Puleo photo

Left: Ayden Painter sifts through a rack of finished surfboards waiting for new owners at the storefront in Kitty Hawk Right: Leigh Ann Britton, WRV factory director, and Chris Williams, general manager of WRV Kitty Hawk. company and Frierson interested in shaping the boards. Shaw bought Frierson out in the early 1990s; Frierson still shapes under his own label, and the Shaw family owns the company to this day. L.G. Shaw, son of Les, is the president of WRV. The label has come a long way since the ’60s, from a small board-making shop to becoming one of the largest surfboard manufacturers on the east coast. The brand has opened locations in both Hawaii and Puerto Rico,

with a dealer list that spans from Maine all the way down to Florida. The Coastland Times spent time at both the Kitty Hawk storefront and the board-making factory just over the bridge in Currituck and spoke with Williams and WRV factory director Leigh Ann Britton to learn more about the surfboard-making process. The surfboard starts out as a “blank,” a large surfboard-shaped canvas made out of high density polyurethane foam. A shaper will design the board; he will draw on the deck (the top portion) of the surfboard to

Outlook 2022-23 • 4 7 create the shape that the board will take on. The shapes vary and are dependent upon the use of the board, along with factors such as a person’s bodyweight, height, ability, etc. Once the shape is drawn, the board is placed in the laminating room where the deck receives two layers of fiberglass cloth and one layer is sealed on the bottom, forming a hard candy shell on both sides. The board will then travel to the hot coating department, where a sanding resin is brushed on both sides of the board to make the board “sandable.” “If you sand it right after it is laminated, it will splinter because it’s really hard,” explained Britton. Next, a sander will use a hand-held machine sander to smooth the board and grind down the fin boxes. The board then travels to the buffing room, affectionately known as the “mud room,” where the surfboard is brushed with a liquid similar to car wax that buffs the board and gives it that shiny sheen. Each room is filled with bright white lights so factory workers can clearly see what they are working on.

“Everything is a process and it could take hours at each stage,” said Britton. “We have cards on each board for all the locations they will go to,” she added. WRV receives many custom requests, along with orders from the thirty dealers they distribute to. It is crucial that each board gets to exactly where it needs to go. Britton and Williams then walked into a room with surfboards that were about to receive their final touches. Britton pointed to a custom board designed by Marty Keesecker, a long-time shaper who started with the company when it was born. In 1970, Keesecker and another shaper, Bob White, designed a board called the “Real McCoy.” “They came up with the model then and are now recreating it,” Britton said as she looked at the impressive piece. “They’re doing a limited series.” Shapers like Keesecker have been in the business a long time, crafting boards that retail for thousands of dollars due to their complexity and the high level of detail. “He hand-chisels the wood,” remarked Britton of Keesecker. “He takes mahogany specialty wood (knows as a

“tailblock”) and glues the pieces together and puts them on the end of the board. He’s a master shaper.” This tailblock is also used on some of WRV’s classic boards. Keesecker, along with Bob Yinger, Jordan Brazie, Mike Doyle, Rob Kamp, Makoto Kurihara, Pat Mulhern, Bill Foote and Mike Clark, all shape surfboards for the company currently. Each surfboard meets many hands before it makes its way home. The board-making process is extremely labor-intensive and, unlike factories that churn out hundreds of products simultaneously, WRV surfboards are crafted one at a time. “That’s why surfboards cost what they cost,” said Williams, “all these guys are a part of the process to make the surfboards, and it’s all local too.” The WRV factory can churn out anywhere from forty to eighty surfboards a week, depending on the nature of the boards ordered. “We build A-Z, short boards to long boards,” Britton noted. The boards can be anywhere from 5’2” to 11’ in length. A surfer’s chosen board should

4 8 • Outlook 2022-23

Danielle Puleo photo

Jeremy McMahon laminating the deck of a surfboard to form the hard candy shell.

match the conditions they will be riding in, but boards are designed to accommodate a rider’s height and weight in tandem with the subjected conditions. “It’s sort of like having golf clubs,” explained Williams, “just like you have a club for a specific shot, you have specific boards to fit where you’re going, your height and weight and ability.” Williams spends most of his time at the shop, guiding customers to a board that would best suit their needs. He started with the company in 2017 after living and working up and down the east coast and spending time traveling. “Anytime there were waves, I would surf,” he said. Whether it be in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, California or Spain, Williams has always seen a WRV surfboard in the water. “It was a shock to me having been born and raised in Virginia Beach,” Williams said. “I didn’t realize that their reach was so far.” Outside of surfboards, WRV has created its own brand. Since surf fashion blew up, WRV has been quick to ride with the trends, selling their own apparel, surfing gear, accessories and even skateboards. Outer Banks locals and visitors can stop in the shop and be instantly immersed in the surfing culture. And if individuals are looking to build their own surfboards, they can purchase the necessary materials right from WRV. The brand continues to gain recognition as customers sport the WRV logo wherever they go. “We are definitely a nationwide brand, but I feel like I can now say it’s a worldwide brand as well,” Williams stated. To find out more, visit the WRV website at www.waveridingvehicles.com. 

Outlook 2022-23 • 4 9

Jewelry by Gail: Celebrating 45 years of unique, handcrafted designs

Courtesy Jewelry by Gail

Left: Gail Kowalski, owner of Jewelry by Gail. Others: Examples of the hand crafted Jewelry that can be found at Jewelry by Gail’s. A long time ago, at a beach not too far away, a ninth-grade girl who lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania decided that she wanted to live and work in the Outer Banks. That girl was Gail Kowalski, the owner and driving force behind Jewelry by Gail in Nags Head. Decades after Gail’s first walks on the beach, she is proudly celebrating the 45th birthday of her creative vision coming true this year. A visit to Jewelry by Gail will quickly reveal the intricacies of her style and why that style has won over so many people. Creating every piece by hand in her workroom in the shop, she pulls inspi-

ration from the movement of the natural world, and here that means wind, sand, sunshine and, of course, water. The fact of the matter is Gail’s handcrafted jewelry isn’t a piece to be worn a couple of times and then lost and forgotten to the recesses of a trinket box. The designs by this award-winning jeweler are works of art used to adorn those who dare to be different. You’ll also find that Jewelry by Gail features the work of other designers and has established a reputation for expert repair work and insurance appraisals. You owe it to yourself to visit and marvel at all this unique jewelry store has to offer! 

50 • Outlook 2022-23 Courtesy photo

The Miss Somerset II features a shallow draft and plenty of room for charter guests.

Somerset Charters: Fun, authentic experience crabbing and shrimping A youthful couple with deep family roots in Dare County has launched a charter operation that puts a new spin on traditional types of soundside fishing. Capt. John Silver of Wanchese plans to take family groups of up to six people out on daily crabbing and shrimping runs on his classic Chesapeake-style vessel, the Miss Somerset II. He’s partnered with fiancée Ella Catoe in the venture. Each appears super excited about the coming season and they’ve already booked nearly 20 charters. The vessel, a 1986 36-footlong Evans Dead Rise Somerset, features a shallow draft, diesel engine and plenty of deck room for the customers. Silver’s dad “Possum” and uncle “Winkie” helped him acquire and refit the boat from stem to stern years ago. John, age 31, has been commercial crabbing and shrimping from the Somerset for the past seven seasons and working on boats since age 15. Catoe, a graduate of East Carolina University, has worked in publishing and digital advertising for several years. Silver said she has been extremely helpful with advertising the new venture and developing his marketing materials including website somersetcharters.com. The pair of Manteo High graduates, who plan to get married in late September, are ready to take on the busy tourism season. “We’re really excited about it,” Silver said.

Courtesy photo

Capt. John Silver and his two dogs Rudy and Emmett are ready for the summer season running charters. “She created the website, and ads . . . she’s been a huge help behind the scenes pulling it together.” At present, Cateo plans the keep her day job but also seems thrilled about opening Somerset Charters and communicating with the customers. “I am beyond excited about the launch of Somerset Charters,” she said. “John has had this dream for quite some time now and I’m

so proud of him for bringing it to life. “He has had the vision, the passion and the drive to take it to completion,” Catoe said. “That’s what a successful business needs, right? “We are looking forward to giving our guests a fun, authentic Outer Banks experience,” she continued. The couple plans to offer three time slots a day – two, three or four hours. The captain

Outlook 2022-23 • 51

can tailor what they do while fishing to match what the customer wants. So, on two hour runs, for example, he said customers can choose either crabbing or shrimping. If they want to take home both types of catch, they need to opt for the threeor four-hour charters. “My pots are just for charters,” Silver said. “How long we’re out there helps determine how many we can fish, so I can play it by ear. “For someone with kids, it’s a learning thing – let the kids have fun!” the captain said. A large culling table provides a place to dump the shrimp from the net or blue crabs from inside the wire mesh pots or traps. That’s when children can see the crabs or shrimp up close, measure the throwback crabs and perhaps see other interesting bycatch critters such as fish. Conversely, for a bunch of hungry folks he’ll aim to catch as many shrimp and crabs as possible. There’s a limit of 50 blue crabs a day per person but he doesn’t see doing large numbers like that. Instead, he views the entire venture as a neat way to get people out on the water and let them enjoy some of the bounty of the sea without having to spend all day and thousands on an offshore fishing trip. “It’s great,” the captain said. “A lot of people come down and don’t want to go offshore all day. “Two or three hours is a small chunk of the day,” said Silver. “It’s a more affordable, fun option to do while here.” On their website, there are photos of Catoe aboard Miss Somerset II with her friends living the dream during summer fun runs. “They love it – I take her and all her friends,” he said. In addition, Silver said Catoe’s first cousin Burtch Harrison will serve as the first mate Crabbing season begins in June and shrimping begins in July, the captain noted. Customers need to bring a cooler so they can take home their catch. The fishing grounds are adjacent to John’s residence on the west side of Wanchese on the Croatan Sound. A true waterman, John first commercial

Courtesy photo

Ella Catoe shows off their catch of shrimp.

Courtesy photo

Catch and keep your own basket of blue crabs and fresh shrimp while on a trip with Somerset Charters. fished on long-line boat, the Sarah Brent. It’s the type of fishing featured on the film “A Perfect Storm,” he noted. Over the years he’s tried a number of different types of fishing and boats including ones that stay at sea for weeks at a time. Along the way, Capt. Silver realized some-

thing important. “I did not like being away from home,” he said. “I just wanted to be home at night, that’s how I got into crabbing and shrimping.” Silver and Catoe along with yellow labs Rudy and Emmett invite you to give them a try this summer aboard the Miss Somerset II. 

52 • Outlook 2022-23

Community theater now has a stage of its own Theatre of Dare has found a permanent place to call home. Built in 1984 the site is the former Kitty Hawk Twin Cinema at 3848 N. Croatan Highway in Kitty Hawk Plaza, which then became Outer Banks Jubilee Theater and then Paparazzi OBX. With its own history of transitions, Theatre of Dare started in the Port O’Call Restaurant dining room in 1990. Over the next 30 years the production company wandered through a number of different places around the county, among them Manteo Elementary and Middle schools, the Wanchese Community Center, Days Inn, College of The Albemarle Auditorium, Lost Colony Soundstage, The Elizabethan Gardens gazebo and Roanoke Island Festival Park. Although each move required adapting to a new environment, production company members say they’ve had some great shows and great hosts. With a place located for the local theater community to put down roots, some site renovations were needed. Performing a labor of love, board members and other volunteers diligently worked to successfully move into and remodel the new location. In order to accommodate an audience of 200, seats had to be installed to replace the ones removed by a previous tenant. Other upgrades included

Courtesy Theatre of Dare

Theatre of Dare’s new permanent home, located at 3848 N. Croatan Highway in Kitty Hawk.

Courtesy Theatre of Dare

Christina Jamieson and Betsy Head painting during the renovation of the Theatre of Dare. light fixtures, spackling, painting, lights, sound equipment, signage and staging. The new home also has a sizable stage, the capacity for selling tickets, a lobby where refreshments can be served, spacious restrooms and both office and storage areas. According to a Theatre of Dare media release, the new home is intended to be

a place where all performing arts can be shared and celebrated. Plans include musical acts, classes in performing arts, summer camps and much more. During a festive gathering of sponsors and patrons, the shows Mousetrap, The Man Who Came To Dinner, Urinetown, Exit Pursued By A Bear and Wizard of Wonderland were announced as the

Outlook 2022-23 • 53

slated shows for the 32nd season, which begins in October. In addition, by partnering with Porkchop Productions, Theatre of Dare is able to expand its activities to be able to offer five week-long summer theater camp sessions for kids ages 6-11 and ages 12-17. Each week will feature its own unique theme and conclude with a performance. Scheduled camps begin the week of June 13-17 and conclude the week of August 8-12. Participation is limited and details are available on the registration form at theatreofdareobx.com/ summer-camps. For more information about Theatre of Dare, visit theatreofdareobx.com/, email info@theatreofdareobx.com or call 252-715-1155. 

Courtesy Theatre of Dare

The cast of Theatre of Dare’s production of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress: Missy Eppard, Kim Plyler, Chelsea Jenkins, Alexis Leuzzi Narron and Emmi Frankum

54 • Outlook 2022-23

RECIPES Courtesy of the Roanoke Island Garden Club Club members share their beloved family recipes, passed down from generation to generation. Some of the best on the Outer Banks!

Sue Martin, sister-in-law of Mary Ann Martin

Sue Martin, sister-in-law of Mary Ann Martin

Outlook 2022-23 • 55

Mary Ann Zerkle, friend of Mary Ann Martin

Nora Lowden, 1996

56 • Outlook 2022-23

Outlook 2022-23 • 57

Sharon Lockard, friend and classmate of Mary Ann Martin

58 • Outlook 2022-23

Doris Bailey

Sue Martin, sister-in-law of Mary Ann Martin

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Articles inside

Saving the dunes article cover image

Saving the dunes

pages 35-36
Liz Browning Fox: Bead weaver, volunteer, radio host article cover image

Liz Browning Fox: Bead weaver, volunteer, radio host

pages 17-18
Pachamama: Art takes many forms from many sources article cover image

Pachamama: Art takes many forms from many sources

pages 31-32
Carol Busbey: Surfer, surf shop owner, Electric Beach Party host article cover image

Carol Busbey: Surfer, surf shop owner, Electric Beach Party host

pages 13-14
WRV: Shaping surfboards to ride the waves article cover image

WRV: Shaping surfboards to ride the waves

pages 45-47
Beekeeping: More than just the honey article cover image

Beekeeping: More than just the honey

pages 5-8
Community theater now has a stage of its own article cover image

Community theater now has a stage of its own

pages 51-52
Vegan food truck takes root on the Outer Banks article cover image

Vegan food truck takes root on the Outer Banks

pages 33-34
Crafting: More than just a hobby article cover image

Crafting: More than just a hobby

pages 15-16
Waterside Weaver: From sheep to chic article cover image

Waterside Weaver: From sheep to chic

pages 41-44
Jewelry by Gail: Celebrating 45 years of unique, handcrafted designs article cover image

Jewelry by Gail: Celebrating 45 years of unique, handcrafted designs

page 48
Nora’s wish has come true article cover image

Nora’s wish has come true

pages 27-30
The art of crafting cast stone creations article cover image

The art of crafting cast stone creations

pages 9-12
Fill up your cup at Shine On Juicery article cover image

Fill up your cup at Shine On Juicery

pages 37-38
Horticulture program serves a higher purpose article cover image

Horticulture program serves a higher purpose

pages 19-20
STAG’s: Sauces, seasonings, catering and more article cover image

STAG’s: Sauces, seasonings, catering and more

pages 39-40
Flying Fish Charters: From dream to reality article cover image

Flying Fish Charters: From dream to reality

pages 21-22
Somerset Charters: Fun, authentic experience crabbing and shrimping article cover image

Somerset Charters: Fun, authentic experience crabbing and shrimping

pages 49-50
Microgreens pack mega nutrition article cover image

Microgreens pack mega nutrition

pages 23-24
Serene, plant-fi lled nursery worth the drive article cover image

Serene, plant-fi lled nursery worth the drive

pages 25-26