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BLOG CATEGORY: Community

An Interview with Strong Oaks Woodshop
By: Admin    November 13 2017 , 04:41 pm
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Strong Oaks Woodshop – Front Royal, VirginiaMike Schmiedicke was a normal guy with a white-collar job for many years. Doing web programming and database development meant he sat at a desk and stared at a computer day in and day out. But when he came home, he went into his garage and he built things. “It was my therapy,” Mike said. “My wife and I had a deal. She would bring me a kids’ catalog with a learning tower or rocking horse in it and ask me to make it. Once I did, I could spend that money we saved on my collection of carpentry tools instead.”Back in 2001, starting a wood shop out of a hobby was nothing more than a hope and a dream – but the seeds of an idea had already begun. Mike came up with a plan to gradually transition from web development into woodworking full-time. In 2008, he started selling things on Etsy – he was actually one of the first furniture makers to ut...
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Celebrating Autumn’s Arrival with Craft Beer
By: Admin    September 17 2017 , 03:47 pm
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Category: Food , Local , Business , Seasons , Fun , Community
Craft breweries are not just for millennials. They are becoming the new “pub” house – a gathering place for young and old alike. “Breweries have become third places, outside the home and office, where Americans congregate,” said Mike Stein, a beer researcher employed by DC Brau Brewing Company in Washington D.C., in an article for the latest Smithsonian Magazine. “They are gathering places that are in many ways replacing things like libraries and recreation centers within a neighborhood,” George Homewood, director of planning and community development for Norfolk, VA, said in the same article. “I read a quote – and I don’t remember from where – that you put in a microbrewery and a tasting room and if you’re not careful a whole neighborhood will grow up.”What Is a Craft Brewery?According to the Brewers Association for Small and Independent Craft Brewers, a craft brewery must be...
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Running Trails and 5Ks in the Summer
By: Admin    July 19 2017 , 10:20 am
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Category: Athletes , Sports , Nature , Seasons , Advice , Fun , Community
With summer weather comes vacations to the beach, lazy days at the pool, and exploring outside in nature.  What better way to get out and enjoy the season than by running on a summer trail or competing in a fun race? Not everyone reading this is an extreme athlete, so here is a quick lesson on the benefits of running, and how to implement it into your summer routine!Running offers many benefits.  According to a study done by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, “Running, even 5 to 10 min/day and at slow speeds <6 miles/h, is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease. This study may motivate healthy but sedentary individuals to begin and continue running for substantial and attainable mortality benefits.” Another study published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that running reduced osteoarthrit...
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New Urbanism: Restoring City Living
By: Admin    July 12 2017 , 09:32 am
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Consider city life that feels more like the country, and neighborhoods designed to give their inhabitants access to everything — without a car!  ‘New Urbanism’ is an architectural movement springing up throughout the world that centers on an eco-friendly approach to urban living. The nostalgia of beautiful architecture is enough for some to embrace this neotraditional development approach, but for others, it is all about the innovations designed to save energy.   What are the benefits of New Urbanism that have increased people opting for this change? A Touch of TraditionTraditionalist or not, New Urbanism holds a sweet spot in the hearts of a growing number of city dwellers.  Designed to mirror the early 20th century town, these neighborhoods are built or renovated for increased walkability, so that residences, schools, restaurants etc., are all in close proximity.With the p...
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The Benefits of Local Farmers Markets
By: Admin    July 07 2017 , 04:21 pm
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Consumers care more and more about sustainable food: where it is coming from and how it gets to them. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association, one of the top 10 food trends of 2017 is sustainability. Sustainable food is important because it means it was farmed and produced in a way that did not waste our natural resources. According to the USDA, the number of farmers markets in the United States has surpassed 8,600 this year. From 2015 to 2016, there was a 2.3% increase in farmers markets.  This is great news for consumers who care about sustainability, easy access to healthy produce, and participating in both the local economy and community. It is incredibly easy to find your local farmers market. The USDA website has a handy directory that makes finding a nearby market just a click away at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets.Farmers markets are a g...
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