Initially planting vines for neighboring wineries, Virginia Mountain Vineyards' staff slowly began to dabble in the art and science of winemaking. Then, in 2006, they began crafting their own varietals on-site. Today, staffers tend to more than 5,000 vines across nearly 10 acres of picturesque land, plucking ripe grapes to transform into red, white, sweet, and specialty wines. Events are regularly held at the vineyards, including a summer concert series, special tastings, and trying wines straight from their barrels.
For nearly a century, five generations of Ikenberry farmers have worked among the crooked arms of apple trees and listened to the rustle of branches heavy with sunset-hued peaches. Family members harvest 10 varieties of apples and seven types of peaches at the peak of their freshness, carefully inspecting and washing fruit before displaying them in the shop. Crimson and bottle green mix in the marbled skin of fuji apples, and granny smiths crunch sharply. Alongside the bushels of in-season produce, still fresh with dew and the cologne of scarecrows, light dances off jars brimming with jams, pickled vegetables steeping in brine, and old-fashioned apple butter crafted inside a copper kettle. As the air grows cooler and the last leaves whisper on the trees, the farm celebrates another year’s harvest with a weekend festival with samples of all of the apple’s spiced and preserved permutations.:m]]
With more than 350 stores throughout the country, Play It Again Sports could easily have the feel of a personality-free big box chain store. But each facility is locally owned and operated, so the emporium, which is chock-full of new and gently used sports equipment, has the comfortable, lively atmosphere of your favorite baseball glove’s living room. Inside, shoppers can stock up on fitness gear, lacrosse equipment, baseball gear, tennis rackets, and yoga mats. Or they can sell any of their own quality equipment and grant it new life beyond a closet, cluttered garage, or tiny apothecary vials.
The quality products at Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op do more than nourish bodies?they also nourish the local community. The store's shelves and coolers feature vegetables grown without synthetic insecticides, humanely raised meats, organic dairy products, and farm-fresh eggs. It's all in keeping with the co-op's original mission (now in its fourth decade): provide the public with high-quality, nutritious foods, many of which are sourced from nearby farms.
Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op holds itself to the same strict standards as the farms it buys from, with an emphasis on sustainable farming practices such as efficient water usage and recycling. They even chose to invest their own time and overalls by purchasing Heritage Point Farm. The farm's 25 acres of land provides co-op shoppers with fresh salad greens, herbs, and all natural eggs.
GNC's opulent aisles display a wide variety of vitamin and mineral and herbal supplements, as well as sports nutrition, diet, energy, bodycare, and other health products. The Mega Men Sport multivitamin ($19.99 for 90 caplets) supports muscle recovery and energy levels while aiding speedy male metabolisms without dangling steaks in front of their treadmills. Fuel feats of female strength with the Women's Ultra Mega Active multivitamin ($19.99 for 90 caplets), ideal for vigorous women. Two pounds of Pro Performance 100% whey protein ($35.99) distract taste buds with the flavor of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry while smuggling 20 grams of high-quality protein into the body in each scoop. Promote healthy bones with a calcium supplement, such as coral calcium, sustainably harvested from the Okinawan Sea to provide a healthy 2-to-1 ratio of calcium and magnesium.