North Carolina Coastal Living

by Aimee Jarrels

April 16, 2021

Raising An Organic Vegetable Garden In North Carolina

Growing a vegetable garden in the backyards is becoming the latest trend in North Carolina. Organically raising your vegetables is not just considered a hobby anymore but can also be a formal food source.

We experience a certain satisfaction when we put in the effort to plant a seed, nurture it, watch it grow, and harvest the fruits of our patience and labor. Besides, this way, you know what manure and fertilizer are being used and how organic you are eating. In addition, vegetable gardening is a form of light exercising and allows you to take in much needed fresh air.

Take a moment to appreciate nature and get gardening!

How Do You Start?

Vegetable gardening is fairly simple to practice and doesn’t require a ton of skill. First comes site selection. Pick an area that gets plenty of sunlight, has fertile and well-drained soil. You will need a lot of space. Traditionally, a kitchen garden is meant to be a steady year-round supply for your dinner table. But it can be modified to accommodate smaller spacings.

Once you have demarcated the area, it’s time to start planning! Prepare a layout sectioning off plots by area. You could even add perennial plants to your garden as fencing.

Prepare the soil by tilling and plowing, creating bunds, and adding the appropriate organic matter. You could even form a compost pit in a little corner and use it as a natural and cost-effective fertilizer.

Then comes deciding what you want to plant. Typically, going for annual crop rotations make the best use out of small landholdings and are sufficient to provide for a family. Plan your crops by season, soil, effort, and labor you are willing to invest in, and the location. For North Carolina, some common plants are -Artichokes, Asparagus, Basil, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Leek, Lettuce, Melons, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, etc.

Finally comes the actual practice of selecting the seeds, sowing, weeding, watering, and finally, harvesting. The best part is that you do not need to purchase expensive equipment or chemicals for intensive farming. Organic kitchen gardening is all about sustainable agriculture. So you could use domestic waste like degradable food scraps and turn it into compost, or for seasonal vegetables, you could use the last harvest’s hay and husk as mulch and covers. Reuse and re-purpose each product, and you will have for yourself an organic vegetable garden.

Vegetable Gardening in North Carolina

While a kitchen garden is sufficient to provide for single families, you could also package and sell it at your local farmer’s market for an additive income. Depending on your share of land, and investments, starting an organic garden in your backyards can be a small scale success in the local markets.

North Carolina’s economy largely depends on agricultural practices. With people becoming more aware of the health concerns related to modern-day chemical-based crop raising, many have turned towards organic farming right at their homes. Plus, the dire circumstance cause by the global pandemic of COVID-19 has made the decision to participate in this shift all the more real.

Posted in Local
April 16, 2021

Aimee’s Top 5 Restaurant Picks for Coastal North Carolina

North Carolina’s 300-mile long, the diverse coastal line is littered with not just the most beautiful and historic twins but also thousands of cafes and restaurants. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite picks of restaurants that you are sure to love!

1. Jebby’s on 17

Located on Highway 17N, Hamstead, Jebby’s is an American bar/pub-style restaurant. This small and quaint place offers some of the best finger-licking good food promptly served by their sassy waiters. I especially love their amazing fried chicken. At Jebby’s, I had one of the best Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever tasted. They offer a wide selection on their menu for lunch, dinner, and after-hours with a choice of special diets including Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, and Gluten-Free.

2. Brunches

Brunches has their own saying- Mimosa Made Me Do It! Which completely works for them, considering their mimosas are to die for. Find them at Wilmington, now open at two locations- Mayfaire and Randall.

Brunches’ goal is to bring you a restaurant you would enjoy coming to with your family and friends. They strive to serve each customer with the perfect dining experience, with their cafe-style ambiance. It’s safe to say their California Benedict and Mimosas do just that, all the while making your Sundays the best you ever had. They offer all breakfast combos imaginable, including chicken and waffles, chicken biscuits, Angus beef burgers, and mac and cheese bowls.

3. Cast Iron Skillet

This Southern Deli and Restaurant in Wilmington certainly deliver on its promise of ‘re-inventing and re-inspiring the classic idea of the Southern breakfast and lunch experience.’ I particularly enjoy my Southern offerings and absolutely love the authentic food served here. Get there early on the weekends because there’s always a truckload of customers just waiting to get inside.

4. Burrito Shak

Quick. Crafted. Coastal. This place offers a little touch of Huntington Beach, California, all the way in Coastal North Carolina! The Mexican/Southwestern cuisine is positively reviewed, and they possibly serve the best tacos in all of North Carolina. With large portions, super speedy service, and quality food, there’s no question why the Burrito Shak is a local and tourist favorite. Their salads are fresh, burrito bowls are mouth-watering, and their S-Turn Burritos couldn’t get any better.

5. Shaka Taco

This place is centered in the heart of Surf City, NC, and prides itself on its fresh food. They serve Mexican, Southwestern, and International styled cuisines. Shaka Taco is the only place you can find ACAI bowls, specialty street-style tacos, and a delectable array of chicken wings. It also has outdoor seating just steps away from the waves and a local surf shop!

Posted in Local
Oct. 11, 2019

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call ‘home,’ and you’ve finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Below are 4 steps provided by Freddie Mac to help buyers make offers, along with some additional information for your consideration:

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Posted in Buyers
Oct. 11, 2019

Why Access Is One of the Most Important Factors in Getting Your House Sold!

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is access, followed by condition, financing, and price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

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Posted in Sellers
Oct. 11, 2019

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

The price of any item is determined by supply, as well as the market’s demand for the item. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand).

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Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Oct. 11, 2019

Is Your Home Priced to Sell?

SOLD HOMEIn today’s real estate market, more houses are coming to market every day. Eager buyers are searching for their dream homes, so setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, home values have risen at over 6% a year over the past two years, but have started to slow to 3.6% over the last 12 months. By this time next year, CoreLogic predicts home values will be 5.4% higher.

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Posted in Sellers
Oct. 11, 2019

What to Expect from a Home Inspection

HOME INSPECTIONYou made an offer and it was accepted. Your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Agents often recommend you make your offer contingent upon a clean home inspection.

This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you offered for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or in some cases, walk away if challenges arise. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

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Posted in Buyers
Oct. 11, 2019

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates