Saturday, January 31, 2009

How To Live Your Values When You Cannot Afford To Otherwise

Intro and Tour of Blue Ridge Cohousing, Crozet Virginia February 15, 2pm

Cohousing: How To Live Your Values When You Cannot Afford To Otherwise

Do you dream of living in an ecologically constructed solar home that

has a pool, orchard, gardens, edible landscaping and playground? There

is a solution!

Come find out more about cohousing, a modern alternative for creating an

old-fashioned, sustainable community where neighbors interact. See

regional cohousing experts present a slideshow and talk about their

cohousing lifestyle. Learn what to expect as we complete the

Charlottesville area's first cohousing neighborhood. Tour our Common

House and property. Enjoy snacks, drinks and games for children.

The slideshow and Q&A session will last from 2pm to 3pm, followed by a

tour and social.

For directions, visit

We look forward to seeing you.


Blue Ridge Cohousing

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Upcoming events

Greetings All,

Happy New Year! Below you will find info on the upcoming spring Permaculture
Design Course and several wonderful events in the near future.
For more information about the upcoming permaculture course, see our website: (check out the blog as well). If you know anyone
else that would like to sign up for this newsletter, or if you have an
announcement, email Christine at for the next update,
which are sent monthly.

Christine and the Blue Ridge Permaculture Network team

Spring Permaculture Design Course: Sustainability Strategies for the Blue Ridge
over 5 weekends in spring 2009
- Feb. 13-15, Feb. 28-Mar. 1, Mar. 14-15, Mar. 27-29, and April 4-5
Concerned about Peak Oil? Climate Change? Economic Uncertainty? Get Solutions!
This 72 hour certificate course is a rare opportunity to learn from some of the
best teachers in the permaculture movement including Ted Butchart, Christine
Gyovai, Dave Jacke, Dave O’Neil, and Joel Salatin.
Topics include permaculture ethics and principles, observation and patterns in
nature, and permaculture strategies to improve soil, grow food, harvest water,
utilize renewable energy and regenerative building techniques, and build
sustainable communities.
Price is discounted through January 15th – REGISTER TODAY!
For more information, contact Terry Lilley at or visit
the website

The next Transition Blue Ridge meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 12th at
the Charlottesville Community Design Center/City Space. There will be a
potluck "meet & greet" at 6:30 p.m. and then a showing of the excellent film
"The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil." A description of the
film is below. Please bring your own drink and eating utensils. For more
information on Transition Blue Ridge, please see the website: We look forward to seeing you there!

Here is a description of the film straight from it's website at

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin.
With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people
were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the
community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans
share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural
system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is
an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they
call "The Special Period." The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a
term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its
all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has
faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example
of options and hope.

We'll be at the Charlottesville Community Design Center/City Space meeting room
on the Downtown Mall (on the backside of the Market Street Parking Garage,
upstairs from Bashir's and the post office). For more information on CCDC,
please see the website at: CCDC is located at 100 Fifth
St. NE on the second story of the Market Street parking garage overlooking the
east end of Charlottesville's Downtown Mall.

There is a "Growing Mushrooms at Home" workshop scheduled for Saturday March
14th from 9am-12pm at Sharondale Farm near Charlottesville.
This workshop introduces mushroom life cycles and mushroom ecology and
demonstrates simple methods for outdoor log cultivation of gourmet and
medicinal mushrooms. Participants will inoculate logs and install a woodchip
bed with a gourmet mushroom that grows among garden plants. Each person will
receive a bag of spawn to start their own home mushroom garden. Space is
limited. Please contact Mark Jones for registration and more information. p:
434-296-3301; email:

Energy Matters Workshop in Charlottesville, VA
Featured Workshop - January 14, 2009
Social hour with refreshments:5:00pm - 6:00pm
Workshop:6:00pm - 7:30pmNetworking:7:30pm - 8:00pm
Look Forward to Rainy Days
This session will focus on water conservation, rainwater catchment, and local
efforts to protect and maximize this precious and vital natural resource.
Speakers:Alyson Sappington (TJSWCD) and Jennifer Watson (City of
Refreshment Sponsor:The Habitat Store

Coming to the Charlottesville Community Design Center (CCDC) gallery in
January, SPARK! presents Energy Matters, an interactive installation devoted
to the importance of energy - what we use, where it comes from and what we
can do to prepare ourselves for a widespread switch to clean and renewable
energy sources. This exhibit will offer practical information that can be
immediately applied to reducing household energy use, including the resources
and incentives that are available to help. The exhibit opens on Friday,
January 2 and will run through the month of January. Please join us for a
Fridays opening reception on January 2 from 5-8 pm. Regular gallery hours are
Monday through Friday 10 am – 5 pm with extended gallery hours on Friday,
January 9 from 5-8 pm.
In conjunction with this exhibit, CCDC is pleased to announce a series of free
community workshops focused on what local residents and businesses can do
to save energy dollars and help reduce Charlottesville’s carbon footprint.
workshop series will be hosted at CCDC and is free and open to the public.
Please help spread the word!
Tuesday, January 6, 6-7:15 pm, Home Energy $avings 101
This free seminar will cover what cost effective things homeowners can do to
improve the comfort of their homes while saving money and energy. Light
refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public. Please RSVP to by January 5.
Tuesday, January 13, 6-7:15 pm, Virginia’s Energy Policy Future
Reforming energy policy in Virginia to advance energy efficiency can boost the
economy, create jobs, and eliminate the need for any more polluting power
plants in the state, all while saving money for consumers and businesses. This
training will give you the knowledge and tools to demand change from
Richmond and help put Virginia on the path to clean energy.
Wednesday, January 14th, 6-7:15 pm, Home Energy $avings for Renters
This workshop will focus specifically on what renters can do to cost
effectively reduce their utility expenses and make their living space more
comfortable. Free and open to the public. Please RSVP to by January 13.
Wednesday, January 21, 11:30-1:30 pm, The Business Case for Energy
Efficient Apartments
Presenters Tom Kavounas of Albemarle Heating and Air and Dr. Robert Somers
of 2rw Consultants will discuss why energy efficient buildings are not only
important for the community and environment, but also good for the bottom
line. Subject matter will be geared toward large-scale residential landlords.
This workshop is by invitation only. Please contact
for more information.
Wednesday, January 28, 6:00 – 8:30pm
In partnership with the Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville
(DBAC), CCDC will host a panel discussion entitled, “How energy efficiency
save money and create opportunities for environmental stewardship.”
Panelists include Tom Kavounas of Albemarle Heating and Air, Ben Taube of
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and Dr. Robert Somers of 2rw
Consultants. This panel discussion is being offered to DBAC members and is
by invitation only. Please contact for more

Beekeeping class
Central Virginia Beekeepers Association will present a joint City/County
sponsored course for new or prospective beekeepers. The course will cover
‘the life and times’ of the honeybee, setting up a hive, seasonal
management and honey production and much more. One session (exact date TBA,
weather dependent) will be held outside with bees, one student’s name will be
drawn for a colony of bees. Registration is being taken through the Albemarle
County Parks and Recreation Department. For further details contact the P&R
Department at (434)296-5844 or visit their website at
Location: County Office Building 5th Street,
1600 5th Street, Meeting Room A
Thursdays 7:00 – 9:00pm
Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26
Cost: $25 per person

Vintage Virginia Apples upcoming workshops (near Charlottesville)
February 21, 2009: Planning and Planting the Home Orchard from 10:00 a.m.-3:30
p.m. Guest speaker is Rich Marini, joining Tom Burford and the Vintage Virginia
Apples staff. A comprehensive workshop on planning, managing and cultivating
the home orchard. A tour of Rural Ridge Orchards will be included. Workshop
Cost: $85.00
1) February 14, 2009 and 2) February 28, 2009: Pruning Workshop from 9:00
a.m.-12:00 noon. Careful pruning ensures a more bountiful harvest. Find out how
much to prune, where to make the pruning cuts, and when it should be done. This
workshop is paired with the Grafting workshop, but you may choose to take it
separately. Note that both workshops are available on two separate dates.
Choose the one that best suits your schedule. Workshop Cost: $25.00, box lunch
available for $10.00.
1) February 14, 2009 and 2) February 28, 2009: Grafting Workshop from 1:00-4:00
p.m. Since apples do not reproduce true from seed, propagation depends on
grafting the desired variety onto a reliable rootstock. Rootstock will be
available for this workshop, and experts will guide you in the fine art of
grafting. This workshop is paired with the Pruning workshop, but you may choose
to take it separately. Note that both workshops are available on two separate
dates. Choose the one that best suits your schedule. Workshop Cost: $25.00, box
lunch available for $10.00

January 16th and 17th
Future Harvest presents the Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Agriculture Conference:
Connect Locally
On January 16 and 17, 2009, aspiring, transitioning, and experienced farmers
will come together with regional buyers, backyard gardeners, parents, students
and others interested in local foods to share information and learn about
sustainable agriculture at the 10th Annual Conference of Future Harvest – A
Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA). The 2009 conference
theme, “Connect Locally: Food, Farms and Communities,” emphasizes making
and sustaining connections between producers and consumers.
Location: Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Frederick, Maryland

Saturday, January 10, 2009

National Day of Service to Local Farmers

Please see the below message that was forwarded to me recently about a very creative and worthwhile project. Please visit the link and sign up or contact the sponsor (name and contact info below) directly if you have further questions. I understand that this event may evolve into a community support group to aid farmers on an ongoing basis.

Denise Murray

Dear friends,

I am participating as a leader in the upcoming National Day of Service
on MLK day.
My event is designed to help local farmers with unfinished tasks, and
to demonstrate
our willingness to provide a safety net for those who feed us in
If you would like to join us, please go to

to sign up for this event, and forward it to friends if you wish!

With great hope,
Carroll Ann

Carroll Ann Friedmann
Liam Buckley
Xavier, Ander and Paul