Thursday, February 5, 2009

Upcoming events

Greetings All,
Below you will find info on upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the near future in the central Virginia bioregion.
For more information about permaculture events, 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

The course is full with a wait list! Thank you for your interest in the course.
Please see below for community events during the Design Course, and stay tuned for upcoming classes and workshops from the Blue Ridge Permaculture Institute.

The Blue Ridge Permaculture Institute is sponsoring a
Community Night with Joel Salatin of PolyFace Farms
on Building a Local Food System that Works
Saturday March 14, 7:00 pm at the Montessori Community School on Pantops Mountain in Charlottesville--305 Rolkin Rd., Charlottesville, VA
Suggested donation $15
To preregister contact Terry Lilley at
For more info and directions, see the website:

As part of the Blue Ridge Permaculture Institute's third Permaculture Design Course we invite you to join us in welcoming the newest students to the network.
We will be gathering at the Montessori Community School on Pantops Mountain at 305 Rolkin Rd. in Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday March 28 for a potluck dinner. Contact Terry Lilley to preregister or with questions at For more info and directions, see the website:

Permaculture email listserve (different from this newsletter listserve)

Vicky Peterson, a grad from the first Permaculture Design Course, has set up a yahoo group for discussion of all things relating to permaculture in the Central Virginia region. From Vicky: With your help, the group will be a place to ask questions, share information and help permaculture take root in our area.
Here is a link to follow if you would like to join:

There should be a blue button that says "Join this Group!"

If you know of anyone else who might be interested in joining, please feel free to pass this info along.
Other questions? Email me.
Vicky Peterson

3. Power Up Benefit Dance Party
Saturday February 7th, at 7 pm
Location: Charlottesville Area Rhythym and Dance 410 B East Main St on the Downtown Mall between Eppies and the Mens and Boys Shop
featuring a performance by Dreamtime Project and World Music presented by DJ Jimmy G
$5 suggested donation
we will also hold a raffle for some excellent prizes including a rain barrel, a free one day herb workshop at Sacred Plant Traditions in C'Ville, a homemade pie, etc.
All proceeds go to United Mountain Defense to help victims of the Tennessee Valley Coal Ash Disaster

For more info:
Volunteers at have been working day and night to distribute information, clean water and inform citizens of their rights. Visit and the latest updates on the TVA Coal Ash Disaster.
Coal ash, slurry or sludge is a byproduct left over after coal is burned. As reported in the New York Times,"'Your household garbage is managed much more consistently' than coal combustion waste."
TVA allowed a huge mountain of this coal waste material stored in a gigantic pile next to their Kingston power plant, alongside the tributary of the Tennessee River.Federal Toxic Release Inventory data requested by the New York Timesafter the spill reveals that in just one year, TVA placed 45,000 pounds of arsenic, 49,000 pounds of lead, 1.4 million pounds of barium, 91,000 pounds of chromium and 140,000 pounds of manganese into their coal waste impoundment in Kingston. And since the Kingston plant is over 50 years old, and two-thirds of the impoundment actually collapsed, one million pounds of arsenic is a conservative estimate for the total release into the river.
This Tennessee TVA spill is over 40 times bigger than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. This is a huge environmental disaster of epic proportions.
Thanks to, Dave Cooper of and for the information in this email.

Third Annual Gaia Gathering for Women with special guest Deb Soule
MAY 1st - 3rd
Join us this year as we celebrate Beltane by honoring our Earth Mother and the call of the Divine Feminine. For quite some time women have known that the ‘year of change’ is upon us. Join us as we celebrate the power of women’s community and help our world shift into the new consciousness of peace, healing and community living. We are thrilled to have Deb Soule, Maine herbalist and gardener extraordinaire as our keynote presenter (
The weekend will be about collective ceremony, song and learning skills for gardening, medicine making, stewarding the earth and so much more. The fee includes camping at beautiful Camp Albemarle, four delicious wild and organic meals, and all class materials. There are also rustic cabins available. We will begin Friday evening and end with our traditional web ceremony after lunch on Sunday. Now more than ever is the time for us to know how deeply we are connected.
Fee for the weekend is $175.00.
For more information, see the website:
Michael Pollan – Author of The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore’s Dilemma -- and other books has proposed new landscaping for the White House and the website is:

The Charlottesville Community Design Center is pleased to announce two upcoming community workshops focused on what local residents can do to save energy dollars and help reduce Charlottesville's carbon footprint. Workshops will be held at CCDC (100 5th St. NE) and are free and open to the public. Please RSVP to

Tuesday, February 10, 6:00-7:15 pm, Home Energy $avings 101
This seminar will cover what cost effective things homeowners can do to improve the comfort of their homes while saving money and energy. Topics to be covered include:

· Why making energy efficiency improvements can be your best financial investments
· Exploring best strategies to make energy improvements to your home
· Things you can do on your own and at little to no cost
· Where to find local resources and experts to help you

Wednesday, February 18, 6:00-7:15 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.
This workshop will help renters discover ways to improve the comfort of their apartment or home while saving energy and money. Topics to be covered include:
• Why saving energy dollars can be one of your best financial investments
• Exploring best strategies to make energy improvements
• How to work with your landlord
• Things you can do on your own and at little to no cost
• Where to find local resources and experts

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

Dear Nature Enthusiasts -

Hiraeth Press and Ecos Systems Institute are pleased to announce the
publication of: Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land, edited by
Dr. Jamie K. Reaser and Ms. Susan Chernak McElroy.

Do you remember the first time you fell in love?

Within these pages will you find love stories, rapturous love affairs with
the land, longings, shameless seductions, betrothals, vows exchanged,
marriages of the soul, heartaches, partings, healings, and renewals. The
authors are the courters and the courted…Their landscape paramours embrace
them and they grow forth from within.

“A stirring book…filled with transcendent and highly personal moments of
revelation, of awe, reverence, and love for nature…the profound truth and
magic of becoming one with life on Earth. This book is for anyone
anywhere…from the camper’s backpack to bedside tables.” – Dr. Thomas
Lovejoy, President, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics
and the Environment

“Like many ecologists, I had a love affair with nature (especially with
butterflies) long before I became a scientist. The love affairs described
here will either tell you what I mean, or remind you of your own affair.
Either way, you’ll enjoy them.” – Dr. Paul Ehrlich, co-author of the
Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment

Available from:
- Hiraeth Press:

A limited number of signed copies are available, contact Dr. Jamie K.
Reaser at If you’d like to help promote the book,
please e-mail Jamie for a flyer.


Featured Workshop - March 25, 2009
Social hour with refreshments:5:00pm-6:00pm
The Company We Keep
John Abrams is the founder and President/CEO of South Mountain Company. Come hear this remarkably dynamic speaker give his take on the built environment, and our obligations to the community and natural environment in which we live. Click title for more
Speakers:John Abrams, founder and President/CEO of South Mountain Builders
Refreshment Sponsor:The Habitat Store

hey central virginia friends,

I wanted to make sure y'all all knew about the BREF! spring camp-out. it's going to be April 3rd-5th on a piece of land just west of Charlottesville. A primary goal of this project is to bring together eco-defense, social justice and local food activists in Virginia to cross-pollinate and unify for a stronger grassroots movement. We'll have Friday of that weekend fairly loose, then have Saturday full of trainings and workshops and finally keep most or all of Sunday set aside for strategizing on things like the Wise Co. coal plant, North Anna, the Surry Co. coal plant, the Farmville Immigrant Detention Center and various local foods and sustainable skill-share projects.

at this point, little beyond conceptualizing as well as reserving a space and date has been done on this project. BREF! will likely turn much of our energy towards the campout after the Billionaires for Coal rally this weekend. Input or involvement is welcome to any degree. If you've got thoughts or ideas but don't necessarily have the time to help organize - please share anyway.



'Here's to the Long Haul' is yet another offshoot of the deep and wandering roots of Appalachian music, fed by the waters of modern grassroots resistance to that which is wrong and creation of that which is right in our mountains. You all, the people, are that water. May we all keep each other strong, singing and forever moving forward.