Friday, February 18, 2011

upcoming events

Greetings All,

Below you will find info on upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the near future in the central Virginia bioregion, including a Food Storage 101 and Community Seed Swap this weekend.

For more information about permaculture events, see our website: 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

Put your Project on the Blue Ridge Permaculture Network website!

Several people have requested an expanded BRPN website to facilitate sharing knowledge and information. We are going to be significantly expanding “Members work” section of the Blue Ridge Permaculture Network website to help facilitate learning about each others’ project, and updating other elements of the website.

Please email Christine at up to three photos, a description of about 100 - 200 words, and a website link (if you have one) to your permaculture or sustainability project to be included on the website.

BRPN and the Local Food Hub presents:

Barkslip’s Fruit school
Aren't you just nuts about fruits?

Barkslip’s fruit school is wreaking havoc on convention. Bill Whipple, a.k.a. Professor Barkslip, has been stumbling around fruit orchards for 25 years growing things that he wasnt supposed to grow and fruit school is a chance to come find out what he has learned. Packed tighter than fruit cake, there will be hands on classes in fruit tree care and pruning, rooting, and grafting. This series is a response to there being very little information available for alternative fruit care, and as a follow up intensive to a permaculture design class focusing on getting a low input orchard in production at minimal cost. This class is appropriate for continuous learners, as well as eager beginners. The plant material you walk away with nearly pays for the class.

You will leave with:
· basic skills needed to care for low input home, farm and community orchards
· pruning strategies that support a low input system
· hands-on experience rooting and grafting so you can produce your own plant material at little to no cost
· grafted fruit trees, cuttings and seed starts
· skills to convert ornamental trees into fruit producing mega giants in 3 years

Charlottesville, Va-
April 16th & 17th 9am- 5pm

Local Food Hub Hosts SPIN Farming Workshop
Maple Hill, Scottsville, VA - March 12, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Local Food Hub in Charlottesville is hosting a day-long workshop on Small Plot Intensive (SPIN) Farming, which is an easy-to-learn method for getting the most production out of a small area (less than one acre, down to a hundred square feet or so) using sustainable and land-restoring practices. This method is excellent for urban farming and gardening, and demonstrates the economic viability and community-sustainability of small scale food production. Experienced SPIN farmer Linda Borghi will conduct the workshop and hands-on demonstration.

Registration is $100, which includes a workbook. To register, email or call (434) 286-2176.

Would anyone like (for free, of course) a sliding glass door , to be used for a cold frame. Please call me. I am in Belmont in Charlottesville. Heather 434-923-8888.

4th Annual Virginia Berry Production and Marketing Conference
L Douglas Wilder Building, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA - March 17, 8 am - 4 pm

For a registration fee of just $15 (includes lunch), learn about high tunnel raspberry and blackberry production, new blackberry varieties, table grap production (special feature of this conference), berry crop pset management, and blueberry production and marketing. The day ends with an optional tour of high tunnel berry production.

Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: An Evening with Farmer Philosopher Fred Kirschenmann
Thursday, March 24, 2011 – 7pm, Fralin Auditorium, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Fred Kirshenmann is a world-renowned leader in sustainable agriculture who combines his experience as an organic farmer with an education in philosophy to offer a unique view of agriculture. Kirschenmann is the Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He travels extensively nationally and abroad discussing the importance of maintaining soil health, developing small- and medium-sized farms, and incorporating biodynamic techniques into farms.

Kirschenmann oversees the management of his family's 3,500-acre certified organic farm in south central North Dakota and is a professor in the ISU Department of Religion and Philosophy. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago and has written extensively about ethics and agriculture.

Moon & Stars Farm Invites You to

Save Money and Increase Your Peace of Mind
Food Storage 101

- how having extra food on hand saves you time
- how you can save loads of money
- sneaky ways to find space
- low energy ways to keep things
- how to make your community safer

Saturday, February 19th
229 Blackberry Lane, Staunton

Call Holly Parker at 540-292-0991
to save a space and get directions

Nationally recognized author and speaker on food heritage, Gary Nabhan will speak on

DATE: Thursday, March 3

TIME: 5:00 PM, followed by a reception and book signing, launching Nabhan's new book, Chasing Chiles (Chelsea Green, 2011).

FREE & OPEN TO ALL: easily accessible by C'ville Trolley and Bus, and parking at nearby Newcomb Hall/bookstore parking and Culbreth Theater parking (after 5pm) (see attached map)

WHERE: Lecture Hall 160, Campbell Hall, School of Architecture, UVa (near Culbreth Theater, off Rugby Road)

Nabhan is an award-winning natural-history writer and ethnobotanist, recognized by Mother
Earth News and Time as a pioneer in the local foods movement. His collaborative conservation work has been honored with lifetime achievement awards from the Quivira Coalition and the Society for Conservation Biology, and with the Vavilov Medal. A pioneer in heirloom seed saving, he raises rare chile peppers and Mission-era orchard crops in Patagonia, Arizona.

Fruit Grafting and Propagation All Day Intensive

When: Saturday, April 23rd, 9 AM to 5 PM
Where: 912 Woodfolk Drive, Charlottesville VA, 22902
Registration Contact: Sara Tansey,, 843-694-8896
Cost: $50, checks made payable to Living Energy Farm

This all day workshop will be an overview of growing fruit and nuts in Virginia without pesticides and fungicides. Participants will learn which fruit trees can be grown from seed, which can be rooted, and which must be grafted. Participants will learn how to prepare fruit tree seeds for planting, how to root fruiting plants, and how to graft. Numerous grafting techniques will be demonstrated, including:

Whip and tongue grafting and saddle grafting for young trees. Bark grafting and cleft grafting for more mature rootstock. Specialized grafting for nuts and hardwoods. Chip bud and tee bud grafting for stone fruits and citrus. Rooting cuttings, ground and air layering. Growing from seed. Specialized techniques for rooting blueberries and hard to root plants.

The focus will be on techniques that can be used at home with a minimum of tools and expense. Each participant will take home two fruit trees that they graft themselves. Rootstock and scions (grafting wood) will be provided. There will also be extensive discussion of managing orchards in the Southeast without toxic sprays, and other issues relating to horticulture in this area.

Community Seed Swap!
11am, Sunday, February 20th Co-hosted by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Bring some seeds (or just come and grab some) and gardening stories and questions. Location: Alexander House Inn & Hostel 1205 Monticello Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Saturday, February 19th - the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association presents their 20th annual Winter Meeting. Our own Ira Wallace is their keynote speaker! From oyster farming to beekeeping, kitchen gardens to local distribution of organic food, there is something for everyone. Whether consumer or farmer, gardener or distributor, this gathering celebrates the rich agricultural atmosphere of Maryland. The day-long event will also feature a live auction, seed swap, and the first local showing of The Greenhorns.

Saturday, February 19th - DC's Field to Fork Network offers Rooting DC, with workshops on basic gardening, school gardens, youth gardening, and more. Stop by for Paul's workshop on seed saving at noon!

Saturday, March 5th - the Appalachian Farmers Market Association holds their 3rd annual Winter Conference in Bristol, TN. Be sure to attend our presentation to learn about saving seeds for fun and profit!

Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Applications -- Deadline: April 13, 2011 -- The Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps is accepting applications for summer 2011. YCC participants assist with an assortment of projects in Virginia State Parks, including wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement, trail and campground construction and restoration, timber and shoreline improvement, and landscape beautification. Teams of 10 participants will be chosen from current high school students aged 14-17 (participants must be 14 by June 1, 2011) who demonstrate an interest in protecting Virginia’s environment. While no prior experience is necessary, participants will work outside, and the service is physically demanding. The 2011 YCC sessions will be held at 10-12 State Parks across the Commonwealth. The two three-week sessions are scheduled as follows; session one: June 26 - July 16, session two: July 24 – Aug 13. Students may only attend one of the sessions. YCC crew members are provided room, board, tee-shirts and work-related equipment, and receive a $500 stipend at the end of the three weeks. For more information, contact Gaston at 703.583.5497, Fax 703.583.2514, e-mail, or visit You must have the email address of both your references when you apply on line at:

1. I have many back issues of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy newsletter, mostly from this past decade, that I would like to give to someone who's either researching heritage breeds (like what they may want to have in their landscape) or who already uses heritage breeds and could benefit from the information. To my knowledge, ALBC covers every domestic animal, including rabbits. I'm in Annapolis, but will be making weekly trips to Charlottesville beginning mid-March.

2. I'm interested in setting up a reading/discussion group locally for Transitions Town exploration. I'd be interested in meeting anyone in Anne Arundel County in this vein. We would use the Transitions reading/discussion material and program created by Transitions NE Seattle, which is available at

Contact Leigh at 410/757.4070 or for more information.

USDA Organic Farming Systems Conference
Georgetown University, Washington, DC - March 16-18

The USDA will be holding an Organic Farming Systems Conference at Georgetown University with the following objectives:
1 - To examine findings from U.S. research on organic farming systems, including two key types of research-long-term farming experiments and nationwide economic producer surveys.
2 - To explore the implications of these findings for U.S. agricultural productivity, economic viability, environmental stewardship, and quality of life goals.
3 - To facilitate dialogue among the various disciplines, farm groups and other stakeholders involved in organic farming systems research, and to generate recommendations for improving the way this research is conducted.
4 - To create new ideas for future research in organic farming systems.

For more information, and registration, visit:

Charlottesville Tomorrow's Cville3D project is growing our city within Google Earth. Now YOU can learn how to build these 3D computer models and put Charlottesville-Albemarle on the map (in Charlottesville). We have just set the dates for our next FOUR FREE Google Sketchup trainings with local architect Bob Pineo. Each class will be limited to about 20 students, so sign up early to save a seat. Please feel free to share this invitation with your contacts who may also be interested.


Google Sketchup 101 (Beginner Class)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Location: PVCC Stultz Center

Google Sketchup 101 (Beginner Class)
Monday, March 14, 2011, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Location: PVCC Stultz Center


Google Sketchup 102 (Intermediate Class)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Location: PVCC Stultz Center

Google Sketchup 102 (Intermediate Class)
Monday, March 28, 2011, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Location: PVCC Stultz Center

Design Thinking Mashup
A Symposium at the UVa School of Architecture – Charlottesville, VA
February 22-23, 2011

Collaboration, Creative Research, and Community
The symposium will explore collaboration, creative research, and community, using Architecture and the Arts as exemplars of creative problem solving techniques.

All events free and open to the public.

For additional information, please contact George Sampson
or (434) 924-7307

Sponsored by:
The University of Virginia School of Architecture

We need you to call your member of Congress RIGHT NOW and urge them to oppose budget bill Amendment 109, key in our fight to end mountaintop removal.
This dangerous amendment would remove the vital funding needed for the EPA to do its job in reviewing mountaintop removal permits and would reverse all action taken by the administration over the past two years to safeguard Appalachian streams and communities.

Call (202) 224-3121 and ask for your representative.