Thursday, March 10, 2011

upcoming events

Greetings All,

Below you will find an amazing collection of info on upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the near future in the central Virginia bioregion including several opportunities to learn about growing fruit.

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.

Sponsored by Local Food Hub and Blue Ridge Permaculture Network.

Professor Barkslip's Fruit School
Date: April 16 & 17, 9am - 5pm
Location: Educational Farm at Maple Hill
Cost: BEFORE MARCH 19: $60/day, $120/weekend. AFTER MARCH 19: $70/day, $140/weekend
Register: or (434) 286-2176

It is recommended that you sign up for the full weekend as the material builds upon itself, but if you can't, here's the breakdown:

April 16, 2011
Fruit tree care and pruning workshop (for the home, farm, and public space):
This class will be half talk and half walk and will cover site analysis and selection, proper tree selection, orchard floor prep and care, and caring for the established orchard. Like all the classes at fruit school, emphasis will be on using organic methods. Bring your favorite pruners and saws if you have them for the hands on portion of the class!

Plant rooting and propagation (for the low budget fruit enthusiast):
This class emphasizes low tech, organic methods of plant production though seeds, layering, rooting, stooling, and division. This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to bring the nutritional abundance of plants into your life. Great activity ideas for kids as well!

April 17, 2011
Bench grafting and cloning around:
Learn to graft your own fruit trees! This is nothing short of magical when you learn to stick a branch of one tree onto another and it grows. Discussed and illustrated will be the whip and tongue, and the cleft grafts, rootstock varieties, seedlings versus clones, aftercare, and setting up your own nursery for income diversification. Included in the class is one rootstock, choice of several varieties of budwood, and aftercare materials. There will be plenty of rootstock for sale to do multiple grafts if desired. You are encouraged to bring your own varieties of apple tree cuttings to graft or to swap and share with other participants.

Top working and advanced grafting (Have your flower and eat it too!):
This class will hurl you headlong into the world of top working countless varieties onto existing trees. Within three years you can have a barren ornamental tree in production with 40 varieties! We’ll learn about compatibility, timing, and the world of countless grafting techniques including chip and T- budding, side grafting, rind graft. We’ll touch on festooning and arborsmithing as well. Also emphasized is the essential aftercare of the top worked tree.

Radical Roots Farm has 35 remaining CSA shares available for pick up at the Meade Park Market in Charlottesville every Wednesday starting June 1 from 3:30 to 6:30
Certified Naturally Grown produce
direct from our farm to your table,
every week from June to September.
Sign up now to reserve your share!

CSA members also recieve a 10% discount at the Radical Roots booth at the Charlottesville Farmers Market starting April 2nd!

New this year, Mountain View Farm CHEESE and BUTTER shares available and Radical Roots EGGS.
Please forward this message to your healthy eating friends. More information on our website.

Thanks, Dave & Lee O’Neill

Creating a Food Forest in Your Yard
a workshop with Toby Hemenway author of Gaia's Garden

April 3, 2011 (Sunday)
9:00 am- 5:00 pm

Lynchburg College, Room (TBA)
Reply to
to register …space is limited!

This day-long workshop will focus on the basics of designing, planting, and maintaining a many-layered woodland garden of fruit and nut trees, perennial and annual vegetables, and flowers. Toby will cover the theory behind food forests as well as give a wealth of practical information, including which plants to use, where to start, and what to expect as your food forest grows. Food forests, or edible forest gardens, are life-filled places that not only provide food for people, but habitat for wildlife, carbon sequestering, biodiversity, natural soil building, beauty and tranquility, and a host of other benefits.

Mushroom Growing Workshops
Sharondale Farm, Cismont, VA
Spring 2011
for more info contact Mark Jones:; p: 434-296-3301

Growing Mushrooms at Home: an Introduction to Permaculture of the Fungi.
Learn about mushroom biology, ecology and cultivation of mushrooms in the garden and woods. Demonstrations include simple outdoor methods for growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. We will inoculate logs and install a gourmet mushroom bed in the garden. Each person will take home a bag of spawn to start their own mushroom garden.
March 19th or April 2nd. 9am-12pm
Sharondale Farm, Cismont, VA (

Urban Mushroom Growing: Learn about mushroom biology, ecology & urban permaculture. Activities include several hands-on small space gardening methods for cultivating mushrooms on logs, coffee grounds, cardboard, and other urban wastes! Every participant takes home a small bag of oyster mushroom spawn - this is an excellent species for growing mushrooms on many available urban resources.
March 26th- Tricycle Gardens, Richmond, VA (

Backyard Sustainability Crash Course (April 1-3, Friday Night–Sunday) Ezekiel's Guild, Lynchburg, VA: We’ll start with permaculture design on Friday night, and on Saturday we’ll cover various traditions of sustainable gardening, with an emphasis on soil health and opportunities for hands-on learning. We will explore herb gardening and survey the primary herbal medicine preparations, helping you to start your own home apothecary. If all goes well, as the sun goes down we may even establish a top-bar beehive, and we’ll talk about sustainable and healthy beekeeping at home. Sunday we’ll dive into grafting fruit trees and talk about backyard chicken keeping. But perhaps most importantly, in the afternoon we’ll get into home mushroom cultivation (featuring fungus farmer Mark Jones of Sharondale Farm), with an emphasis on shittake, oyster, garden giant, and almond portobello. Upon completion students will take home a spiral notebook of sustainable gardening notes, medicinal herb preparations, at least one fruit tree that you’ve grafted yourself, and a 3lb bag of mushroom spawn to get you started cultivating at home. $200-250, sliding scale. For more info or to register:
For more info about mushrooms at Sharondale Farm, check out this Orchard Farm

Permaculture potluck near Harrisonburg, VA on Saturday evening, March 12, at 6:30 pm -- anyone with BRPN is welcome to join us. It is being hosted by a student in the current New Community Project Permaculture Design Course:

55 Transom Ct.
Mt. Crawford, VA 22841

Call Adam Campbell with any questions at: 540.209.7378.

The Electricity Fairy, a new documentary by Appalshop filmmaker Tom Hansell, is set to screen at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on March 15th in Minor Hall, Room 125. The screening will begin at 7:30 PM and is open to the public.

The film focuses on coal extraction and a power plant being built in Wise County, Virginia. Hansell follows the story of the plant, connecting the local controversy to the debate over a national energy policy.

Following the screening, Tom Hansell, the filmmaker, along with Kathy Selvage, a Wise County resident and activist, and Cale Jaffe, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, both featured in the documentary, and Tom Cormons, Virginia Director of Appalachian Voices, will participate in a discussion and interaction with the audience.

The event is sponsored by the UVA Student Council Environmental Sustainability Committee, the Green Grounds Group, UVA Beyond Coal, and Appalachian Voices.

For more information about the film and additional screenings you can visit

See for a map to room Minor 125

Firsthand Farmers Cooperative CSA

We are a group of central Virginia area farms working together to provide a diverse offering of local products through Community Supported Agriculture or CSA. CSA is a method of purchasing farm goods directly from local farms that benefits both the farmer and the consumer. CSA members pay for their shares at the beginning of the season and then receive a weekly delivery of farm products during the season. Shares include vegetables, herbs, eggs, dairy, and mushroom options. Contact CSA manager – Kathryn Bertoni available at or 434-277-9304 with questions or for more information.


March 22: Piedmont Horticulture Conference "Strengthening the Local Food Economy"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Graves Mountain Lodge, Syria, VA

Join the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Madison County Farmers Market, and FamilyFarmed.orgto learn about the local food economy at the 2011 Piedmont Horticulture Conference, at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria. This year's theme is "Strengthening the Local Food Economy" and will include lectures from local speakers on a variety of topics to include marketing to the consumer, wholesale success, food safety programs, a regional food hubs panel discussion and more. To register for the Conference, please email Brad Jarvis:, or call the Madison Extension Office at (540) 948-6881.,31,825,-1,html

Transition Blue Ridge updated website and upcoming meeting
Also, the Transition Blue Ridge group is starting up again.
The next meeting on April 1 at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church-UU
at 7 p.m. Everyone interested in moving the group forward and continuing the work is welcome to attend.

Highland Orchard Farm
Seeking Experienced Farm Manager: Summer 2011 landOrchard Farm
Salary $30-$40k
Accommodation includes 3BR farm House
Highland Orchard Farm seeks an experienced, enthusiastic individual to manage our growing farm enterprise. Set on 900 acres in Albemarle County in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we raise a growing herd of Black Angus and Red Devon cattle, which serves as the cornerstone of our business. We are also home to a small herd of dairy goats, and an emerging goat milk soap business, Sweet Magnolia Creamery. Along with our legacy peach orchard, and newly installed 8-acre vineyard, we aim to build a diversified, sustainable family farm.

Ideal candidate is a self-starter, with an eye toward new business ideas and development, and brings 5-10 years experience managing a grass-fed cattle herd. Spanish speaking skills are a plus. We promote an entrepreneurial environment with opportunities for profit sharing. Our goal is to continue to build a sustainable family farm in a warm, friendly environment. Our Manager’s home is a small three-bedroom 1.5 bath cottage built in the 1930’s with sweeping views over our pastures, and the network of streams that form the headwaters of the Hardware River. We are underway with a master plan to renovate our barn complex, and vegetable gardens. The first phase of our renovation was featured in Albemarle Magazine’s tribute to Virginia Farm Restoration projects entitled, Barn Again, in August 2010.

Contact: Jonathan Gilliland Office: 434.220.0195 Mobile: 434.996.8022



Friday, March 25th is our second annual Virginia Loves Mountains Day! On March 25th, people across the commonwealth will join forces to let Senators Webb and Warner know, without a doubt, that Virginians want them to fully support the EPA and to stop mountaintop removal once and for all.

Wise Energy for Virginia

Shenandoah Sustainability Summit
Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM (ET)
Cally's Banquet Room
41 Court Square
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Edible Forest Gardens with Dave Jacke
Edible Ecosystems Emerging: Food Forestry for the 21st Century
April 15th-24th
Join us for a nine-day forest garden design intensive with Dave Jacke and friends!

Forest ecosystems exhibit many beneficial properties we humans would be wise to emulate in our culture, agriculture and horticulture: they maintain, renew, fertilize and propagate themselves without human inputs; they build, store, and conserve clean air, clean water, nutrients, soil quality, and biodiversity; and they exhibit stability, resilience, and adaptability. These qualities emerge from the dynamics of the forest as a whole system, not from any one or more of the elements that comprise the forest alone. To design productive edible ecosystems that express these same qualities, we must understand forest structures, functions, patterns, and processes and use this knowledge wisely.

In this nine-day intensive course, you will dive deeply into the vision, theory, and practice of designing wholesome, dynamic, and resilient edible ecosystems using temperate deciduous forests as models. Dave Jacke and his Pennsylvania-based teaching team will offer lectures, site walks, and experiential exercises to help you understand how the architecture, social structure, underground economics, and successional processes of natural forests apply in the design of edible ecosystems of all kinds. You'll learn a variety of ecological design processes while designing a range of food-producing ecologies at our host farm. We'll also engage with issues of garden management, economics, and the deep paradigmatic shifts required to succeed at cocreating "humanatural" landscapes and cultures. You will leave inspired and empowered to design food forests at home for yourself, and your friends, neighbors and clients.

For more information and questions, contact Kim Walsh Email ~
Farm # ~ 814-839-4962 or Cell # ~ 612-804-6230

Horticultural Therapy and Social Work

Are you a horticulture therapist in the region willing to share your experience?
A farmer, gardener, social worker, teacher, or foodie with a passion for people, plants, or both?
Someone with an interest in increasing education and outreach around permaculture and sustainable agriculture?

I welcome your experiences, insights, and resources on the multiple benefits of plants!

I am a graduate Social Work student in Richmond, VA completing Independent Study coursework on the topic of Horticultural Therapy (HT) and its use as a Social Work intervention. For the purposes of my research the definition of HT includes the use of both plants and the natural environment in the therapeutic process. While it is intuitive to many that plants are psychologically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually beneficial to individuals I am seeking further resources to support this philosophy. HT is used to enhance and improve the lives of many populations including: people with disabilities, youth with ADHD and other behavioral disorders, seniors, veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, and refugee and immigration populations.

Please contact me and share what you know about HT. How is it beneficial? How could it improve your clients, students, or children’s functioning? Who is doing it? Would you like to be involved? I am developing an HT program model to be implemented in mental health settings in the Richmond area. Any ideas on program development, funding sources, and needs of the region would be greatly appreciated!

While many of you folks may not be engaging in explicitly obvious HT activities, your interest in permaculture, sustainability, and food production is certainly related and I would be grateful for your input! I imagine that many of you are "doing" HT without realization!

Please feel free to check out my blog on Horticultural Therapy and Social Work at or email me at

Thanks in advance for any assistance you may be able offer!

Eileen Waugh

The next Arts and Culture series at All Saints' Church is "Food, Faith, and Agriculture", with guest speakers Jesse Straight, Ginger Hillery, and Daniel Malcolm. Jesse Straight practices sustainable pasture-based poultry and livestock farming in Warrenton, Virginia. Ginger Hillery runs Full Circle Farm, a family farm and bakery in Catawba, Virginia. Daniel Malcolm is the CSA Farmer for Coverdale Farm, a part of the Delaware Nature Society in Greenville, DE. Join us as they give brief descriptions about their work and reflect on the topics of eating locally, supporting local farmers, and how their Christian lives are important factors in their vocation and home making.

All Saints' Anglican Church
March 20th, 5:30 P.M.
Free Child Care provided.
Wine and Refreshments after lecture.
Call 434.987.3562 for inquiries.

Charlottesville Screening of Lunch Line

Friday, March 25 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm
The Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center at Charlottesville High School
1400 Melbourne Road
Charlottesville, VA
Created By
Lunch Line
More Info
This event is free and open to the public!

Please join us for the Charlottesville premiere of Lunch Line, a film that chronicles the history of school lunch in America. Find out how school lunch became what it is today — and stay for a panel discussion about what we can do to fix it!

Participants include:
Ed Bruske, DC-based chef, journalist, blogger
Alicia Cost, Charlottesville City Schools Nutrition Services Dept. Registered Dietician
Andrea Early, Director of School Nutrition Harrisonburg City Schools
Charles Green, Dir. Marketing & Development, VA Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services (oversees VA's Farm to School program)
Matt Trowbridge, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine UVA School of Medicine

Tanya Denckla-Cobb (moderator), UVA Instructor of Urban & Environmental Planning, author of "The Gardener's A-to-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food"

Rose Brown and the Zero Garbage Challenge
March 18, 7:30 p.m.
Join us to hear about how one resident of Charlottesville set out to earn how to live comfortably while producing very little garbage.
She reduced the garbage she generated into 2 small bags for the whole year! Come and learn from her.

An Earth Friendly Friday event sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Task force of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Unitarian Church.
717 Rugby Road in the Social Hall.
Free and open to the public

On March 11 and March 18 from 2-4pm, Randolph College will host two free apple tree grafting workshops taught by Tom Burford, orchard and nursery consultant, specializing in the restoration, re-creation, and design of historic sites and private estates, as well as commercial and backyard orchards.
Participants will have the option of taking back home the apple tree they graft, or donating it to the Randolph College's nursery. The apple cultivars will be diverse and for the most part considered as "Heritage" and disease resistant.

The events will take place at the Randolph College Organic Garden and participants will be allowed to park at the Maier Museum parking lot for free (1 Quinlan Street, Lynchburg, VA 24503).

Any interested person can contact Ludovic at to reserve a seat.

Join Common Good's Volunteer Staff for the 2011 Season – Washington DC
As an almost-entirely volunteer-run organization, we can always use more hands as part of our committed volunteer staff. Contact for more info. Specific roles we're seeking:

Farm Coordinator: Approximately 3-5 hours per week, hours to be determined, but we're usually open in the late afternoon so a flexible schedule is a major plus! Farm Coordinators co-manage the farm during open hours. Job details include: 1) Assisting volunteers and Green Tomorrows participants with farm work; 2) following weekly list of “to do’s” which usually include weeding, planting, or other farm work; 3) welcoming passers-by, answering questions about the farm and explaining farm programs; 4) maintaning the farm site and upholding its rules. Ideal candidates will have some background in gardening and be comfortable working with diverse groups and children, but we are happy and willing to train.
Volunteer coordinator: Helps respond to standard "I'd like to volunteer! How?" emails, coordinates group visits in communication with the Farm Manager, and leads monthly Volunteer Orientations.
Website & Social Media: Have some Drupal or other CMS experience? We'd like to recruit someone to make our website more user-friendly, as well as keep it updated with occasional news and events. If you'd also like to contribute to our social media presence, help us with Twitter, Facebook, and even a blog.
Greenhouse construction: In storage we have a glass greenhouse, but we need assistance piecing it back together. If you have experience with erecting such a structure, please contact us!

Community Garden plots: Applications accepted until lottery March 19

The new park around the Farm will feature 40 community garden plots, available only to LeDroit Park, Bloomingdale, and Shaw residents. (If you live elsewhere, we unfortunately can't accept an application from you; check out our friends at Neighborhood Farm Initiative'sCommunity Garden Census for a spot near you!) A section of raised beds will be reserved for elderly, beginner, or disabled gardeners, and tools and soil will be provided. The lottery will be held on the Farm at 10a, March 19. Click here to learn more and apply!

Brown Bag Lunch with Sustainable Farmer Eric Herm
March 19, 2011, 12 noon on the Farm

Fourth-generation Texas farmer Eric Herm deals with the harsh economic realities and complicated legislation facing farmers, as well as the undeniable health impact of GMO crops and excessive chemicals on all living creatures in his new book, Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth: A Path to Agriculture's Higher Consciousness. Mr Herm will speak about the critical need for more American farmers, wider use of sustainable agriculture techniques, and more resilient local communities.

Copies of the book will be available on the farm and at a book signing at Sisterspace and Books, 3717 Georgia Avenue NW, at 6p.

"A Community of Gardeners" Documentary Premiering at Environmental Film Festival

The new documentary "A Community of Gardeners," produced by local filmmaker Cintia Cabib, will premiere at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m., at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. It will be shown again on Friday, March 25, at 4 p.m., at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC).

"A Community of Gardeners" explores the vital role of seven community gardens in Washington, D.C. and shows how these green spaces are changing people's lives, their communities and their environment. Among the gardens featured is the 7th Street Garden and its rebirth as Common Good City Farm. Executive Director Pertula George will be participating in the post-film discussion at the March 24th screening.

For ticket information and to make reservations, please visit To view the trailer and photo gallery, please visit

a reference to permaculture while perusing a sight about peak oil: