Saturday, August 27, 2011

upcoming events

Greetings All,

Below is a great collection of info on upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the near future in the central Virginia bioregion, including Jon Young and the Meet Yer Eats Farm Tour next weekend. We already have a good start to our crew - but we need a few more folks for the BRPN table at the upcoming Heritage Harvest Fest (see below for more info).

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

BRPN at Heritage Harvest Festival on Sept. 17
Calling all Blue Ridge Permaculture Network folks!!!

We are going to have a booth at the September 17th Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. We are looking for permaculture folks to sign up to help at the BRPN booth and talk permaculture, regeneration and local resources. Contact Christine at to sign up. Thank you!!!

Heritage Harvest Festival

Permaculture Workshops will be offered with BRPN's Christine Gyovai and Terry Lilley at the Heritage Harvest Festival, held at Monticello on Sept. 16-17th, 2011.

Stop by and see the Blue Ridge Permaculture Network table, with permaculture demonstrations, at this year's Heritage Harvest Festival. For more info, see:

Introduction to Permaculture – Regeneration and Perennial Polycultureswith Christine Gyovai
Friday, 9:00 – 11:15 a.m., Woodland Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center
Learn how to create more sustainable homes, neighborhoods, and communities using the principles of permaculture—an ecological design method that uses observation and patterns in nature. This method also employs strategies to improve soil, grow food, create edible forest gardens and perennial polycultures, harvest water, utilize renewable energy and regenerative building techniques. Participants will leave the workshop energized with permaculture tools that can be implemented in their home and community. $15

Lecture: Introduction to Permaculture – Regeneration and Renewal with Christine Gyovai
Saturday, 3:15 – 4:15 p.m., Woodland Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center
Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human settlements. By learning from natural ecosystem dynamics we can apply the same patterns to create gardens that function like a forest and home water systems that function like a wetland. From this introduction participants can take home some permaculture principles and put them into action. $10

For more info, see:


September 3 – 4, 2011
Reclaiming Our Natural Connections
and Building Community Resiliency with Jon Young

Sat. 9am - Sun. 3pm/ Free Evening Talk Friday Sept. 2 @6pm

Have you heard of The Last Child in the Woods and Nature Deficit Disorder? Are you curious about ways to increase the health and vitality of children and families, especially ways to unplug from media and get outside? Do you wonder about how to build and sustain community? If so, come to an evening talk and weekend workshop that promotes connecting with nature and community building, through timeless indigenous approaches such as storytelling, relationship and sustainability. Hear about an international movement that looks at ways to connect with nature and people, to live in balance with modern culture and the outdoors. Living Earth School is thrilled to bring our long time mentor Jon Young to Charlottesville, to share his inspiring words and vision. It is truly a not to miss weekend. Jon’s work and the work of The Living Earth School, is the kind of work that builds hope and creates a better place for our children and their children. This vision not only gives us the resilience to survive but to thrive in the years to come.

Our weekend is held at beautiful Camp Albemarle nestled among river, field and mountains. The program is held for adults and families are welcome, as there will be a children’s program for ages 5-8 and 9+ (space for children is limited).

Cost is a sliding scale of $200-$250 per adult, $75-$125 per child (food, camping and instruction included).

Jon Young is a national treasure and leader in the field of deep nature connection. His "Cultural Mentoring" approach to developing deep nature connection, holistic human awareness and advance peacemaking skills has spawned over 100 local deep nature connection organizations and initiatives in the U.S. and Europe. Inspired by his childhood mentoring with famous tracker and author Tom Brown, Jr., Jon is co-author of a new book on nature connection mentoring, "Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature," and currently works at the Regenerative Design Institute on the RDNA program. Visit his website at

For more information, see:

Meet Yer Eats Farm Tour in Central Virginia
With Market Central
September 5, 2011

10 AM y 4 PM
19 Farms to visit
$15 per car in advance
$25 per car after September 1

Sacred Plant Traditions
Six Week Series - Introduction to Herbal Medicine

Fall Session Thursdays: Sept 22 - October 27, in Charlottesville, VA
This six week series is great for beginners as well as those who want to deepen their knowledge and use of herbal medicine. This course will include history, herbal actions, apothecary practices, recipes, sacred use of plants and more. The weeks fly by as we spend time in the classroom, the kitchen, the lab and best of all, the garden. We will learn how to identify basic back yard medicines as well as those cultivated in the garden. We will learn harvest techniques, how to dry and preserve our medicines.
Fee $225 (Deposit: $50).
Fee includes all materials & text.

Fall Session: Thursday Morning Classes, 10am - 12:30pm
Sacred Plant Traditions Special Guest Teacher Sheila Guarnajia.
Weight Management, Blood Sugar and Traditional Wisdom.

Sept 28 or 29, 2011 in Charlottesville, VA

Join us for a very special class with Acupuncturist Sheila Guarnajia. Sheila's gift for simplifying complicated issues is perfect for this class where there are so many myths and misguided diets confusing our communities and culture as a whole. In this class Sheila will give basic tenets of Chinese traditional wisdom for working with nourishment and foods for our body types. She will address metabolic syndrome, low and high blood sugar and how to navigate some basic disease proccesses related to these topics.

This class is part of SPT's clinical training so some background in health will be helpful. This class is not on our website so please call Heather to inquire about registration.434-295-3820

Class runs from 9am - 4pm and the fee is only $85.
Same class is offered Weds, September 28 and Thursday, the 29th

Edible Ecosystems Emerging: Food Forestry for the 21st Century-
A 9-Day Forest Garden Design Intensive

With Dave Jacke, Matthew English, and Friends.

At Spiral Ridge Permaculture Gardens
and The Farm Community Center
Summertown, Tennessee
September 23-October 2, 2011

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 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.

Sliding scale (covers tuition and food): $1,100-$1,400. Amounts paid over $1,100 will go into the scholarship fund. Partial scholarships will likely be available. Contact the below for lodging information (some options on site, some off).

Sponsored by: Spiral Ridge Permaculture Gardens
Location: Spiral Ridge Permaculture Gardens and
The Farm Community Center, Summertown, TN.
To register or for info: 931-964-2375
Dave Jacke
Dynamics Ecological Design
308 Main St. #2C • Greenfield, MA • 01301
603-831-1298 •


Hours Thursday thru Sunday 9-5

We are a small, family farm located in Louisa, Virginia. Our family is committed to supplying you with the best naturally and ecologically grown medicinal and culinary herb plants, dried herbal mixes and teas, vegetables, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken eggs, pastured poultry (whole birds), and horse hay. Another specialty of Forrest Green Farm is our registered Polled Miniature Herefords. We offer classes on gardening and healthy living. Our classes focus on growing for the future by teaching about natural and sustainable methods of growing herbs and vegetables for healthier, self-reliant living.


2011 Winter Whole Living From the Ground Up: Topics Covered: Tool and garden

equipment maintenance (from hand tools to tractors), Winter clothing – how to dress to be comfortable and prepared for outdoor weather, Woodstoves, (selection, use, maintenance), Firewood (wood selection, harvesting, and storage), Cutting tools use and care (Chainsaws, saws, and knives), Mushroom logs (hands-on to inoculate and take one home), Wild edibles (fall, winter, and spring), Animal care in winter (chicken, cows, horses, birds), Greenhouse growing in winter, Extending the growing season (techniques and tips), Herb & Vegetable Gardening from seed: ordering seed, starting from seed, greenhouse growing, storing left over seed, planting seed in trays for pot production as well as direct seeding in the garden, Sprouts, Nature connection – building connections and spirituality with nature, Winter Solstice Celebration, Tracking, Shelters and fire starting, Campfire cooking & cast iron cookware (care & how to use), Compass and orienteering, Seasonal foods, Jelly making in the winter, Food storage (realistic
healthy approach to eliminate waste), Herbal care for your family in the winter, Hunting (safety, equipment, and ethical techniques), Wild game processing, Smoking and dehydrating jerky

2012 Whole Living From the Ground Up: Topics Covered: Herb & Vegetable Gardening

from seed, planting seed in trays for pot production as well as direct seeding in the garden, transplanting techniques, garden beds: soil preparation using the no-till sheet layered technique, how & when to till if necessary, herb & vegetable growing: planting, tending, harvesting, and preserving, herbal medicine harvesting: learning the proper part of the herb to harvest, when to harvest, and the best ways to prepare medicine with the herb, general garden care: through the season (watering, weeding, fertilizing),fertilization – organic methods and crop rotation, organic pest control and insect identification, companion planting, vermicomposting, seed saving, making garden structures: support in the garden, cover crops & natural mulches, plant journey: basic botany for gardeners, plant identification, in depth look at 20+ herbs, nature journaling, ethical wildcrafting, herbal medicine making: as we go through the seasons we will harvest herbs at the
proper times to make teas, tinctures, salves, oils, vinegars, herbal honey, aromatherapy, herbs for the medicine chest, herbs as food: delightful culinary dishes, medicinal herbs in everyday food for medicine, seasoning mixes, herbal body care, cordials, syrups, elixirs, fermented foods, whole nourishing foods and eating seasonally.

Transition C'ville/Albemarle

When: Mon, September 19, 6pm – 9pm
Where: Unitarian Church - 717 Rugby Road (map)
Description: TRANSITION CHARLOTTESVILLE/ALBEMARLE Transition Charlottesville/Albemarle is a group of individuals attempting to discover ways to help our communities adapt and thrive in response to climate change, peak oil, and a challenging economy. For more information goto and We meet the third Monday of each month at the Unitarian Church 717 Rugby Road 6:30 P.M. – Pot Luck meet and greet newcomers – powerpoint introduction 7-8:30 P.M. Meeting

Virginia Food Security Summit – Connecting Our Farms, Food, Health and the Environment
Save-the-Date – Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Alumni Hall, 211, Emmet St. South
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA

Hosted by UVa, Virginia Food Systems Council, VA Cooperative Extension, VA Tech, and Washington and Lee University

Save the Date
Ninth Annual Small Farm Family Conference
November 1-2, 2011 - Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, 150 Slayton Avenue, Danville, Virginia 24540

Virginia State University has begun planning for its Ninth Annual Small Farm Family Conference. This year's event will take place at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville - the same place that the last two Virginia Biological Farming Conferences were held.
Watch for additional details in future e-mail and/or the fall issue of Virginia Biological Farmer.

Calls for Posters and Vendors
Southern SAWG Conference - Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms
January 18-21 - Little Rock, AR

The Southern SAWG Conference planning committee is developing an excellent program for this year's Conference. Keep an eye on our newly refurbished web site,, for conference details and registration as they become available this fall.
At this time, we are issuing a Call for Posters. A poster is an excellent way to communicate research findings with practical application to sustainable or organic farming systems, and technical assistance or other services available for family farms.
See attached pdf file 2012 Call for Posters - final for more information, including a directions and an application form.
If you would like to display a poster at the Southern SAWG Conference (where it will be seen by some 1,200 farmers, educators, advocates, and other agricultural professionals that share a commitment to sustainable agriculture and food systems), submit a half-page abstract for consideration no later than December 1, to Your abstract will be reviewed by the Southern SAWG scientific committee, and you will be notified by mid-December whether your poster has been accepted.
NOTE - you do not need to attend the Conference yourself in order to display a poster - though it would be much more fun and rewarding if you do!

The Conference organizers are also inviting Vendors to display their goods and services through the Trade Show. See attached pdf file tradeshowvinvite12-finalAug11 for more information and registration form.

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011
Ask your Senators and Representatives to co-sponsor this Bill

When Congress returns from recess at the end of this month, Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Tim Walz are planning to introduce a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011, to mandate substantial program support and assistance to new and beginning farmers and ranchers. One thing this Act would do is to continue and expand the successful Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) in the next Farm Bill. Among the many projects funded by BFRDP is the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project, of which VABF is a partner organization. In addiiton to BFRDP, Harkin and Walz' new Act would provide additional support to beginning farmers in many other ways, such as set-asides in existing conservation and marketing programs for beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers, improved access to USDA savings and credit programs, and making beginning producers an explicit priority for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). An outline of the bill can be found here:

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and its member organizations are seeking to get as many Senators and Representatives as we can to co-sponsor the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011. I have contacted Virginia's two Senators and my own Representative to ask them for their co-sponsorship. The more of us on this list who can also do so, the better. I have heard that as few as seven or eight calls on a specific bill or issue will get a Senator or Representative's attention, and can impel them to take action that they might not otherwise have taken. So - your call or letter can make a big difference - especially for those of you who are beginning farmers or ranchers (less than 10 years in the profession) and would directly benefit from any of the current or proposed new programs in this Act.

To contact Senator Mark Warner, call 202-224-2023 and ask to speak with his agricultural aide Nicholas Devereux. After an initial call, you can follow up with an e-mail to him at
To contact Senator Jim Webb, call 202-224-4024 and ask to speak with his agricultural aide Trevor Dean. After an initial call, you can follow up with an e-mail to him at

I have already given them the following information, but in case my e-mail gets lost in the huge volume they must be receiving on 1000 different topics, you could mention that Senators should contact Senator Tom Harkin's staff person Mark Halverson at 202-224-3254 to co-sponsor the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act.

To contact your Representative, if you do not have his/her telephone number in DC, call the Capitol switchboard 202-225-3121, and when you get your Representative's office, ask for the staff person who works with agricultural issues. Representatives should contact Tim Walz's staff person Leah Rosales at 202-225-2472 to co-sponsor the bill.