Wednesday, November 9, 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 our Spring 2012 BRPN Permaculture Design Course, a rainwater harvesting and straw bale workshop, and a Food Security Summit.

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

1. Spring 2012 BRPN Permaculture Design Course
We are pleased to announce our winter - spring 2012 Permaculture Design Course: Sustainability Strategies for the Blue Ridge, over four weekends near Charlottesville, Virginia.
This Permaculture Design Course lays the foundation for understanding and working with natural systems to design sustainable environments that produce food, shelter, and energy. It also provides participants with models of community development and extension by which they can create networks of support for themselves and empower others to do the same. The course provides tools to help design and develop urban or rural properties or neighborhoods in a sustainable manner, revitalize local communities, and restore ecological balance.
Permaculture promotes land use systems that work with natural rhythms and patterns to create regenerative cultivated ecosystems. Participants will learn how to design and build gardens, homes, and communities that model living ecosystems. By understanding patterns in nature, students will learn how to grow food, manage water catchment and storage, utilize renewable energy and build community.
The ecological design course covers themes such as: ecological systems understanding, organic food production, natural soil improvement, watershed restoration, water conservation and management, edible forest gardening, native medicinal plants, natural habitat restoration, healthy buildings and human settlements, community and consensus building strategies, renewable energy systems, sustainable community development, local economics, and ecological planning and design methods.
This 72-hour certificate course, presented by the Blue Ridge Permaculture Network, will be offered over four weekends with leading permaculture teachers including Emily Axelbaum, Christine Gyovai, Dave Jacke, Hub Knott, Terry Lilley, Dave O’Neill, and guests (teacher bios on the website). The course will be held near Charlottesville, Virginia, at Montfair on the following dates:
Dates: Jan. 13-16, Jan. 27-29, Feb. 18-20, and March 3-4, 2012.
The cost for this course will be a sliding scale, including a discount for early registration. If you register by November 15 the sliding scale is $895-$1200. After November 15 the sliding scale is $995-$1200. A few work trade positions are available for partial tuition; inquire soon about work trade guidelines and availability. The work-trade application deadline ends on December 1st, 2011, and limited scholarships may be available, inquire for details. To register please visit the BRPN website for a registration form, or contact Terry Lilley at or 434-296-3963.

2. Gathering stories from PDC Alumni!

Thanks to all the past participants of the PDC course for making the BRPN what it is. For ages past, cultures have shared their stories of experience to the community. Elders of those communities have said the sharing of stories is key to making them stronger and more resilient. It was a daily practice, a core routine, that storytelling was done. It is in this light, that we are asking former BRPN alumni to share (as well people who have taken PDCs with other organizations).

Our Winter 2012 PDC is around the corner and we are hoping to collect stories from alumni to share on the BRPN website (examples: and in the course binder for the upcoming class. We are looking more specifically for stories about how you are implementing permaculture into your life and what affect your study of permaculture has had on you. Your story can be shared in a few paragraphs or so and feel free to send any photos of your work or land or life that go along with your story. We not only love to hear how it is going out there for you, but we also know that it inspires others. So thank you in advance for taking the time to tell your story.
Your stories and any questions can be sent to Emily Axelbaum,

Rainwater Harvesting Forum & Tour
November 17, 2011
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
CitySpace – 100 5th St., NE, Charlottesville
Registration Cost: $15 (lunch provided)

For architects, engineers, contractors, builders, plumbing engineers, code officials, and others interested in rainwater harvesting design and codes.


Sponsored By:
Center for Watershed Protection
Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District
City of Charlottesville
American Society of Civil Engineers – Blue Ridge Branch
Prince Charitable Trusts
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

*Please forward this announcement to others who may be interested.

Connecting our Farms, Food, Health, and Environment

On December 5 & 6th 2011, Virginia’s farm, food, health and environment advocates will meet in one place to plan for the future of food security in Virginia. Your voice is important! Please join us for this gathering of farmers, chefs, grocers, health workers, planners, and community leaders from across the state! Register Now

At the 2nd Virginia Food Security Summit YOU will:
• Hear national and state leaders discuss trends in our food system
• Help launch the Virginia Farm to Table plan, our first statewide strategic food security plan
• Develop ideas and spark action for increasing access to healthy, nutritious food in Virginia
• Meet people who come from all corners of our food system
• Learn from food system innovators from across Virginia
• Showcase your own work in a poster

WHEN: Monday, December 5, 2011 & Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WHERE: Summit Opening – Monday, December 5
Jefferson Scholars Foundation Hall
112 Clarke Court, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Summit Plenary – Tuesday, December 6
UVa Alumni Hall
211 Emmet Street South, Charlottesville, VA 22903

AGENDA: See online agenda here!:
Dec 5th - Crystal Ball Roundtable & Reception (only $15, includes reception!): featuring Fred Kirschenmann of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Ken Meter of the Crossroads Resource Center, Renard Turner of Vanguard Ranch, Kathleen Merrigan (invited), USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Todd Haymore (invited), Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
Dec 6th (only $45, includes lunch and reception!) - Launching the Virginia Farm to Table Plan, Implementation Workshop, Showcasing Food System Innovation Across Virginia, and Networking Poster Reception

LOW REGISTRATION FEE!! Advance registration is available online.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor, scholarships are available to ensure that the Summit is open to all who wish to attend! Register and apply for a scholarship here.:

NETWORKING POSTER SESSION: If you would like to reserve space at the networking poster session to feature your community food project or program, contact us:

• Farmers
• Agriculture and public health policy makers
• Hunger prevention people
• Land and farm conservationists
• Food buyers for schools, hospitals, institutions
• Food distributors
• CSAs
• Farmers’ market coordinators
• Farm and food co-ops
• Chefs and restaurateurs
• Nutrition and child obesity specialists
• Planners
• Academics and students
• Cooperative Extension
• Sustainable Community Groups
• Economic Development Groups
Hosted by
The University of Virginia, UVa Food Collaborative, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia Food System Council, Virginia State University School of Agriculture, Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Washington and Lee University, Piedmont Environmental Council

Straw Bale Work Day
A hands on experience in natural building home construction
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Roanoke, VA
$60 Registration

Led by Steve Kemble of MUDSTRAWLOVE
natural building trainers out of Asheville, NC
( Steve has over 20 years experience in natural building and
is the author of How to Build Your Elegant Home with Straw Bales.

You will contribute to a work in progress: the straw bale wall construction of a home in Roanoke. A natural, sustainable product, straw bales provide high efficiency insulation all year. No experience required; bring your interest and commitment to a day of learning, building, and fun.

Registration fee includes lunch and refreshments. You will be learning from a pioneer in designing, building and teaching the various forms of natural building. For more information or to register, contact

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Small Flock Poultry Class held at Sweet Peeps Farm in Greene Co.
We will cover the basic management of small flock poultry and have a show and tell around the farm looking at layers, heritage turkeys and more!

$10 for the class

You will receive directions and additional details about the class once you register with John Thompson at 434-591-1950 or

This class is part of a series of classes designed to educate homeowners on how to live more fully from the land. The series provides basic information and production options and is designed to
help first time producers and farmers as well as long time producers. You will also leave with a greater knowledge of resources available to assist in planning, marketing, and crop production. You will be provided with resources to assist in decision making, and you will gain awareness of where to find additional information and assistance.

Cathryn Kloetzli
Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Albemarle County Office
460 Stagecoach Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 872-4580
Fax: (434) 872-4578

Serving the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene & Louisa

Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Hiring a 2nd Farm Mentor Coordinator

Farm Mentor Coordinator Position
The Farm Mentor Coordinators will work under the direct supervision of the Virginia Tech Project Management Team and Project Director of the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project. The individual will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the proposed activities to support the development and growth of the farm mentor network that is to be integrated throughout the 3 year project. Major activities and responsibilities include: farmer recruitment and coordination, database management, and mentor-mentee curriculum development and training. Additionally, these individuals will work collaboratively with the Virginia Tech Management Team and Project Coalition to support the development and implementation of classroom, online, and on-farm educational activities and events. The work schedule will vary. It may involve seasonal variability based on curriculum implementation and farm mentor schedules, at which time appropriate adjustments would be made to the work week.

Required Qualifications:
Strong organization, communication, and interpersonal skills; Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively with others; Experience with training farmers and/or gardeners in classroom and/or field settings; Ability to work independently; Ability to manage detailed, complex tasks with good results; Familiarity with whole farm planning; and, Experience working with a diversity of agricultural stakeholders and practices (e.g., women, minority, small-scale, farmers with disabilities).

Role and Position Category:
Agricultural Specialist III, Part time. Hourly Wage Staff, limited to 1500 hrs/year.

Advertised Pay Range:
Commensurate with education and experience.

Applications will be reviewed starting October 28th, 2011. - APPLY ASAP!

For more information:
Please see the Virginia Tech Human Resources website for job posting #0111091:
Also see the attached PDF job announcement.

Questions about the position may be directed to Kim Niewolny at or 540.231.5784.

Farm Manager = The Farm at Sunnyside

Located 70 miles west of Washington, DC in Rappahannock County, VA, the Farm at Sunnyside produces certified organic fruits and vegetables for sale through local farmers' markets, and on-farm CSA, and select wholesale outlets. The farm has substantial infrastructure and equipment and a core team of dedicated staff. Adjacent to Shenandoah National Park, the property seeks to integarte agricultural and environmental concerns in a sustainable and mutually reinforcing fashion.

The Farm at Sunnyside is looking for a farm manager to lead its ongoing development. The succesful candidate should be committed to building an integrated organic farm that grows the highest quality nutritious produce; enhances its natural resource base; provides a healthy, rewarding and productive work environment; and is financially profitable. The position offers a competitive compensation package, including the potential to build long-term equity.

For more information or to apply, please contact Ellen Polishuk at, or 38369 John Wolford Rd, Purcellville, VA 20132; tel. 703-727-2996.

Excellent film near Charlottesville:
7pm – Dec. 13, 2011

Blue Mountain Brewery

9519 Critzers Shop Rd., Afton.
(540) 456-8020.

Enjoy a three course dinner and watch the film, The Last Mountain , an excellent film about mountaintop removal mining and people working to stop it, on a big screen. Reservations required.

Attention Researchers and Agricultural Service Providers

We are pleased to announce the Call for Posters for our Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. Our mission is “To empower and inspire farmers, individuals, and communities in the South to create an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, and humane. Because sustainable solutions depend on the involvement of the entire community, Southern SAWG is committed to including all persons in the South without bias.”

Our Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference attracts over 1,200 farmers and advocates every year and provides a great opportunity for researchers to disseminate research results and for service providers to share program outcomes (separately we offer trade show tables for organizations, agencies and businesses to distribute materials, demonstrate or sell services/products, and/or interact with target audiences. See our website for details about trade show exhibits).

Poster content should be aimed at providing practical tools and solutions for sustaining family farms and creating local food systems.
Those interested in displaying a poster(s) at this event must first submit a brief abstract for each poster. Members of the Southern SAWG Scientific Committee will review all submitted abstracts and make decisions regarding acceptance.

We invite abstracts for posters that focus on issues related to sustainable agriculture including, but
not limited to, the following topics:
- organic or sustainable commercial production of vegetable crops, field crops, poultry, livestock, forest crops, fish, cut flowers, value-added products or other specialty crops;
- business & risk management;
- direct or alternative marketing strategies;
- local food systems;
- climate change impacts on agriculture;
- sustainable energy;
- youth in agriculture;
- community development

Please email all abstracts for review to: by December 1, 2011.
Accepted posters will be notified within 2 weeks and registration materials will be provided at that time.

Abstract Details
Abstracts are due by December 1, 2011.
Abstracts should be in the following format: one-half page; single-space; title; author(s); institution or organization; and contact information (address, phone number, email address). You may submit more than one abstract, although not all may be accepted for poster display. Members of the Southern SAWG Scientific Committee will review all submitted abstracts and make decisions regarding acceptance.

Poster Details
Upon acceptance of your abstract, a poster registration form with payment options will be sent to you via email. Your $150.00 poster registration will be due January 6, 2012. Conference registration ($165) is separate, if you wish to participate in the conference (see our website for conference program). We cannot accept purchase orders or vouchers. Personal or institutional checks or credit card information must accompany your registration form.
The poster size should not exceed 46” x 36” (or 36”x46”). High-quality printing is requested.
Posters must be received by Noon, January 19, 2012. The poster can be either delivered or shipped to us in Little Rock. Southern SAWG staff will install posters for display onsite. Researchers are welcome to take their poster at the end of the event. However, we cannot return any posters that wereshipped to us.
Posters will be on display at The Peabody Hotel-Little Rock in our Trade Show area during regular trade show hours January 20-21, 2012.
Abstracts will then be posted on Southern SAWG website ( for one year, to reach those who could not attend the conference.

Timeline and Registration
December 1, 2011- abstract submission due (send via email to )
December 9, 2011- abstract acceptance notification and registration material provided
January 6, 2012 - $150 early-bird poster registration due; $225 if payment is received after January 6.
January 19, 2012 – poster received at conference facility by Noon