Saturday, March 10, 2012

upcoming events

Greetings All,

Below is an amazing collection of info on upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the central Virginia bioregion, including a wonderful array of fruit workshops.
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

Shiitake and Oyster Mushroom Workshop
Saturday, March 17 12pm - 4/5pm

This workshop will cover the basics of Shiitake and Oyster mushroom cultivation. How to pick and harvest logs, inoculation methods, mushroom log care and harvesting. The primary focus and fun of the workshop will be inoculating pre-harvested logs for participants to take home. Workshop will be rain or shine as inoculation area is under cover. Please bring raincoat/umbrella to view the mushroom log yard. Wear work clothes and bring gloves as we will be working with hot wax and logs (ear plugs will be provided).

Cost: $50 ($70 for a couple) This includes one Oyster or Shiitake log to take home
$100 ($115 for a couple) This includes 5 Oyster or Shiitake logs to take home (that comes out to $12.50 each for the extra logs which I sell for $20-25 retail)

Sourwood Farm
2012 Nucs (Bees) For Sale

Inquire about timing and availability. Limited supply; first come, first served.
$125 includes: Nuc made from solely from bees that overwintered in my yards; marked queen that I raised this spring from hives that survived this winter in my bee yards; 5 deep frames of drawn comb , no foundation; 2 or more frames of brood; 1 frame of honey; 1 frame of pollen/mix; No frame exchange.

$155 includes: With this you get a overwintered proven queen that has sustained a healthy colony overwinter plus everything above. Only 3-4 and they will be available. Pickup will be available at an earlier date late march through mid April.

Sourwood Farm
Ryan Williamson
4646 Buddys Place Ln
Earlysville, VA 22936

Richard Louv talk: Ending Nature-Deficit Disorder
March 15th at 7pm
--The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville

The Piedmont Environmental Council is excited to bring Richard Louv, best-selling author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, to the Piedmont. Mr. Louv offers a vision of the future, in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology. We're expecting the tickets to sell quickly, so reserve yours today and mark your calendar! Tickets are $12 per adult and $8 per student.

Fruit Grafting and Propagation - All Day Intensive

When: Saturday, April 7, 2012, 9 AM to 5 PM
Where: 912 Woodfolk Drive, Charlottesville VA, 22902

We will start in the morning with hands-on instruction in fruit propagation. Participants will learn how to prepare fruit tree seeds for planting, how to root fruiting plants, and how to graft. Numerous propagation 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. Rooting cuttings, ground and air layering. Specialized techniques for propagating blueberries and hard to root plants. Later in the day we will have a more general discussion of growing fruit and nuts in Virginia without pesticides and fungicides. The focus will be on techniques that can be used at home with a minimum of tools and expense. Each participant will have the opportunity to take home five fruit trees that they graft themselves. Rootstock and scions (grafting wood) will be provided, as well as a grafting knife.

Registration Contact: Alexis Zeigler,, 434-409-6006
Cost: $50, checks made payable to Living Energy Farm

Part time gardener positions at Montfair Resort Farm in White Hall, VA near Crozet. $12.00 per hour to start (potential for increase wage as well). Some one to help get the season started out with a good weeding and some new perennials added and then a maintenance weeding every few weeks. Gardens are established enough that it is pretty low maintenance but does need some intensive work to get it started, lots of blackberry brambles and crab grass have snuck in! E-mail or call # 434.823.1860.

A Central Virginia Food Heritage Gathering

You are invited to join the first free “Food Heritage: A Central Virginia Gathering” where people will learn and share knowledge about the special food heritage of our Virginia Piedmont region.

When and where:
Monday, March 26, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Lane Auditorium, Albemarle County building in Charlottesville—401 McIntire Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22902
• Map out old farms, orchards, and mills
• Share your food stories through interviews
• Brainstorm ways to revive our local food heritage and promote a more sustainable future
• Enjoy a seed and plant swap and a sampling of heritage foods
Help us honor our local food heritage and lay the groundwork for growing a strong, healthy future for Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa, and Nelson Counties and the City of Charlottesville! Please join us! Feel free to bring guests, and walk-ins are welcome too.
If you think that you might attend, please RSVP to Paul Loren Hughes at at or to Ellen Martin at (434) 924-1970.

Vintage Virginia Apples – Cidermaker’s Forum
May 5, 2012
Albemarle CiderWorks hosts a Cider Maker's Forum annually dedicated to promoting the art and science of finely crafted fermented cider. Lunch included. $125.

Local Food Hub workshops
Beginning Beekeeping
Date: Sunday, April 1, 2012
Time: 9:00am – 3:30 pm
Location: Ivy Creek Natural Area, Charlottesville VA
Cost: $35 (attendees must also purchase The Beekeeper’s Handbook, 4th Edition before the class)
RSVP: or (434) 286-2176

Diversified Fruit Production/Edible Landscaping
Join us for a workshop on home fruit production, taught by Michael McConkey from Edible Landscaping. During this three-hour course, Michael will discuss:
• the kinds of fruit that grow well in this region, including native and exotic choices beyond typical orchard varieties.
• planning your edible yard: choosing and preparing a site, pest management, upkeep for optimal success.
• propagation techniques and future steps.
Michael will also bring plants available for purchase after class.
Date: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Time: 4 – 7 pm
Location: Maple Hill Farm, Scottsville VA
Cost: $35
RSVP: or (434) 286-2176

Sustainable Soil Management for Small Farms
Drawing on more than 20 years of self-taught soil science, Mark Schonbeck is a scientist and writer with expertise in organic vegetable production and in organic soil and weed management.
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012
Time: 4-7 pm
Location: Maple Hill Farm, Scottsville VA
Cost: $25
RSVP: or (434) 286-2176

Farm Manager position for the Catawba Sustainability Center

The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center (CSC) is a 377-acre farm in Catawba, VA. The CSC is located about 15 minutes from Roanoke and 35 minutes from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The mission of the CSC is to serve as community hub advancing economic growth and environmental stewardship. The CSC supports beginning farmers through its incubation program, VT EarthWorks, by offering educational programs, land and infrastructure, access to local farmers markets, networking with potential sales outlets, and other business development resources.

The CSC is hiring a farm manager/ mentor 1) to grow organic produce at the Catawba Sustainability Center for Preston’s Restaurant, and 2) to offer workshops and serve as an educational resource for beginning farmers and other visitors.

Application procedure:
Interested applicants, please submit a cover letter and resume to Karie Gilliam at

Tools for Growing Change: Urban and Community Gardening workshop
SAT. March 24th at Lynchburg College
with Tom Benevento of New Community Project
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
FREE full-day urban-garden workshop at:

This seminar is designed to explore and share tools to help you create vibrant food producing systems for social and ecological change at home and in your community. Explore design options for "whole-yard" growing that reduces weeding, saves water, space and time, and brings beauty to your home. Learn techniques in ecological gardening that integrate annual and perennial plants that grow fertility. Then, move beyond the home scale to powerful models that inspire growing in the broader community. Learn the
steps on how to start a community garden, a school garden, and a fossil fuel free market garden that empowers people. Discover ways to access local resources and "project power" to get your vision off the ground. This seminar will include hands-on garden construction, group sharing, and models that are specific to Virginia.

Registration is required as seating is limited. To save a seat, reply to:

Permaculture Work-Exchange/Room (Board) with Employment Opportunities

The Silver Sage House and Studio: Ctr. for Transformational Studies, a 1991 classic-styled Victorian house located in Charlottesville, VA, is offering short-term and long-term room and board in its first level’s private furnished studio apartment for a permaculture small-farming and training work exchange, now available immediately. Throughout the year, the Silver Sage House and Studio offers unique and beautiful mountain view lodging accommodations. An ideal choice for a Virginia getaway, this educational/recreational and residential hub is a tranquil, 10-acre all-natural, sustainable small farm located just 4 miles from Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall in close proximity to a wide variety of area attractions.
At present, this permaculture farming work exchange is now at the very early beginning stages that consists of a couple fruit-bearing apple trees, several raised garden beds and rain barrel equipment ready to be installed. Furthermore, there will be much more opportunity to expand creative sustainability. Our vision is to include more gardening and farming plots that will require managing food preparation, preservation, and production, as well as raising chickens and grazing goats within a food co-op for training purposes.
Therefore, this plan could offer additional employment opportunities that could include tours, classes, and workshops. Along with these offerings, we can also even envision a part-time café that may promote energy saving, creative living and the merits of producing local, healthy foods.

Please contact: Linda Capacchione (434) 296-1338

EQIP Organic Initiative Signup is Open - opportunity for cost share on conservation practices

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is inviting applications for the 2012 EQIP Organic Initiative, which offers cost-share for conservation practices that will help with the transition to organic production, such as cover cropping, conservation crop rotation, conservation buffer and beneficial habitat plantings, as well as prescribed grazing, forage planting, fencing, and other livestock management practices related to resource conservation. You can also get cost share for a High Tunnel either as part of an Organic Initiative contract, or as a stand alone practice. This is an excellent opportunity to receive some financial assistance to farm at the high level of land/resource stewardship that you would like to achieve. The EQIP Organic Initiative is now available for signup for the 2012 growing season. Applications for the next ranking period are due by March 30, and there will be an additional signup this year, with a deadline of June 1. The Virginia NRCS state office has asked district NRCS staff to promote the Organic Initiative and encourage organic and transitioning-organic farmers to participate.

Ron Wood
Virginia NRCS
804 287-1660
You can also find more information about the EQIP Organic Initiative in Virginia at,

Buford City Schoolyard Garden
Charlottesville, VA

Trail Restoration Work Day
March 18, 2012 from 2 pm – 5 pm: Join us for a community work day to restore the Buford Forest Trail that runs through the creeks behind the school's athletic fields. Opportunistic species have taken over the trail and trees, restricting student and community member access to this beautiful city hideaway. With your help we plan to restore the health of this forest ecosystem and begin replanting both native and edible species that will thrive in this moisture-rich, shady environment. There will be food and drinks for all volunteers! Please RSVP to Emily Axelbaum at or (314)799-9394.

Introduction to Gardening Workshop
March 24, 2012 from 10 am – 12 pm: Come out for a hands-on workshop designed for beginner and seasoned gardeners alike. The morning will cover garden siting, soil preparation, predator control, planting, maintenance, and harvesting techniques. The course is free with a suggested donation of $10.00 for those able to further support CSG garden programming. Money raised will go toward seed-starting equipment for the Buford Garden. The course will be taught by Buford garden educator Emily Axelbaum and Guinevere Higgins of Blue Ridge Backyard Harvest. We will be there rain or shine and space is limited so RSVP soon to Emily at or (314)799-9394.

Farm Internship positions open
We are Our House Farm a 3.5 acre, organically-certified vegetable farm with a flock of 100 free-range laying hens. Our farm, an LLC, is located on the land of Our House, a residential job-training center for at-risk teenage boys. Our House Farm is located 45 minutes north of Washington, D.C. in Brookeville, Maryland. Internship positions are 40 hours per week.

Please forward resume and cover letter to Edwin Gould at and Marc Grossman at . Call Marc Grossman at 202 412 5698 for more information concerning the internship.

Our House Farm
Organic produce & eggs from free-range hens
19715 Zion Rd. Brookeville, MD

Arlington, VA office (metro accessible)
The Wallace Center seeks an intern from spring through summer 2012, with some flexibility on duration from 3 to 6 months. The Intern will provide support to outreach, provision of technical assistance, research, conferences and meetings, and communications across Wallace Center projects.
This position offers the successful candidate a diverse and meaningful experience in the area of food systems with a dynamic and leading organization in the field. Salary is $12/hour.


Save the Date-- Edible Food Fest in Orange Virginia
August 11, 2012

Harvest Table Farm Internship Internship opportunity in sustainable agriculture:

Description: Harvest Table Farm in Meadowview, Virginia, is seeking an intern for the 2012 summer growing season to assist with all aspects of an integrated farm-to- table operation. This is a unique opportunity to experience and participate in the ecological farming movement through a program that connects sustainable and innovative production methods directly to The Harvest Table Restaurant, southwest Virginia's leading local foods establishment. The farm is also connected to our community through weekly attendance and sales at the Abingdon farmers’ market, and through regularly scheduled tours and demonstrations we offer to our restaurant customers, school groups, and local volunteers.

Interested applicants should send a letter or e-letter of inquiry to:
Matt Sanders, farm manager
Harvest Table Farm
28413 Smyth Chapel Road
Meadowview, VA 24361

Advanced Fruit School
Asheville, NC: March 31 & April 1st
Union, WV: May 5, 6
This special 2 day session of fruit school is exclusively offered to graduates of fruit school or people who have accumulated proficiency and practical experience in horticulture especially around fruits and nuts.
With the elementals behind us, cumulatively we can explore the leading edge of fruit and nut culture. All the while we will be developing a cooperative roundtable learning environment that appreciates all that want to contribute. Topics will be lead by Professor Barkslip, but open participation and discussion of information will be encouraged. There will be some hands on instruction and a field trip to Barkslip's nursery will be offered.

VABF Seeks to Hire Part-time Director
Applications Accepted during March, 2012

The Virginia Association for Biological Farming seeks to hire a qualified Executive Director to coordinate and focus our efforts to promote sustainable agriculture through grant-funded research, public farm events, the website, social networking, the newsletter, and development of a farmer mentoring network. See attached ED Job Description word file for more information and application directions. Questions? Contact:
Rick Felker: email: or phone: 757 678 5731
Kevin Fletcher: e-mail, or phone 540-946-8080
Kathy O'Hara: email: or phone 540 798 2252

SustainFloyd Hiring Curriculum Coordinator for Working Model Farm
Application Deadline 4:00 pm March 27, 2012

SustainFloyd is a grassroots community development 501(c)3 organization seeking to develop a resilient and sustainable rural economy for Floyd County. SustainFloyd is hiring a Curriculum/Project Coordinator to work with the farm manager and others to establish a hands-on new farmer education and training program. The program will be delivered at SustainFloyd's Working Model Farm and Land-Based Learning Center, a working organic farm in Floyd county.
The Curriculum Coordinator position will be an integral part of our project and will provide an invigorating, engaging and collaborative atmosphere to create something unique to Southwest Virginia. The position is funded through a subaward from The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project.

Any questions concerning the project or the application must be directed to:
Name Michael Burton, Director, SustainFloyd
Address: 203 S Locust St, Suite H, Floyd VA 24091
Phone (540) 250-0111

Saturday, March 17
Richmond, VA
More info and registration here:

The James River Green Building Council presents the 2012 GreenSpaces Design Competition:

The 2012 Green Spaces Design Competition: Breaking Away, addresses Richmond’s Mayo Island and 14th Street Bridge, which serve as both significant transitions and destinations. Using Richmond’s recent win to host the 2015 Road World Championship cycling races, competition entrants are asked to propose economically, culturally and environmentally responsible tourism and recreation-based solutions for Mayo Island that critically examine the lasting impact of the 2015 Road World Championships and the role Mayo Island plays in Richmond’s past, present and future. We are extending the deadline for registration until April 13th which is also when entries are due.

See the JRGBC website for entry, sponsorship and registration details.

Fifth Annual Virginia Berry Production and Marketing Conference
Virginia State University that will take place on March 15, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. $15.

For registration please visit: