Thursday, May 17, 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 great workshop and garden meeting today. 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

Local Food Hub near Charlottesville
Edible Landscaping for Garden & Farm
Take your yard from ornamental to edible! 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

More info here:


 Workshop: Permaculture for Homestead and Farm

If you’d like to learn more about permaculture and how you can integrate permaculture methods into your own farm, garden, or homestead, then join us for this Permaculture Workshop on June 24, 2012!
Taught by none other than Dave O’Neill of Radical Roots Farm, the workshop will cover:
·       What is Permaculture? — Ecological Design
·       How to live More Sustainable & Abundantly? — Integration
·       Radical Roots Farm Tour

Permaculture for Homestead and Farm

Date: Sunday, June 24, 2012
Time: 9am – 4pm
Location: Radical Roots Farm, Keezletown VA
Cost: $40 for general public (free for Local Food Hub partner producers)
RSVP: or (434) 286-2176

                              Advanced Soil Regeneration Workshop: 
       An Ecological Approach for Farmers and Food Growers                                   

A fundraiser for two excellent non-profit organizations: the Urban Agricultural Collective of Charlottesville and the Hummingbird Project.
Sunday June 3rd : 9am-4:30pm
                   UACC Office, 405 Avon Street in Charlottesville, VA
This intensive one-day workshop focuses on the tools and methods needed by farmers and growers to analyze and interpret the biological and nutritional profiles of soils; and includes ecological strategies for amending and growing agricultural soil and promoting plant health.
With Marilyn McHugh and Chris Kennedy, Todd Niemeier, Gary Scott ,Lisa Taranto and Mark Jones. 

Cost for this workshop is based on a sliding scale of $105-150. Both UACC and the Hummingbird Project are open to accepting additional tax deductible donations.  Participation in the workshop includes lunch and entry into a drawing for:  a Soil Food Web Analysis with Marilyn and Chris, and a Soil Nutrient Analysis with Todd, and more.  Space is limited, so register early. 

For more information and to register please contact Mark: or p:  434-296-3301.

Sacred Plant Tradition classes in Charlottesville

Designing a Medicine Garden – Permaculture and Herbalism

One-Day Class: Saturday, June 30
10am – 2pm

Join us for a day of instruction on how to set up medicinal gardens and botanical sanctuaries. We will begin with sheet mulching, look at garden layout and simple design and talk about the needs and growing conditions of common herbal medicines. We will wander back to the woodland sanctuary that has been created and talk about conservation and ecological harvest issues as they relate to United Plant Savers. We will also look at drying roots, flowers and leaves of our favorite plant allies.
Herbal teas will be provided at all the one day workshops. Please pack a bag lunch.
Fee for the class is $75. Deposit $30.

Kitchen Apothecary - First Harvest

One-Day Class: Sunday, July 1
10am – 2pm

This class can stand-alone or be a wonderful conclusion to the garden class taught the day before. In this class, participants will make herbal preparations harvested from the day before. These are safe and time-honored recipes to be used for the family. We will learn the art of making salves, tinctures, oils and teas as well as how to stock our family medicine chest. This is an excellent class for those that are interested in learning sustainable ways of keeping selves and families healthy.
Herbal teas will be provided at all the one day workshops. Please pack a bag lunch.
Fee for the class is $75. Deposit $30.

Digestive Wellness - Late Summer Sweetness

One-Day Class: Saturday, August 11, 10am - 2pm

All traditional medicine cultures know that the first step to good health begins with digestion. This introductory class will describe this vital system, ways to maintain good digestive health and some common remedies used to help correct imbalances.  We will make our own digestive bitter/cordial during the class.
In Chinese medicine, the element of late summer is earth and it's the perfect time to contemplate and fine-tune how we nourish ourselves.
Herbal teas will be provided at all the one-day workshops. Please pack a bag lunch.
Fee for the class is $75. Deposit $30.

The Art of Fermentation
One-Day Class: Sunday, August 12
10am – 2:30pm
This is a perfect balance to the Digestive Wellness class as fermented foods are a staple to good health. Learn to make delicious lacto-fermented foods in this hands-on workshop. Fermentation is a traditional way of food preparation that not only preserves the harvest but also yields greater nourishment, a healthier digestive system, and thus increased vitality. We will make kimchi, brined garlic, lacto-fermented beets and ginger carrots as well as fermented and cultured beverages including kombucha, honey wine and sodas that are good for you. You will leave with the skills necessary to begin lacto-fermenting foods at home.

This class will be taught by community herbalist, Suzanna Stone
Herbal teas will be provided at all the one day workshops. Please pack a bag lunch.
Fee for the class is $75. Deposit $30.

Transitions Charlottesville Ablemarle upcoming events

Got mad skills?  Join the TCA Skill Share Work Group
Do you like learning new skills, or teaching others new skills?  How about reclaiming the skills we’ve lost in recent generations? Transition Charlottesville Albemarle is now organizing monthly “Skill Shares” and other reskilling events, and we’re looking for folks who want to help lead this initiative. Want to build a culture of skill sharing in our community?  Contact Drew Moore - or (703) 627-6323.

Saturday, May 19th, 10am-1:30pm - Tour de Coop by Community Bikes in Charlottesville
A family-friendly bike ride through city neighborhoods to visit “poultry Americans” and tour their abodes. The Tour begins and ends at Random Row Books, 315 West Main St. Registration is 9:15-9:45, $5 suggested donation. Don’t forget your bike helmet. The ride is 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a potluck noon-1:30 p.m. For more info visit or email

Saturday, May 19th, 2-5pm - Casa Alma Spring Work Day
Join the Charlottesville Catholic Worker at Casa Alma, 911 Nassau St., for their 3rd spring work day. Help prepare and plant ecological gardens, take care of baby goats, and continue transforming this spot into a beautiful and abundant place. Learn more about Casa Alma at or contact with questions.

Sunday, May 20th, 12:30-2pm - Ecovillage discussion
You’re invited to an Ecovillage Cohousing Discussion & Potluck at Silver Sage House and Studio, 387 Rocky Hollow Road (5 miles North & East of downtown Cville). Agenda: Visioning process and get to know each other better. Douglas will also give a brief update on the status of the 6.5 acres at the 480 Rio property. We're open to see where others may join us now ... envisioning complementary sustainable communities. More info is at and in the Transition Cville community calendar. RSVP to Douglas,, 434-996-9911 -OR- Linda,, 434-296-1338.

Sunday, May 20th, 6-8:30pm - Potluck to Re-Invigorate the Vegetarian Festival
The Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival needs new leadership in order to continue. Interested individuals will meet for a vegetarian potluck and planning discussion on Sunday, May 20th, at 609 E. Market St. #207. For more info call Dave Redding or Joanie Freeman, 434-826-9505.

On Tuesday, June 5th, at 7:00PM at Victory Hall in Scottsville, the Piedmont Environmental Council will behosting a free workshop on Land Management and Conservation.  

If you are a landowner interested in tax credits and breaks for land stewardship, please feel free to come out to this brief workshop.

Presenters will include the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District, and PEC.  

RSVP's are encouraged but not required to Rex Linville at (434) 977-
2033, x 23, or "

One year ago the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, University of Virginia & Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission kicked off the Livable Communities Planning Project. Please join us for an open house celebration marking the one year anniversary of the project.  Held in conjunction with First Fridays, this information expo will highlight accomplishments and findings from the first year and provide a glimpse of what comes next.  Bring your parking ticket with you for two hours of free parking in the Market Street or Water Street parking garage.

Many Plans One Community One Year Celebration
Friday, June 1, 5:30-7:30 pm
Water Street Center (407 East Water Street)

Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
401 East Water Street
Charlottesville, VA  22902

Thursday, May 17th, 7pm - Community Gardens Networking Meeting #2 in Charlottesville
Gardening folks had a great start with the wonderful help of CNE. Our next meeting to continue the networking of our gardens will take place May 17th, 7pm. at Mountaintop Montessori School. The community room is located in the back. We will have someone directing parking if you arrive before 7pm.

Who: Community and school gardeners, and community members who want to support their efforts
Where: 440 Pinnacle Place, Charlottesville, VA 22911 (formerly 305 Rolkin Road, same location - different assigned address)
What: Move ahead with plans for developing an online community gardens hub; sharing tools, seeds & knowledge; building capacity with funding, volunteers and outreach; and providing for needs like water sources & fencing.

Thursday, May 24th, 8:30 am - 8:00 pm - EPA public hearing in Washington, DC: Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants
The EPA recently announced that a public hearing for the new rule on Carbon Pollution Standards for coal-fired power plants will be held on May 24th in Washington D.C.  Power plants are the single largest individual sources of carbon pollution in the US.  This rule marks the first national limits on carbon pollution from new power plants, a huge step toward slowing climate change. Free transportation will be available from Charlottesville to the EPA’s headquarters in DC.  Contact Whitney Byrd of the Wise Energy For Virginia Coalition for more details - 434-202-7952, - or visit

Urban Permaculturists Wanted
I am hoping to find someone in the Charlottesville area to share about local urban permaculture. As a co-presenter for this statewide neighborhood conference, you’ll be showing your work to neighborhood leaders from across the state.
My name is Ron McCorkle and for the last three years, I have
presented at the Neighborhoods USA conferences in Little Rock,
Anchorage and Indianapolis. Each time, I have collaborated with
local permaculture people to share concepts that are applicable
to most every neighborhood/village scale. It’s an opportunity to
show your local municipal leaders the value of what you’re
doing, too. Last year, the local co presenter connected with the
city council of Anchorage, who attended our workshop and left
with a “new perspective”. This year, we are presenting in Indianapolis with leading urban permaculturists. I live in Roanoke, VA.
So, if you’re involved with organizing community projects, like gardens or bike sharing,
eco system living, teaching permaculture, social permaculture or anything related, let me know! I’d love to connect with you and plan something.  The event is September 20th or 21st, during the day. The workshop will take place at The Holiday Inn University & Conference Center. The final date and time will be available soon. It will require a phone meeting for one hour sometime prior to the date, (soon).
I’m a permaculture teacher and associate at Gaia University living in the southern blue ridge bioregion. I specialize in urban planning. I have connected well with my local governments and am integrating permaculture projects in my town.
Please email me or call me soon! (preferred) or 540 982 8289. Thanks!
Ron McCorkle, The Urbiculture Foundation


Common Ground City Farm events in Washington DC

Growing Gardens Workshops - 2012 Workshops

Herbalism 101

What does it mean to use herbs to support health? Learn to harness the power of your garden! This workshop covers the basics of harvesting and drying herbs and making teas, poultices, compresses. We'll also explore the history of herbal medicine around the world. Bring a mug for sampling teas, paper bags for harvesting, scissors or clippers if you have them, and paper & pen if you’d like to take notes. Teacher:Tricia McCauley is an herbalist and health coach specializing in digestive issues, food sensitivities, and stress management. She works with individual clients at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill, teaches workshops around the DC area, makes lotions and lip balms, and is the resident herbalist at Common Good City Farm. She’s also a yoga teacher and actor. Sign up for her newsletter, read her blog, and find out more at or
May 19th, 2012 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM  Register

Let's Compost! Standard and Worm Composting 101

Learn to use your garden, yard and kitchen waste to create rich soil. We will focus on methods easy and suitable for small yards and apartments and include bin composting and vermiculture methods. Teacher: Niko Welch has a background in microbiology and experience with various types of compost systems and brings his knowledge to Common Good City Farm.
May 26th, 2012 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM  Register

Drip ... Drip — Drip Irrigation for the Patio and Small Garden

A hands-on workshop for your own drip irrigation system guaranteed to stop your "water worries" on those long weekends or vacation in August. Participants will learn how to assemble a low cost drip system. Participants will evaluate a variety of dripper and mini-sprinklers suitable for patios and small gardens. Participants should be able to go home, order, and install a small custom system for less than $125. Participants will tour Common Good City Farm's drip system which was installed by the instructor. Principles learned will be adaptable to larger gardens and orchards. Teacher: Murray Schmechel is a retired lifelong gardener who has been "dripping" for the last 15 years. He has helped numerous neighbors become "drip" enthusiasts. He is currently a volunteer at Common Good City Farm.
June 2nd, 2012 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM  Register

Decoding Nutrition Labels

Calories? Saturated fat? Cholesterol? 20% DV? Are you confused about nutrition labels and what all of the information means? You are certainly not alone! Come and participate in this engaging workshop and you and the other participants will learn more about what’s in food and get rid of some of the misconceptions about nutrition labels. Bring one of your favorite packaged food items to be used in an interactive activity. Teacher: Alison Brown is a passionate health and wellness educator on a mission to empower individuals to become more proactive about their health through sustainable diet and lifestyle changes. She emphasizes the importance of making small changes toward better health and in line with this created the website and blog Feel free to contact her
June 9th, 2012 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM  Register

Herbalism 101

What does it mean to use herbs to support health? Learn to harness the power of your garden! This workshop covers the basics of harvesting and drying herbs and making teas, poultices, compresses. We'll also explore the history of herbal medicine around the world. Bring a mug for sampling teas, paper bags for harvesting, scissors or clippers if you have them, and paper & pen if you’d like to take notes. Teacher:Tricia McCauley is an herbalist and health coach specializing in digestive issues, food sensitivities, and stress management. She works with individual clients at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill, teaches workshops around the DC area, makes lotions and lip balms, and is the resident herbalist at Common Good City Farm. She’s also a yoga teacher and actor. Sign up for her newsletter, read her blog, and find out more at or
June 16th, 2012 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM  Register

Preserving Summer's Bounty — Canning

How to preserve tomatoes, pickles, jams and jellies. There's nothing better than opening up a jar of home-preserved tomatoes or jam on a dark winter night, and remembering the tastes of summer! This class will cover basic canning for the beginner, using simple, inexpensive equipment. You will get to participate in making some strawberry jam, and we'll also discuss how to preserve tomatoes and pickles. Class size limited to 10 people. Teacher: Bradley Kennedy first learned to can 8 years ago from a friend's mother. She was hooked instantly, and every year since she has put up enough tomatoes and jam to last through the winter.
June 20th, 2012 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM  Register
June 23rd, 2012 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM  Register

Summer Herb Walk

Are you curious about the herbs growing on the farm? An “herb walk” is the traditional way to learn about herbs: bring your questions and we’ll walk and talk, focusing on what’s in season. Teacher: Tricia McCauley is an herbalist and health coach specializing in digestive issues, food sensitivities, and stress management. She works with individual clients at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill, teaches workshops around the DC area, makes lotions and lip balms, and is the resident herbalist at Common Good City Farm. She’s also a yoga teacher and actor. Sign up for her newsletter, read her blog, and find out more at

Second VABF Farm Tour of 2012 - All Farm Organics - Grains, Seed, Compost
Louisa, VA - Sunday June 10, 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm. 
Rain date is June 17 at the same time

William Hale of All Farm Organics will host and lead a farm tour featuring his commercial scale composting operation, organic crop seed production, and organic grain production. 
All-Farm Organics is the current result of a ten-year search for a profitable and soil-sustaining small farm producing grain and seed under Organic Certification.  Beginning with compost production for sale and use, and growing old-fashioned heirloom popcorn varieties for popping and then wholesale seed sales William Hale is currently tending 23 certiffied organic acres.  There is a mixture of cover crops and grains being grown for seed harvest and organic soil improvement.  He also has several acres committed to commercial compost production and will demonstrate both his windrow method and explore alternative methods of composting and soil amendment with participants.

This operation is mechanized and mostly single handed.  The means of doing so largely with farm machinery of the 1970's will be a
part of the tour, as well as weeds, soil issues, and the quest for profitable grain production on a small and sustainable scale.

The tour is offered FREE to all current VABF members, and costs $20 per individual or family for non-members.

The tour will take place at 249 Baker's Branch Lane,  Louisa VA 23093
Directions: take I-64 to the Shannon Hill exit (Exit 148, Route 605), and proceed north for 3 miles. Turn sharp right onto Route 640 = East Old Mountain Road (we will have a sign there). Proceed 1 mile to Baker's Branch Rd (Route 754), turning left and proceeding straight through the End State Maintenance sign, going on our farm road around a big turn to the right, through a fork keeping the to main (right) fork, and to the top of the hill, where the farm operation is straight ahead.
From northern Virginia:  come to Mineral via US 522 from Culpeper (or from I-95 by Rt.  208 near Spotsylvania Courhouse)
From Mineral proceed south on 522 through Pendleton (saw mill, trucking, gas station) and turn right not long after on 605.   605 crosses US
33 not far east of the Town of Louisa. From 33 proceed south on 605 for several miles, cross the South Anna river, and after topping the hill
after the river, East Old Mountain Rd (rt 640, our signage) will be the third road on the left.  Turn left and follow the signs to the farm.

EQIP Organic Initiative Still Open for Sign-up
Closing date for 2012:  June 1

Those of you who are USDA Certified Organic or are making a transition to certified organic will want to seize this opportunity.  Plenty of funds remain in the Organic Initiative, so you can obtain financial and technical assistance from NRCS with conservation issues such as:
        - Managing stubborn runoff / erosion problems on sloping fields - with practices such as Grassed Waterway, Contour Buffer Strips,  Contour Farming, Conservation Crop Rotation.
        - Improving soil organic matter with  Cover Cropping, Conservation Crop Rotation, Conservation Cover, Mulching, No-till, Mulch-till, and Composting.
        - Building habitat for pollinators, natural enemies of pests, and wildlife, with practices like Field Border, Conservation Cover, Riparian Buffers, Hedgerow Planting (Asian pear growers Paul and Youngsuk Estabrook have had great success with this!), and others.
        - Optimizing livestock and pasture management with Prescribed Grazing, Fencing, Forage and Biomass Planting, and Stream Crossings for livestock. 
From the Organic Farming Research Foundation:
         Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. This is the final submission period for 2012.
        Period 3 Submission Deadline: Friday, June 1, 2012
        OFRF has created a comprehensive info site for applicants, including links to all of the necessary documents for the program.
        Conserve Organically!

Coal River Mountain Watch and our allies have several events coming up this month, in West Virginia and beyond!

Green Walk for Jobs and Justice, April 30 - May 16
Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, PA
Our allies with the Earth Quaker Action Team in Philadelphia have organized a 16-day, 200-mile walk from Philadelphia to PNC Bank's headquarters in Pittsburgh, to get PNC out of the business of financing mountaintop removal.  Learn more at

Mountain Justice Summer Action Camp, May 19-26
Appalachian South FolkLife Center near Pipestem, WV
Mountain Justice Summer is a week-long program of education, workshops, entertainment, sustainable living techniques and more.  Workshops will range from mountaintop removal 101 to campaign and community organizing, science and SMCRA (Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act), and Appalachian community economics.  Mountain Justice welcomes parents, kids, families and people at all ages and stages of life.  Learn more and register at

Test the Waters Day, May 19
Coal River Valley
Coal River Mountain Watch's Tadpole Project is organizing a day of water testing and stream clean-up along one of the tributaries of the Marsh Fork of the Coal River.  This event will kick off a more concerted effort to analyze water quality of the Marsh Fork and its tributaries in order to better understand how safe our streams are and what need to be done to improve them.  Through stream clean-ups and water testing, the Tadpole Project aims to raise community awareness about the condition of our local streams and figure out how to better protect the watershed for fishing, swimming and other uses. Call our office (304-854-2182) for more details if you're interested in participating.

Update: Surface Mine Board allows strip mining permit on Coal River Mountain
As we have mentioned in previous emails, Coal River Mountain Watch appealed the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)'s decision to approve the Collins Fork permit, a 250-acre strip mining permit on Coal River Mountain approved in October.  We argued that the DEP failed to properly evaluate the cumulative effects of strip mining in the watershed of the Clear Fork of the Coal River, including the impact on human health.  DEP also refused to grant CRMW an inspection of the permit prior to the permit hearing and the agency also blatantly disregarded a statute requiring the permit hearing to be held within 3 weeks of the public comment period; instead the hearing was held 3 years later.

The Surface Mine Board issued its decision yesterday after nearly every DEP employee acknowledged that they violated the statute.  Despite agreeing that the DEP "flagrantly" violated the law regarding public input and comment on the permit, the Board did not reverse the DEP's approval of the permit.  We are considering appealing the case to the state Supreme Court.

Coal River Mountain Watch: