Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Upcoming events

Greetings all,

Below is an awesome collection of upcoming permaculture, sustainability and farming events in the central Virginia bioregion, including an opportunity to support Acorn Community and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  If you know anyone else that would like to sign up for this newsletter, they can sign up here.  If you have an announcement, email us at for the next monthly e-newsletter. Click here to view this email as a webpage.  Happy Holidays!

Also – check out the BRPN Facebook page and feel free to post:

Our good friends at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange experienced a devastating fire a couple of weeks ago and are asking for help in rebuilding their home. Southern Seed Exchange is a vital organization committed to preserving and promoting healthy seeds, heirlooms and great species of foods and medicines that are otherwise hard to come by.  There is 11 days left to make a donation in this important campaign.

Sacred Plant Traditions
Weekend Foundations of Herbalism Program -2014
This program is for those wishing to help their friends and families maintain health, deepen their plant knowledge or begin the training as a community herbalist. The curriculum is dynamic, contemplative and provides a sense of community as we move through the seasons learning each step of the process. 

Virginia Association of Biological Farming
VABF Conference Early Registration Deadline Extended

Richmond-Midlothian, VA  - Jan. 31 - Feb. 1

We are making it easy to be early! The Early Registration Deadline for the Virginia Biological Conference has been extended to December 15th. Don't miss out on the special early rate - click here to register today!

Pre-Conference Workshops
Richmond-Midlothian, VA  - Jan. 30

Also, take a look at our intensive pre-conference workshops. The following three day-long workshops require a separate ticket purchase and have limited space available.
      Wholesale Success -
      Profitable Management of a Diversified Organic Vegetable & Flower Farm - Stacy Brenner & John Bliss, Broadturn Farm
      Biodynamic Gardening & Beekeeping - Gunther Hauk, Spikenard Farm & Honeybee Sanctuary

Southern SAWG Annual Conference
Mobile, AL - January 15-18, 2014

This year's  Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference, sponsored by Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (Southern SAWG) will take place at the  Mobile Convention Center in Mobile, AL.  Events start on Wednesday January 15,  with a choice of four Short Courses (lasting 1 1/2 days, ending Thursday at noon). 

The general conference on Friday and Saturday offers the usual wide range of breakout session topics, and networking opportunities by state and by interest area.  See attached flyer for more -  note that the featured speakers includes VABF member Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  For more information or early bird registration (through December 20), click here.

2014 Growers Academy
Roanoke, VA
February 25 – April 1 • Tuesdays, 6-9 pm
March 15 and March 29 • Saturday, 9 am – 1 pm

The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center is offering the fifth annual Growers’ Academy, an  8-session series specifically designed to help new and transitioning agricultural businesses succeed. Focused on sustainable farming methods and business models, the course presents low-input crop production techniques and resources for launching your own agribusiness. Instructors include resource professionals and farm business owners. The Tuesday evening classes are offered at the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center in the Roanoke Higher Education Building at 108 North Jefferson Street; the Saturday sessions consist of farm tours at nearby locations.

Topics include:
      Planning for Success: What it takes to start a farm business
      Healthy, Living Soils
      Organic Management of Pests and Diseases
      Business Plans, Startup, and Implementation
      Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for food safety
      Marketing Strategies for Your Business
      Crops and Crop Planning
      Farm Tours
Tuition for this 8-session course is $225.
Limited scholarships are available, please inquire.

Josh Nease
Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Manager
108 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 701, Roanoke, VA 24016
Phone: (540) 553-2311 or

Whole Farm Planning Workshops - VSU Beginning Farmer Program
Jan. 9th 2014 - Greenville Co. Ex-tension Office,105 Oak St., Emporia, VA. 23847 (Preregister by 1/3/14)
Jan. 24th 2014 - R T Arnold Library, 110 E. Danville St., South Hill, VA 23970 (Preregister by1/17/14)
Feb. 6th 2014 - Wedgewood Golf Center, 2131 Mountain Rd., Halifax, Va. 24558 (Preregister by 1/31/14)
Feb. 20th 2014 - Surry Co. Extension Office, 45 School St., Surry Gov. Center, Surry, Va 23883 (Preregister by 1/14/14)

The VSU Small Farm Outreach Program is proud to invite you to our new VSU Beginning Farmer Program Workshops. These workshops will cover the materials included in Module 1, Intro to Whole Farm Planning, of the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program.

These workshops will be free and open to any Beginning Farmer (producer who has operated a farm or ranch for less than 10 years).  The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program requires completion of Module 1, Intro to Whole Farm Planning, as a requirement for participation in the Virginia Farm Mentoring Program.

Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. All workshops will be from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Visit the VBFRCP website to learn more about our whole farm planning curriculum, mentoring, and state-wide programming.

Please register with Jim Hankins at or call (804) 892-4492.

Position Available: Farm Apprentice

Strawberry Creek Farm is in need of an apprentice for the 2014 season, running from March through October.
Strawberry Creek Farm is a Certified Naturally Grown CSA and Farmers' Market operation in the Chatham, VA area. We would have housing (a late model motorhome with heat, air and wifi), limited use of the company pick up, stipend of $500.00 a month for a 5 day work week, and all the produce, greens and eggs one could eat. Valid drivers; license and character references are a must.  The farm is in the beautiful foothills of southern Virginia, on White Tail Mountain. Please send resume or general info to Warren Landis at

from our friends at Transition Cville:

Better Business Challenge 2013-2014
From Better World Betty. The Challenge is a friendly competition that helps local organizations incorporate sustainable, smart practices into their operations – and be recognized for it. Central Virginia businesses, school, churches and non-profits can lower their environmental footprint and save money by reducing waste within their operations. More info at Do you know a business who could benefit? Download this flyer and let them know!

Wednesday 12/11 Workshop:  Providing for the Full Eating Season
3-6pm at the Albemarle County Office Building, Room A, 1600 5th St.
The market for fresh food doesn’t end with the warm weather—people eat year-round! Join the Local Food Hub to learn how to produce a consistent supply of produce throughout the year.  The first half of the class will explain how to plan sowing dates for continuous supplies of popular summer crops, such as beans, squash, cucumbers and sweet corn, as well as year round lettuce. The second half will tackle growing at the “back end” of the year, with details on crops, timing, protection and storage.  Learn more about cold-hardy crops, scheduling, weather prediction, protection, hoophouse growing and vegetable storage.  This workshop will be taught by Pam Dawling, a writer for Growing for Market magazine and Twin Oaks Community vegetable gardener.   Register at:  $25.

Friday 12/13 Mothers and Daughters Gift-Making Group
4-6pm at River's Edge Wellness Center, 330 Winding River Lane
For mothers and daughters of all ages:  Initiate the winter holidays creatively and meditatively within the beauty and calm of nature.  Group gift activities include nature walks, natural found objects collections with mindfulness meditation, yoga-movement-flow, music and dance, puppetry & theatre-arts with nature-art/recycled-art.  Expressive art practices will include drawing/doodling, painting, and/or writing.  For more information call Linda at (434)296-1338 or email  Cost for 2 is $70 ($90 includes supplies), optional scholarship donation beyond $70. Full/partial scholarships may be available.


Friday 12/13 Film: Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth
7pm at Greene County Library, 222 Main St., Stanardsville, VA 22973
Presented by Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP). This groundbreaking documentary challenges our belief that prosperity and fulfillment require growth. It asks the most critical question of our time: How do we become a sustainable civilization? Jack Marshall, Board member of ASAP, will be on hand to briefly introduce the film and field your questions.

Tuesday 12/17 Holiday Potluck with Transition Cville, 350 Central Virginia, Sierra Club, Appalachian Voices, Better World Betty, and more
6:30-8:30pm at the Friends Meeting House, 1104 Forest St.
Come celebrate the holiday season with all of your favorite green groups!  Bring a dish to share and head over to meet people who enjoy your interests.  If you can, bring your own place setting to green it up a notch.  Please RSVP to

Wednesday 12/18 Arts Incubator Meetup
6:30pm at McGuffey Art Center
Building on their last successful meeting, The Bridge PAI is continuing this monthly opportunity for a broad group of artists, designers, musicians and writers to share experiences and ideas. Revolutionary Soup will generously provide the soup. Nourish your art and body at the same time.

Saturday 12/21 The Big Giveaway
2-4pm at First Baptist Church, 632 W. Main St.
This holiday season the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club is assisting the local nonprofit Helping Young People Evolve (H.Y.P.E.) in the third annual “Big Giveaway.”  This event will provide coats and shoes to families in need in our community. Last year 700 coats were given away.  This year the goal is to collect 1000 coats and 250 pairs of shoes of various sizes.  Hats, gloves, sweaters, and scarves will also be accepted. If you have new or gently used coats, shoes, or other items that you would like to donate, please contact John Cruickshank at or (434) 973-0373.

Support Opportunity: Rivanna Conservation Society needs your help!
The Rivanna Conservation Society is delighted to announce that it is the recipient of a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Small Watershed Grant.  The Board of Directors of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved a grant of $153,360 to the Rivanna Conservation Society, Inc. to support the Going X-Stream - The Rivanna River Makeover project. This grant is provided on the condition that these funds will be matched by $47,925 in matching contributions raised by the Rivanna Conservation Society, Inc.  Please visit to help out our regional water system.

Monday 12/23 is the fourth Monday of the month, and normally that means it’s time for our monthly Transition Town Potluck at the library. This month, we are taking time off to celebrate the holidays, spend time with family, and enjoy a meditative winter season. Please join us instead at the Holiday Potluck party on Tues. 12/17. We will see you in the New Year!

Check out PEC’s Holiday Buy Fresh/Buy Local Guide
Find out where to get local Christmas trees, decorations, holiday foods, spirits, and more!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Upcoming events

Greetings all,
Below is a great collection of upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the central Virginia bioregion, including information on Cider Week and a talk on Home and Farm Resiliency Tuesday night with Ben Falk. If you know anyone else that would like to sign up for this newsletter, they can sign up here.  If you have an announcement, email us at for the next monthly e-newsletter. Click here to view this email as a webpage.  Stay warm!

Christine, Terry and the BRPN team  

Check out the Blue Ridge Permaculture Network Facebook page:

Home and Farm Resiliency: As Prices Rise and the Climate Shifts
An Evening Talk by Ben Falk

Sponsored by the Blue Ridge Permaculture Network
Tuesday November 19, 2013 6-7:30 pm
at the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative
209 Monticello Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Small farmer, designer, and author Ben Falk overviews the strategies used on his Vermont hill farm - and by his firm - Whole Systems Design - for dealing with rapid changes, including: drought and flood-proofing the home and farm, heating a home on a single cord of wood, growing potent plant medicines, integrating grazing with fruit and nut production and much more. Ben's talks are attracting diverse large audiences around the Northeastern US - come see him on this rare visit to Virginia. For more on the topics covered, please see his book:

2013 Farm to Table Conference

“Healthy Food and Vibrant Farms for the Common Wealth and Common Good”
Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5, 2013
Blue Ridge Community College Plecker Workforce Center, Weyers Cave, VA.

This conference agenda fosters collaboration, conservation and community by strengthening local and regional community food systems. Producers, buyers, school and university officials, community and agricultural development officers, legislators, administrators, and other key food system stakeholders should attend.
The two day conference includes speakers, panel discussions, and networking opportunities organized to address critical challenges surrounding a sustainable food system. The Buy Fresh Buy Local Mixer and Chefs’ Challenge on Wednesday afternoon and evening is a festive event to encourage networking among Virginia producers and buyers while celebrating locally grown Virginia foods prepared by area chefs.
As a member of the Farm to Table Conference Planning Committee, the Virginia Food System Council encourages registration and participation in this annual event.

On March 8th – 15th, Mason Sustainability Initiative will be hosting a 72-Hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course, taught by Wayne Weiseman of the Permaculture Project LLC.  This course will be open to community leaders as well as Mason students. No prior experience necessary. The course will cover such topics as Plant Propagation, Seed Saving, Healthy Use of Animals in Permaculture Systems, Aquaponics, Renewable Energy and many more. Participants will earn a certificate in Permaculture Design, as well as Continuing Education units if requested at the start of class.
This intensive course will take place from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm with breaks for lunch, with some additional evening activities with served dinner. Catered lunch and dinners from Everlasting Life Café will be provided, and a light breakfast fare with snacks will also be available. The total cost for this course is $1,000 with an early-bird special of $900 before January 31st.
 More information on the instructor, Wayne Weiseman, go to: More information on the course can be found here:  You can register here:

Saturday, Nov. 16th for Deeply.Be's presentation of Expand the Possible: Exploring Your Inner Landscape through Music Evoked Imagery. This will be an opportunity to reconnect with your inner workings, to explore your mind, and to expand your horizons.  This event will incorporate all the goodness of what you know and love of Deeply.Be events- beautiful location, amazing lunch, great company, tranquil nature - and on top of all that we will be traversing the mind while using music as our guide.


The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition seeks a dynamic and committed individual to help build and support West Virginia’s rapidly growing local food system.  Since 2010, the Coalition has supported a statewide network of West Virginians working to grow food and farm businesses while improving access to healthy local food.  The position of Program Coordinator requires a special individual who is willing to work hard, think outside the box, be an advocate for farmers and consumers, and build partnerships outside of traditional “silos” in order to continue the Coalition’s success in promoting food and agriculture as a critical part of West Virginia’s economy and well-being.  The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is currently located in Fayette County, WV, in the heart of Appalachia and site of the New River Gorge.

The full job description, including this announcement, can be downloaded here.

Please join us at this special Hill and Holler celebration of Cider Week to benefit the UVa Food Collaborative. 

Where: Merriweather Springs Vineyard
When: Sunday, November 17, 5pm to 9pm
Cost: $65 per guest

Chef Amalia Scatena of Pippin Hill and her crew will create an array of small plates, passed dim sum style on the patio overlooking the vineyard.  Enjoy a casual atmosphere and the freedom to enjoy the local bounty alongside ciders from Foggy Ridge, Albemarle Ciderworks, Castle Hill, Blue Bee, and Potter's Craft. 

Drink this with that – at Early Mountain Vineyards – Nov. 15

Join Sommelier Michelle Gueydan and Chef Jenn Crovato as they kick off 2013 Virginia Cider Week. Indulge yourself in food and cider pairing stations set up throughout our tasting room, as well as live local music starting at 6pm, featuring Travis Elliott & Friends. Participating vendors include: Foggy Ridge Cider, Potter’s Craft Cider, Albemarle CiderWorks, Madison Rainbow Trout and Everona Dairy. Tickets are $25pp inclusive and $20pp for Early Mountain Charter and Club Members.
Participating VA Cideries include: Foggy Ridge, Potter’s Craft, Albemarle CiderWorks, as well as a surprise cider from a region outside of the State.

Permaculture Farming Work-Exchange/Room with Optional Employment Opportunities

SilverSage Farm-House-Studios: Center for Transformational Studies,
a 1991 classic-styled Victorian house located in Charlottesville, VA, has its first level’s private furnished studio apartment available immediately.  Terms are for a partial rent/farming work-exchange agreement for this cozy apartment, offering the full monthly rent of $600 that can be reduced optionally within a range to as low as $300 a month for 1- 5 hours of work-exchange per week on its surrounding property and vegetable gardens.  Should you choose the work-exchange option, you would be working with our team of homeowners and garden managers by collaborating, crop-sharing, and implementing ideas for making the Silver Sage Farm-House-Studios a more regenerative place to live and learn.

For more information, please contact: Linda Capacchione (434) 296-1338 or

Permaculture Design Course –
Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Community near Charles Town, WV. Class and Lodging will be held at the Retreat House located on a 1400-acre wilderness preserve.  More info at
A 10-Day Intensive: February 10th-20th 2014
Arrive for registration & dinner on the 10th and depart on the afternoon of the 20th.

Tuition: We offer a unique, dynamic tuition structure. The cost for this course ranges from $794 to $1220 based upon the number of students in the class (and room options). See below for more info on our tuition structure.

Course Content: This class covers the essential concepts that are the heart of the permaculture design system. Students will be immersed in basic observation and design techniques. Our goal is to empower students to develop an intuitive understanding of natural patterns and processes, and to utilize these in the design of the human environment.

To register, Email or Call at 304-724-1069

Permaculture through the Heart
1 - 29 February 2014 in Bali, Indonesia

Facilitators: Stephanie Garvin and Margret Rueffler.
This innovative program blends the core principles of Permaculture gardening and design with Self exploration from a transpersonal psychological perspective.  "Experiencing Permaculture through the Heart" presents unique opportunities to combine classroom permaculture learning with "hands-on" experience, complementing the active physical engagement with the soil with an inner attitude of loving alignment with the earth.  The program is the first of its kind. More...

Lagu Damai Foundation and PsychoPolitical Peace Institute are offering regulars seminars at Jiwa Damai garden and retreat center in Br Bindu Bali, Indonesia, on subjects relating to permaculture, meditation, finding inner and outer peace, unfolding the qualities of the heart and cross-cultural dialogues and more.

Contributions from our educational programs  are returned to the community through projects and programs by Lagu Damai Foundation.

Monday-Saturday, January 16-21, 2014
This is a 6 day course at Wolf Gulch in Southern Oregon

Social Forestry connects villages and communities to their forested water catchment basin.  Here in a developed industrial empire, the forests are lonely.  We have lost our sense of living with forests as friends.  This Social Forestry course will explore reconnecting with forests through ecological knowledge, the use of hand tools and woodscrafts, seasonal festivals and work cycles, childrens’ stories, pilgrimages and stewardship covenants.  We will learn ecological assessment, carbon sequestration methods, restoration forestry and the crafts and products that can be enjoyed while we are re-establishing our heart space and wonder in the woods.  This is the third year we are offering this fabulous winter experience.  You can read student reviews on the website.

Winter/Spring 2014, 6 Weekends Starting February 1st
12 day course held at Jackson Wellsprings, Ashland, Oregon
Lead instructor is Tom Ward with co-teachers Melanie Mindlin and Karen Taylor

The world famous PDC introduces an array of solutions, tools & strategies for moving into a home centered, resilient way of living sustainably on the only planet we have.  This is the full certificate course covering the permaculture curriculum set out by Bill Mollison, along with lots of local knowledge and applications.  Participants will learn to apply regenerative permaculture principles and patterns to design integrated homesteads, energy and water systems, animals, gardens, appropriate technology, forestry and healthy communities.  Gather practical skills and learn whole systems design principles for living in ecological balance with the earth.  Join us for this high-powered, visionary look at the possibilities for a positive future.

VA Tech
Graduate Research Assistantship

STUDYING Appalachian Community Food Security in Virginia

Please forward this announcement to prospective Masters or Ph.D. students interested in community food security.  We are seeking a high quality applicant beginning in January 2014 for a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) on a community-based research project on community food security in Appalachia Virginia.  Awards are available beginning in January 2014 spring semester.  Funding is available for 4 semesters; it includes a stipend and tuition remission.

Please send a letter of interest with a resume or curriculum vita to Susan Clark ( by December 1, 2013.  The review process will begin shortly thereafter and successful applications will be notified.   Please contact Nikki D'Adamo-Damery ( or Susan Clark ( or for more information about the project. 

Please see our AFP website ( for more information about the project.   

To be considered for the GRA students need to be accepted into the Graduate School; graduate school applications are due by January 1st.  For more information about applying to graduate school visit