Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Upcoming Events

Greetings all,

Happy 2013!  Below is an amazing collection of upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the central Virginia bioregion, including a talk with Eric Toensmeier next month and several upcoming conferences.  If you know anyone else that would like to sign up for this newsletter, or if you have an announcement, email us at blueridgepermaculture@gmail.com for the next update, which are sent monthly.  

Christine and the BRPN team

The Blue Ridge Permaculture Network presents a
With Eric Toensmeier, author of Perennial Vegetables & coauthor of
   Edible Forest Gardens

Saturday. February 23rd, 2013, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm in Charlottesville, VA
cost: sliding scale of $75 - $100

For more information and to register contact: Terry Lilley at: tygerlilley@gmail.com

Permaculture Design Course in the Shenandoah Valley

            Shenandoah Permaculture in partnership with Greenfire Institute and Dancing Star Farms would like to announce a comprehensive 72 hour course in Permaculture Design.  Join us for 4 weekends this spring to earn your passport to food security and a meaningful future.  The course will take place on February 22-24, March 2-3, April 6-7, with the final weekend being April 20-21. 
Learning to build food systems to mimic healthy natural systems allows us to produce our food with increasing productivity AND increasing fertility, without working ourselves to the bone.  With thoughtful planning and design, your garden can do the work, while you reap the benefits.
Aside from earning certification in Permaculture Design, students will gain experience in…
·      Significant reskilling and hands-on work to gain confidence moving forward towards a more sustainable future.
·      Medicinal Herbs: your pharmacy in the back yard, or a lucrative crop
·      Water harvesting/restoration     
·      Design tools for sustainable building   
·      Tools for productive interpersonal relationships and community building
·      Organic gardening techniques
·      Principles for thoughtful design of property and productive community systems
We invite you to join instructors:
Ted Butchart: Physician, Herbalist, Homeopath, Straw Bale Construction Expert
Ryan Blosser: Permaculture Farmer, Coordinator of Project GROWS, Co-Owner Dancing Star Farms, Individual and Family Therapist
Dave O’Neill:  Permaculture Farmer, Owner Radical Roots Community Farm
Meghan Williamson: Director of h(OUR) Economy; The Valley’s Community Time Bank, Former Executive Director of Staunton Creative Community Fund
Trevor Piersol: Senior Fellow and Farm Manager, Allegheny Mountain School
And other Shenandoah Valley Permaculture experts as we explore the possibility of radical culture change through gardening. 
The course is being offered on a sliding scale from 750$ -1050$.  You can reserve your seat in the course with a 200$ deposit. 
For more information:
or email Dr. Ted Butchart or Ryan Blosser at shenandoapdc@gmail.com

Community Solar webinar - Weds. 1/23
The Center for a New American Dream presents a free webinar about how everyday people can work with neighbors to bring solar energy to their community. Topics include solar cooperatives, bulk purchasing, group net metering, and more. Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2-3pm.

Film screening

Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 6:30 pm, Whole Foods Market in Charlottesville is hosting a community screening of "Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?"
The event will be in the auditorium at Buford Middle School (1000 Cherry Avenue) in Charlottesville, VA with lots of free food and activities for kids starting at 5:00 pm.  Join us for this wonderful documentary by two extraordinary filmmakers!

From Transition Cville

January Transition Town Meeting - VISION - Mon. 1/28
What will a resilient, “Transitioned” local community really look like? We all have a vision to share about the future we’re working toward. This month we will invite a time of dreaming and imagination to build a picture that inspires and guides the work of Transition Charlottesville-Albemarle in 2013.
When: Monday, Jan. 28. 6pm Potluck, social time, and orientation for newcomers. 6:45-8:30pm Meeting.
Where: McIntire Room, 3rd Floor of Jefferson-Madison Regional Library
Central Branch, 201 E. Market St., Charlottesville, VA 22902
350 Central VA 1st meeting - Tues. 1/29
The mission of 350.org is strategic campaigns and programs to mitigate climate change and keep earth habitable for both the short and the long term. A new 350 Central Virginia chapter is forming to focus on local and regional actions. For more info please read Marcia Geyer’s blog post at www.transitioncville.org.
When: Tuesday, Jan 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.
Where: Friends Meeting House, 1102 Forest Street, Charlottesville

Help wanted.... share your skills!
Skill Share Working Group plans monthly reskilling workshops in collaboration with the Charlottesville Trade School. Contact Melissa Wender, melissa@ic.org or 327-8805.

Edible Yards is a new initiative to replace local lawns with edible abundance! Contact Stevo Johnson, genuinesmile29@gmail.com.

Transition Cville Initiating Group provides strategic direction for the local movement. We’re looking to form new working groups for Awareness Raising/Monthly Meetings, Communications, and Crisis Response (building local action campaigns). Contact Joanie Freeman, freeman.joanie@gmail.com or 987-1026.

Virginia Biological Farming Conference
February 8-9th, 2013
Healthy Soil, Healthy Crops, Healthy Livestock.
The 2013 Conference will take place in Richmond at the Holiday Inn-Koger Center. This year’s schedule is packed with knowledgeable speakers, informative sessions, and outstanding networking opportunities. View the Conference flyer here
Early bird registration is just $120. Available for members only, this rate ends December 31st. (Deadline extended due to delay in printing the full brochure. Remember: You can become a member at any time!)

One-Day Farm School courses (one for Beginning/Aspiring farmers, and one on Advanced Vegetable Production for farmers currently growing for commercial markets) will be held February 7th, 2013 in Richmond. Registration begins in October. Stay tuned here for early-bird rates!

Sacred Plant Traditions weekend workshop with
Phyllis Light and Southern Appalachian Wisdom
February 1 - 3 2013 in Charlottesville, Virginia

Signs of the Times: Astrology for Health. -- Friday, Feb 1 ~ 9am –5 pm
Food Is Medicine -- Saturday & Sunday, Feb 2 & 3
 Saturday Night Medicine Stories will include teachings of Inca Prophecy and other tales of guiding wisdom.

Fee for all three days is $325 and $225 for the weekend which includes Phyllis’s famous Saturday night medicine stories. Friday is $125. To reserve a space, please send a non-refundable deposit of $50 (for 1or 2 day) or $75 for 3 day to SPT. Upon receipt of deposit, registration information will be sent.

Piedmont Landscape Association Seminar: February 20-21, 2013

The Paramount Theater, Charlottesville, VA

Every February the Piedmont Landscape Association hosts an annual seminar. This event strives to bring gardening enthusiasts and landscape professionals together in an educational setting.

Dinner Reception/Fundraiser:
To kick-off the seminar this year, the PLA will host a fundraiser on Wednesday, February 20th. Proceeds go to support the McIntire Botanical Garden. This event will be from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Clifton Inn just outside Charlottesville, Virginia.

Tracy DiSabato-Aust – Garden Designer, Author and Lecturer. Ms.DiSabato-Aust will speak on high-impact perennials and their care.

Cole Burrell – Garden Designer, Author and Lecturer. Mr. Burrell will speak on the uses of native plants, their popularity and their sustainable landscape possibilities.
Lecture: Native Plants and Ecological Design: Myths and Realities

Eric Toensmeier – Author, Lecturer. Mr. Toensmeier will speak on the possibilities edible landscapes have in the Piedmont region.
Lecture: Ecological Edible Landscaping

Creative Works Farm is forming a non-profit Children’s camp in Augusta County, VA.  Their 162 acre farm is going to be a sustainable LEED platinum or Net Zero facility, with a solar farm and organic gardening, as well as many other opportunities.

Please see the link below to learn more about this exciting opportunity.

Native Plant Landscape Symposium sponsored by Albemarle County, VA, promoting our recently created regional native plant database, www.albemarle.org/nativeplants.

February 27, 2013; 1:00 – 3:00 PM, Albemarle County Office Building, 5th Street Extended; 1600 5th Street, Charlottesville, Virginia, 22902.

A symposium to present marketing strategies and local incentives, in the spirit of a “buy local” campaign, for the area’s unique native plants.

Allegheny Mountain School Fellowships for 2013

Allegheny Mountain School (AMS), located in Highland County, VA, is a not-for-profit  experiential fellowship program designed to serve our region’s communities in developing a more secure food system.  In the spring of 2013, Allegheny Mountain School will assemble its third cohort and we are currently accepting applications for these roles.  AMS is a two phased program.  In Phase I (April 28 – November 1, 2013), AMS Fellows will study sustainable food production, land stewardship and community development in an intensive, hands-on, cooperative learning residency.  Work and study both take place on the farm and at community projects in surrounding areas.  Workshops and seminars will occur both on and off campus.  In the year following (January 1 -- December 31, 2014), AMS Fellows enter Phase II and will work in the service of Partner Organizations in our region and  focus on activities such as building community gardens, advocating sustainable land use and teaching nutrition and cooking for a healthy lifestyle. 
AMS Fellows learn sustainable food cultivation and restorative, nourishing traditions.  For more information, visit www.alleghenymountainschool.org/apply-2013  or email us at: info@alleghenymountainschool.org.  Allegheny Mountain School is a program of The Highland Center in Monterey VA.  You can reach The Highland Center at (540) 468-1922.

Save the Date: January 30–31, 2013 for the VCU Energy and Sustainability Conference
The Virginia Commonwealth University, a leader in sustainability, is excited to host the 2013 Energy and Sustainability Conference: Advancing Business with Leadership in Sustainability, on January 30–31, 2013 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia.
This conference provides commercial and institutional organizations with the opportunity to:
       Learn about the economic benefits of sustainable business policies and practices;
       Share information on the positive bottom line of owning and operating high performance buildings;
       Network with cutting edge Green Technology and product companies; and
       Find out how to utilize sustainable policies for competitive advantage, economic development and job creation.
The conference will bring together attendees from virtually every market segment, including manufacturing; healthcare; K-12 and higher education; commercial real estate; and local, state, and federal government.
Plan to participate in this new business and sustainability conference in Virginia as a sponsor, exhibitor, or attendee. Find out more at www.vsbn.org/vcu-esc2013

Mason Sustainability Institute (MSI) at George Mason University – Permaculture Design Course

On March 9th – 16th, 2013 MSI will be hosting a 72-Hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course, taught by Wayne Weiseman of the Permaculture Project LLC.  The course will cover such topics as Plant Propagation, Grafting, and Seed Saving; Healthy Use of Animals in Permaculture Systems; Aquaculture and Aquaponics; Renewable Energy; the Waste Stream; and many more. 

This intensive course will take place from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm with breaks for lunch and dinner, with some additional evening activities. Catered lunch and dinners from Everlasting Life CafĂ© will be provided. The total cost for this course is $1,000, and there are some partial and full scholarships available from the Office of Sustainability.
This course is ideal for anyone who would like to learn more about how they can be more sustainable, particularly individuals who have access to a garden. In addition to earning the certificate in Permaculture Design, participants will earn 7.2 Continuing Education Credits through the Office of Continuing Professional Education (http://ocpe.gmu.edu/). This course is also available for 3 undergraduate art credits as an independent study for an additional fee (totaling $1777.50 to cover tuition). 

Wayne Weiseman is certified by The Permaculture Institute of Australia and the Worldwide Permaculture Network as an instructor of the Permaculture Design Certificate Course. He is also certified by the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) to teach continuing education in Permaculture to licensed architects and landscape architects. 

More information on Wayne Weiseman can be found here:  http://www.permacultureproject.com/ 

You can register for the workshop here: http://www.tinyurl.com/PDCC-GMU/ 

I hope to see you there, and please feel free to share this with anyone who you think may be interested! Please email me if you have any questions, or for scholarship information.


Jennifer Souther
Program Coordinator, Mason Sustainability Institute
Office of Sustainability, George Mason University
Jsouthe2@gmu.edu      703.993.5301  

2013 Local Food Networks Conference
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - Virginia Farm Bureau Office in Richmond, Virginia

This conference is co-sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation & Rural Sustainability (Virginia FAIRS) and Virginia Farmers Direct Marketing Association (VFDMA,) in partnership with USDA Rural Development and Lulus Local Food.  It will focus on best production, harvesting, and handling practices for food safety, and on networking buyers and sellers in local markets and food systems.  The cost is just $20 including meals.  To register, visit https://vafarmbureau.org/Agriculture/LocalFoodNetworksConference.aspx and complete the registration page.
         Questions?  contact Chris Cook at Virginia Farm Bureau Federation ( 804.290.1111 , email ccook@vafb.com), or  Martha Walker  434-766-6761, cell 434-709-1084, e-mail  walker53@vt.edu.

Forrest Green Farm, in Louisa County, Virginia
Whole Living - Winter Learning Series
Compass and Orienteering – February 10, 2013 – $65 ea. or $100/family     Time: 12 to 4pm
Orienteering is using navigation with maps and a compass to find various points in unfamiliar terrain. In this course, you will learn the basics of topographical maps and how to read a compass.  We will have hands on activities/games to reinforce these skills.

Mushroom Logs – February 24, 2013 – $65 ea. or $100/family                       Time: 12 to 4pm
  • Shiitake and Oyster Mushroom logs (hands-on to inoculate and take one home)

Seed Starting Intensive – March 10, 2013 – $65 ea. or $100/family            Time: 12 to 5pm
This class will teach you the basics of growing your own herb and vegetable plants by seed starting.  You will take home a sown flat of your choice of herbs and/or vegetable seed to tend in your setting.  This is a very hands-on class and you will get a chance to make and formulate various potting soils and have practice sowing seeds.

Much of what is studied in this class will need to done outdoors.  Participants need to be prepared for seasonal weather elements.
Please Contact Us in advance to register.

Sunnyside farms has launched their Kickstarter campaign for Homer's Speedy Seeder, which is a low-cost, easy-to-use, farmer-designed way to seed rows of small seeds (lettuce, carrots, etc.) and block weeds at the same time. 

The campaign runs until February, and they must get fully funded to receive any funds. Watch the video, check out the rewards, and pledge what you are able! 

Pass on the link to your friends and colleagues who might grow vegetables, flowers or herbs from seed. 

For more information, see below, or visit the Sunnyside farm blog: www.sunnysidedru.com

A conference that will bring together resources to assist Albemarle County-based farmers and foodies with marketing resources

DATE:              January 28, 2013
TIME:               8:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
LOCATION:     Albemarle County Office Building,
                        401 McIntire Road 
                        Charlottesville, VA 22902

Albemarle Farmers: Vineyards, Crop farms & Livestock farms
Albemarle Foodies: Value-added food producers, food marketers/aggregators &restaurateurs
& caterers serving local

Local Food Hub, Piedmont Environmental Council, Farm Bureau &
Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce

Registration Fee: $10. Register online HERE! 
NOTE: Registration is limited to 65 attendees, so register early!
**The first 15 to register are also invited to attend a hands-on seminar session on “Developing your  Focused Marketing Plan” immediately following lunch!
**Ten additional participants will be randomly selected to receive a 1-hour one-on-one marketing counseling session!

Please contact Susan Stimart at sstimart@albemarle.org or 434-296-5841 Ext: 3263

The next issue of Permaculture Activist, #88 (Theme: Earth Skills and Nature Awareness), comes out in May and deadlines for submissions are March 1st.

Start Your Own Edible Garden - online class available NOW from PVCC
Provide your family with nutritious food, save money, get some exercise, and be more self-sufficient. This course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be on your way to a successful harvest. $99 for 12 lessons with interactive discussion. Visit: http://www.ed2go.com/piedmont/online_course/seg/detail/Start_Your_Own_Edible_Garden.html

Check http://digital.pvcc.edu/i/97583 for other class listings. Lots of cool agricultural classes on pp. 14-15 of the digital course catalog: chickens, bees, herbs, mushrooms & more.

Charlottesville City Staff will be presenting the Stormwater Utility Ordinance to City Council at 7pm on Tuesday, January 22.

That presentation will include an overview of the Water Resources Protection Program and associated Stormwater Utility,

followed by a public hearing on the proposed ordinance.

The Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club urges citizens to attend this meeting and express support for this plan which will help clean up our rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.  If you are unable to attend, please send an email to council@charlottesville.org.

RSWA Board Meeting - Tues. 1/22
Rivanna Solid Waste Authority and Albemarle County are working to determine the future of local waste disposal. Big changes may be coming, and the fate of the McIntire Recycling Center hangs in the balance. The RSWA Board will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2pm at Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, 695 Moores Creek Lane, Charlottesville 22902.

If you’re an Albemarle resident, please also take the time to contact the Board of Supervisors and let them know that recycling is important to you: bos@albemarle.org.

Public hearing: proposed Stormwater Utility Ordinance - Tues. 1/22
7:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers, City Hall, 605 E. Main Street.

The ordinance under consideration would fund the City's Water Resources Protection Program including regulatory compliance, stormwater infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation, drainage system improvements, strategic planning, and water quality protections. The proposed stormwater utility would allocate costs to owners of developed property in the City based on the amount of impervious area (such as roofs, driveways, and parking lots) on their property; impervious surfaces prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground and increase water runoff during storms, which carries harmful pollutants to waterways.

Fiscal Reality of the Western “Bypass” - Weds. 1/23
The Taxpayers for Common Sense transportation analyst and the former editor of Virginia Business will discuss the financial reality of building a $240 million highway through the population centers immediately west of Charlottesville.
10:30 a.m. Jan. 23 at C’ville Coffee, 1301 Harris Street Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 817-2633.
More info: Randy Salzman, salz@rocketmail.com; 434-987-2754.

Virginia Forage and Grassland Council Winter Conference Series
January 22 through 25 2013. 

These events willI be hosted at several (four) locations across Virginia with participation by leading producers and research specialists. 
For more information, visit:  http://vaforages.org/ - or see the attached pdf flyer, which includes a registration form.