Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Upcoming Events

Greetings all,

Below is a large, amazing collection of upcoming springtime permaculture and sustainability events in the central Virginia bioregion, including a talk with Eric Toensmeier in a few weeks and some great job openings.  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 blueridgepermaculture@gmail.com for the next monthly e-newsletter. Click here to view this email as a webpage.  Happy Spring!

Christine and the BRPN team

Perennial Vegetables & Garden Design Workshop - Sat. 2/23
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

Location: Charlottesville Waldorf School Library
120 Waldorf School Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Register today: Cost: sliding scale of $75 - $100
For more information and to register contact Terry Lilley at: tygerlilley@gmail.com
For more information about Eric, please visit www.perennialsolutions.org.

Shiitake and Oyster Mushroom Workshop
Saturday  March 16 12pm - 5pm near Charlottesville, VA
This workshop will cover the basics of Shiitake and Oyster mushroom cultivation.   How to select and harvest logs, mushroom biology, 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.  

$50 ($75 for a couple)    This includes one Oyster or Shiitake log to take home
$100 ($120 for a couple)   this includes 5 Oyster or Shiitake logs to take home (that comes out to $12.50 ea. for the extra logs which I sell for $25 retail)

Workshop will be rain or shine as inoculation area is under cover.   Please bring raincoat/umbrella to view the mushroom log yard.
It is recommended to wear work clothes and bring gloves as we will be working with hot wax and logs.   (ear plugs will be provided)

For more info please visit:

Locally Raised Honey Bee Nucleolus colonies near Charlottesville, VA
Nucleolous (nucs) honey bee colonies are small 5 frame colonies with everything ready to grow into a full size bee hive.   They will be staffed by a young vigorous queen and a generous group of dedicated bees that I will have raised this spring.   The five frames will have everything they need to continue their growth from honey pollen, to brood of all ages.  These queens will be granddaughters of hygienic breeder queens.   Timing depends on spring queen-rearing and waiting to see a good brood pattern from the new queens but should be around mid april to may.    Right now I am taking names for a reservation list and payment will only be due when the nuc is picked up.  Nucs are first-come first-served, so I encourage you to get on the list early.   Feel free to call with any questions.
For more info please visit:

Ryan Williamson
4646 Buddys Place Ln
Earlysville, VA 22936
(434) 973-6032

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

Caromont Farm (Charlottesville, Virginia ) is currently seeking to fill the following position beginning Spring/Summer 2013.
Assistant Cheesemaker
Work side by side with our current Cheesemaker learning ALL phases of Artisan Cow and Goats Milk cheese production, affinage, and plant management.
Assist Cheesemaker in supervision of all aging and ripening facilities with emphasis on maintenance and consistency of all cheeses.
Work with Cheesemaker to develop the production of new prototype cheeses for future release.  Work with Cheesemaker to develop the production of seasonal releases for holiday markets.  Salary is commensurate with experience.
We are looking for a passionate, dedicated, hardworking food professional with a strong cheese/food background who has an interest in making quality Artisan cheese, with a possible long term commitment to a growing company. Science and Math/Animal Science background is a plus.

Please contact Gail Hobbs Page at caromontfarm@yahoo.com www.caromontfarm.com

The Piedmont Environmental Council - Exploring the Small Farm Dream
Winter 2013
An interactive course for anyone planning, starting or growing a farm enterprise.

Exploring the Small Farm Dream is a 4 session workshop series offered by the Piedmont Environmental Council. The 2013 series is the sixth time the course has been offered. 
Pablo Elliot, vegetable grower, and Sue Ellen Johnson, PEC’s Director of Agriculture and Rural Economy are the instructors. 

Date: Wednesdays  Feb 20, 27, Mar 6, 13  2013
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
Where: Choice Building in Culpeper (215 E. Davis Street)
Cost: $160 plus $24 for workbooks
Register online
Sue Ellen Johnson: (540)-422-9804, sejohnson@pecva.org
Pablo Elliot: pablo@slfarm.us

Virginia Vintage Apples near Charlottesville, VA
Classes and Workshops

Planning and Planting the Home Orchard
February 23, 2013  
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Rich Marini, Tom Burford and the Vintage Virginia Apples staff will present a comprehensive workshop on planning, managing and cultivating the home orchard. A tour of Rural Ridge Orchards will be included. Workshop Cost: $105.00 Lunch included.

Pruning Workshop
February 16, 2013 - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.
Careful pruning ensures a more bountiful harvest. Find out how much to prune, where to make the pruning cuts, and when it should be done. Tom Burford and the Vintage Virginia Apples staff. Workshop Cost: $35.00.

Grafting Workshop
March 2, 2013 - 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon
Since apples do not reproduce true from seed, propagation depends on grafting the desired variety onto a reliable rootstock. Rootstock will be available for this workshop, and experts will guide you in the fine art of grafting. Tom Burford and the Vintage Virginia Apples staff. Workshop Cost: $40.00.

Farm Manager Position Available
The Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, VA is currently accepting applications for the position of farm manager for The Harvest Table Farm. This is a salaried and full- time position, and requires that the person occupy the residence at the farm. The position has three primary responsibility categories. First, to operate the 3-acre sustainable farm to grow produce in coordination for the needs of the Harvest Table Restaurant. Second, to coordinate and help organize tours of the farm. The Harvest Table Farm is designed not only to supply our restaurant with produce, but the facility also operates as a demonstration farm, serving an education and visitation role in our community. Third, the farm hosts WWOOFers and interns on a seasonal basis, and short-term day volunteers, and the farm manager would be responsible for supervision of these workers.

Harvest Table Farm is located in Meadowview, VA on a rolling 3-acre plot about 2 miles from the restaurant. The job requires a person skilled in modern ecoagriculture, with a strong sense of the changing seasonal needs of a human-scale farm.

Position: Full-Time, Salaried. Position open immediately.
For a detailed job description or for farm information, please visit our web site: http://www.meadowviewfarmersguild.com

Based in one of the country’s hotbeds of local food culture, the Urban Farm School
‪launches its first year with 100 instructors and sites in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Urban Farm School is a comprehensive, 815 hour, 28-week program that runs from May 6 to November 13, 2013. The School will train people of all ages and experience levels who aim to work on urban food projects, such as: neighborhood CSA’s, community gardens, green schoolyards, farm-to-restaurant plots, edible parks, church food yards, and food programs within organizations. Students will help manage a neighborhood CSA + gain a Permaculture certification + work with 25 practitioners and sites in the city of Asheville + 25 rural farmers + 50 community food leaders, including businesses owners, nonprofit directors, and city officials related to urban farming.

The school’s main ‘campus’ is at the Ashevillage Institute, a one-acre living learning laboratory in downtown Asheville. Hands-on field trips and workshops will be hosted at the other sites around Asheville and the area on a weekly basis. In its first year, the school will accept 10 students. Applications are being accepted now. The total program cost is either $4,600 before April 15th, or $4,900 based on a $1,300 deposit + eight monthly installments of $450 each.

For inquiries about the Urban Farm School contact: janell@ashevillage.org, 828.279.1955. For further information on Ashevillage Institute visit: www.ashevillage.org. Follow us on Twitter @Ashevillage. Like us on Facebook.

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

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.

Foodwatershelter’s 2012 Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in Arusha, Tanzania was a great success.  In 2013 you have two opportunities to join the growing number of people around the world who are improving their self-reliance and learning concepts for sustainable living through permaculture techniques.  Join us for our first ever Kiswahili PDC between the 8th to 19th April 2013.  

The Kiswahili PDC is hosted in partnership with the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya (PRI-Kenya) in Arusha, Tanzania between the 8th to 19th April 2013.  This course will be presented 100% in Kiswahili.  For $450 (scholarships available through application) you can be amongst the first to complete this internationally recognized certificate in Kiswahili.  

To learn more about how you can join us in Arusha, Tanzania to gain valuable knowledge and skills to apply to your own livelihood and share with your community, visit www.foodwatershelter.org.au/pdc.aspx or see the attached brochures. Or for further information and with any questions, contact pdc@foodwatershelter.org.au.  Otherwise download an application form (also see attached) and submit early to secure your place.  

Farm Internship Position Open
Abingdon, VA - Position open on February 18

Seeking aspiring farmer or farm couple:  Abingdon Organics, a small, diversified organic farm in southwestern Virginia, is seeking an individual or couple for the 2013 season to help with all phases of our farming operation.  Abingdon Organics and its owners, Anthony and Laurel Flaccavento, have been  leaders in the  local foods and sustainable farming movement in the region for nearly two decades.  Their farm produces more than 50 different types of vegetables and fruits which are sold at the farmers market, to local restaurants and other outlets.  The farm has many innovations, including several high tunnels and hoop houses, cover crops and beneficial insect habitat, and ongoing trials of varieties, soil improvement and insect control.  The farm is located 3 miles from Abingdon, a town with a strong art, music and local food scene.  Even a local brewery!

Qualified individuals should have at least one season of experience as WWOOFers, farm interns or apprentices on a produce farm.  You will be involved in greenhouse production, all phases of field and high tunnel production, marketing, and planning and tracking production and profitability.  A certificate will be provided detailing the skills and knowledge you’ve built during your time here.  In addition to the learning opportunity, compensation includes comfortable lodging in our home, wonderful food and a small stipend.  No pets, please.  If interested, email Anthony at flaccavento@ruralscale.com or call 276 698-8956.  Position is open beginning February 18th.

Managing your Farm for Profit - Workshop Thurs. 2/21
From Local Food Hub: Farming is about more than planting and harvesting — effective financial management is a vital part of any farm business. Join us for this detailed workshop to learn how to manage your farm’s finances. This training will include new tools and resources that will show farmers how to benchmark their operations against others with similar operations, and is appropriate for producers at all levels of financial knowledge.
When: Thursday, Feb. 21, 10am-2pm
Where: Piedmont Virginia Community College, Stultz Center, Room 116 (at the corner of College Drive & Route 20)

Green Building Workshop - Sun. 2/24
From Living Energy Farm: GREEN BUILDING WORKSHOP in Charlottesville, from 1 to 4 PM, Sunday Feb 24 at Woodfolk House, 912 Woodfolk Drive, Charlottesville VA. This will be a comprehensive overview of how to build infrastructure that uses little or no fossil fuel. This will not be a presentation about brand name appliances for decorating eco-mansions.

Chickens and You: a Two-day Intensive on Raising  Laying Hens on a Homestead Scale
March 2-3 , 2013 - Virginia Beach, VA

         Popular author Patricia Foreman will lead this course, which will cover raising baby chicks, maintaining a laying hen flock, intergrating chickens into your homestead garden, and composting with chickens. See attached flyer (jpg file). For more information or to register, contact Lisa Dearden 804-314-9141, or e-mail training@ChickensAndYou.com, or visit www.ChickensAndYou.com. Space is limited - register now!

Carbon Fast and Wednesday Gatherings - Weds. 2/13 and beyond
From Casa Alma: Casa Alma and Sojourners United Church of Christ are collaborating to sponsor an ecumenical Carbon Fast.  Throughout Lent, we will be examining our personal and collective use of fossil fuels and taking action to reduce our carbon footprint.  We'll begin this journey together on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 13) with a prayer service and soup supper, and each subsequent Wed. we will gather for supper, sharing and discussion. Do join us for this weekly meal and time for fellowship - each Wed. during Lent from 6:00-8:00pm at Sojourners UCC.

Our carbon fast will be guided by a calendar of daily activities (soon to be posted on our blog).  The activities range from the very simple (eliminate “vampire” electrical use), to the moderately challenging (reduce your driving speed), to the long term (buy local produce).  It is not expected that everyone will be able to do everything suggested; but serious consideration of each day’s activity can raise our awareness, inviting us to think carefully and prayerfully about how our day to day living impacts the environment.

For more information, contact us via email or at 409-0804.  Sojourners is located in the Belmont/Carlton neighborhood in Charlottesville, and includes ample parking, for directions: click here.

#ForwardOnClimate Rally in Washington, DC - Sun. 2/17
(Bus reservations by 2/10)
The Sierra Club and 350.org are organizing the largest climate rally in history to tell President Obama we can’t wait any longer for meaningful action on climate change. Our new local 350 chapter will offer bus transportation ($26). They have filled one bus already and are working on bus #2!
Adults, contact Marcia Geyer at marcia.geyer@yahoo.com to reserve your seat. Students, contact Amory Fischer at ahfischer@comcast.net to inquire about reduced-price seats.

Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary 2013 Class Schedule - all classes in Floyd,VA
March 9, 10 am - 1 pm - Beekeeping Series starts with Getting Started - First Steps
March 23, 9 am - 1 pm - Gardening Series starts with Gardening with the Rhythms of Nature
April 27, 9 am - 4 pm -  Biodynamic Series starts with The Healing Landscape: Biodynamic Soils & Preparations

         Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary is pleased to announce our 2013 class schedule. We have expanded our class offerings this year to include biodynamics and gardening as well as sustainable beekeeping. We have also implemented a new online registration process and are accepting credit card payments. Please visit our website at www.spikenardfarm.org/training.html to learn more, to view the complete schedule of classes, and to register.

Beekeeping Series of four classes: Register for all four classes for $175, a saving of $45.
        March 9, 10 am - 1 pm - Getting Started and First Steps.  This class will cover what you need to know to get started with a natural  beehive including hive choices, sources for bees and general information.  Tuition $25.
        April 13 - 9 am - 4 pm - Fundamentals of Biodynamic/Sustainable Beekeeping.  Join us as we examine the current state of the honybee and explore the principals and practices of sustainable/biodynamic beekeeping.  Tuition $65.
        May 4 - 9 am - 4 pm - Expanding the Apiary. Topics include swarm management and the correct timing and procedure for making splits.  Tuition $65.
        August 17 - 9 am - 4 pm - Hive Health & Winter Preparation. Medicinal teas, mite monitoring, biodynamic treatments, honey harvest and winter feeding. Tuition $65.

        Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary's mission is to promote sustainable and biodynamic beekeeping through education, experience-based research and a honeybee santuary and to help restore the health and vitality of the honeybee worldwide.


April 5, 6, 7   - 
Traditional Long Bow Workshop
9am - 5pm. Cost $200 plus a $75 material fee.
(for adults & ages 16+)
(Technically we are going to make self-bows, not long bows)
Have you ever picked up a stick in the woods and tied a string to it to see how it bends?  Have you ever dreamed of walking softly through the woods with a wooden bow and quiver full of arrows, stalking silently toward a deer?  As we can see from the popularity of characters like robin hood or ancient Japanese archers, there is a mystery and magic to having a wooden bow.  Whether you would like to hunt with a tool you made yourself, or simply enjoy shooting for fun, this class will provide you with all of the basic skills you need to get started.  Participants will each begin with a cured bow stave, and using tools we provide craft their own self-bow that with care can last a lifetime!  Beyond this initial bow, we will also dive into resources and finishing touches that can with practice elevate your bowmaking into the highest art form.  This class is appropriate for anyone over the age of 16, but is not for those who lack patience or dedication.  Bowmaking is an easily learned and satisfying art, but requires attention to detail and dedication to produce great results.  Over the two days we will cover wood selection, harvesting and curing, tools and techniques for shaping and crafting, bow design and psychics, and making strings, arrows, basic shooting techniques and accessories.
Taught by instructor Matt Bukowski.

April 20 - 21
- Father/Son Weekend
Saturday 9am - Sunday 11am. Cost $175 (includes father and son age 6+, each additional child $50)
Come spend this special weekend in the woods together. We will spend time around the fire, telling stories, learning new crafts, and eating good food cooked over the campfire. This weekend is set up with choices for fathers and their sons to choose from- spoon making, bowdrill fire making, throwing sticks, archery and more. This is an opportunity for fathers and their sons to have a relaxing time in the woods, work on activities together, laugh, eat, and enjoy the peace of the woods with us. Besides a great weekend of fun, leave with new skills you can utilize together into the future. What more could you want?
Instructors Hub Knott and Kyle Scaggs.
Please fill out 1 registration form per family with all participants name and age listed, and 1 medical form per person.

April 20 – 21 -
Mother/Daughter Weekend
Saturday 9am - Sunday 11am. Cost $175 (includes mother and daughter age 6+, each additional child $65) 
Come spend a magical weekend with your daughter immersed in the beautiful Virginia countryside with a winding river! We will connect with the natural world, cook over the fire, make wild edible teas, weave stories of mother-hood, daughter-hood throughout our day and spend special time together.  Mothers and daughters will get to know local wild medicinal and edible plants, forgage, wildcraft, eat and make herbal medicines that will help keep the family healthy and learn the art of campfire cooking. Oh how yummy and tasty food is when cooked over the fire. Sure to make memories that last a lifetime.   
Instructor: Kate Knott and Suzanna Stone.
Please fill out 1 registration form per family with all participants name and age listed, and 1 medical form per person.  

April 27, 28
- Bird Language Weekend
Saturday 9am to Sunday 3pm. Cost $170
Do you really want to know what is going on out there in the woods, or even your backyard?  Wouldn’t you like to know? Yes, we all know the birds go about their daily life of feeding, preening, defending habitat, etc...but you would be shocked at all they could tell you!! Bird Language will open you up to another world. The birds are the eyes of the land.  Beyond their beautiful songs, they tell each other where the predators (hawks, foxes, cats, etc…) are hiding or moving, they indicate if all is safe, they even tell each other that we are there and if we are a threat.

In this weekend class, you will learn the 5 voices of the birds, and the various “shapes” that will help us interpret what is going on around us.  These “shapes” hold true wherever you go on earth. We will sit on the land, observe, map, ask questions, and piece together what is going on around us. The benefit of the group environment is that it’s the fastest way to learn bird language.

This class is appropriate for birders (of all levels), wildlife trackers, nature enthusiasts, outdoor educators, hunters, or anyone that is curious. 

May 4  - Animal Tracking Essentials
9 - 4pm. Cost: $50
(for adults & ages 12+)
Tracking is considered the first science. Its importance was paramount to our ancestors survival. A native trackers understanding of the landscape and its animals is unparalleled, even by our best scientist. Tracking will greatly increase your awareness and relationship with our wild allies. Though wild animals are not often seen, they leave so much (like tracks, scat, rubs, trails, etc...) for us to identify and interpret. It goes so much beyond who left the track. The Art of Questioning, that I will teach you, will help in interpreting the stories the animals leave behind. It will reveal the influences of the landscape and other animals. It will help you see through the animals eyes.
The workshop is open to all skill levels.

Hub Knott has thousands of hours of journaling and interpreting track and sign over the past 16 years.
Please fill out the adult registration form, no medical form needed. 

May 11
- Wild Edible Plants- Forage the Abundance
10am - 4pm. Cost $50. Located in Afton.
(for adults & ages 12+)
This class will open up the world of the hundreds of local foods that are native to our home here in central Virginia.  We are surrounded by such an abundance of green plant allies that are packed with flavor, nutrition, and beauty.  If we care for them, they will continue to be abundant into the future.  Add a little local flavor to your meals, connect with the earth in a more intimate way.  Learn to identify, harvest and "Look 'em", caretake and prepare them into delicious meals.   

May 11
- Tree I.D.~ Learning the Trees in Your Backyard
Advanced Class: Useful Trees and Reading the Landscape
Part one: 9am-12pm Part two: 1pm-4pm.
Held at our Afton basecamp. Cost $20 per session or $35.
This is a two-part class beginning in the morning with basic tree identification--focusing on the most common trees you might find in your everyday life. This is a great opportunity to become more familiar with the trees in your backyard, or in your local park, even the trees you might see on your way to work. You will also gain an understanding of how to use field guides and dichotomous keys to identify trees.
The second part of the class will go deeper into both human and ecological uses of these trees, how they fit into landscape patterns, and begin to understand the significance of individual characteristics of trees. This class can be a great complement to part one, or perhaps a way to push your edges in your relationship to your landscape.

May 17, 18, 19
- The Power of Mentoring
Friday 7pm to Sun. 3pm. 
Cost: Adults $195 / Kids (age 5-15) $100.
Kid's program is for children of adults attending the workshop.
Come learn some of the most valuable mentoring techniques to be found.  Our mentoring model is rooted in the heart of nature.  It facilitates deep connection to nature, personal growth and community.  This ancient practice has been around since humans have walked on earth, it is how we are designed to learn.   In recent times this powerful practice has been fading in our technological age.  And it has come with a serious loss to true connection. 
In this weekend you will learn:
       The Art of questioning- where endless learning and curiosity are birthed
       The Cycles of learning- where the secrets to the net step are embedded
       Power of immersion and experience
       What tools they have, what tools they need
       How to capture and harvest learning moments
       7 Indicators- a way to profile effective mentoring
       and more….
This weekend will be highly experiential, hands on, with some really productive discussions that will help us all become better mentors, to inspire the next generation to live more fully. 

June 7, 8, 9
- Living With the Land- The Art of Wilderness Survival
Friday at 7pm to Sunday 3pm. Cost $175.
(for adults & ages 14+)
Come learn the skills of survival.  These skills will deepen your connection to the earth, and yourself.  This weekend, you will learn about shelters, fire making, wild foods, water, tools, and the survival mentality. You will make your own bowdrill fire, help build a debris hut, cook wild foods over the open fire and more.  This class is very hands-on, as that is the best way to learn.  We will share stories of our survival trips, so you can learn from our experience.  These skills, well known to our ancestors, help us provide for our most basic human needs.  We will provide great food, mostly organic, and a lot of laughs. 

Kate and Hub Knott
The Living Earth School 
 101  Rocky Bottom lane
 Afton, VA 22920 
 (540) 456-7339 
Farmland Available in Virginia

Common Good City Farm in Washington DC
2013 is off to a great start.  Before the recent cold snap, kale and Swiss chard grew well and we donated fresh greens in winter to our nonprofit partner, Martha’s Table.  Thank you to the hardy volunteers who revamped our compost system on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  We’re planning our crop rotation and will sow in our greenhouse in just a few weeks.  Our first workshop, on tree pruning, is on February 17th and the farm will open for the season on April 13th.

This year, we are offering our first spring youth internships and are expanding small business offerings, to include edible flowers grown specifically for adventurous chefs at Cause DC.  Cause DC, a dynamic new social enterprise –a philanthropub – chose Common Good among its first beneficiaries. Their unique business model has been heralded in The New York Times and their food lauded by The Washington Post. We’re thrilled to count them among our many supporters.
Next week’s Bizarre Foods episode on the Travel Channel is all about DC and includes us: http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/bizarre-foods/episodes/washington-d-c

Come support Common Good City Farm and Cause DC at the viewing party, Feb. 11th at Cause DC, 1926 9th St NW, 8 to 10 PM.   
We hope you can join us!
As you are planning your own garden, and thinking about ordering seeds, we would like to suggest two resources: Rooting DC, a free all-day gardening forum where our farm manager, Anita, will be hosting a workshop on soil management, and Renee’s garden seeds--25% of the order value will be donated to Common Good City Farm! At check out, just enter the code FR727B in the coupon code box on the checkout page.
We’re looking forward to seeing you on the farm.
The Common Good City Farm Staff

Local Food Producers' Smorgasbord Regional Workshop
Saturday, February 16, 2013, 8:30 am – 3:00pm - Wytheville, VA. 

Southwest Virginia  Fresh and Virginia Cooperative Extension are co-sponsoring a multifaceted one-day workshop for small local foods producers and sellers on Saturday, February 16, 2013, from 8:30 am until 3:00pm at the Wytheville Meeting Center in Wytheville, VA

Regionally renowned Food Safety expert Wythe Morris and a team of Extension experts will cover food safety requirements including who falls under GAP certification and who does not, considerations for selling at a market, value-added product decisions, and other key business knowledge and skills.  It is oriented to what direct marketers in the region need and many are surprised at how easily they can meet required or suggested procedures.

Any Southwest Virginia grower/producer who is or may want to be selling their products at farmers markets or directly from their home or farm is encouraged to attend.  Locally grown and produced foods are in growing demand and this is an opportunity for small entrepreneurs to begin or expand and to take the mystery out of key business expectations.

Cost is $45 per person or $75 per farm (2 participants) with lunch included.  Pre-registration is requested but not required by February 14 in order to ensure that adequate materials and lunches are available, and the first 12 registrants will receive a $20 discount courtesy of Southwest Virginia Fresh.  To register, please email mtn2mtn@psknet.com or call 540-980-3094 and ask for Southwest Virginia Fresh.

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.

Barkslip’s University of Diversity

What genius came up with the idea to spray deadly chemicals on our food anyway?  An “agri”-culture that is healthy for the environment is ours for the sharing. Find out how to cultivate fruit and nut trees without poisons, and in return receive abundance, good health, beauty, and happiness, in a way that makes real economic sense. Let’s begin to implement agriculture as an art of nurturing our environment and enhancing ecological diversity for generations to come. 
Put plainly, be prepared for postulations about pomological possibilities, purpose, production, preferences, proliferation, propagation, politics, position and planting preparation, in public places, protection, pests, pruning, picking, peddling, and processing all  put into practice!
Just imagine…propagating your own plant material for little or no expense?...transforming fully grown established, barren, ornamental trees into fruit producing mega giants with 40 different varieties in 3 years? "Ridiculous.... absurd... How is this possible?!!!"

March 2013

Question's- whipplebill@hotmail.com
or: 828 713 2424

Bake n Bike Valentine Scone Fundraiser in Charlottesville
From our friends at Community Bikes:
It’s that time again! Get ready for the 9th annual Bake 'N Bike fundraiser to benefit Books
Behind Bars and Community Bikes. Every year we raise well over $1000 for these organizations,and with your help, we can raise even more this year!

Place orders now for delivery on Thursday February 14th. For a $15-20 donation, a costumed bike rider will pedal a half dozen freshly baked, heart shaped, fairly traded chocolate chip scones - complete with a homemade card - to your door (or your honey's/friend's/co-worker's door) in town.  Pick up also available- at the Quest Bookshop for county people.

To place your order:  cvillecommunitybikes.org (you will see the "click here" button)
Call or email Shell at 882-1516, or email shellbellding@gmail.com with additional questions.

Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association (MOFFA) Winter Meeting
February 16, 2013 (Snow Date February 23), 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Maryland Dept. of Agriculture, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD

         More than an annual meeting, this is a truly affordable one-day conference featuring top of the line speakers on food safety, cover cropping in vegetable production, and more.  Come hear Dr. Ray Weil  and Natalie Lounsbury of University of Maryland and several innovative farmers and researchers on cover crops, tillage, and soils; Ariane Lotti of National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Deanna Baldwin of Maryland Department of Agriculture, and long time organic farmer and social justice advocate Mike tabor on food safety legislation and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Laura Lengnick on climate change, and Margaret Morgan Hubbard on EcoCity Farms.  Bring a dish of homegrown food for potluck  lunch, particiate in a seed swap, silent auction, and opportunities for informal networking with peers - all for just $20!  For more information, go to www.marylandorganic.org

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.

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.

Project GROWS Announces New Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County.

Project GROWS, a non-profit community farm located in Augusta County, announced today that it will bring fresh produce to members of the community through its first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program for the 2013 season.  Members who sign up for the CSA program will have the opportunity to get local, seasonal produce directly from the Project GROWS farm every week from June 4, 2013 to October 1, 2013 by purchasing a “share” of the vegetables grown. 

For more information about Project GROWS and how you can volunteer at the farm site, contact Lisa Millette at (540) 480-0371 or visit Project Grows online www.ProjectGROWS.org or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectGrows. Project GROWS is funded through a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and a multi-year grant from the Augusta Health Foundation.

Farm Internship Positions Open in Floyd County
Fertile Crescent Farm seeks 2 Interns for their farm and 1 intern for nearby Plenty! food bank farm
         We currently have 2 intern positions open for our farm and 1 intern position open for the Plenty! farm here in Floyd. Interns work 5 1/2 days per week on all aspects of our operation from soil preparation and planting through harvest, packing, and delivery. Internships are for 6 to 8 months, beginning in March or April, and include on site housing, access to farm produce, and a weekly stipend.  For more information, see our listings on the ATTRA website:

        To apply, contact Darbi Jewell, Fertile Crescent Farm, 540-763-2302,  fertilecrescentfarm@gmail.com.  To learn more about the farm, visit www.fertilecrescentfarm.com

Position Announcement: Policy Associate in Conservation and Farm Programs
Location: Washington, DC

        The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.  NSAC is currently seeking a Policy Associate for conservation and farm program issues.  This position is located at NSAC’s DC office on Capitol Hill.
        NSAC’s Policy Associate will help to develop and implement policy and strategy focused on agricultural conservation, especially working lands programs, and on farm program reform, especially crop insurance programs.  The Policy Associate will advocate before the US Congress and executive branch agencies, particularly the US Department of Agriculture.  The Policy Associate will staff and help lead NSAC’s Conservation, Energy & Environment Issue Committee, and will also have assignments within NSAC’s Farming Opportunities and Fair Competition Committee.  The associate will draft documents, including legislative language, policy papers, testimony, advocacy materials, and comments relating to USDA working lands conservation programs, climate change, crop insurance, and other issues.  She or he will contribute to the organization’s annual planning and priority setting, budgeting, and fundraising; participate in the planning and execution of coalition-wide meetings; assist with grassroots and grasstops outreach; write policy blogs; represent NSAC at Conservation Coalition and other similar DC partner meetings; and represent NSAC at events and to the media.  The Policy Associate, one of four Policy Associates at NSAC, reports directly to NSAC’s Policy Director.

        Please send resume, cover letter including an explanation of your interests in sustainable agriculture, salary history, and the names of three references to Emily Gilbert at egilbert@sustainableagriculture.net.
        NSAC is an equal opportunity employer.  We actively encourage people of color to apply for this position and all positions at NSAC.

Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook (by Dina Falconi, illustrated by Wendy Hollender) celebrates our local bounty and traditional foodways. The book features beautiful, instructive botanical illustrations and delicious, enlightening recipes. We share this project with you out of our long commitment to connecting with nature through food and art. The effort weaves together Dina’s 30 years of passionate investigations into wild-plant identification, foraging and cooking with Wendy’s deft artistic skills honed over 15  years as a botanical illustrator. For the past three years we have been writing, drawing, designing and testing the recipes for this book. The result is an abundance of recipes and illustrations that celebrate wild plants and creative ways to bring them into our lives. We hope you will join us in this tasty culinary adventure.

We are self-publishing the book and wish to pre-sell copies now to help us pay for production and printing costs! (Estimated publication date: June 2013) We believe you will appreciate Foraging & Feasting as an educational tool that can foster a more sustainable, regenerative and ecological way of eating. Foraging offers an adventurous and satisfying way to eat locally and seasonally. Our book will help readers reclaim the lost art of foraging and become immersed in the “Kitchen Arts.” Readers will be able to identify, harvest, prepare, eat and savor the wild bounty all around them. Surely everyone will appreciate learning to create delicious, nutritious, healthy meals from scratch for a modest amount of money.

On January 24th we will launch our Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. We ask for your support on Kickstarter which is a funding platform for creative projects.  As a supporter you actually get something for your support. For this project you can pre-buy our book or choose from several options including workshops on foraging, botanical drawing,  and a wild food dinner.
Please visit our website: www.foragingandfeasting.com or www.Kickstarter.com link to check out our exciting project.

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  

EQIP Organic Initiative in Virginia
Signup for 2013 closes March 15

         Once again, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering a separate pool of Environmental Quality Incentives Progrqam (EQIP) funding for certified organic and transitioning organic farmers, with contracts available for up to $80,000 over a six year contract (maximum $20,000 in any one year).  Farms in Virginia have used the EQIP Organic Initiative to obtain financial and technical assistance to improve and prepare raw land for organic crop production, enhance soil conservation and soil quality during horticultural crop produciton on sloping land, establish field borders and other beneficial organism habitat, erect a high tunnel for sustainable and resource-friendly intensive year round specialty crop production, and to meet other conservation goals.
         Transitioning organic producers qualify if they have plans to become certified organic within three years.
        For more information and to initiate the application process, visit your local NRCS office ASAP - and if your local NRCS staff are not able to answer all your questions or give you the help you are needing, contact our VA state coordinator for organic producers using NRCS programs,:
        Ron Wood
        ProTracts, PRS, Toolkit, eAUTH -  Coordinator
        Organic Initiative/WHIP Manager, Virginia NRCS
        804 287-1660; e-mail Ron.Wood@va.usda.gov, FAX 804 287-1736

Earth and People Friendly Designs
for Homes and Schoolyards
Nancy Striniste, Landscape Designer
Would you like to be happier,
healthier, smarter?
Research shows that spending time in 
natural surroundings can make you and 
your children less stressed, have fewer sick
days, and improve concentration! 

Nancy Striniste will explain how you can design your personal 
outdoor space to reap maximum benefits! 
Saturday, February 23rd 
7pm – Meet & Greet, plus Community Expo
8pm - Lecture
Lynchburg College's Sydnor Performance Center (Schewel Hall).

FREE and Open to the PUBIC for all to enjoy
Join us for the Community Expo – refreshments and informational displays set up by local 
conservation related non-profit organizations. Find out what they do and how you can help!