Friday, March 15, 2013

Upcoming Events - March

Greetings all,

Below is an amazing collection of upcoming springtime permaculture and sustainability events in the central Virginia bioregion, including a few great mushroom workshops this weekend and some great job and internship 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 for the next monthly e-newsletter. Click here to view this email as a webpage.  Happy Spring!

Christine and the BRPN team  

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 in Charlottesville, VA
Cultivating Community: A Dialogue of Farms, Health and Food
A panel discussion about growing local food.
Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville, VA
7:30pm in the V. Earl Dickinson Theater

A panel comprised of diverse local farmers, growers and food-sourcers will discuss growing and our community.  We aim to address all of the reasons you may be interested in farming, from your own home’s food supply, the ecological impact of farming, the business side, nutrition, or strengthening local food networks.  There are deep traditions and of country and family, plus new innovations that are transforming the industry. Come draw them out.

Moderated by Christine Muehlman Gyovai of Dialogue and Design Associates. 

Shiitake and Oyster Mushroom Workshop at Sourwood Farm
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:

Growing Woodland Mushrooms~ Offered twice March 16th and March 23rd
at Sharondale Farm

Learn about the biology, ecology, and outdoor cultivation of several woodland mushrooms including shiitake, oyster, and reishi.  Hands-on demonstrations include simple methods for mushroom cultivation on logs and woodchips.  Discussions will include post-harvest handling, cooking, medicine making and marketing of mushrooms.  Limited spaces available for March 16th  or March 23rd, 9a-12pm.  Sharondale Farm, Cismont, VA  (

 Growing Garden Mushrooms~ April 20th
Learn simple methods for growing mushrooms as garden allies on straw and compost.  Hands-on demonstrations include:  preparing materials by composting, pasteurizing and fermenting;  and inoculation methods for several species of mushrooms including: Garden Giant, Oyster, and Almond Portobello.  Limited spaces available. 9a-12pm. Sharondale Farm, Cismont, VA  (

Sharondale Farm is excited to offer a Mushroom Cooking Class and Farm Lunch on March 23 and April 20 from 12:30 - 2.  We'll fire up the earth oven (pizza!) and Angel will prepare three seasonal dishes, each featuring one of our farm fresh mushrooms and other garden goodies.  In addition to a tasty lunch, you'll learn nutritional basics about mushrooms and come away with some culinary inspiration.

March 23 and April 20
12:30 pm - 2pm
Cost: $30 per person*
Save $5 when you register for a mushroom growing workshop and the lunch.

Heart Root Herbs Internships in Nelson County, VA

I am currently looking for an intern or 2 to work at Heart Root Herbs at Shannon Farm in Nelson County 2 days per week starting ASAP.  Duties will include all aspects of growing, harvesting, and processing medicinal herbs and produce.  Compensation includes a wonderful learning experience, lunch, and herbs and veggies.  To learn more please contact Terry at or call 434-296-3963.

Veggie Garden Interns in Central Virginia

Innisfree Village Gardens is now seeking 3 Garden Interns to assist with the seasonal needs of vegetable operation to support a 50+ member CSA. Compensation includes a $400/month stipend, room in family style accommodations and farm fresh meals. Come join a rich, varied community life into which interns are welcomed wholeheartedly. Positions begin in mid/late March for a minimum 3-month commitment.
Contact the Innisfree Village Gardens at 434-823-5646 for more information.
Vegetable Garden

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) at Radical Roots Farm!
Certified Organically Grown produce direct form our farm to your table, every week!
 Community Supported Agriculture cultivates and nurtures a beneficial partnership among farmers, community members and the land. CSA members join our farm in a mutual commitment for the season: Farmers produces nutritious, organic food while the members share in the risks and benefits of the production and harvest.
   When joining Radical roots CSA, you purchase a share of the harvest before the growing season begins. Your investment helps to cover the up-front operating costs and in return you receive all the bounty of the harvest.

New Branch Farm Seasonal CSA
Sign up for a weekly share in the season that fits your schedule and needs: 
Spring - 13 weeks
Autumn - 12 weeks
Winter - 8 weeks
For more information about our CSA: see

Spring Wellness Festival! March 22-24, 2013 at Common Ground Healing Arts
The change of seasons is a perfect time to take charge of your health and well being, and Common Ground is excited to support you in that! All sessions in our three-day wellness festival are offered to the public on a donation basis. Our team of talented presenters are donating their time, and all donations go directly to benefit equal access to the healing arts at Common Ground. You can register in advance to guarantee your space, and walk ins will be accommodated if space is available. Ample parking is available in the onsite garage in Charlottesivlle, VA

WEBINAR: How to Start a Seed Library
Imagine if your public library didn't just check out books — but also packets of seeds.  Join this free webinar to learn how to start a seed library!  At a seed library, patrons can check out seeds for free. They then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds, and "return" those seeds so the library can lend them out to others.

On March 27, the Center for a New American Dream presents a free webinar about how to start a seed lending program at your public library. Topics will include funding models, obtaining starter seeds, patron orientation, and more. The webinar features speakers from seed libraries around the country.

Register for this webinar to learn how to start a similar project at your local library!
Webinar: How to Start a Seed Library at Your Public Library
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern (11:00am-12:00pm Pacific)
Cost: Free --  Note: If you miss the webinar, the recording will be available to view on this page starting April 1. Have questions? Please e-mail us.

FORREST GREEN FARM - March Workshops in central VA

GREENHOUSE/HOOPHOUSE CONSTRUCTION WORKSHOP- March 23, 2013 - $100 Time: 9am to 5pm
Structures for growing healthy food and sustainability
The key to our design is a small manageable size and extremely strong galvanized hoops.
Size - The small size (7’ inside height) has many advantages most importantly being, it
is efficient to heat (for winter growing) and to cool (for summer growing).
Hoops - Hand formed for a unique structural quality with Hot Dipped Galvanized thick
wall (.133”) tubing. Most kits on the market are made of 16 ga. (.065”) or 18
ga. (.049”) tubing.
Topics covered:
• Site considerations - Learn how to use a sun chart
• Foundation layout and ground slope
• Types of greenhouse designs
• Frame design and build
• Hoop design and form
• Different plastic greenhouse coverings
• Different techniques for securing film
• Cooling and heating techniques (we use woodstoves)
This is a hands-on workshop with a unique opportunity to actually see and
participate in constructing a greenhouse.
Tasks performed during workshop:
• Ground post layout and sink into the ground
• Baseboard installation
• Bend hoops on site and install
• We will actually remove the old and replace the greenhouse film on one of our greenhouses
Food and drinks will be available throughout the day.

WHOLE LIVING FROM THE GROUND UP -   6 month course - starts in May and has a few spots left.

Zeitgeist Day 2013 Symposium - Fri. 3/15
“Crime, War & Poverty SOLVED using a Technical Approach to Global Resource Management” -- Recognized as one of the largest grassroots social movements in the world with Chapters in over 100 Countries, The Zeitgeist Movement announces its 5th annual ‘Zeitgeist Day’ (“ZDay”) global awareness campaign. The 2013 symposium will also showcase speakers covering the most current understandings in the areas of: Human Values, Real Economy, Applied Science, Technological Unemployment and Global Sustainability. Featured will be a lecture discussing how worldviews are unknowingly put and kept in place, followed by presentation that demonstrates new paradigm technologies and solutions, followed by a Q&A session giving the audience a chance to ask relevant questions.

When: Friday, March 15, 2013, 7-10pm
Where: Random Row Books, 315 W Main St, Charlottesville

Seventh Annual Gaia Gathering for Women
 May 3-5
 Please join us (once again) for what is becoming a treasured tradition here in Charlottesville and beyond. Great classes on herbal wisdom, homesteading, fiber arts and more. This year we have incredible music and entertainment as well as our usual Beltane celebration.

Six Week Introduction to Herbal Healing
Spring Session: April 16 - May 21, 2013
Tuesdays 10am – noon, Or (NEW THIS YEAR!) 6:30 - 8:30pm 
This six week series is great for beginners as well as those who want to deepen their knowledge and use of herbal medicine. This course will include history, herbal actions, apothecary practices, recipes, sacred use of plants and more. The weeks fly by as we spend time in the classroom, the kitchen, the lab and best of all, the garden. We will learn how to identify basic back yard medicines as well as those cultivated in the garden. We will learn harvest techniques, how to dry and preserve our medicines.
Fee $250 (Deposit: $50).
Fee includes all materials & text.

Calling all Friends of Betty!

WHAT: Help Betty Grow Kick-off!
WHEN: Thursday March 28, 2013 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm
WHERE: The Haven at First and Market (112 Market Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902)
WHY: It will be fun!  And you'll be able to VOTE for your favorite program that you feel best serves our community.

Your donations will enable Betty to continue to provide high-quality environmental programming in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

Soils 201 Workshop – Thurs. 3/21
From Local Food Hub: What do you need to understand about soils to be a good steward? In this class we will explore the physical, biological, and chemical properties of soils. We will look at soil fertility and what you can do as a manager to improve your soil’s health and productivity. All of this taught from a layperson’s perspective, aimed at practitioners.
When: Thursday, March 21, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Maple Hill Farm
Cost: $25
Instructor: Ellen Polishuk
RSVP: | (434) 286-2176

A 4 day festival in downtown Charlottesville featuring innovative talks, concerts, block parties, pitch competitions & creative expositions.
April 11-14 2013

Bring It! Youth Organizing Weekend – March 22-24
From the Wayside Center for Popular Education: The Bring It! Youth Organizing Weekend is an intensive, 2-day introduction to social movement work and organizing skills. Designed for new organizers generally in the age range of 18-24, the weekend will cover big picture questions like “What is a social movement” and “How do I leverage power through organizing” all the way down to nitty gritty workshops on how to run meetings, use art in activism, and getting your message out.
More info:

Women’s Bike Nights, Spring 2013
Women’s Bike nights are FREE! First 1/2 hour of class will start with a bike topic. Remaining class time will be open shop time to women only. We will work on each other’s bikes and learn from one another.
April 9th:  tires and tubes
April 16th:  lubing and greasing
April 23rd:  brakes
April 30th: gears
May 7th:  evaluating your bearing adjustments
May 14th: bike part craft/ celebrate bike to work week
When: Tuesdays, April 9 to May 14th, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Community Bikes, 405 Avon Street
Questions: email or call 434-882-1516

Permaculture Gardener Position in Northern Virginia
PAID Position available now
I am an adorable four years old permaculture edible landscaping biodynamic garden in Vienna, Virginia seeking a companionable gardener to continue my nurturance. This can be flexible in time yet must be regular enough and reliable to my somewhat seasonal needs. There is also opportunity to take time-lapse photos of me or in other ways document how prolific and pest resistant I am. There are also fruit trees to tend. The three mushroom guilds are in the back on the way to the trails that go to Difficult Run floodplain and nature sanctuary.

I am on about a third of an acre out of two acres that also include a house and cottage. Currently my plant guilds include a dozen kinds of hot peppers, asparagus, fennel, elderberry, multiple bearing berry plants, sweet potatoes, yams, garlic, ginger, saffron, dates, magenta spreen, okra, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, acorn squash, grapes, rosemary, mint, sorrel, Echinacea, spring onions, onion grass, marsh mallow, kale cultivars, dill, flowers among others.

Sky Jaffe started me four years ago after his apprenticeship at the Commonweal Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, California where he worked with Penny and James Livingston-Stark. Sky also led a permaculture project at Willie Smits’s North Sulawesi, Indonesia reclamation center, returning through Hawaii to survey permaculture ‘on island’.

If you are a biodynamic gardener who wants to become a permaculturalist or if you are a permaculturalist and wants to add biodynamic skills please contact Russ Jaffe (703.851.1800 or This is a paid, flex time regular about 10 hour per week position in Vienna, Virginia. Compensation is based on experience and productivity.

Common Good City Farm in DC

While you’re gazing at your calendars and dreaming of the outdoors, look at our terrific line up of Growing Gardens workshops.   You can learn how to identify, harvest and use Springtime Herbs in the first workshop on April 27th.  Spots are filling up fast, reserve yours here:
For gardeners starting your own seeds for your gardens, now is the time to get your brassicas (kale, collard, broccoli, cauliflower), alliums (onions, leeks) and various greens such as lettuce and swiss chard sown. We recommend allowing seedlings to grow at least 4 weeks in the greenhouse and 1 week ‘hardening off’ outdoors before transplanting them in the ground.  The “hardening off” period is crucial for seedling survival – it is a time when the plants get acclimated to temperature fluctuations and wind, but can still be moved back indoors in the event of a hard frost or extreme weather.
At the Just Food Conference 2013, our farmer Anita will co-lead a workshop showing how our partnership with the mobile market of Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture is improving access to fresh food and nutrition education in underserved areas, or “food deserts,” in Washington DC and surroundings. 
And on the topic of fresh food in our neighborhood, Cause DC is hosting a dinner to benefit Common Good City Farm on March 26th at 7PM.  100% of the ticket price supports our programs for low-income DC residents.   Our delicious, organic produce is on the menu, and Anita and Cause DC chefs answer your questions. Sponsors include Profish, Fells Point, and Even’Star Farms.  Tickets are on sale at

*In Staunton, free!
Food Regulations for Entrepreneurs, Wednesday March 20, 6 PM*
Whether you are getting ready to sell your food at your local farmers
market, making products for catering or wholesale, or opening up a new
restaurant or other food space, make sure you know the food safety
regulations and best practices for running a food business with our Food
Regulations Class! Kate Weakley from the Virginia Department of Agriculture
& Consumer Services (VDACS) will lead this informative class and answer
your questions on topics like kitchen inspections, packaging and labeling,
how to keep food safe when selling at the farmers market, and much more!
You can also get some helpful literature from VDACS to guide you in the
process of opening and running your food business! Location: 10 Byers St.,
Staunton, VA 24401 Price: FREE! Please RSVP to if
you plan to attend.

Edible Landscaping purchase opportunity - purchase either a bulk share
or individual plants!

This year, purchase a bulk share of edible landscape plants for you yard!
(Also available individually)

This is by far the most economical way to plant your food forest! There are enough plants here to nicely integrate into your yard. Over the years, most of these plants will
increase in yield and you will gain many friends!

All of these plants will produce fruit for 10 or more years, if cared for appropriately. The strawberry and raspberry will also expand into the size bed you prepare for them, so be prepared!

If one share is too much, share with your friend. What great gifts your leftovers could make!

Each full share contains the following:
· 30 Asparagus Roots
· 80 Strawberry Plants
· 6 Raspberry Plants
· 6 Blueberry Plants (multi variety)
· 4-6 Fruit Trees (multi variety)

Director, Hull Springs Farm
Longwood University
Full-Time, Administrative and Professional Faculty, Exempt Position #FA368
Longwood University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to the development of citizen leaders who are prepared to make positive contributions to the common good of society. In support of this mission we invite qualified applicants to apply for the position of Director of Hull Springs Farm. Current work at Hull Springs Farm, a 662 acre waterfront property in Virginia’s Northern Neck, is guided by a mission to manage and develop the site as a compelling model of conservation and stewardship to educate the students of Longwood University, other institutions, and the greater community about their role in creating a more sustainable planet. The successful candidate will have a unique opportunity to play a critical role in Hull Springs Farm’s development as a premier education, research, and conservation center for the University, the Commonwealth, and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Exploring Best Food Safety Practices and GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Certification for Beginning Farmers
Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project - Webinar Series, No. 2
Wednesday, March 20, 3:00 - 4:00 pm

This Webinar will be presented by Wythe Morris, Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent, Commercial Horticulture
To participate in this webinar, please go to:

Local and regional food systems that connect farmers to nearby markets are continuing to grow throughout Virginia and the U.S. Because of this, many farmers are experiencing a wider array of marketing opportunities such as through farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals. Through a 2011-2012 survey of Virginia beginning farmers and ranchers, respondents indicated that they had lower levels of knowledge about food safety and good agricultural practices (GAP) certification compared to other production practice needs. Virginia beginning farmer respondents also indicated that they were utilizing numerous direct and intermediate marketing channels for distribution and sale of their products. The purpose of this webinar is to help Virginia beginning farmers and ranchers and other agricultural service providers understand the policies, regulations, and processes that allow for safe food production, distribution, and consumption. Please join us for a presentation by Mr. Wythe Morris, Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent in Commercial Horticulture as he describes best food safety practices and the GAP certification process. Following this presentation, you will have an opportunity to ask Wythe your questions as he helps guide you through safe food production and certification. For more information about the webinar or questions, please contact webinar organizers Matt Benson ( or Kim Niewolny (

Recordings of past webinars can be found on the project website: .

16th Annual Certificate Permaculture Design Course Online

Cycle 16 of the Elfin Permaculture annual course online begins April 14. Enrollment has begun.  To allow for other projects, we may, at the conclusion of Cycle 16, discontinue annual offerings of this program for some years, or permanently.  To accommodate students enrolled in our deliberate track, which involves students during two of our-six month course cycles, we will have some sort of program for Cycle 17, but we may well accept only non-certificate students not submitting designs.  The decision will be made during, or shortly following, Cycle 16. 

The Elfin Permaculture Design Course Online is singularly rigorous and complete, with 21 course modules of one week or more, most covering multiple topics. Full details of the course structure and content may be read in the course preregistration package, which is a free download at