Friday, September 27, 2013

Support the BRPN e-newsletter

 Greetings all!  We’ve heard from many of you how much you appreciate the BRPN community e-newsletter over time, which we are glad for.  We are asking our fearless readers to consider making a donation to support the monthly BRPN newsletter.  We haven’t requested funds in the six years we have been sending the newsletter out, and do hope to be able to continue sending it out in the future. Details on how to make a donation are below, and thank you in advance for your support -- we greatly appreciate it!  Keep an eye out in the future for a survey for future permaculture events and programs as well!   

Checks can be payable to:
Blue Ridge Permaculture Institute

And sent to:
Blue Ridge Permaculture Institute
ATTN: Terry Lilley     
274 Shannon Farm Lane    

Afton, VA 22920

Upcoming events

Greetings all,
Below is an amazing collection of upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the central Virginia bioregion, including information on an awesome Edible Forest Gardening workshop in October and an open house and festival tomorrow. 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 fall!

Christine and the BRPN team  

Edible Forest Gardening Workshop
October 25-27, 2013 near Charlottesville, Virginia

The Blue Ridge Permaculture Network is excited to announce an Edible Forest Gardening weekend workshop on Friday, October 25th - Sunday October 27th, 2013 at Fiddlehead Farm near Charlottesville, Virginia. This course will include an overview of edible forest gardening, permaculture design, and profiles of perennial polyculture plants. The workshop will feature interactive lectures and group work, as well as hands-on experiential learning through installation of a demonstration Edible Forest Garden. Class size is limited; to encourage early registration a discount is offered.

The workshop features a high student-to-teacher ratio with key teachers of the Blue Ridge Permaculture Network, and will prepare you to design and plant an Edible Forest Garden in your backyard or community. The workshop fee is a sliding scale of $275 - $350 before October 1st, and $300 – $350 after October 1st. Lunch will be provided for all three days, as well as a primitive camping option (with many other lodging options nearby). Limited work trade positions are available.

For more information and to register, go to or contact Terry Lilley at

Sharondale Farm Mushroom Workshops
Learn about the biology, ecology, and low-tech outdoor cultivation of several gourmet and medicinal woodland mushrooms including shiitake, oyster, and reishi.  Hands-on activities and demonstrations include simple methods for mushroom cultivation on logs and woodchips.  Discussions will include post-harvest handling, cooking, medicine making and marketing of mushrooms.
Mushroom Cooking Demonstration and Farm Lunch
Saturday, October 19th, 12:30 – 2pm, following the workshop
Angel will prepare three seasonal dishes, each featuring one of our farm fresh gourmet mushrooms and other garden goodies.  In addition to a tasty lunch, you’ll learn nutritional basics about mushrooms and leave with some culinary inspiration.  Cost is $30 with a $5 discount if you attend the Growing Mushroom Workshop.
Growing Mushrooms in the City
Tricycle Gardens HQ, Richmond, VA
Saturday, October 26th, 9am-12pm, $40, Contact:
Learn about the biology, ecology, and cultivation of several gourmet and medicinal mushrooms you can grow in the city including shiitake, oyster, reishi, and others.  Hands-on activities and demonstrations include simple low-tech methods to incorporate mushrooms in your garden or urban farm on logs, sticks, wood chips, and urban waste, such as coffee grinds, cardboard, etc.  Discussions will include post-harvest handling, cooking, medicine making and marketing of mushrooms.
Growing Mushroom WorkshopsOffered through Virginia State University and Virginia Cooperative Extension Service
Suffolk, VA,  Wednesday, November 20th
Goochland, VA  Thursday December 5th
Powhatan, VA  Thursday December 12th

Young Farmer’s Mixer in Louisa County
On October 19th, local heirloom seed savers and worker-owned co-operative Southern Exposure Seed Exchange will be hosting a Young Farmer's Mixer to facilitate an enriching community building experience, provide networking opportunities and have fun.  We want to provide young farmers and young farmer recruits with access to examples of financially viable business models for new farms, homesteading resources and land link organizations. We also want to facilitate connections between landowners who want their land in cultivation and land-less farmers.  There will be opportunity to link farmers with food justice organizations and illustrate how food justice activism can play into a small farm business.
The event will begin with a tour of Southern Exposure's seed and trial gardens and a demonstrative seed-saving workshop.   Then there will be a time for folks to visit the various organizations' booths and mingle over a potluck dinner.  The day will end with our second annual Fall Festival complete with dancing, home-grown music, apple folk tales, food, drink and good spirit.

If interested, please RSVP to to let us know what you'd like to bring for the potluck!  

Permaculture Farming Work-Exchange/Room with Optional Employment Opportunities

SilverSage Farm-House-Studios: Center for Transformational Studies,
a 1991 classic-styled Victorian house located in Charlottesville, VA, has its first level’s private furnished studio apartment available immediately.  Terms are for a partial rent/farming work-exchange agreement for this cozy apartment, offering the full monthly rent of $600 that can be reduced optionally within a range to as low as $300 a month for 1- 5 hours of work-exchange per week on its surrounding property and vegetable gardens.  Should you choose the work-exchange option, you would be working with our team of homeowners and garden managers by collaborating, crop-sharing, and implementing ideas for making the Silver Sage Farm-House-Studios a more regenerative place to live and learn.
At present, our permaculture farm and garden design plans are at the beginning stages that consist of a ¼ acre garden plot surrounded by the start of a food forest with about a dozen 1-year old fruit trees.  A solar array is being installed to power the property, as is a rainwater system to supply the garden's water needs.  Furthermore, there will be much more opportunity to expand creative sustainability. Our permaculture team’s vision is to include more gardening and farming plots that will require managing food preparation, preservation, and production, as well as raising chickens and grazing goats within a food co-op for training purposes.  Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Silver Sage Farm-House- Studios offers a true respite from the pressures of “everyday” life, with the possibility of offering healthy lifestyle trainings in yoga, meditation, martial arts, creative arts within its spacious workshop studio.  Our strong primary goal is to implement sustainable living with healthy food production and create an intergenerational model that can serve as an educational center for our local community. Therefore, our design plan could offer additional employment opportunities that may include groups, tours, classes, and workshops.
Please contact: Linda Capacchione (434) 296-1338 or

Three Day Intensive Introduction to Urban Agriculture
October 4-6, 2013
ECO City Farms and Prince George’s Community College are offering an intensive three day certificate course in urban agriculture. This 22 hour hands-on course will provide the sustainable strategies to plan and design an intensive food production system, based on your needs, goals, and growing situation. PGCC will award a continuing education certificate upon completion of all three days. Cost is $550, includes lunch, snacks and materials. Location is ECO City Farms, 4913 Crittenden Street, Edmonston, Md. 20781. For more information and to register, visit:

Celebrate Food Day at ECO City Farms!October 26, 2013, 1-4pm
Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Visit ECO City Farms in Edmonston, Md. to experience where food comes from, find out who is producing local, affordable produce, and learn about healthy eating and active living. We’ll have music, food, farm tours, activities for kids, cooking demonstrations and our famous smoothie bike. For more info, visit:  This event is free.  Location is ECO City Farms, 4913 Crittenden Street, Edmonston, Md. 20781

Project GROWS and the Staunton Music Guild will be joined by Mike Berenstain from the Berenstain Bears at the first-ever Harvest Party and Open Farm event on Saturday, October 5, 2013 in Verona, Virginia.

VERONA, Va.  (September 3, 2013) – Project GROWS, a non-profit educational farm located in Augusta County, announced today that it will host its inaugural Harvest Party and Open Farm event on Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Project GROWS farm site in Verona. Co-hosting the event will be Staunton Music Guild (SMG), which will celebrate its fourth year of promoting local music events, music education, music outreach and music-related businesses.

Free to the public, this family-friendly event will feature an afternoon of live music, garden tours, and a fresh, locally grown meal. Mike Berenstain of the Bereanstain bears will attend the event, signing copies of the newly released book, the Berenstain Bears Go Green.

Project GROWS is funded through a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and a multi-year grant from the Augusta Health Foundation. Project GROWS is a host organization of the Allegheny Mountain School Phase II fellowship and was awarded two fellows for the 2013 year. For more information contact Project GROWS (540) 480-0371 or visit online and

Open house at the Allegheny Mountain School
Please join us at the Allegheny Mountain School for our final open house of the year on Saturday, September 28 from 1-5 pm. Come meet the 2013 fellows, tour the farm, and experience what the fellows have been learning and growing this season. Light snacks and beverages featuring fresh, AMS-grown produce will be provided. For directions, please visit our website at or contact Trevor Piersol at 540-468-3389.
What is Allegheny Mountain School?

Launched in 2011, AMS is an experiential fellowship program designed to serve our communities in developing a more secure food system.  AMS attracts young adults from around the nation, providing them six months of hands-on training in sustainable food production, nutrition and social issues around access to food.  And then, in the year following their study, they are placed as staff in regional non-profit organizations to work on local food security projects.   Applications are being accepted for next year’s cohort currently; see  for more information.

The Elderberry, a new herb store set to open early November in Charlottesville, is sponsoring a Walk in the Woods to support the work of United Plant Savers (UPS), an organization whose mission is to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come. The focus will be on identifying local trees, shrubs and plants including their medicinal uses!  It will take place on Saturday October 12 at Walnut Creek Park in Albemarle County from 11:00 - 1:00 PM. Our guide for this entertaining and informative stroll will be Shirlea Pemberton.  Shirlea has formerly worked for the U.S.Forest Service and is completing the three year Community Herbalist Training Program at Sacred Plant Traditions in Charlottesville.  Free herbal tea will be available (hot or cold depending on the weather).  A $5.00 donation is requested and will go to support the work of UPS.  We will meet at the first parking lot in the park.  Please join us for a fun and educational experience!  For more information, check our website:

Virginia Biological Farming Conference
Jan 31 - Feb 1, 2014

      Multiple Hands-On Sessions - New this Year! - including Vegetable Plant Grafting Techniques, Soil Blocks, Tractor-Method Rolling of Landscape Fabric for End-of-Season Storage, and Simple Farm Structure Construction.
      Women in Agriculture Panel
      Postharvest Handling of Vegetables and Berries
      Brewers, Bakers, and Farmers: Successful Collaborations between Growers and Artisans
      Raw Milk and Herdshares
      The Homestead Art of Fermentation
      Practical Tools for Small Growers
      How your Smartphone Can Increase your Farm Profitability and Efficiency
      Farmer Experiences in Profiting from Social Media
      Experiences with Meat Goat Production and Marketing
      Increasing Farm Profits through Food Hub Participation

VABF will also offer two separate day-long intensives on January 30, 2014, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel (same location as Conference), as we did in 2013. These day-long workshops will be a separate registration from the Conference and have a limited number of spaces available. Registration for both will begin soon. Information will be updated on the conference page of our website.

Allegheny Mountain School Fellowships for 2014

Allegheny Mountain School is seeking seven to nine inspiring individuals to participate in the fourth cohort of our 18 month fully-funded fellowship program.   Applications are available on our website,  The deadline to submit your application is December 15, 2013.  Interviews begin January, 2014.

Allegheny Mountain School (AMS) was founded in 2011 as a not-for-profit experiential fellowship program designed to serve communities in developing a more secure food system.  The fiscal agent for AMS is The Highland Center (THC), a non-profit organization located in Monterey, Virginia.  Our intention at AMS is to assemble a cohort of highly curious, hardworking individuals, with complementary skills and experiences, in order to create a cohesive and cooperative team for living, working and studying. Our goal is to build skills to help communities create a vibrant and accessible local food economy.

IMAP (Meso-American Institute of Permaculture) is happy to announce our Permaculture Design Certification course (PDC) which will be offered in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, from December 1st - 15th, 2013.

This is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a design paradigm that nurtures nature and provides for all. It is being taught by Rony Lec of IMAP and Shad Qudsi of Atitlan Organics. I should note here that IMAP is the only internationally recognized Permaculture Certifying Organization in Guatemala, which makes this the only truly recognized certification course in the country.
We think this course is extra special, because not only will all of the core permaculture principals be covered, but we will also focus on Mayan Cosmovision and how it influences our work with plants, soil, and animals. It will also deal with how to actually make a comfortable living from a sustainable, land-based, natural business.
For a full list of what will be covered, Click Here.

Introduction to Western Energetic Herbalism Certificate Course

A 6-week certificate webinar series with Kathleen Maier, AHG. PA.
Live Classes, October 8th to November 12th, 2013, Tuesdays 6-8pm EST. 
Ritual Use of Plants - Sacred Plants for Sacred Times 
Weekend Workshop with internationally respected herbalist David Winston
November 1 - 3, 2013
Please welcome David to the Charlottesville area with us as we are excited to have this revered teacher in our midst for the first time. When David taught for us at our former school, Dreamtime Center, I was amazed at his generous spirit as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of the plant and medicine realms. This will be a weekend of varied topics so it will be a sampling, if you will, of his favorite classes as well as some of the most important topics for these times..

From our friends at Transition Cville

Thursday 9/26 to Sunday 10/6 Carnival de Resistance
A band of roaming holy fools are planting down in Charlottesville! The Carnival de Resistance is a travelling arts carnival, a village demonstration project, and a movement toward cultural transformation, focused on the intersections of environmental justice, art and spirituality. Four unique theatrical productions fill the weekends, each focusing on the sacredness of one of the four elements – Earth (Sept 28th), Air (Sept 29th), Water (Oct 4th), Fire (Oct 5th). Before each production, there will be a Carnival Midway where visitors can get crafty at the creation station or check out clever twists on old Carnival games, get their face painted, and enjoy storytellers, roving musicians, performers, and much more. All Carnival productions happen on the lot beside Sojourners United Church of Christ (1017 Elliot Ave). The Midway opens at 6 pm, the performance begins at 7:30 pm. All are welcome! It’s FREE. More information:

Saturday 9/28 Charlottesville Vegetarian Fest
11am-5pm at Lee Park, Market St. & 2nd St. NE
Virginia’s premier Vegetarian Festival with music and entertainment, speakers, cooking demonstrations, and lots of delicious vegetarian & vegan food vendors. This year the Veggie Fest will be the first "Zero Waste Festival" in Central Virginia! If you would like to volunteer and help make the festival a success, please call Sharon at 434-361-1904 or visit the Volunteer page at

Saturday 9/28 100 Thousand Poets for Change
4pm-6pm at Writer House, 508 Dale Ave.
This international initiative currently includes over 500 events in more than 100 countries.
Locally,  Writer House is hosting an open mic reading, so bring poems or songs, yours or those that inspire you to be the change.  Reading isn’t a requirement.  Your presence will be an honor and a joy.  Interested in reading or assisting with the event?

Saturday 9/28 & Sunday 9/29 Workshop:  Bale Raising
9am-5pm at Acorn Community, 1259 Indian Creek Rd., Mineral, VA
Learn a natural, beautiful, energy-efficient way of building at a two day workshop led by local green building luminary, Fred Oesch.  Gain valuable hands-on experience in notching, sewing bales, earthen and lime plaster, and plumbing and electrical basics for straw bale.  $125 suggested donation.  To register email or call 540-894-0595.

Saturday 9/28 Casa Alma food donation needed
Casa Alma is asking for help to provide lunch for 10 volunteers from the Building Goodness Foundation, who are replacing the roof on one of the houses of hospitality.  If you could donate some food, please contact or call 202-2221.

Monday 9/30 TEDxCharlottesville Open Mic Night
6:30pm-9pm at the Jefferson Theater, 110 East Main Street
TEDxCharlottesville is a local event that invites leading thinkers and doers to give short talks accompanied by visuals about their world-changing ideas. TEDxCharlottesville will be held at the Paramount Theater on November 15, 2013.   Free.  More info. at

Wednesday 10/02-10/16 Seed Freedom Fortnight of Action
Internationally-known environmentalist and author, Vandana Shiva, invites you to Act for Seed and Food Freedom.  Multiple opportunities to get involved in this global call to action.  Find out more at

Saturday 10/5 Introduction to Construction Workshop for Women
9am-5pm at Living Energy Farm, 1022 Bibb Store Road, Louisa
Back by popular demand!  Lunch will be potluck style, so please bring some food to share.   We ask for a $25 donation in exchange for attending our workshops, although donations of labor, tools or other goods are also gladly accepted. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
For more information contact or (434) 409-6006.

Sunday 10/6 Community Tree Planting
8am at Pen Park
Earth Week is organizing a tree-planting day, so bring your shovel and come help out.  If you have questions, contact Eric Murphy at

Tuesday 10/8 Volunteer Work Day at Edible Landscaping
9am-3pm, 361 Spirit Ridge Lane, Afton
Have  fun working at the nursery and receive credit of $10.00 hour. Type of labor to be determined. You will need to bring pruners and don't forget your gardening gloves, and make sure you dress for the weather. No one under 18. Please bring a bag lunch. YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER, space is limited. Call (434)361-9134 or email

Saturday 10/12  Mini Maker Faire
10am-4pm Monticello High School
Charlottesville and the surrounding Jefferson Area has been a quiet hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, but no more! It’s time to make some noise, bring out our maker and crafter projects, battle some ‘bots, and have some raucous family fun. The first Mini Maker Faire in Central Virginia will celebrate invention, innovation, and curiosity.  If you are a maker, crafter, inventor, tinkerer, hacker or DIYer, come show of your stuff.  Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness.   Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers, and are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

Monday 10/14  Skill Share:  Wilderness First Aid
7-8:30pm at the Bridge PAI, 209 Monticello Ave.
Matt Rosefsky of SOLO Wilderness First Aid will share how to properly splint broken bones in an emergency when you're far from professional medical help.

Are you experienced in permaculture design?  Liberty University is looking for garden design assistance and guidance.  Having just started our very own garden, we have about an acre of land that we would love to design into a network of raised beds, swales, keyhole beds, you name it!  The site is situated on a slope and has very poor soil.  Would be an awesome opportunity to engage students and create community connections. 

Alicia Cripe '09Campus Garden ManagerCampus Recreation

(434) 592-5636
Cripe, Alicia Brooke