Friday, December 12, 2014

Upcoming events

 Below is a great collection of upcoming events in the central Virginia bioregion!  Folks can sign up for the email here.  Send us announcements to: Click here to view this email as a webpage. And check out the BRPN on Facebook here.  

Christine, Terry, Emily and the BRPN team

1.  Greetings permaculture colleagues!

You can Influence the next Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan for the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) and the Community of Practice for 2016-2026.   Speak Up: Your ideas will guide funding for the next decade of Urban and Community Forestry! 

Urban and Community Forestry is at a turning point. We are now developing a new Action Plan for the next ten years, a plan that will guide all of our work through 2026. The next ten years will bring change at a faster pace than we’ve ever seen. Your experience, ideas and feedback will help create the foundation for the focus of the next Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan for NUCFAC and the Community of Practice.  We need your ideas, comments, and your votes about specific priorities (for more information, see Please share this with your networks and colleagues.

We are excited to announce our Spring 2015 Permaculture Design Course to be held over 4 weekends in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley near Staunton, VA with the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute.

Dates: Feb. 20-22, Feb. 28-March 1, March 21-22, April 11-12

This 72-hour certificate course is presented by the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute and will be led by permaculture instructors Dr. Ted Butchart, Ryan Blosser, Soula Pefkaros, and Trevor Piersol. Special guests will include Dave O’Neill of Radical Roots Farm and Mark Jones of Sharondale Farm.

The cost of the course will be a sliding scale, including a discount for early registration. If you register by January 1st the sliding scale is $650-$1200. After January 1st the sliding scale is $750-$1200. Payment plans are available.

To register please contact Trevor Piersol at  A $200 deposit is required to reserve your spot in the course.

Cultivate Kingdom Fungi 
At Sharondale Farms workshop on
April 24-26, 2015

Mushrooms for People and the Planet ~ A Two and a Half Day Immersion Workshop

Do you have questions about the 2015 AMI Farm Fellowship and the fellowship application process? Please join us on December 10th at 7PM EST for a telephone question and answer session with Allegheny Mountain Institute staff.  Dial-in number: 323-920-0091.  Attendee PIN: 698 5335#.

AMI Farm Fellowship
2015 Applications 

Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) is seeking inspiring individuals to participate in the fifth cohort of our AMI Farm Fellowship (formerly the AMS Fellowship).  Applications are available at  The deadline to submit your application is January 15, 2015. 

Our goal at AMI is to build skills to help individuals and their
communities create a vibrant and accessible local food economy.
AMI (as AMS) was founded in 2011 as an intensive, hands-on, cooperative, experiential learning and training program designed to teach members of our communities to grow and prepare their own food and to understand the nutritional benefits of eating seasonally.

The 2015 AMI Farm Fellowship begins April 19, 2015 and ends November 1, 2015.  During this period, AMI Farm Fellows work both on our farm site in Highland County, Virginia and on urban farm projects in Staunton, Virginia.  They study sustainable food production, whole foods preparation and preservation, mindfulness, wellness and nutrition, land stewardship and community development, as they train to become ambassadors for a healthier food culture.  Upon successful completion of the program, AMI Farm Fellows will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate, as well as gain full season experience working and learning on an education-based, diversified vegetable farm.

AMI Farm Fellows are provided room, board and training. AMI provides basic kitchen staples and AMI Farm Fellows grow much of their own food. Tuition is $3,000.00 (a limited number of scholarships are available). 

For more information, please visit, the Allegheny Mountain School Facebook page or email us at

Permaculture Design Certificate Course in March 2015

The Mason Sustainability Institute (MSI) is an organization that provides sustainability oriented education and skills development for George Mason University and its surrounding communities. 

On March 8th – 15th, MSI will be hosting a 72-Hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course, taught by Wayne Weiseman of the Permaculture Project LLC.  This course will be open to all who are interested. No prior experience necessary. The course will cover such topics as Plant Propagation, Seed Saving, Healthy Use of Animals in Permaculture Systems, Aquaponics, Renewable Energy and many more. Participants will earn a certificate in Permaculture Design, as well as Continuing Education units if requested at the start of class.

This intensive course will take place from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm with breaks for lunch, with some additional evening activities with served dinner. Catered lunch and dinners from Everlasting Life Café will be provided, and a light breakfast fare with snacks will also be available. The total cost for this course is $1,000 with an early-bird special of $900 before January 31st.

More information on the instructor, Wayne Weiseman, go to:
More information on the course can be found here:

 6. Food Fermentation with Chelsea Wakstein
 Dec. 10th, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Farmstead Ferments' Kraut Creatress Chelsea Wakstein will be back at Fifth Season on Wednesday, Dec. 10th from 5-7 p.m. for another incredible workshop on the art of kraut-making.   

Chelsea will discuss the history, culture and extensive health benefits of lactic acid fermentation, and will give you a foundation of vegetable fermentation techniques to help you get started experimenting with making delicious sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles at home. Attendees will also have the chance to make their own kraut during the workshop under Chelsea's expert guidance. 

Farmstead Ferments specializes in small batch, raw, naturally-fermented food and beverages made by hand from local produce. Because Farmstead Ferments' jars are never pasteurized, they are loaded with beneficial electrolytes, enzymes, and probiotics.  As an extra bonus, we will be offering attendees a 25% discount on all food fermentation kits the day of the workshop.

Please click here to register. Reserve your spot now... space is limited.

The Last Food Mile Conference
December 8-9 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This conference will bring together experts from national and international, academic and industrial, public and private sectors, to discuss where food losses occur along the food supply chain, why, and how much; what food waste reduction measures work effectively, lessons learned, and barriers encountered; and what policies and interventions are critically needed for moving forward. Learn more about the conference at the UPenn website. 

Southern SAWG Sustainable Agriculture Conference
January 14-17 - Mobile, Alabama
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group is holding it's annual conference in January. This year's event is focused on "Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms." Farmers and local food advocates from across the nation are invited to attend. There will be several conference sessions to chose from, along with pre-conference courses and field trips. Learn more about the conference and register at the SSAWG website.

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
Application deadline: December 15, 2014
The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency provides funding for eligible applicants for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within a community. The EJSG Program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. The long-term goals of the EJSG Program are to help build the capacity of communities with environmental justice concerns and to create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve local environments in the future. The fiscal year 2015 program will consider proposals supporting community-based preparedness and resilience efforts to avoid, lessen, or delay the risks and impacts associated with climate change. More information can be found here. 

WaterSMART: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants
Application deadline: January 14, 2015 
U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation is inviting States, Tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery to apply for a funding opportunity to cost-share on projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. Up to $300,000 will be available for smaller projects that may take up to two years to complete. Up to $1,000,000 will be available for larger, phased projects that will take up to three years to complete. Proposals must seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water, or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. More details can be found in this press release

Herb Society of America Research Grant
Application deadline: January 31, 2015
The Herb Society of America, Inc. (HSA) offers annual research grants of up to $5,000 to students, professionals, and individuals engaged in research on the horticultural, scientific, and/or social applications or use of herbs throughout history. The HSA Research Grant is intended to support small, self-contained research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time. Learn more about the grant and apply here.

Multi-State Rural Development Research or Extension Projects: North Central Region
Application deadline: January 28, 2015
The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) at Michigan State University announces a competition for seed grants aimed at enhancing the ability of Land Grant institutions to positively influence the quality of life in rural areas of the twelve-state North Central region of the United States. Priority areas for the Center's work include innovation diffusion for rural development, sustainable communities, leadership development, and entrepreneurial communities. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $25,000. Learn more about this grant opportunity

 11. From our Friends at Transition Cville: 

Friday 12/5 - Saturday 12/6 December Holiday Yard Sale

5-7pm Friday and 8am-1pm Saturday at the Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place
The Senior Center's December Holiday Yard Sale is here and everyone is sure to find gifts for the holiday! All the decorations you need for trimming your tree, wreaths, ornaments, figurines, glassware and specialty items. It all kicks off with the early-bird sale, Friday, with $5 entrance fee. Free on Saturday.  For questions contact

Saturday 12/6 Gifts from the Kitchen

2pm at The Gordon Avenue Library, 1500 Gordon Ave.
Make a gift of a soup, cookie, or tea mix in mason jars. All supplies provided. Space is limited. Call 434.296.5544 to register.

Saturday 12/6 Holiday Potluck Party for Environmentalists
5:30pm at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, Social Hall, 717 Rugby Rd.
Come out and enjoy a holiday meal with all your favorite green groups -- Sierra Club, 350 Central Virginia, Appalachian Voices, and of course Transition, among others.  Bring any dish you'd like to share.  For more info. contact Johannna Woodchild at or 434-293-5000.

Saturday 12/6 Full Moon Elder Fire Circle
7-9pm at the EcoVillage, 480 E. Rio Rd.
We2empowerment, Transition Charlottesville Albemarle and the EcoVillage Charlottesville want to hear the stories of our elders in our community. On this last full moon of the year these groups will lead a fire circle to honor our elders and mingle age groups. Come out and join us.

12/7 Seldom Seen Woods Hike
10am-3pm in the Shenandoah National Park
Celebrate the upcoming winter season with a moderate 4-5 mile loop hikein the Madison County part of SNP near the popular White Oak Canyon and Old Rag Mountain areas. Wild Virginia has special access to a trailhead not normally available to the public. As you walk on the lightly traveled trails, you will see mountain laurel, large oaks, take in a view of Hawksbill Peak (the highest point in SNP), rock hop across pristine streams and hug (if you want to) several old tulip poplar trees 16-21 feet in circumference.  After the hike and time permitting, everyone can gather around either a woodstove or campfire and enjoy hot cider, chocolate, tea, and snacks.  Trailhead is approximately a one hour drive north from Charlottesville.  To register visit or contact Eric Gilchrist at

Thursday 12/11 Better World Betty Shopping Benefit

3-7pm at Ten Thousand Villages, 105 West Main St.
Ten Thousand Villages, a not for profit fair trade retailer, is partnering with Better World Betty to raise money for the organization’s environmental advocacy efforts. Better World Betty is a local resource dedicated to improving the planet through education and action.  A portion of sales from 3 pm to 7 pm will be donated to Better World Betty to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability.  For more information, call Sallie Slater at 434-979-9470.

Mondays 1/5 - 2/16  Book Group Forming! 
7-8:30pm at the EcoVillage, 480 E. Rio Rd.
Charlottesville's three main climate groups will jointly offer a book discussion group.  This is a great opportunity to meet new people, learn, and trade ideas!  The book will be "Virginia Climate Fever" by Stephen Nash, and we'll meet on four Monday evenings (Jan. 5, Jan. 19, Feb. 2, Feb. 16).  Each evening we plan to discuss about 50 pages, starting with chapters 1-5, pages 1-49.  To register, please email John Cruickshank,, with your name by Dec. 29.  The book's website has links to purchasing options: .  Co-organizers are 350 Central Virginia, Transition Charlottesville-Albemarle, and the Piedmont Chapter of Sierra Club.  Free.

Saturday 1/10  Seed Swap
11am-1:30pm at 1208 Meriwether St.
Transitioners, Permaculturists, Organic Gardeners, Others Interested: Bring leftover seeds from 2014, or seeds you harvested in 2014 (or from years before if they're liable to be viable). Come to swap seeds and garden stories.   Questions?  Email  Stephen Bach,

Simplify the Holidays from The Center for a New American Dream
Increasingly, Americans are tired of the commercialization of the season and want more of what matters… not just more stuff. This year, you don’t have to rack up credit card debt or get swept up in the season’s commercialism. Instead, consider creating holidays that instill more meaning into the season and encourage more sharing, laughter, creativity, and personal renewal.  Learn more at

H.Y.P.E. Winter Coat Drive
Please bring your gently used winter gear (coats, scarves, shoes, boots) to share with our neighbors in need. Drop off by Friday, December 5.  Drop-off sites include The Bridge PAI, Virginia Organizing, JJ's Barbershop, His Image Barbershop, City Hall 2nd Floor City Manager's Office, and Crow Recreation Center.  For more information contact Wes Bellamy at 434-327-7873.

Recycling Opportunity:  Old toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes!
EcoVillage, 480 E. Rio Rd.
Just drop your used dental hygiene products in the bin in the foyer, and a local dental hygienist has kindly volunteered to make sure they get to Terracycle, where the waste will be upcycled or recycled into new products.

Sustainable Living Rental Available
Beautiful studio in country setting, 30 minutes Northwest of Charlottesville. $750/month.  Looking for a Quiet, Clean & a Reliable person for a tastefully & fully furnished space.  Secluded setting with numerous ponds, canoe, a floating dock, nature trail, picnic area with a fire pit & shelter, stone & cedar gazebo, wood fired sauna, scenic overlook, frisbee golf course and organic vegetable farm.

Registration now open for the Florida Earthskills Gathering happening February 5-8, 2015, in Gainesville, FL. The Florida Earthskills Gathering is a unique blend of enthusiasts who bring abundant skills and a great spirit of co-creation to this homespun gathering. By gathering here, we acknowledge that the time is ripe for modern, “civilized” humans to become more ecologically aware, to reclaim the true meaning of sustainability, and to help grow a culture of thriving which can only be achieved by living in symbiosis with each other and with our beloved Earth.

For further event info:

For work trade information contact:

What is Permaculture through the Heart? Experiencing #Permaculture through the heart presents a unique opportunity to combine the theoretical Permaculture design method with “hands-on” experience, complementing the active physical engagement with the soil with an inner attitude of appreciation and loving alignment with the earth. This program is the first of its kind, working with the psychological framework of the mind, theoretical Permaculture principles, design and planning, planting, harvesting – all in alignment with the heart. It grounds the intellectual Permaculture approach through allowing a direct connection with the heart, a loving approach to ones Self, the other and the earth with its life-giving Flora and Fauna, to unfold.
For this course is for all who wish to make a positive and effective change in their own lives and act as a change agent; for farmers, growers, gardeners, teachers, educators, town planners and more.
Facilitators: An international team of Permaculture Design and HeartSelf-IntelligenceTM specialists, Neil Willmann, Daruma eco farm founder in Thailand; Margret Rueffler, founder of Jiwa Damai permaculture center Bali and Lagu Damai foundation, Johanes Wibowo, manager of Green school Bali gardens, will teach and assist through the intellectual and experiential learning process. For detailed info click here:
Module 1 Sun 01 – Sat 07 Feb 2015
Modules 1-3 Sun 01 – Sat 21 Feb 2015
To receive a confirmation of the Permaculture Design Through the Heart completion, participation in all 3 modules is required.
The 3 modules Design Course content follows the standards, topics and number of hours laid out by Bill Mollison, the founder of Permaculture. Upon completion you will receive a Certificate of Completion as a Permaculture designer (72 hours +).
The theoretical and hands on learning is complimented by a daily early morning yoga session and an evening heart meditation.
For more information visit us at or call us at +62 (0) 361 898 8384          +62 (0) 361 898 8384

We at Virginia Food Works are happy to announce that we have been awarded a Specialty Crop Competitive Grant from the USDA and VDACS!

As many of you know, we offer a number of pre-approved recipes free for use by clients of the Prince Edward County Cannery & Commercial Kitchen. This grant will allow us to develop ten new recipes which must each feature Virginia-grown produce. This will enable us to increase the types of produce that we can utilize from Virginia farms as well as diversify products available to the entrepreneurs and farmers who use our facility.  More details are attached in our Press Release.

One of our major concerns is that these recipes are relevant to Virginia’s food producers. To that end we have created a survey for farmers and entrepreneurs to indicate what types of produce they would like to see featured as well as what types of recipes they’d like to use. Do you usually have a surplus of tomatoes? Would you love to sell a salsa alongside your produce? Let us know on the survey! With only six questions, our survey is brief and uncomplicated:

If you have any questions about the grant or Virginia Food Works then do not hesitate to send us an email at or call us at (434) 960-8958.

Please share this survey with folks who think would be interested.  Thank you for your time, we look forward to working with you!

Allie Hill

Virginia Food Works

Sacred Plant Traditions workshops:
Year I: Foundations of Herbalism - Nine-Month Weekend Program
March 21 – November 22, 2015
Year I: Foundations of Herbalism - Six Month Day Program
September 15, 2015 – March 15, 2016

Year II: Clinic I - Therapeutics
April 15 – November 11, 2015

Year III: Clinic II - Practice
April 15 – November 12, 2015

Mmmm, Mmmmm, GOOD!
Even if you're not old enough to remember that old soup ad jingle, please consider giving me your feedback on which of the following soup ideas might be GREAT for the upcoming Dec. 14 kitchen skills-sharing event. 

Three Sisters' Chili
Corn Chowder
Hot & Sour
Persian Split Pea Barley
Leek & Potato
Curried Red Lentil with Coconut
Salmon Wonton
Veggie OR Chicken Gumbo
Vedge's Cauliflower, White Bean & Fennel
Vedge's Pho with Butternut Squash
Creamy Mushroom & Leek
Classic Borscht
Nancy's "Old Hippy" Lentil Soup
OTHER: please make a suggestion OR provide your favorite recipe

THANKS for your time. Please help me to spread the word. Hope to see some of you on the 14th to make some magic-in-a-bowl!

Full Moon blessings!

Good to Go Foods

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events 
Blue Ridge Permaculture Network
Greetings all,

Below is an awesome collection of upcoming permaculture, sustainability and farming events in the central Virginia bioregion. 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. Also – post your own events on the BRPN Yahoo listserve or the BRPN Facebook page, and click here to view this e-newsletter as a webpage.

The Regenerative Farm Enterprise Planning, planned for Oct. 2014, has unfortunately been cancelled. We look forward to offering future courses and will post additional information about them here when available.

Christine, Terry, Emily and the BRPN team  
Regrarian Farm Design & Keyline Summit w/ Darren Doherty

Darren Doherty is coming to Afton, Virginia, Nov 5-7th, for a 3-day Open Consultancy and Keyline intensive! If you're serious about becoming a farmer, improving the success of your current farm, or becoming a farm consultant, this is truly the course for you. Come spend 2 days going through Darren's consultation process, followed by a full day on Keyline design, featuring Peter Traverse.* You'll learn to use the Regrarian platform to read a landscape like you've never seen it before, witness a keyline plow in action, hear about a revolutionary new online platform for managing your farm, ask your questions to the world's preeminent farm designer, and much more. Invest in the success of your farm and your ability to manage it. Darren's course will help you avoid common pitfalls, while exposing you to the best practices he's seen across the 40 countries in which he's worked. 

Get your Early Bird tickets and save $50
Visit the FB event page to join and share the event:

Agroforestry and Silvopasture in Riparian buffers – WORKSHOP

We invite you to a day-long workshop focused on two agroforestry practices, riparian buffers and silvopastures.  Silvopasture is the intentional management of trees, forage, and livestock on the same piece of land that can make for happy and healthy herds. The tree component of silvopasture systems can be managed for timber, livestock fodder, fruits and nuts, or all of the above. Riparian buffers are bands of trees planted parallel to creeks and can include fruits, nuts, florals, and more. Both practices bring trees back into farming and play an important role in improving our soil, water, and animal health.

The workshop will be held on November 8th from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm at Lord Fairfax Community College’s Fauquier Campus in Warrenton, VA. A $15 registration fee will cover lunch served on site.
For registration and more information about the event, please follow this link:
Please register by October 27th to secure your seat.
For additional questions, please contact Paxton Ramsdell at 540-231-0790 or

Saturday 10/18 Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms
9am-noon at Sharondale Farm
Learn low-tech methods for outdoor cultivation of mushrooms for personal and ecological health.  Discover how to grow shiitake, oyster, garden giant, almond portobello, and reishi.  Activities and demonstrations include mushroom cultivation on logs, wood chips, compost, and seasonal oyster mushroom cultivation on pasteurized straw. Each participant will take home an oyster mushroom growing bag completed during the workshop. Register at  Or call 296-3301 for more information.

Lessons from the Mountain: 2014 Allegheny Mountain School Capstone Presentations

From studying alternative energy to nutrition and culinary education, growing food isn’t the only thing that has kept Allegheny Mountain School Fellows busy during their residency in Highland County at the AMS Farm site.  Please join the AMS Fellows at The Highland Center on Wednesday, October 15th at 6:30 pm as they share their Capstone Presentations with the community.  Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, please e-mail, or contact the Allegheny Mountain School at (540) 468-2300.

Dr. Elaine Ingham ( ) is coming to Virginia.  

On Dec 2-3, she will be at the Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference in Weyer's Cave (always an excellent conference).   On Dec 4, she will offer a full day training at the Extension Center at the VSU Carter Agricultural Center at the Randolph Farm  in Petersburg. (Address: Carter G. Woodson Avenue Petersburg 23806   Phone: 804-524-5151).  Either workshop is  $25 for book, workshop and meal.  Registration is through the Virginia Farm-to-Table website.  

On March 7th – 14th, 2015, MSI will be hosting a 72-Hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course, taught by Wayne Weiseman of the Permaculture Project LLC at George Mason near D.C.  This course will be open to community members as well as Mason students. No prior experience necessary. The course will cover such topics as Plant Propagation, Seed Saving, Healthy Use of Animals in Permaculture Systems, Aquaponics, Renewable Energy and many more. Participants will earn a certificate in Permaculture Design, as well as Continuing Education units if requested at the start of class. This intensive course will take place from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm with breaks for lunch, and some additional evening activities with served dinner. Catered lunch and dinners will be provided, and a light breakfast fare with snacks will also be available. The total cost for this course is $1,100 with an early-bird special of $1000 before December 31st.
More information on the instructor, Wayne Weiseman, go to:
More information on the course can be found here:

From our Friends at Transition Cville:

Tuesday 10/7 Route 29 Proposed Solutions Public Hearing
5-7pm at Albemarle High School
VDOT will hold a open house style public hearing on the proposed designs for three of the Rt. 29 Solutions projects: the widening of Rt. 29 north of the river from Polo Grounds Road to the Hollymead Towncenter, the extension of Berkmar Drive, and the improvements at the Rio Road and Rt. 29 intersection.

Tuesdays starting 10/7 Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards' Training Class
6-8pm at Albemarle High School
To become a tree steward, the first step is to complete the training class held on five Tuesday evenings through October and into November.  Topics will include tree identification, biology, roots and soil, riparian buffers, planting, tree care, pests, and much more.  $110.  For more information:  E-mail  2014catstrainingclass@gmail.com

Tuesdays 10/7-11/18 VoiCeS:  Learn to be an Active Watershed Steward
6-8pm at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1793 Richmond Rd.
This 7 week series of evening classes focuses on water quality and watershed stewardship. Course topics will include: local natural history and culture, restoration efforts, wetlands, native landscaping, agriculture, current legislation, advocacy, and more.  Successful graduates receive CBF's designation as "Chesapeake Stewards."  Registration deadline is Oct. 6 and space is limited.  Call Robert Jennings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation at 484-888-2966 or for more info., or register at

Wednesday 10/8 Rain Barrel Workshop
5:30-7pm at 706 Forest St., Suite G
This workshop includes a presentation on rainwater harvesting and full assembly of each rain barrel. Barrels are black, recycled plastic, approx. 60-gallon, food grade, and created to be rain barrels for your home and garden.  Registration is required by the first of the month.   $70/barrel.  Please contact Lauriston at Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District to register 434-975-0224, ext. 107 or email

Wednesday 10/8 Fall Ferment Fun
6-8pm at The Elderberry, 1917 Commonwealth Dr.
Want to become a Fermentation Artist at home?  Unlock your inner Fermenter!  Join Farmstead Ferment’s Kraut Creatress Chelsea Wakstein in learning about the history, culture, and health benefits of lactic acid fermentation. The class will focus on the practical application of vegetable fermentation techniques including the skills needed to make sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles. Class attendees will make sauerkraut to take home and be inspired to continue experimenting at home.  $15.  Register here:

Wednesday 10/8 Full Moon Elders Fire Circle
TBD at the EcoVillage, 480 E. Rio Rd.
On full moons for the rest of the year the Women's Experiential Empowerment group will lead a fire circle to honor our elders and mingle age groups.  Come on out for the first one! Contact Joanie for more information

Thursday 10/9 Workshop:  Tractor and Implement Maintenace and Safety
3-5:30pm at Bellair Farm, 5357 Bellair Farm
Join the Local Food Hub for their first-ever workshop on basic maintenance and safety techniques for tractors! Todd Anderson, of James River Equipment and an Albemarle County beef cattle farmer, has extensive experience with and knowledge of tractors and heavy equipment of all makes and scales. Todd will discuss the main components of a tractor, provide tips on routine maintenance to keep your machine in tip-top shape, discuss troubleshooting strategies for when your tractor acts up, and will cover important safety practices. Bellair Farm will provide tractors for demonstration purposes. $15.  Please RSVP at .  For questions, please contact Adrianna Vargo, Director of Grower Services, at

Saturday 10/11 Harvest Fest:  Demos, Tastings, and More in the Barn
9:30-11:30am at Bellair Farm, 5375 Bellair Farm
Bellair Farm will be hosting several guests to share their expertise on edibles.  Free.

Saturday 10/11 Archery and Arrowsmithing
10am-1pm at the Heritage Far, 214 Fredericksburg Ave., Louisa
This workshop aims to send you home with a hand fletched Arrow, in addition to, an awareness of how the skill development of archery can serve to develop technique, cooordination, character, and true focus.  Sponsored by the Louisa County Historical Society.  Materials fee $13.

Sunday 10/12 Food From Our Farms Dinner
6pm at Verulam Farm, 99 Bloomfield Rd.
A seasonal, local five-course menu with local wine pairing by area chefs.  Live music provided by local bluegrass band, Gallatin Canyon.  To reserve a ticket or sponsor a table contact Terri di Cintio at or 434-244-0625.

Monday 10/13 Skill Share:  Easy Winterizing 
7-8:30pm at the EcoVillage, 480 E. Rio Rd.
Tired of high winter electric bills, and having a breeze through your place? Living in an apartment and the landlord won't pay for insulation? Come and find out how you can lower your energy bills this year and stay warmer during the winter for less than $60 total for a one or two bedroom apartment.  Plus many more easy tips for renters and homeowners! Free.

Tuesday 10/14 Market Central:  Tortilla Making Class
6-8:30pm at The Haven at 1st. St. and Market St.
Learn how to make your own organic corn tortillas through a process called nixtamalization. Class participants will help to grind and press tortillas, and prepare an easy, delicious enchilada recipe three ways including vegan, vegetarian and meat options. All participants leave with a pack of Ula tortillas.  $25.  Sign up here:

Sunday 10/19 Fall Rivanna River Sojourn
8:30am-1:30pm at the DGIF Boat Launch at Crofton
Join the Rivanna Conservation Society and Blue Mountain Sports for the Fall Rivanna River Sojourn.  Traverse the Rivanna with family and friends, view wildlife and birds, and help clean up the river as you go. All experience levels welcome.  Lunch provided.  Register at
Sunday 10/19 2nd Annual Artisan Open House
12-4pm at Ash Lawn-Highland
Ash Lawn-Highland, in partnership with the Artisans' Center of Virginia, will celebrate the artisans whose work are featured in their Museum Shop Artisans’ Room. The Artisans’ Room showcases the work of juried Virginia artists and artisans. Handmade items include objects in wood, metal, glass, textile, and ceramic, and reflect some of the best local artistry.  This celebration will include demonstrations by several local artists and artisans, refreshments, and live music by acoustic soloist Timothy Seaman.  Free.

Sunday 10/26 Homebrew for Hunger
1-5pm at Fifth Season Gardening, 900 Preston Ave.
 Come by to sample over 80 craft beers flowing from the taps of more than 40 local hobby brewers, plus small batches from craft brewers across the region. All proceeds (literally every penny) will benefit the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. For more info. or to get tickets visit

Sunday 10/26 Gospel Choir Benefit Concert
3pm at The Haven at 1st St. and Market ST.
Join PACEM for a benefit concert featuring local gospel choirs "Voices of Unity" and "Annointed Voices".  All donations and proceeds will benefit PACEM.  For more information or to get involved contact Margurite at

Friday 11/7 Poultry Conference & Workshop
8:30-4pm at 6321 Holland Rd., Suffolk
Have you been thinking about raising poultry?  Are you ready to learn how to sell a few eggs or whole birds or just some eggs & mea for your family?  Do you have a pasture or large  backyard?  Then plan to attend the VA Cooperative Extension's workshop to learn how to raise poultry.  Topics covered will be housing, breeds, feeding, marketing, biosecurity, equipment and the realities of raising poultry.  $10, lunch included.  To register, please contact Susan Sharp at 757-514-4331.

Sundays EcoVillage Workday and Potluck
1:30-5pm Workday, 5:30-7pm Potluck
Don't forget to stop by Charlottesville's EcoVillage to see what they're up to and how can you can participate!  Or, just come by the potluck to learn more.

Optical Surveying for Earthworks and Water
November 4-9th, Little Applegate Southern Oregon

This advanced permaculture course is offered by Siskiyou Permaculture with lead instructor Tom Ward.  Basic Surveying and layout are essential skill sets for every farmer, homesteader, designer and consultant.  In this 6 day course, Tom Ward teaches the use of many analog (non-battery operated) surveying tools, along with advanced skills in keyline, pond and swale layout, mapping and other core knowledge necessary for design and execution of permaculture projects.  Click here for Reviews of this popular course.

Early registration ends October 7thRegister now to save your place and get the best price.

Using Cover Crop Mixtures Webinar on October 14

Join eOrganic for the first webinar of the fall 2014 season! In Using Cover Crop Mixtures to Achieve Multiple Goals on the Farm, a team of researchers at Penn State University will discuss the use of cover crop “cocktails” or mixtures to achieve weed suppression, nitrogen scavenging, nitrogen provisioning, and attracting beneficial insects and pollinators. Results from a study of winter cover crops in a grain and forage research project at the Penn State Rock Springs Research Farm and from several Pennsylvania farms will be shown. They will also review issues of cover crop timing, termination, and general management to aid in farmer insight and adoption of cover crop mixes.

The webinar takes place on Tuesday, October 14 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). The presentation will last an hour, followed by 30 minutes for questions. Attendees will be able to type in questions for the speakers. The webinar is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. Register now at

James River Green Building Council

RICHMOND LUNCHEON: High Performance MEP and Net Zero Design
October 15th @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM| Speaker Patrick MacClenahan and Tom Simpson of Integral Group  This course introduces integrated design strategies used in the successful completion of high performance building projects including net zero energy projects. Participants will be introduced to a variety of HVAC, lighting and plug load approaches.  A closing case study will reinforce the presented strategies and use of integrated project workflows for sustainable design.  Location: Ellwood Thompson's Community Room

Our educational seminars are eligible for GBCI continuing education credit. Due to the increase in luncheon attendance and the size of our venue, we must cap registration at 20. Please register early to guarantee your spot! Register here.

CHARLOTTESVILLE LUNCHEON: Adapting Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future
October 14th @ 11:45 AM | William Lucy, the Lawrence Lewis Jr. Chair, and professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia
Location: City Space  Get a deeper understanding of behavioral economics and the social psychology of everyday life as it relates to infrastructure and sustainability.

Register here.

GVGBC Launch and Social Event
October 29 @ 5:00 | Mosaic Restaurant 

Come out and support us on Wednesday, October 29th at Mosaic Restaurant as we launch our new name, logo, website, and organization: The Greater Virginia Green Building Council. The event will last from 5:00 to 9:00, and thanks to Mosaic's "Give Back" program, 13% of all proceeds from the evening go to GVGBC. We will hold a small presentation for our members, before turning the evening over to great food and drinks! Tell your friends, neighbors, and bring the whole family! Share this on Facebook, Twitter, and all social media. Registration is not required.

See our full calendar here.

The Natural Nelson project records and promotes the biological and historical wealth of Nelson County, Virginia.

Volunteer-run walking surveys collect data on endangered and at-risk species, ecosystems, and historic sites on private property within Nelson County.  The data that volunteers collect will be used to defend private property and ecological integrity from forces hostile to the health and well-being of Nelson County and its residents.  Volunteers are encouraged to document their findings with text and images.  These will be featured on the Natural Nelson website so that the stories and beauty of Nelson County can be more widely recognized and supported.

There is currently a dire threat to ecological integrity of Nelson, and her surrounding counties from the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline carrying fracked natural gas to the coast for export.  The Natural Nelson project can provide a way for individuals interested in protecting the land from devastation to make their influence felt.

We are inviting all experts in rare and endangered species identification, at-risk habitat assessment, and historical site review to sign up with Natural Nelson.  These local experts will then be contacted by area landowners looking to document the ecological and historic richness on their property.  The data that is collected can be used to effectively oppose efforts to devastate the land.
Your knowledge is a true asset to the people and ecosystems of Virginia, especially in these times of threat to our communities' health and well-being.
We'd be happy to answer any questions you might have via email at naturalnelsonian@gmail[dot]com

Natural Nelson

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Upcoming events

Lots of great events in the Blue Ridge Bioregion coming up:

Regenerative Farm Enterprise Planning
With Eric Toensmeier, Rafter Sass Ferguson, and Elizabeth Ü
At Shannon Farm Community in Afton, VA (45 minutes from downtown Charlottesville, VA)
October 18-23, 2014
Scaling up ecological agriculture is one of the critical challenges we face in addressing climate change and the global food crisis. Integrated perennial farm businesses are a key part of the solution when planned and managed effectively; join us to learn and practice how!
This 6-day course integrates time-tested farm business planning tools with the holistic landscape planning of permaculture and cutting-edge creative financing strategies. Experienced leaders will guide participants through an intensive planning/design process, from initial visioning, through successional enterprise budgeting, to design of the farm landscape. In this dynamic course, participants will design in teams working on a shared project, with structured time for participants to integrate what they are learning with their own goals and projects. Special sessions will bring in the insight of experienced permaculture farmers.
TOPICS include:
  • identifying and prioritizing values and goals
  • land location and capability and land use planning
  • enterprise selection strategies with a focus on...
    regenerative farming practices and production systems: perennial and tree crops, managed grazing and livestock integration, and other practices
  • financial modeling, record keeping, and optimising financial sustainability
  • financing regenerative enterprises through community supported models, crowdfunding, and other creative methods
  • start-up and long-term development strategies on US permaculture farms
  • budgeting for integrated perennial and livestock systems
  • market research and strategies
Participants will come away with the skills necessary to build their own regenerative enterprise scenario, and a roadmap for fleshing it out into a full farm and business plan.
Cost for the course is a sliding scale of $595 - $895. Limited scholarships, work trade, and group discount options are available. To register or for more information contact Terry Lilley at or download the registration form.
The 2014 Heritage Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, September 13, at Monticello:

See many great permaculture presentations, including Christine Gyovai, Ben Kessler, Emily Axelbaum and many others!

The 2014 Heritage Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, September 13, at Monticello: on the West Lawn, in the vegetable garden, and in the LEED-certified Visitor Center. The venue provides a beautiful showcase for the restored gardens and features the wealth of Monticello’s programs in not just gardening, but also natural history, foodways, and the roles of the entire plantation community. On Friday, September 12, there will be additional premium programming, including the Festival Keynote Presentation & Chef’s Harvest Dinner.

Saturday, August 16, 9:00 am
Native Plant Walk
Ivy Creek Natural Area, 1780 Earlysville Rd, Charlottesville, VA
Walk with Tana Herndon to see the spectacular late blooming wildflowers of summer. Cardinal Flower, Horsemint, Ground Nut, Boneset, and Jewelweed are among the flowers that bloom in August at Ivy Creek. We’ll also keep an eye out for lady tresses Orchids and Goldenrod. Co-sponsored by the Ivy Creek Natural Area. Meet by the kiosk near the parking lot. Free and open to the public.
Position Open- Veteran Farmer
Temple Hill Farm in Ivy, Virginia - Inquiries received through September 15, 2014
Seeking a Veteran-Farmer to establish farm business on 41 acres in central Virginia, west of Charlottesville. Applicant shall have recent military experience with an honorable discharge, be drug-free and have a comfort level with small-scale farming. Owner will consider options for farm production from vegetables to small-scale livestock, farmed organically or as close to natural as possible. Ideas for alternate enterprises are also welcome: native plant production, beekeeping, medicinal and culinary herbs, mushroom cultivation and/or farmed flowers.
Please note:  This is not a farm manager listing, rather an opportunity for a young, willing farmer to build a farm business on land under a long term agreement for it's use. See attached flyer for full details! 
Please send cover letter, resume and 2 references (name, phone, and email) to:
Laura Farrell,

From our friends at Transition Cville:

Thursday 8/14 Thinking Outside the Jar: In-home Canning (with a twist!)
5:30-6:30 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 115 North East Street, Culpeper
Interested in prolonging the shelf life of those tasty local berries that you picked or purchased at the farmers market? Join Caroline Mello of Caroline’s Specialty Foods as she gives the basics of home canning, with the added twist of unusual flavors that enliven the palate. Come sample some of the flavors, such as Blueberry Lemon, Peach Balsamic, Cherry Amaretto, and Apple Jack (Daniels), and have a jam session about other unique flavor combinations.   Free.

Friday 8/15 Literature Reading
Lindsey Turner and Rebecca Taylor are the featured August readers at The Bridge PAI, located at 209 Monticello Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Saturday 8/16 The 3rd Annual Bike Walk Play JPA:  A Charlottesville Open Streets Event
9-noon at the 1 mile stretch from the JPA Bridge to the Harris/Camellia/JPA Ext. intersection
JPA will be open to any form of active travel and recreation: walking, biking, jogging, unicycling, skating, 'strollering', etcetera.  JPA will be closed to vehicle traffic, which will make a safe environment for kids and families to play, run, walk, and bike in the street. Organized activities will be grouped at 5 activity areas along the route, plus food and vendor stations.  Bike Walk Play JPA is open and free to the public, accessible for any age group or physical ability level, and on mostly flat terrain.

Saturday 8/16 Better World Betty's "Giving Grill"
11:30am-2pm at Whole Foods Market outdoor patio 
Enjoy a lunch of grilled vegan or beef burgers and hot dogs and 100% of the proceeds will help Better World Betty:  one of your favorite local sources for living lighter on the planet.  It’s move-in weekend for UVA students, so she'll have plenty of great college tips as well as back-to-school tips for students of all ages!

Tuesday 8/19 Workshop:  Natural Plant Dyes
4-6pm at Bellair Farm, 5575 Bellair Farm
As part of Bellair Farm's summer workshop series, this event will be led by Pat Brodowski, Monticello vegetable gardener. $25.  Register at  

Tuesday 8/19 Climate Action Potluck
6:30-8:30pm at the Friends' Meeting House, 1104 Forest. St.
Listen to the Green Grannies sing and discuss chapter plans for this fall.  With the issue of fracking and new pipelines in Virginia heating up, what different kinds of climate activism should the chapter focus on?  Bring your favorite dish for the Pot Luck!

Wednesday 8/20 Heirloom Tomato Dinner
6-9pm at The Market at Grelen at 15091 Yager Rd., Somerset
The Local Food Hub and The Market at Grelen are excited to announce their first collaboration! Together, they are creating a series of small farm to table dinners that feature and celebrate Virginia’s local produce, meat and cheese. Their first dinner is scheduled for August, and celebrated Chef Paul Deigl, of Real Food Catering, will be preparing a wonderful four-course “heirloom tomato dinner.” Local wine pairings for each course will be included.   Space is limited so please sign up early.  Cost is $125 per person and a portion of the profits will be donated to Local Food Hub.  Register here

Saturday 8/23 - 1st Jamaica Fest
5:30 - 9:00pm at Lochlyn House, 480 East Rio Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Featuring Darryl Rose, who played with Bob Marley and the Wailers. Cary and Jay will be opening the evening with reggae sounds. Authentic Jamaican cuisine by Rochelle. Donations welcome.

Saturday 8/23 Seed Saving Workshop
1-4pm at Living Energy Farm, 1022 Bibb Store Rd., Louisa
Living Energy Farm is holding a Seed Saving Workshop, following a work day in the morning where they will harvest their seed crops (and probably do some construction). The workshop will teach about growing, harvesting and cleaning open pollinated seeds using both wet and dry processing methods. They will likely be cleaning pepper, watermelon, or okra seeds.  Please RSVP a week in advance if you plan to attend.

Saturday 8/23 Carpentry for Women
12-4pm at Heartmoor Farm Education Center, 801 Perkins Rd. Kent Store, VA 23084
$50.00 cost for class covering the basics of tool use, safety, fundamentals, hand and power tools.

Friday 8/29 - Monday 9/1 Twin Oaks International Communities Conference
If you live — or want to live — according to the ideals of sustainability, cooperation and equality, come to the annual Twin Oaks Intentional Communities Conference this summer for a celebration of communal lifestyles and resource-sharing.  Network and learn about communities of all kinds — co-housing, co-ops, communes and ecovillages — at one of the best-known intentional communities in North America. At the conference, you can attend workshops and camp in a beautiful forest alongside fellow participants and be a part of a temporary, once-in-a-lifetime intentional community.  More information and registration at

Wednesday 9/13 Through the Garden Gate 
9:00- 12:00pm at Piedmont Master Garderners Cooperative Extension, Albemarle Co. Office Building #5 - 2nd Floor, 460 Stagecoach Rd. Charlottesville, VA 22902
The 13th annual visit to local gardens in and around Charlottesville. No registration needed. Just show up. $5.00 entry to each garden.

9/19 - 9/21 Transition Fall Equinox Women's Retreat 
Friday night to Sunday morning. Camping, meditation, herbalism, storytelling, learn new skills, sing a long by the campfire. A great chance to renew yourself for fall and make some new friends. Interested in planning or or being a part of it? Contact

Sunday 9/21 People's Climate March? 
The Central Virginia chapter of is looking for an indication of how many people want to go up to New York for the national 350 rally with Bill McKibben at the UN's next WTO meeting.  The Steering Committee wants to know the amount of interest in Charlottesville-Albemarle, so if you, your family, or friends are thinking of going, please with "NYC rally" as the subject line. They are considering carpooling and buses, so please state your preferences (such as if you would like to be a driver or passenger and how many you passengers you could take). A local solidarity rally is also under discussion.

Volunteers Needed for Earth Week/Eco Fair Team
The Earth Week and Eco Fair teams are looking for volunteers to help on their board and on with other facets of their April events.  Roles include but are not limited to Volunteer Captain, EcoFair Captain, Rest-of-year Events Captain, Fundraising Captain, RaffleMaster, Marketing Captain, Webmaster, Secretary, Treasurer, MC, Education Planner, Vendor Coordinator, Photographer, Site Layout, Registrar, and Publicity.  If you're interested in helping a key Charlottesville event, then contact Eric Murphy at . 

Volunteers Needed for Better World Betty 9/12 CLIPS Beer & Film Night
Better World Betty is excited to once again be the non-profit beneficiary of the  CLIPS Beer and Film Night. New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, is once again bringing its beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show to our backyard.  The best part is that 100 percent of beer sale proceeds will go to local nonprofits Better World Betty and Charlottesville Area Mountain Biking Club.  Betty could really use the help -- along the lines of 35 volunteers!  Please help to make the event a success by contacting Betty at

Mini Eco Grants Available from Earth Week!
Earth Week is looking to keep the eco-energy going year round, and as
part of that effort launched the Mini Eco Grants program last
year.  Mini Eco Grants are small cash grants given to organizations
looking to start or continue great environmental projects. The
application is one page, making it easy to apply for if you're a
first time grant writer.  So, if you know someone who's got a project that needs a little jump start, please let them know that they can apply for a $100 Mini Eco
Grant between now and August 1.  Earth Week will do the same thing again each
month for the rest of the year.  Click here to download the application, and remember to keep it down to one page!

Help End Pesticide Use in Charlottesville City Parks and Schoolyards!
The Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club recently launched a campaign for Pesticide Free Parks & School Grounds.  Please sign the petition which states:  "We request that the Charlottesville City Council end the use of lawn & garden pesticides on all parks, school yards, athletic fields and other city-owned properties."  To sign, simply send an email to  Then forward this information along to your friends!

Help 350 Central Virginia get solar power installed on Albemarle Schools!
Sign their petition and help move our community closer to a sustainable future: