Saturday, February 15, 2014

Upcoming events

Greetings all,

Below is an awesome collection of upcoming permaculture, sustainability and farming events in the central Virginia bioregion, including some wonderful upcoming classes and workshops.  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. 

Also – check out the BRPN Facebook page and feel free to post:

Mushroom Log Cultivation Workshop at Sourwood Farm

Last year's mushroom workshop was a blast so we decided to do it again. Here are the details

Shiitake and Oyster Mushroom Workshop
Saturday March 29 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 normally retail for $25)

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)
No kids under 10 years old please....

For more info please visit:

Contact Ryan Williamson at (434) 973-6032 for more information.

Saturday, February 22--Book Signing and Movies!  Cindy Conner will be signing her new book Grow a Sustainable Diet: planning and growing to feed ourselves and the earth at Ashland Coffee and Tea from 10am-2pm. During that time her DVDs will be shown in the music room (free admittance). Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan will be shown at 10am-12:15. Cover Crops and Compost Crops IN Your Garden will be shown at 12:30-1:30. Come and meet Cindy, watch her videos with like-minded folks, and enjoy the day. Ashland Coffee and Tea is at 100 N. Railroad Ave, Ashland, VA 23005. Find more information at

The Piedmont Landscape Association invites you to attend our 31st Annual Seminar on February 20, 2014 at the historic Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville.  Our speakers this year include designer, author and photographer Rick Darke, author and professor Doug Tallamy, and local nursery woman Sandy McDougle of Sandy’s Plants.  Topics in landscape design, native plants and ecology, and your best plant bets for our local climate will appeal to professionals and enthusiasts alike.  Continuing education credits are available for VNLA, VSLD, ISA, and ASLA.  You may register for the event through the PLA’s website ( or The Paramount (  

On March 8th – 15th, Mason Sustainability Institute 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:

Green Adventures Project
Project Wet and Project Learning Tree Training
Saturday, March 1, 2014  (special one-day training!) 
Fee:  $20
Co-sponsors:  Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Green Adventure Project and Old Bear Enterprises

Thursdays, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, and 3/6 Exploring the Small Farm Dream
6:30-8:30pm at PVCC, Stanardsville
Agriculture and Rural Economy Program Manager, Don Loock will help you decide if farming is right for you, and then how to move forward with your small farm dream.  You’ll answer important questions like:  Is a working farm lifestyle really for you and your significant others? Are your financial goals for farming realistic? How do you test your market assumptions? Do you have or can you find the resources to start a farm? Where and how can you acquire the expertise, knowledge and experience to successfully farm?  Cost: $160 for Registration and Workbook.  A single farm can share a registration and workbook.  For more information contact Don Loock at or 540-522-4222.

Saturday and Sunday, 2/15 & 2/16 and 3/15 & 3/16 City Market Arts Show
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Carver Recreation Center, 233 Fourth Street NW
Last year's City Market Arts show was so successful, the market managers have added a second weekend to the event for 2014.  Shop with your favorite artisans -- indoors!  Fabric arts, pottery, jewelry, and much more!  

Tuesday 2/18 - 350 Central Virginia Meeting
6:30-8:30pm at Charlottesville Friends Meetinghouse, 1104 Forest St.
350 CVA, a chapter of international, meets on the third Tuesday of each month. Join them as they work to solve climate change, take on the big polluters and make our community a more sustainable place to live! Everyone is welcome. Light refreshments provided.

Wednesday 2/19 Ag Marketing for Small Ag Businesses: The Classics & Emerging Technology
9am-noon at the Albemarle County Office Building, Room A, 1600 5th St.
The world of marketing is vast (and time-consuming)—so how can farmers and food producers tap into the benefits of marketing and social media most efficiently? Join the Local Food Hub for a workshop focused on the best ways to market your farm or food business. The class will be led by Dr. Theresa Nartea, Assistant Professor, Virginia State University; Susan Stimart, Economic Development Facilitator, Albemarle County; and Dr. Gustavo Ferreira, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist, Virginia Tech University.  Free, but registration is required.  Please contact Nancy Bishop at or (434) 872-4580.

Wednesday 2/19 Arts Incubator Monthly Dinner
6:30-8:30pm at The Bridge PAI, 209 Monticello Rd.
Join in for a night of sharing and food, as local artists, writers, musicians, and designers meet to talk about work and build relationships.  Revolutionary Soup provides two kinds of soup, so bring a bowl.  Please feel free to bring something sharable to eat or drink. Free.

Friday 2/20 Will Daniel, Author:  My Virginia Rivers
noon-1pm at the Central Libary, 201 E. Market St.
The photo book highlights 28 rivers around Virginia, including the Rivanna River.  It also includes chapters on the Chesapeake Bay watershed and Virginia’s Scenic Rivers.

Saturday 2/22 Pruning Workshop
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm at Edible Landscaping, 361 Spirit Ridge Ln., Afton
Hands on pruning instructions on a variety of fruit trees. Everything you ever wanted to know about pruning Apples, Cherries, Grapes, Kiwi. etc.. Discussion period with tea and muffins. Bring gloves and your pruners.  Rain cancels. $35.  Some work exchange available.  Questions (434) 361-9134.  Pre-registration suggested.

Saturday 2/22 West Main St. Project - Community Input Session
10am- 1pm at Carver Recreation Center, Jefferson City School Center, 324 4th Street NW
As a follow-up to the December 7th, "Taste of West Main" kick-off event, come by to enjoy food, hear about  what’s been learned, and provide feedback on design options for West Main.  A short presentation about the project and design options is scheduled for 10:45 am.

Saturday 2/22 StreamWatch Volunteer Introductory Training Workshop
StreamWatch is fortunate to have a strong team of dedicated volunteers to help monitor and assess the health of the Rivanna watershed streams. Our volunteers donate more than 1200 hours of their time each year! These citizen scientists have been instrumental in StreamWatch’s water quality monitoring since 2003.  The first step for most volunteers is to attend an Introductory Training Workshop.  Visit for more information.

Monday 2/24 Teleconference: How to Organize Power Down Week
2-3:15pm Register
Join Transition US to learn about the model of Transition Milwaukee's successful Power Down Week, now in its 4th year, a weeklong event to raise awareness of energy consumption and promote powered-down alternatives. Hear the story of how ideas got put into motion, the challenges, growth and future vision for powering down Milwaukee. Get ideas on how to take Power Down week to your own community, and power down together!

Monday 2/24 Transition Town Potluck
7-8:30pm at Central Library, 201 E. Market St. (in the Madison Room, 3rd floor)
Join Transition Charlottesville Albemarle for an informal meal and conversation about all things related to Transition in our community. Share news about your upcoming events, projects, personal challenges and more. If you can, bring your own place setting and a dish to share. All are welcome!

Tuesday 2/25 An Evening with Author and Explorer Jennifer Phar Davis
7pm at Jefferson School City Center, 233 4th St. NW
Appalachian Trail endurance hiker and 2012 National Geographic Explorer of the Year, Jennifer Pharr Davis, is an author, speaker, and three-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. Her latest book, Called Again, chronicles her 2011 record-breaking trek in which she completed the Appalachian Trail in 46 days. Listen to this world-class athlete’s inspiring story of adventure, hardship, pain, and triumph!  This talk is co-sponsored by the City of Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department and Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

Wednesday & Thursday 2/26-27 “Locavore Hunter” events at UVA
Weds. 5pm – “Close to the Bone” Film Screening at Newcomb Hall Commonwealth Room (UVA Grounds). In this film, documentarian Helenah Swedberg shadows Jackson Landers to learn about his philosophy of hunting as locavorism.
Thurs. 4pm – Talk by Jackson Landers, The Locavore Hunter and author of “Eating Aliens,” at Newcomb Hall Kaleidoscope Room (UVA Grounds). Landers is a writer and hunting guide whose work has been covered in the New York Times, Time Magazine and Washington Post. In his books and blog, The Locavore Hunter, Landers argues that hunting can be an important method of conservation.  Both events are sponsored by Brown Residential College’s 2013-2014 Visiting Environmental Writers and Speakers Series (ViEWS). For more information on these or other ViEWS events please contact Catherine Sanger at

Internship Announcement:

The Harvest Table Farm is looking for motivated interns to assist with all aspects of an integrated farm-to-table operation. This is a unique opportunity to experience and participate in the ecological farming movement through a program that connects sustainable and innovative production methods directly to The Harvest Table Restaurant, southwest Virginia's leading local foods establishment.
Application requests or further inquiries may be referred to Samantha Eubanks via email:

International Rescue Committee
New Roots Specialist position
part time consultant

IRC Charlottesville provides resettlement services to approximately 200 newly arriving refugees each year as well as ongoing support to refugees and asylees already in the community.  A dedicated staff of 14 professionals and 3 AmeriCorps members offers an array of programs including employment, education, social integration, immigration and interpreter services.
Scope of Work: The New Roots Specialist provides hands-on support to the New Roots “Microproducer” program, which offers educational and material support to refugees as they develop incubator farms and agricultural microenterprises.  The New Roots Specialist works a flexible schedule totaling 750 hours over the course of twelve months.  The New Roots Specialist reports to the New Roots Coordinator who determines scheduling of work hours.

Sacred Plant Traditions Herbalism Classes
Tree Medicine and Stories: A Woodland Ramble
SPRING WALK: April 26, 10am – 12:30
SUMMER WALK: July 26, 9am – 11:30
FALL WALK: November 1, 10am – 12:30

This is the first time we are offering this beautiful series of walks. You can take them as a whole or individually. Shirlea is a professional forester and herbalist and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the language of trees both from an ecological standpoint as well as medicinal uses. While the focus of these walks is tree identification, there will be a lot more information shared. All walks will be held at Walnut Creek Park and directions will be sent with registration. Class is limited to 13 participants. All classes are held 10am – 12:30, save the summer class, which will be 9am – 11:30.  Fee for each walk is $30.

Costa Rica
Include permaculture workshops

Virginia Biological Farming Conference presentation files can be found via this link to the 2014 Conference Presentation Files page of our website. (This link is also currently on our homepage.)

8th Annual Barkslip's Fruit school in Asheville, NC
Spring 2014 with Luther Burbank 
March 22 & 23 10:00-5:00

This year Mr Burbank broadens the vision of fruit school by weaving the principles he learned over his 40 years of being a plant developer into the core curriculum of Fruit school. He sees that all that is taught in fruit school can easily be translated into the basics of fruit improvement, as well as general fruit care, and that the two are inextricably linked. "A single plant can change an industry and improve the lives of millions," notes Mr Burbank, and this is an extremely exciting prospect.  This is most notably exemplified by his famous seedling potato (known now as the Idaho Russet) and 1000's of other of his unique creations. "If you want a plant that is low maintenance and serves your specific tastes- simply create it."
For more details go to 
or register at Villagers 278 Haywood Rd / 28806

View the calendar page of their website

We are seeking a farm in Central or North/west VA with the following characteristics:
Our "ideal" property would be:
outside of a very small/quaint/historic village-like town, with a college is even better
with an active community that has activities for kids to be involved in
strong farming community, even better with others interested in sustainable farming
good/decent schools, or alternative schooling options
25-30+ acres (the more the better as we want to do livestock), with good soils and water source (rolling topography preferred) with land both cleared and wooded, with some farm infrastructure (barns/sheds), bonus if had fruit and nut trees
old historic home w/ at least 3bdrms and 2 ba
price preference is <$350K, 
1 hour from an airport (or max 1.5 hours)
For more information, contact Devona at:

2014 Growers Academy Roanoke, VA
February 25 – April 1 • Tuesdays, 6-9 pm; 
March 15 and March 29 • Saturday, 9 am – 1 pm

The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center is offering the fifth annual Growers’ Academy, an  8-session series specifically designed to help new and transitioning agricultural businesses succeed. Focused on sustainable farming methods and business models, the course presents low-input crop production techniques and resources for launching your own agribusiness. Instructors include resource professionals and farm business owners. The Tuesday evening classes are offered at the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center in the Roanoke Higher Education Building at 108 North Jefferson Street; the Saturday sessions consist of farm tours at nearby locations.

Tuition for this 8-session course is $225.
Limited scholarships are available, please inquire.
Josh Nease
Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Manager
108 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 701, Roanoke, VA 24016
Phone: (540) 553-2311 or

Grow - 2014: A Celebration of Trees
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 9 AM - 3:30 PM
VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics         Lexington, Virginia

Come join us for Grow - 2014: A Celebration of Trees, a premier horticultural symposium in 2014. Featured speakers are two renowned tree horticultural experts:
  • Michael A. Dirr, diverse author, plant innovator, gifted teacher and speaker.
  • Nancy Ross Hugo, author and columnist, skilled horticulturist, educator and speaker.
A special bonus speaker will be Vincent J. Dooley, devoted horticulturist, author, speaker, gardener and, oh yes, football coach.
The symposium will be held on the campus of Virginia Military Institute in the recently constructed Center for Leadership and Ethics.
Symposium proceeds will benefit the Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden.

To be placed on our email list or for specific information on Grow - 2014, send an email to

New City Arts Forum: Art, Food, and Community
March 6th - 8th, Charlottesville, VA

Food is something that our world considers necessary for human existence, whereas art is often seen as a luxury. And yet those who work in either the sectors of food or the arts (whether it be artists and farmers, patrons and chefs, or arts enthusiasts and foodies) seem to be working along parallel lines to address issues that we face in our modern world.

Artists, professors, curators, directors, chefs, writers, farmers, and foodies will present on a wide range of topics—Community Supported Art models, land-use art, food-based sculpture, art- and food-oriented social engagement, and everything in-between.
More, including registration information, here.

4th Annual
Community Transformations
Summer Intensive Program

Solutions from the Grassroots

June 23 to July 25, 2014 in Eugene, Oregon

Come to Eugene, Oregon, this summer for a five-week intensive experience participating with engaged people who are transforming their own neighborhood into a more sustainable, resilient, livable place from the ground up, one seed at a time.

View the Community Transformations slideshow and see what is happening:

Hear what former participants have to say about their experience:
Details and Application @

Northern Piedmont Specialty Crops School, 2014
Person County Cooperative Extension Center, 304 S. Morgan Street, Roxboro, NC 27573
Friday, March 7, 2014 - 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

The program emphasizes high tunnel production and economics. Topics include: getting started in high tunnel production, maintaining high productivity under cover, high tunnel temperature and irrigation management, cropping systems and crop economics in the high tunnel, and innovative production and marketing of asparagus.

Pre-registration by February 28 is required. Registration is $25 for the first person in famil / business, and $15 for each additional person. For more information, call Carl Cantaluppi, Granville County Extension, 919-603-1350, e-mail <>

7th Annual Virginia Berry Conference

 Save the date: March 13, 2014  8am -4:30 pm
Virginia State University, Gateway Dining Hall 
Petersburg VA
More details coming soon

 The 2014 CSA Expert Exchange ( ) is an online conference co-presented by Small Farm Central and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) that brings CSA farmers from across the United States and Canada together to discuss topics important to the success of CSA now and into the future.  

This year’s CSA Expert Exchange will occur live on March 6th and 7th, 2014.  The first day will be an evening session focusing on beginning CSA farmers running from 7pm until 9:30pm EST.  The second day will cover a variety of topics relevant to CSA farmers of all levels of experience beginning at 11:00am EST and running until3:30pm EST. Nationwide, the conference is expected to engage between 250-300 CSA farmers. The conference will be accessible via any web browser; attendees will be available to watch video of presenters, view powerpoint slides, and interact via chat to ask questions. The fee is $70 for both days and registration is open at

Biology of Soil Compaction Webinar – view online
Jim Hoorman - Extension Educator, Cover Crops and Water Quality, Ohio State University 
February 11, 2014 2PM Eastern / 11AM Pacific
60 Minutes

Gaining Access to Farmland:  Economic Considerations of Farm Leasing
Dr. Gordon Groover, Extension Economist Farm Management
Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

When someone thinks of a farm lease, the first thought usually is, “how much will I pay or get paid?” This often occurs before the tenant or landlord have even meet or discussed any terms. However, the main thought process should quickly shift to, “how can we reach a fair and beneficial arrangement for farmland and improvements?” Focusing on price does ground the process on financial terms yet it “short-circuits" the process of systematically discussing the contributions each is providing to ensure a viable arrangement. For example, what kind of land and improvements can be offered by the land owner?  What kind of experience, skills, management, machinery, and/or livestock can be offered by the land seeker?  These types of questions are a sample of what needs to be analyzed to achieve a fair lease arrangement. This webinar will focus on basic economic considerations of leasing, establishing a negotiation range, and valuation of assets and other inputs supplied by the leaseholder and/or landlord--- together designed to help farmers address those important farm leasing questions.  

To participate in this webinar, please go to: