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