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