Thursday, October 8, 2015

Upcoming events

1.   Looking for a permaculture designer?  Check out these local firms:

Dialogue + Design Associates is a multi-disciplinary, public-interest design firm based in Charlottesville, Virginia. We work with clients to develop permaculture plans for urban, rural, or community sites, leading to increased self-reliance, resilience, beauty and regeneration of the land and its inhabitants.  Learn more at:

C’ville Foodscapes is a worker-owned edible landscaping cooperative that transforms lawns into beautiful, abundant, low-maintenance, edible oases in and around Charlottesville, Virginia. More info at:

Many other folks have shared their designer services (and free to share your info) at the BRPN Facebook page:

Regenerative Earthworks Practicum with Darren Doherty
Wednesday-Saturday 11/11-11/15
Farfields Farm, Afton Virginia $425 through Oct. 18th, $475 through Nov 9th.
Join us for 5 days of Regenerative Earthworks with one of the world's foremost broad-acre farm designers, Darren Doherty. The Practicum will include siting and building a ridge pond, building farm roads for water catchment, calculating and managing waterflow across a site, and managing for soil building through a combination of earthworks and Holistic Management.  Find out more at

Saturdays 10/17 & 10/31 Designing Your Permaculture Homestead
9am-Noon, IX Art Park and Farfields Farm, 10/17 & 10/31 in Charlottesville
Respectively, Sliding Scale $8-25
Join Ben Kessler of CVille Foodscapes, and the management team at Farfields Farm, as we learn how to design the Permaculture Homestead of your dreams. In Session 1 at IX, we'll build the theoretical framework for design. We'll familiarize ourselves with Mother Nature's own pattern language, building the confidence to use that language in our own homes and livelihoods. In session two, we'll go out to Farfields Farm and study 'Plants in the Permaculture Homestead.' We'll see the vegetable gardens, medicine gardens and useful/medicinal plant nursery there, and we'll learn to create the conditions for healthy plants to happen.  RSVP at

3. From our friends at Transition Cville

Saturday 10/10 Organic Orchard Planning and Fruit Tasting
9am-4pm at 912 Woodfolk Dr.
All-day intensive workshop featuring Michael McConkey of Edible Landscaping and Alexis Zeigler from Living Energy Farm.  Have you ever tasted jujubes, muscadines, persimmons, homegrown pomegranates, filberts, homegrown almonds? Here's your chance to taste these and other fruits, and to learn how to grow your own organic orchard as well!  $50.  Contact: Debbie Piesen,, 540-205-0433 to register.

Saturday 10/10 Solar Design Build
9am-4pm at Heartmoor Farm Wood Shop
This workshop introduces you to basic design, theory and methods to maximize the solar potential in your home, office or barn. Morning meeting will include lectures and a slideshow to show how to use passive design for home
heating, cooling and day lighting. The afternoon will cover the basics of photovoltaics for home power. The course will expand your understanding of how to use the sun’s energy to brighten your life, heat your living spaces and
water and set yourself for off-grid power.  $130.  Register at PVCC

Monday 10/12 Water Bath Canning Intro Class
9am-3pm at the County Extension Office, 460 Stagecoach Rd.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to can your own food at home? Do you love gardening but not know what to do with all of your excess produce after a productive growing season? Then this class is perfect for you! They will be covering the basics of water bath canning and the food safety education that accompanies safe canning procedures.  During the class you will have the chance to create your own jars of jam and home-made salsa to bring home with you. To register or learn more about this class, please call your local Cooperative Extension Office at: 872-4580.  $20.

Monday 10/12 Transition Skill Share:  Drum Circle 101
7-8:30pm at the EcoVillage, 480 E. Rio Rd.
When villagers hear the drum’s call they know it is time for the community to gather.  Music is an international language that is created only through conversation and cooperation.  Come gather with Transition Charlottesville Albemarle for an evening of community drumming around the bonfire led by local African drum teacher Kevin Munro.  Learn basic rhythms to keep the circle going strong.  No experience is needed.  If you have a drum or shaker bring it along, additional instruments will be on hand for those who don’t have their own.  Please RSVP Transition Charlottesville so we know how many instruments to have on hand. Join the event on Facebook:

Wednesday 10/14 Ecosystem Gardening
7:30-9:30pm at Ivy Creek Natural Area
Devin Floyd, founder and director of the Center for Urban Habitats, will offer an ecological perspective of sustainable native plant gardening and landscaping. Sponsored by the Jefferson Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.  More info. at

Thursday 10/22 Local Food Hub Community Food Awards
5:30pm at the Local Food Hub Warehouse in Ivy
Save the date for the Local Food Hub's annual Community Food Awards, an event to recognize farmers, businesses, and community partners for their commitment to local food, healthy communities, and Virginia agriculture. Following the ceremony, there will be a community meal, bonfire, s’mores, and a fun photo booth. To RSVP, email This event is free of charge. 

Saturday 10/24 Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms
9am-noon at Sharondale Farm, Cismont
Learn how to grow several different types of mushrooms using low-tech, low-cost methods in your garden or woodlot.  Get hands-on experience inoculating logs for mushroom cultivation.   Discussions will include biology and ecology of fungi, using mushrooms for personal and ecological health, and methods for cultivating shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane, reishi, and other mushrooms in wood, straw, and compost.  $75.  More info. at

Volunteers Needed for the Bi-Annual Bike & Pedestrian Count
While there is abundant data on the traffic patterns of cars and trucks, transportation officials have limited information on bicycle and pedestrian trips. Consequently, there is greater difficulty with justifying funding for Bike/Ped projects and uncertainty on where to focus the limited local, state and federal resources that are available.  You can help:  200 volunteer hours are needed to cover the 10 locations and 4 dates.  More info. here:

Transition Streets US Crowd-Funding Campaign
Only 43% of Americans know most or all of their neighbors by name!  It's time to meet your neighbors and change the world, and Transition Streets can help.  Check out this one minute video and consider supporting the national effort:

Book Club Starting:  "A Sand County Almanac"
"A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There" is a 1949 non-fiction book by American ecologist, forester, and environmentalist Aldo Leopold.  Wild Virginia will be hosting this book discussion on Thursday, October 22 at 7pm at David Sellers and Bette Dzamba’s house in Charlottesville.  For directions, email  More info. at

Composting, Companion Planting and Permaculture

Sunday, Oct. 11th, 1-3pm
Public Works Administration Building
941 Fir Street, Wayne Hills District, Waynesboro, VA

Join Black Bear Composting, C'ville Foodscapes, and Waynesboro Public Works for a workshop on composting, companion planting and permaculture.  

While on site, take a tour of the composting, planting, and stormwater management efforts of Waynesboro Public Works.

FREE!  More information at

Edible Landscaping - Annual Persimmon Festival

Saturday, Oct. 31st - 9am-5pm Afton, VA

Asian & Native Persimmons are a great addition to anyone's home garden, and Edible Landscaping has an extensive collection!  
Stop by for lectures, tours, and fruit tastings, ask questions, and maybe even buy some plants!

More info at

6. From our friends at Cville Foodscapes
UACC Friendship Court Community Orchard & Native Plant Sanctuary Update

Last week marked the last official UACC volunteer day of the season. Since April, we've worked with Todd, Jennifer, and dozens of UACC volunteers to dig trenches, haul gravel, sort stone, and build beautiful dry-stack stone terraces. We are immensely grateful to internationally-renowned master stone mason Elizabeth Nisos and her partner, Tracy Carver, for all their guidance and encouragement.

The Center for Urban Habitats is already observing a resurgence in native wildlife among the plants installed in the spring (pictured above).

Over the next few months, we'll continue work on the upper terrace walls and prepare the ground for Spring plantings of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, honeyberries, and bush cherries. If you have an hour or two to spare and would like to lend a hand, contact Farmer Todd at 434-989-0150 or

We'd also like to share that UACC is raising funds for its 10th growing season! Thousands of pounds of healthy veggies, a new orchard, living wage jobs, safe garden space for kids -- if you support all that, please consider making a donation to keep this community effort going strong.

If you'd like to learn more about UACC, check out their website or the recent series by WTJU.

Cider Week:  
Hill and Holler Food Truck Takeover to benefit UACC

Sunday, Nov. 15th
Adventure Farm
Earlysville, VA

This year's annual Hill & Holler Cider Week event features three acclaimed chefs taking over local food trucks with their own culinary creations, accompanying cider and cidermakers from four Virginia Cideries.

Proceeds benefit the Urban Agricultural Collective of Charlottesville. 

Lessons from the Mountain
2015 Allegheny Mountain Institute
Capstone Presentations
October 14th at 6:30 pm
Staunton Public Library

Growing food isn’t the only thing that has kept Allegheny Mountain Institute Farm Fellows busy during their farm site residency in Highland County!  Graduating AMI Farm Fellows will present their Capstone Projects and reflect back on the 2015 learning and growing season at the AMI farm. Light refreshments will be served.

Presentation topics include:

Ecological Pest Management on the AMI Farm with Nick Wittkofski

Creating a Wildcrafted Apothecary: Syncing with the Seasons with Anna Minsky, Anna Tracht, and Sarah Merfeld

Community Cohesiveness via the Dinner Table with Katie Gilman

From our friends at the VA Association for Biological Farming
Southern SARE Calls for Proposals for Producer Grants and On-Farm Research Grants - there is still time to apply for this funding opportunity!
Application deadline Friday November 13 at 5:00 pm

The USDA Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program has released calls for proposals for two of its regular grant programs.  Producer Grants are offered to farmers or farmer groups to address production problems related to sustainable agriculture, and to reduce the financial risk of trying new sustainable tools and techniques in crop or livestock production.  Producer grants can range up to $10,000 for an individual farmer or $15,000 for a group, On-farm Research Grants are offered to Extension, University, or NGO agricultural professionals working with farmers to conduct on-farm research.  On-farm Research Grants can fund projects up to two years duration, with a maximum award of $15,000.

See attached Word documents for more on these two funding opportunities. The documents include links to the full Call for Proposals and application instructions. 

Whole Farm Business Management and Planning Workshop
OCTOBER 22, 2015
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
8320 Ruthville Road • Providence Forge, VA
To view our Flier download the PDF
Use this Link to Register:
Presented by the Beginning Farmer Program, Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach, and the Farm Credit Knowledge Center, this workshop is free and open to the public.
Class size is limited. Pre-registration is required.
Lunch is provided. Please register by October 16, 2015.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact Jim Hankins ( or call (804) 892-4492.

Grow Your Soil - Hands-on, Intensive Workshop
October 23-25 - Gladstone, VA

Do your plants need a boost?  Want more quaity and flavor - and more yield with less weeds and disease - naturally?
Simple Soil Solutions is offering a three-day workshop to help you achieve these through building soil life and soil health.  Fall is the best time to start to build soil. Learn how to balance your land to make your next growing season your best yet!  Come learn how you can grow lush, healthy and nutritious plants - biologically, with no chemicals, in the Grow Your Soil - Hands-on, Intensive Workshop!

Reserve your spot now for $497.  Five special discounts are available for students, teams, educators, and non-profits.  To register, or to learn more, visit .

Sustainable Agriculture Conference of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
November 6-8 - Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Durham, NC

30th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Workshop with 68 excellent breakout workshops, 13 hands on intensives, 5 tours, great food, great people, and more ...
For more in depth information and registration, visit

Small Farms:  Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century
November 12-13 - Williamsburg, VA

Virginia State University's Small Farm Outreach program will hold its 13th Annual Small Farm Outreach Family Conference in Williamsburg, VA on November 12 and 13, 2015.  Save the Date.  Registration will open a little later this fall at The event is FREE and will include a pre-conference tour to Clif Slade's farm, which has transitioned from conventional "big tractor" corn and soy to two acres of organic vegetables and heirloom seed production.

Growers' Academy
Christiansburg, VA -  January 19-March 1, 2016,  Tuesdays, 6:00 to 9:00 pm

In partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Coalition, the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center is offering the 2016 Growers Academy in Christiansburg, VA. The course is designed to help new and transitioning agricultural businesses succeed. The series focuses on whole farm business planning and low-input crop production.

Topics include:
         Introduction to Whole Farm Planning
        Business and Finance
        Enterprise Budgets and Financial Services
        Soil and Pest Management
        Marketing Your Business
        Crops and Crop Planning 

The Farm Credit Knowledge Center is committed to sharing knowledge and resources to individuals interested in agriculture. Their generous scholarship lowers the fee to $200 for each person who wishes to participate. Register Today!  Visit

Location: Montgomery County Government Center Classroom , 755 Roanoke Street / Suite 2, Christiansburg, VA 24073

For more information, please contact Josh Nease at / 540-553-2311 or Erin Burcham at / 540-330-7722