Friday, April 8, 2016

Upcoming Events

Greetings all,
Below is an amazing collection of upcoming permaculture and sustainability events in the central Virginia bioregion, including information a Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence in June and awesome upcoming 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.  Happy fall!

Christine and the BRPN team  

Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence
June 18, 2016 in Charles Town, WV

The Riverside Project and The Permaculture Podcast are partnering to present the Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Riverside, outside of Charles Town, WV. With this gathering we are seeking to raise awareness of regenerative practices and strengthen the sense of community between like minded folks in this region. The convergence features Michael Judd, author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist, as the keynote speaker, and will include two educational tracks, with one focused on land-based permaculture applications (sessions will include "The Role of Animals in Permaculture" and "Broad Acre Agriculture for Permaculture Practitioners") as well as a more theoretical track (sessions will include "Whole System Design Learning for Children" and "Living in the Gift"). There will also be tree identification walks, wild foraging walks, a fermentation demonstration, and a live round table recording for an episode of The Permaculture Podcast.
       Become a sponsor. Levels range from $15 for a quarter page advertisement in the program book to $500 to be the event partner. If interested, contact Emma Huvos ( for more information.
       You can also sponsor the event by donating product support to be given away to attendees.
Help spread the word about the Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence! Tweet @permaculturecst and join the event page on Facebook at:

Living Earth Adult Foundations (LEAF) near Charlottesville, VA
 Empowering 9 Weekend Adult Program
One weekend per month beginning Sept 2016 – May 2017
Do you want to feel more alive and connected and in the flow with life? Come learn what your long ago ancestors have known, all along!
  • Discover the time-tested practices that Living Earth have been implementing to connect people deeply with nature for the past 15 years.  These practices have been shared and honed by visionary leaders and elders from around the world.
  • Learn real skills, under the guidance of skilled instructors, who have taken thousands of people along this journey.
  • Feel supported and at home in an environment of like-minded people…….your tribe.
  • Live, Learn, Laugh, Connect & Celebrate~ Together!
September 2016 – May 2017. One weekend a month, Saturday-Sunday.
Tentative dates: 9/10-11, 10/1-2, 11/12-13, 12/10-11, 1/7-8, 2/11-12, 3/11-12, 4/8-9, 5/13-14
  • Early Bird Discount: $1550 before June 1, 2016. Regular Price: $1750
  • Accommodations:  tent space, local hotel, or stay at home
    Meals: Bring your own meals, evening potluck Saturday.  Stoves provided to help with cooking

Moon Tribe for Women
Healing Self and Culture through Rites of Passage
Throughout the ages, rites of passage helped individuals and cultures thrive by honoring critical life transitions as sacred. It’s never too late to step into the rites of passage that you didn’t receive as a girl or young woman. Moon Tribe for Women is a time to heal, to be held by nature and community, and to step into a new womanhood with strength and intention
  • Memorial Day Weekend: May 27 – 30, 2016
  • Friday May 27, 6pm – Monday May 30, 2pm.
  • Afton, VA. (Click here for directions)

Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association
April 16th - 17th
       Come and join your fellow soil loving comrades April 16th - 17th as Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association teaches ways to increase the health of your soil and crops for greater yields, healthier produce and better marketability (and taste!). Over 1,800 growers have attended the course over the past four years; our attendance continues to grow thanks to word-of-mouth promotion of the course by previous attendees! The workshop is participation-based with questions and answers, the workshop is designed for farmers, growers, and gardeners of any type to learn current research and proven methods, and go step-by-step through the processes that will lead to optimum crop health and sustained yield. We follow with a number of topics and themes related to helping plants achieve their full genetic potential through management of the environmental factors of soil, air, water, minerals and biodiversity. In day two, we immerse ourselves further with a review of plant nutritional needs by growth stage and an array of troubleshooting and diagnostic approaches to guide you throughout the growing season. Click HERE to learn more. Click HERE to register (just select Farmville, VA).

The workshop will be held at: Prince Edward Extension Office Meeting Room 100 Dominion Drive Farmville, VA 23901

Introduction to Herbal Medicine
Sacred Plant Traditions in Charlottesville, Virginia
 Tuesdays, April 12 – May 17
       Day 10am – noon OR    Evening   6:30 – 8:30pm

This six week series is great for beginners as well as those who want to deepen their knowledge and use of herbal medicine. This course will include history, herbal actions, apothecary practices, recipes, sacred use of plants and more. The weeks fly by as we spend time in the classroom, the kitchen, the lab and best of all, the garden. We will learn how to identify basic back yard medicines as well as those cultivated in the garden. We will learn harvest techniques, how to dry and preserve our medicines.
Fee $250.
Fee includes all materials & text.

Phyllis Light and Southern Appalachian Wisdom
April 29  - May 1st
Sacred Plant Traditions near Charlottesville, VA

Join New Branch Farm for the Spring CSA
We have added 2 weeks to the spring share this year!
Enjoy 12 weeks of vegetables:  mid-April to end of June
$310 (includes tax)

Delivered Wednesday afternoons to 2 pickup locations in Charlottesville
Growing over 20 different vegetables this season!
Share details and Crop Calendar
Signup for a share
New!  Add on more local food!  Farmstead Ferment Share available at pickup

From our friends at Transition Cville/Ablemarle

Saturday 4/9 Spring Plant Walk
9-10:30am at the Saunders-Monticello Trail
Spring in Virginia is green and vibrant. Join Heather Wetzel, AHG to meet and greet our native plant medicines as they re-emerge from winter slumber. You'll focus on identification, properties, and usage.  Meet at the stone wall beside the parking area off of Route 53 not far from the intersection of Route 20 South and 53 East.  Hot herbal tea provided.  Free.

Sunday 4/10 Skill Share:  Tool Sharpening 101 & EcoVillage Potluck
4-5:30pm at the EcoVillage, potluck at 5:30pm
Bring those garden shears, pruners, shovels, and any other tools that need to get tuned up and back in shape for spring.  A fresh, sharp edge can save you hours of effort!  Expert tool sharpeners Charles and Janet House of will show you hands-on how to take care of the tools that do so much for you.  Then stay for the EcoVillage potluck at 5:30 and meet some new people.  Maybe you'll all want to run around with your newly sharpened scissors, who knows?  Please bring a dish to share if you can.  Both events are free.  The tool sharpening will be in the Center for Healthy Living, and the potluck will be up the hill at Lochlynn House.  Invite your friends on Facebook:

Monday 4/11 and Wednesday 4/13 Introduction to Barley & Malting
9am-1pm at Woods Mill Malt House Hall, 151 Old Ridge Road, Lovingston
Follow barley and wheat from the field to the glass in this unique hands-on opportunity to see a functional farm with an on premise floor-malting
facility and roasting operation. The basic malting process remains a three-step process; steeping, germination and drying. This is the process that
frees up the sugars in the grain needed in the brewing process that leads to quality beers and spirits. $109.  Register through PVCC at

Tuesday 4/12 Edible Landscaping Volunteer Work Day
9am-3pm at Edible Landscaping, Afton
Have fun working at the nursery and receive a credit of $10.00 hour. Type of labor to be determined. You will need to bring pruners, gardening gloves, and make sure you dress for the weather.  Please bring a bag lunch. Come anytime from 9am to 3pm. YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER space is limited. Credit expires 1 year if not used and there is a limit to the amount of hours you can earn in a year.  Call (434)361-9134 or email

Wednesday 4/13 Cville TimeBank Orientation
6pm at Main Street Market
Everyone has something to give, and the TimeBank is a way to trade services and build community at the same time.  Potential members set up a profile on the member portal, and attend an orientation prior to having their timebank account authorized.  Once your account is authorized, you can begin browsing current offers and requests – and post your own! 

Wednesdays 4/13 - 5/18 Conscious Sustainability:  A 6 Week Course with Rose Brown
6:30-8:30pm at Common Ground, Jefferson City School
Perhaps you wish you lived a more sustainable life. Or maybe you already work toward sustainable living, but find yourself facing certain blocks or losing energy for your goals. During this 6 week course, you will learn how to work toward your sustainability goals by using Mind-Body practices such as meditation, yoga and massage.  This is a course for all levels. You are welcome if you’re a beginner, a weathered eco-warrior, or somewhere in between. You are welcome whether or not you have an existing Mind-Body practice.   $70 full price, sliding scale available.   Sign up at

Thursday 4/14 Spring Garden Lecture Series:  Epic Tomatoes for Southeastern Gardens
7-8:30pm at the County Office Bldg., 5th St.
Craig LeHoullier’s book "Epic Tomatoes:  How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Times", has been called a “must-read for all serious tomato growers.” He’ll show a selection of wonderful varieties that have a track record of success in our challenging climate, and share the techniques he has perfected over three decades. Whether you grow tomatoes in a market garden or a single pot, this colorful workshop will lead you to delicious results.  $8.  Sponsored by the Piedmont Master Gardeners.

Friday 4/15 Tom Tom Luncheon:  Making Local Food First For All
noon-1:45pm at Brookville
Explore the path to making locally raised and prepared food a default option, rather than a special occasion. Six great panelists include Jeanette AbiNader (City Schoolyard Garden), Brooke Ray (New Roots, IRC), Todd Niemeier (UACC), Kristen Suokko (Local Food Hub), Mike Signer (Mayor), and Sarad Davenport (City of Promise).  Gourmet Local Boxed lunch.  $25.

Friday 4/15 Tom Tom Luncheon:  Environmental Entrepreneurs
noon-1:45pm at Red Pump Kitchen Downtown Mall
Summit keynotes and clean-tech entrepreneurs look at how local businesses are impacting not only the region’s economy but also the global environment.  Featuring Doug Stoup of Ice Axe Expeditions.  $50.

Saturday 4/16 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.

Saturday 4/16 Annual Sheep Shearing
11-2 at Ash Lawn-Highland
The annual sheep shearing will take place from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, with additional activities to follow. Tom Stanley will demonstrate the New Zealand sheep shearing method at this educational, agricultural event. There will also be traditional wool carding and spinning demonstrations for the family following the shearing. Plus, meet the newest lambs to call Ash Lawn-Highland home!  If the weather is amiable, visitors are encouraged to enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds. Bring your own or choose from a selection of fresh sandwiches at the Museum Shop.  $5 per person. Free for Monroe’s Farm Friends members.

Saturday 4/16 FleaVille at Tom Tom Festival
noon-11pm at Lee Park
Fleaville is an open air market for local creativity, ranging from upcycled furniture and vintage houseware to handmade toys, crafts, and original works of fine art. The market will be returning to Tom Tom as part of a series of outdoor art shows with 60 curated craft vendors.

Saturday - Sunday 4/16 - 4/17 Disaster + Wilderness First Aid
8:30am-6:30pm at Mountaintop Montessori School, 440 Pinnacle Place
Learn how to save life & limb when mired in the wilderness of an urban disaster zone, rural area far from a hospital, or natural area miles from an access point.  In this course, learn how to care for an injured/ill person during the critical minutes or hours before ambulance/hospital arrival.  Blend of classroom instruction, and hands-on problem-solving rescue scenario practice. You come away with actual do-it-yourself care-giving confidence.  No prerequisites.  Know your loved ones are safe wherever they are. Register at  $185

Friday 4/22 An Earth Day Conversation with Barbara Kingsolver
7pm at the Paramount
Critically acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver will host an Earth Day conversation with all proceeds to benefit the grassroots community organizing work of Virginia Organizing. One of Virginia's best loved writers talks about art and the land that inspires her.  $32.  Tickets available at

Sunday 4/24 Annual Eco Fair
11am-5pm at the Pavilion and the Downtown Mall
Yes!  The Eco Fair is back to delight with activities, vendors, and tabling from all your favorite environmental groups.  Come out and celebrate Earth Week with us!

Amnesty Days in April for Hazardous and Bulky Waste
Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority will be holding special collection dates in April for these hard-to-manage items.  April 1-2 are for household hazardous waste, April 9 is Furniture/Mattresses, April 16 is Appliances, Tires are April 23, Check their website for specifics:
Albemarle County Accepting Applications for Solid Waste Alternatives Advisory Committee
This is a standing advisory committee to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. The Committee will provide information to the Board in a semi-annual update and an annual report to include a thorough budgetary and environmental impact analysis of the Committee's recommended policy implementation.  Learn more here

Help wanted. Share your skills!
Transition worldwide is creating awesome local economies that care for people and the environment... and hopefully saving humanity from climate change while we're at it. It ain't easy, but it's FUN!

My name is Diego Tejedor. I am the coordinator of a new Apprenticeship + Volunteer Program in Tropical Permaculture in Ecuador. For the past 15 years our local community have been doing a great work for the conservation of the last remaining Tropical Forest (Chocó) in the coast of Ecuador, but "development" is starting to get here and we really need help in order to continue with this amazing task. We are looking for people interested in coming to join us for the conservation, through permaculture principles, of this unique ecosystem. We  have a regenerative agriculture project going on and need more minds and hands so we can achieve our goals. This program is starting on June 6th. We have just started to contact people to help us for the promotion of this project. If you can help us, we would be very grateful. Here is the link to the website,

From our friends at VABF
Spring Garden Planning and Preparation
April 9, Center for Rural Culture, Goochland County, VA
VABF Member Betsy Trice of Peacemeal Farm and Reynolds Community College will offer her insights on how to successfully garden organically in central Virginia. She will cover many topics including; healthy soil requirements, companion planting, garden design, organic management techniques and many others. Details

Introduction to Getting Your Hands Dirty
Classes: Wednesday evenings, April 13 - May 18, 7 - 9 pm
Farm tours and field days: Saturdays, April 24 - May 14, 2-4 pm
Fauquier Couinty Extension Office, Warrenton, VA
$100 for an individual, or $150 for a couple
The Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program is presenting this six week series for aspiring and beginninbg farmers.  It will cover basic soil health, soil amendments, crop selection, planting techniques, weed and pest control, and infrastructure needs.  The Northernb Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program is a partner in the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program ( Details. For more information, contact Jim Hankins at, or 540-533-6500.

Spring Production Walk at Bellair Farm
April 21, Bellair Farm, Charlottesville, VA
Local Food Hub is pleased to announce a new training partnership with Bellair Farm, an 853-acre certified organic farm, with a 500+ member CSA program in Albemarle County. This new partnership will provide an opportunity for beginning and establishing farmers to participate in seasonal production walks through Bellair Farms growing operation. A wide range of topics will be explored and discussed, including weed and pest control, disease prevention and management strategies, crew management, harvest techniques, equipment choices, livestock management, budgets, and more! Details

River City Health Summit
April 23, Richmond, VA
The day begins with Jo Robinson, the author of the New York Times bestseller, Eating on The Wild Side. You'll enjoy the rest of the day listening to the nation's foremost minds on: the gut microbiome (Donna Gates), environmental toxins and our health (Heather White), and the effects of food additives on our bodies and minds (Oscar Coetzee). Lunch will be provided courtesy of the Summit by our good friends at Goatocado (vegan, gluten free, delicious quinoa bowls), and the coffee will stay flowing all day. Details.

Wilderness Water Collecting and Purifying
April 17, 2016  ~ 10 AM - 2 PM
If you were ever to find yourself in a survival situation, staying hydrated would be one of your top priorities--just one day without water causes negative effects on the body and mind, and several days can be fatal. In the modern world, getting a drink of clean water is typically very easy: you go to the kitchen, turn on a faucet, and hold a glass under it. But in the wilderness, every part of that process can present a challenge. Finding water, assessing it for pollutants and pathogens, gathering and storing it, and purifying/disinfecting it all require specialized knowledge, skills, and strategies. In this class, students will explore how to address these challenges using both primitive and modern techniques. Discover how our ancestors obtained water for their drinking and cooking needs, then learn how to apply those methods so you can stay safely hydrated in any situation--from a planned outdoor adventure to a full survival situation. This class is being conducted by Earth Village Education, a nonprofit organization based in northern Virginia. There is a sliding scale class fee from $40-$80. To register for the class visit

Primitive Fire Making
April 24, 2016  ~  10 AM - 5 PM
Forget lighters, matches, crumpled-up newspapers, and quarts of lighter fluid. In this class you’ll discover how to walk into the woods and make fire “by rubbing sticks together,” using only materials found in nature! The ability to make fire is one of the most important of all wilderness skills, but for many people it’s a mysterious, unpredictable, and sometimes frustrating one. Our goal in this class is to help you gain a profoundly deeper understanding of fire: how to choose and gather fuel, build efficient fire structures, start fires using a variety of methods (even in difficult conditions), and fully utilize fire for everything from modern campouts to primitive living situations. After learning these essential fire skills, you’ll construct the two most universal primitive fire-making methods: the bowdrill and hand drill. We will explore all key aspects of these ancient techniques, including proper form, materials selection, and modifications for specific environments. The class will include a combination of lecture, demonstration, and guided hands-on practice. You will make two fire kits to take home, as well as the knowledge and skills to make more. By the end of this class you will be able to make a working fire kit anywhere in the matches necessary. This class is being conducted by Earth Village Education, a nonprofit organization based in northern Virginia. There is a sliding scale class fee from $60-$120. To register for the class visit

Spring Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants
April 30, 2016  ~  10 AM - 5 PM
Come spend the day learning about (and eating) wild edible plants! Wild plants can be delicious, nutritious, and healing and knowing how to identify those in your area can turn a simple walk into a foraging adventure. During this hands-on class we will visit fields and forests to find and harvest a variety of plants that are in season. We will discuss the principles of plant identification and how to safely and ethically harvest wild plants. This class will focus on commonly found and abundant “weeds” and ways to maximize their nutritional and medicinal qualities. By the end of the class students will have made and taste-tested several different preparations, and everyone will take home an herbal remedy and several recipes! This class is being conducted by Earth Village Education, a nonprofit organization based in northern Virginia. There is a sliding scale class fee from $60 - $120. To register for the class visit

"What If...?" - A Class about Wilderness Self-Reliance and Safety
May 1, 2016  ~  10 AM - 5 PM
It's Spring! Time for day hikes and canoe trips; time to get outside and play! It's great when people head out into the wilderness; it's even better when they are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and tools to be self-reliant and safe even when the unexpected happens. The staff at Earth Village Education have designed a day-long class covering a variety of skills meant to enhance your outdoor experiences and your capability to handle those "what if..." situations. This class will explore answers to questions such as:

- What essential gear should you take on EVERY wilderness excursion?
- How should you dress for both safety and comfort in the outdoors?
- How could you start a fire if you lost your lighter or matches?
- What should you do if you're up in the mountains and there's a thunderstorm?
- How could you stay hydrated if you lost your water bottle?
- What could you eat if you were deep in the woods with no food?

Students can expect a combination of lecture, discussion, and lots of hands-on practice inspired by both primitive and modern wilderness skills. This class is ideal for folks who are interested in spending more time outdoors and want an introduction to some of the essential skills of wilderness health, safety, comfort, and survival. This class is being conducted by Earth Village Education, a nonprofit organization based in northern Virginia. There is a sliding scale class fee from $60-$120. To register for the class visit

Trees & Chainsaws: Their Care and Use
May 7, 2016  ~  10 AM - 5 PM
Do you have trees on your property you want to manage and keep healthy? Do you heat with wood, and do you want to be more efficient at putting up firewood? Do you own a chainsaw, but you aren’t sure how to sharpen it, maintain it, or use it safely or effectively? Do you want to learn chainsaw and tree-felling tips and tricks from an expert? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, Earth Village Education (a nonprofit outdoor education center near Marshall, Virginia) has a class for you! Join us as a certified arborist with 35 years of experience shares some of his vast knowledge and skills. We’ll start off by learning about trees: how to identify them, how they respond to damage and disease, and how to evaluate, fertilize, and prune the trees in your yard. Next we’ll focus on chainsaws. Most importantly, we’ll talk about safety. Chainsaws have the potential to be incredibly dangerous, so we’ll discuss risk factors and safety best practices. Then we’ll learn how to sharpen and maintain chainsaws, and how to use them effectively, even for difficult or tricky cuts. After that, we’ll head into the woods and cover all the steps involved in safely felling trees, including limbing and bucking dropped trees. Finally, we’ll talk about firewood. We’ll learn about maul and axe use, care, and safety. Then we’ll discuss tips and tricks for splitting, moving, stacking, and seasoning firewood. No experience necessary; sliding scale class fee from $60-$120. Sign up today at

Earth Village Education has lots more classes on the schedule including wilderness photography, basic blacksmithing, a WMI Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course, mead making, make your own art supplies from natural materials, shoe making, and more! Visit for more information.

Save the Date & Location!  
July 7-10, 2016
Lago Linda Hideaway
Beattyville, KY
The date and location of the sixth annual Whippoorwill Festival is set!! Whippoorwill's new organizing team has an exciting line of earth-skills workshops planned. We are also pumped about our new venue!

We are so grateful to Homegrown Hideaways for helping birth and nurture the Whippoorwill Festival for 5 years.  Homegrown is a wonderful venue, beautiful setting, great location, and fitting amenities for small and large events. Homegrown, it was a hard decision to leave you!

We are excited about this year's new venue!  Lago Linda Hideaway is in Beattyville, KY in the Red River Gorge area.  Lago Linda has the perfect amenities for our growing fest - private cabins available for rent, multiple camping options, parking and bathrooms that can handle our growing capacity.  And without losing any of the beauty of Kentucky - 15 miles of hiking trails in 410 acres of woodland, rock climbing nearby in the Gorge, and a lake for swimming and fishing!

Stay up-to-date on workshops as they are booked on our website!
We are scheduling workshops now. If you are interested in hosting a workshop this year, click here.

The goal of the Whippoorwill Festival is to promote sustainable living in Appalachia by sharing earth-friendly living skills with one another in a joyful, healthy, family-friendly atmosphere.