the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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farmland leasing workshop in virginia’s piedmont region

12106983_10153332847354833_3456374348579502226_nCalling all farmers and landowners! Are you a farmer looking for land to lease? What about a landowner who wants to lease your land? If this sounds like you, join Piedmont Environmental Council for one of two free workshops to learn more about leasing land, hear stories about current lease arrangements, and network with other land owners and land seekers.

Speakers include state and national land leasing experts. Keynote address with Kathy Ruhf, Senior Program Director at Land For Good a nationally recognized leader in farm entry, succession and tenure.

The workshops will take place from 1pm to 6:30 pm on November, 4 in Charlottesville, VA, and on November, 5 in Middleburg, VA.  For more information on the workshop and to view the workshop agenda click HERE.

If you are unable to attend the workshop but are interested in leasing land, you can download a copy of the Farmland Leasing For Private Landowners: A Short Guide.

The workshop is free but requires registration by October 30, 2015.


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VSDBF farm to table dinner


The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) Foundation and Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) have partnered together on an event to raise awareness related to the educational benefits of urban gardening and its impact to our schools and local community. The first annual “Farm to Table” dinner will be held on Saturday, August 22nd at the AMI Urban Farm at VSDB.

For additional information, please contact: Ellen Butchart

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northern va: action, adventure, exploration, tree crops talk this sunday.

Do you know what fruit and nut exploring is? It’s adventure, detective work, and historical perserverence all rolled into one in order to bring back valuable fruit and nut genetics thought to be lost. Did you know that in the early 1900s, citizen scientists were out and about in the landscape and forests, collecting prize specimens of fruits and nuts and breeding for local site adaptability along with pest and disease resistance? One of the leaders of this movement was J. Russell Smith, a notable Quaker, horticulturalist, author, agrarian and geographer from Lincoln Virginia. His writings have inspired many progressive farmers of our time, including the fruit exploring trio of Darr, Walton and Greenman, who have been looking and finding his genetic material in Northern VA. Come to hear the story of J. Russell Smith and the living legacy he has left behind in Northern VA. RussellSmithDayFlier_D3 (1)

Where: Goose Creek Friends Meeting House

When: Sunday, April 12th @ 4pm

Who: Alexander Darr, Pete Walton, Eliza Greenman

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the awful reign of the red delicious. #eatuglyapples

At the supermarket near his home in central Virginia, Tom Burford likes to loiter by the display of Red Delicious. He waits until he spots a store manager. Then he picks up one of the glossy apples and, with a flourish, scrapes his fingernail into the wax: T-O-M.

“We can’t sell that now,” the manager protests.

To which Burford replies, in his soft Piedmont drawl: “That’s my point.” Click HERE to read this GREAT article from the Atlantic.

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food freedom fest

coming up in September, and honoring Joel Salatin.

FFFMemeFood Freedom Fest Celebrates Local Food Hero
Farmers, foodies, politicians and others dedicated to advancing food freedom unite for a weekend festival in the scenic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia on September 5-6, 2014.  Organized by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense (FTCLDF), Food Freedom Fest is a fun, educational gathering for anyone who appreciates freedom of choice in food and agriculture. The funds raised will help defend the rights of small farmers and artisan food producers, as well as consumers and buying clubs.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is trying to control all food regulation and poses a threat to the local food movement.  The September gathering is a meeting of people who see the benefit of a direct farmer to consumer relationship. This is relevant to anyone who wants to make a living off the land and keep the government out of their kitchen.

The aptly named Food Freedom Fest kicks off with the inaugural “Food Freedom Conference” starting with breakfast at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton, Virginia. Emcee Kimberly Hartke will introduce notable speakers who will explore food freedom initiatives happening around the country. Delivering the keynote at lunch will be Congressman Thomas Massie from Kentucky who sponsored the two federal Raw Milk Freedom bills with considerable bipartisan support. Continue reading

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young & beginning farmer mixer!


On October 19th, local heirloom seed savers and worker-owned co-operative Southern Exposure Seed Exchange will be hosting a Young Farmer’s Mixer to facilitate an enriching community building experience, provide networking opportunities and have fun.  We want to provide young farmers and young farmer recruits with access to examples of financially viable business models for new farms, homesteading resources and land link organizations. We also want to facilitate connections between landowners who want their land in cultivation and land-less farmers.  There will be opportunity to link farmers with food justice organizations and illustrate how food justice activism can play into a small farm business. Continue reading

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