Classes for Everyone

Birch Bark Basket: the Mukuk
Feb 28 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

images (3)For ages in the North Country the white birch has provided people with watertight, flexible, and durable material for containers to store the precious gifts of the seasons. Come experience the classic birch basket, the mukuk, an upright enclosed basket that was used to store all sorts of food items and does still, as well as being great for berry picking, picnics, and arrangements.

We will learn to assess bark and its applicable qualities, design, cut, and fold the bark, process spruce root and stitch the body, and finally to the finish rim work. Good bark is a thing of beauty, amazing to work with, timeless to behold, and with endless potential. We look forward to your joining a small group for a fun day of learning, crafting, and creating. Participants should bring a small sharp blade, sharp shears (but not your best fabric ones), and any small clamps if they have any of these items.

Instructor: Nicholas WazeeGale

Contra Dance-Live Music & Callers
Feb 28 @ 7:00 pm – 10:15 pm

IMG_9801Contra Dance Series
Denise Benoit: Organizer & Fiddle Player

Lace up those dancing shoes and come on out to La Farge! You’re invited to the Driftless Folk School Contra Dance Series in La Farge, Wisconsin, every 4th Saturday. What is contra dancing, you ask? Contra dancing is simply social interaction, meeting people, and making new friends, set to Live Music and great Callers. The rest is just details. Instruction provided, no experience required, singles welcome, and homemade treats! Please check our website we will be holding some earlier dances for the whole family throughout the year.

Dates: Feb 28, Mar 28, Apr 25, May 23, Jun 27, Jul 25, Aug 22, Sep 26, Oct 24
Instruction: 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Dance: 7:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m.
Cost: $5, Under 10 free
Location: La Farge Community Center, 202 N State Street, La Farge, WI

Hammered Copper Rings
Mar 7 @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

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Make a copper ring or two from pipe and simple tools. Cut, hammer, size and polish to turn plumbing scraps into gorgeous jewelry. The rich color and texture of hammered copper is always satisfying. Please bring safety glasses and snug work gloves to protect hands from sharp copper edges. Course appropriate for students ages 14 and older.

Instructor: Martha Buche

Spoon Carving Circle-Monthly
Mar 12 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

_SAM0800Spoon Carving Circle – Monthly

Terry Beck, Tom Wheeler: Organizers – Spoon Carvers

The night before Valentine’s Day, 2014, six people gathered in Driftless Folk School’s intimate little office space in The Ark in Viroqua for the first monthly Driftless Folk School Carving Circle. We ran the gamut of ages and experience, from veteran spoon carvers and a promising young new carver, to a curious onlooker – turned – carving convert.

The latter purchased a “sloyd” and a “hook” knife from another participant and was … hooked. Mostly, people worked on spoons they had already started, shared techniques, tips and stories, and had a grand old time. All carving projects are welcome; bowyers, chip carvers, whittlers… spoons just happen to be the most common. Bring some wood, a carving tool or two, and a Band Aid, and a good joke wouldn’t hurt either. If you don’t have any wood or tools, come anyway. There’s a good chance someone might be able to share wood, or even sell a couple tools.

Dates: Second Thursday every Month: February 12, Mar 12, Apr 9, May 14, Jun 11, Jul 9,  Aug 13, Sept 10, Oct 8, Nov 12
Time: 6:30 p.m. ­ 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $2 per person to cover space use fees
Location: The Ark, 401 East Jefferson Viroqua, WI- Summer months we will meet at our Campus-check Facebook

Alternative Beekeeping
Mar 14 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Alternative Beekeeping_Mike De SistiSpend a day with Milwaukee-based beekeeper extraordinaire, Charlie Koenen. Charlie will walk students through alternative beekeeping methods that closely reflect how bees work in nature. Beekeeping for the bees.

Instructor:  Charlie Keonen  website:


Song/String Circle
Mar 18 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

hanksfamilyphoto2-1The song/string circle is held the Third Wednesday of every month at the ARK .It is open to musicians and singers who enjoy performing in a friendly and relaxed setting where the emphasis is on having fun as well as learning to play in an ensemble. Guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles, harmonicas are especially welcome, but you can come just to listen and learn too. Various well-known traditional folk and pop tunes will be used with simple chord/lyric song sheets provided. Bringing your own music stand is a plus. In addition to the familiar batch of songs, there will be a central theme for each month, looking deeper into the works of seminal artists from mid-late 20th century such as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan whose legacies help define what is called Americana music today. Jim Stacho, an alumnus from Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music and now an area resident, will host each session.

Upcoming themes include:
Wednesday, February 18 : Academy Award Songs of the 50’s, 60’s, & 70’s
Wednesday, March 18 : Johnny Cash
Wednesday, April 15: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes
Wednesday, May 20: John Fogerty and CCR
Wednesday, June 17: Songs From 1975



Community Childbirth Education
Mar 21 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Community Childbirth Education @ Viroqua | Wisconsin | United States

Spend an afternoon immersed in the emotional, physical and spiritual nature of birth and new parenting. We will utilize a variety of teaching methods including discussion, hands on, birth art, writing, movement and song. These classes aim to promote participants to explore their own beliefs and gain confidence in their unique birthing adventure. Together we will learn from each other and form community based on mutual respect and the shared joy of welcoming new life.

Instructor:  Jess Krueger

Saturday, March 21, 2015    1:00-5:00 p.m.

$45.00 course registration

limit 8 participants

Pruning Elderberries for Productivity in the Driftless Region
Mar 21 @ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

elderberriesElderberries grow wild everywhere so why cultivate them? The answer is simple if you have ever fought through late summer nettles and blackberry brambles to harvest wild elderberries. I decided to cultivate elderberries and was surprised at the difference from wild harvested. Then I started pruning and was surprised again at the difference pruning makes. Both berry size and flower size were noticeably larger. And the berry maturity was more determinate. This made harvesting easier and faster.

Instructor: Michael Beckel

Agni Hotra: The Art and Science
Mar 22 @ 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

AgniHotra-1-cropped-web2Agni Hotra is an ancient healing and purifying ritual given to mankind from the Vedic Texts. This simple practice, performed at sunrise and sunset has been shown to increase seed fertility and crop yield. It is also said to enhance animal and human health and even to reduce radiation. In fact regular practitioners suffered fewer injuries from both the Chernobyl and Bhopal disasters. We will discuss these findings and examine the science behind the benefits of Agni Hotra. At sunset the instructor will demonstrate the simple ritual.

Instructor: Ann Ralles-Mahan

Sunday, March 22, 2015     6:00-8:45 p.m.

$20.00 course registration will be donation to Driftless Folk School


Eating Year-Round from the Garden
Mar 28 @ 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

DFS Dryer Photo.doc - Writer 11022015 100403 AMTake eating locally to a whole new level. Two seasoned organic gardeners will share their strategies for homegrown and home-cooked meals throughout the year. Learn how to extend the just-picked, fresh harvest, then move beyond that with energy-wise food storage and preservation. “Live food” storage includes root cellaring, windowsill gardens, sprouting, and fermentations. And lastly, preserve some of the harvest utilizing time-proven methods in updated ways that save energy. Learn about building and using the Walk solar food dryer (designed in 1985 and in use world-wide) as well as steam canning/juicing.

Instructors: Larisa Walk and Bob Dahse

Saturday, March 28, 2015      8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Viroqua, WI

$45 course registration fee

Craft a Hinged Bench to Table-Basic Carpentry
Mar 28 @ 9:00 am – Mar 29 @ 4:30 pm

convertible bench picnic table plans 2-001Learn basic carpentry and woodworking skills from a master craftsman who loves to teach. After the class you will be able to replicate a multi­-use bench to table. If you want to build one to take home in the class, it will be an additional $60. This class is discounted, as the benches will be for the Driftless Folk School campus. If you want to donate a bench to the school with your name on it – please add $60 to the course fee.

Instructor:  Myles Saigh

Two day course:  Saturday, March 28, 2015    9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m and Sunday, March 29, 2015 9:00 a.m. – 4:30  (includes lunch voucher)

Viroqua, WI


Farm Animal Fecal Sampling for Family Farmers
Mar 28 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Farm Animal Fecal Sampling for Family Farmers @ Viroqua | Wisconsin | United States

How wormy are they, Doc? This one ­day course will teach family farmers how to check the worm loads inside their livestock. Pesky parasites are in competition with everything farm animals eat, leading to decreased production, diarrhea, poor coats and suppressed immunity; some parasites are able to infect other animals including people. This is a “hands­ on” course, perfect for family farmers. Microscopes and lab material will be available to demonstrate how to setup fecal samples, how to identify basic worms and how to estimate an animal’s parasite load. Farmers are encouraged to bring their own microscopes if they have them, and certainly to bring a few refrigerated fecal samples for testing. You’ll leave the course with an understanding of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of internal parasites.

Instructor: Naakala Jean Garde

Saturday, March 28, 2015      9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

$75.00 course fee



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