Classes for Everyone

Intro to Blacksmithing
Sep 4 @ 9:00 am – Sep 5 @ 4:30 pm

_SAM9272Learn the core techniques of blacksmithing in this hands-on foundation course- perfect for beginners or those with limited experience. Students will learn forge maintenance and the forging techniques of tapering, upsetting, drawing out, punching, and simple decorative work of scrolls, twists and chiseling. You will go home with items such as hooks, pokers, hinges, and more.

Instructor:  Robert Schulz

Friday, September 4, through Saturday, September 5, 2015     9:00 AM-4:30 PM

$ 150.00 class fee, $25 material fee

Cooking with Nutrient-Dense Organ Meats
Sep 6 @ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

images (1)Liver, heart, bones and other organ meats have been part of the human diet for many thousands of years. Preparing organ meats can be a bit intimidating, but have no fear! They truly can be easy to prepare and delicious enough for the whole family to enjoy. This class is perfect for those who are interested in cooking offal for its superior nutritional value, but are unsure about preparation, and even taste. Great for cooks of all skill levels and anyone with an adventurous palate.

Instructor: Laura Poe

Sunday, September 6, 2015     1:00 PM-4:30 PM


$ 45.00 course registration fee, $15.00 materials feeAVPageView 11022015 10155 PM-001 Viroqua Food Cooperative owners eligible for $10 discount if  VFC Owner ID is provided when registering.

Driftless Spoon Gathering-3rd Annual
Sep 11 @ 6:00 pm – Sep 13 @ 3:30 pm

In this two-day skill-sharing event, spoon carvers and would-be spoon carvers will gather to carve, show their spoons, and share and learn techniques. All levels of experience are welcome, and beginners will be well cared for. Besides informal sharing and teaching, some expert carvers will give demonstrations.

Listen to the sound of hatchets hewing and help fill the floor with wood shavings. Enjoy the tradition of a Spoon Pass and the opportunity to purchase spoons, bowls, and tools from artisans. Basic carving knives and sharpening supplies will be available on loan to beginners and also available for purchase.  Bring spoon blanks and green wood if you have them, and don’t forget a lunch and snacks to keep you going. Coffee and tea will be available. Bring something for a potluck gathering Saturday eve.  Stay in the park Friday and Saturday night, if you like, for camping, camp fires, and stories._SAM0776

Date: Sept 12-13 (some folks arrive Friday, Sept 11 for camping)
Time: Registration and Coffee at 9:00am, Saturday Demos at 10:00am and throughout the day
Fee: $10 for event REGISTER NOW!
Location: Town campground, La Farge, WI ($10 per night for camping)boys spoon
Potluck: Saturday-6:30pm


French Cooking
Sep 12 @ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

French cooking Julia ChildWe will cook, as a group, a variety of items with a French flair from scratch.  We will send you home not just with some knowledge but a bunch of useful recipes to try at home.

Instructor:  Waleed Mahmoud

Saturday, September 12, 2015     1:00 PM-4:30 PM

8  students maximum.
AVPageView 11022015 10155 PM-001Viroqua Food Cooperative members eligible for $10 discount if  VFC Membership ID is provided when registering.

Beyond Cabbage-Fermentation for the Late Season Harvest
Sep 13 @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

fermented foodsHot sauce, garlic paste, coriander, and lemons can be preserved with fermentation, as well as many other herbs, vegetables, and fruit. This class is designed to inspire experienced fermenters to try new recipes or for the first-time fermenter. Participants will learn the basic techniques of fermentation and how those techniques apply to other ferments that don’t use cabbage as a base. Participants will have a hands-on opportunity to work with produce that is available at the time of the class and take home a jar to ferment. A variety of fermented goods will be available for participants to sample.

Instructor:  Heidi Krattiger
AVPageView 11022015 10155 PM-001Viroqua Food Cooperative members eligible for $10 discount if  VFC Membership ID is provided when registering.

Song Leading with Liz Rog
Sep 13 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

ellen lizEvery town is filled with people of all ages who would love to sing with others, and to sing in community is to build community. You can encourage and lead them in a gentle way, providing songs that are easy to learn. In this class you will be provided with simple techniques for teaching songs to groups, opportunities to practice leading, connection with other aspiring song leaders, and a repertoire  that will fill your soul with gladness. Step onto the welcoming path of songleading–­­our earth  is longing to hear our voices intertwined in song. This class is offered in the spirit of the This class is generously offered in the Spirit of the Gift. Donations are gladly welcomed and help to build community singing in our region

Instructor:  Liz Rog

Sunday, September 13, 2015     10:00 AM-5:00 PM


Gift Economy

Plant Based Papermaking
Sep 19 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Nesting Patterns, by Debra Ketchum Jircik

Nesting Patterns, by Debra Ketchum Jircik

Explore our connections to plants and place. Join artist Debbie Jircik to learn how to transform wild  and cultivated plant fibers into handmade papers. This class will take you from plant to paper as you learn the techniques involved with creating papers made from plants. Students will learn about and experience a variety of garden based and wild plant fibers suitable for making paper and leave the class with sheets of handmade paper from a variety of fibers and with the knowledge to set up a simple papermaking setup at home. Plant fibers  will be provided and you will have an opportunity to gather your own materials to experiment with as inclusions. As time permits, we will discuss the ways that locally sourced plant dyes can be incorporated into our papers. All levels of experience are welcome to participate.

Instructor: Debra Ketchum Jircik  website:

Saturday, September 19, 2015     9:00 AM-4:30 PM

$ 75.00 course registration fee, $15 materials fee

limited to 10 participants

A Recent Interview with Debra conducted by Melody Smith

Where/When did your interest in plant-based paper-making first develop?
I think that interest has been long standing, since I first started making paper in the late eighties. I mostly worked with cotton linter and abaca when I started, and would add plants, uncooked, as inclusions. I became more and more interested in using locally sourced fibers to make the paper over the past 10 years. I still feel I’ve only scratched the surface. I still use cotton and abaca and I now have a fully equipped studio that allows me to beat all sorts of fibers, even though many of these processes can be done with minimal equipment – hand tools, a kitchen blender, etc.
What kinds of plants do you use?
I use both garden and wild harvested materials – I focus on things that are readily available for me and don’t require huge quantities of plant material. Daylilies, corn husks, and cattail are favorites. I have also worked with milkweed and sunflower stalks. Because I grow a lot of my own food and work with farmers, I have an interest in agricultural waste. Some of those fibers require longer cooking times and are harder to break down for processing paper.
How/when/where do you harvest plant material?
I harvest in my gardens, in wild areas near my home, and at local farms and from friends’ gardens. I harvest in fall and also in spring after fibers have been out through the winter. This allows the fibers to go through a retting process and so some of the non-cellulose fibers will have broken down. All of the plant materials need to be cooked.
How have you incorporated plant-based paper into your artwork?
Yes, though it is just one component, as I do collage and have been making larger paper constructions that include denim rag, indigo and walnut dyes and stitching, inspired by Japanese boro textiles. I have been very process oriented in the last few years, focusing on investigations of growing dye plants, doing ecoprints, and sharing what I am learning with others.
Why paper?
I like working with an ancient process that connects me with the natural world and using practices that minimize my impact on it.

Tree Top Log Furniture
Sep 19 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

rustic log furnitureHave you ever looked at a tree in your yard and wondered what could be made from it? Learn  the art of building furniture and carving using whole logs and limbs from trees – from harvesting to a finished piece of art. You will learn how to use hand and power tools.  No previous woodworking experience is necessary. You will gain the knowledge needed to complete your  own project by the end of the class. Please bring safety glasses.

Instructor:  Scott Bargender

Saturday, September 19, 2015     9:00 AM-4:30 PM

The Art of Dry Stone Masonry-Retaining Walls
Sep 26 @ 8:30 am – Oct 1 @ 6:30 pm

retaining_wall_stone_grant1Once the structural principles of dry stone walling are understood and applied, it becomes possible to build dry stone walls with virtually any type of stone. Not all walls are crafted equally. Unmatched attention to details results in walls that are also functional works of art that have been chiseled and shaped to maximize their function and beauty. This course will build a beautifully sculpted retaining wall on the Driftless Folk School campus.

The foundations class will include: 5 golden rules of wall building and basics of safely building a drystone retaining wall up to 2-feet tall, including lifting basics, foundation, face stone, backfill or hearting, tie stones and capstones. Emphasis on safety, fundamentals and hands-on learning. Beginners will be able to learn the basics of dry stone wall construction, while those with more experience can further their education by working on wall ends or other features in this foundational class

Monday-Thursday will include: Same as above in greater detail (for walls up to 4′); plus discussion of basic soil mechanics, slopes, drainage, and differing styles of construction; dressing or shaping stones with stone hammers and hammer and chisel; moving stone; intro to special features (wall ends, signature stones, curves and corners); show and tell; stone fun, time for more specific questions and individual assistance; and listening to the stone.dry stone drystone


John Effland and his website

Nick Tomkins and  website

limited to 12 participants

The Beauty of Growing Your Own Dry Beans
Sep 26 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

DSC00414Are you interested in growing dried black, pinto, or heirloom beans in your garden? Come be a part of this course where you learn the ins and outs of dry bean production on a small scale. Students will learn how to grow, harvest, clean, and store dry beans. Variety selection and seed saving will be discussed. During course, participants will harvest, thresh, and winnow a small planting of dry beans. Each student will walk away from course with dry bean seed to sow in their garden.

Instructor: Bjorn Bergman

Saturday, September 26, 2015     1:00 PM-5:00 PM

$ 45.00 course registration fee, $5.00 materials fee

limited to 12 participants
AVPageView 11022015 10155 PM-001Viroqua Food Cooperative members eligible for $10 discount if  VFC Membership ID is provided when registering.

Contra Dance-Live Music & Callers
Sep 26 @ 6:30 pm – 9:45 pm

Contra Dance SeriesIMG_9801
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!

Dates:  4th Saturday every month (no December) Sep 26, Oct 24, Nov 28, Jan 23, Feb 27
Potluck: 6:00 pm
Instruction: 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Dance: 7:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m.
Cost: Donation ($5 or more suggested) It is all the band and caller receive. Under 10 free
Location: La Farge Community Center, 202 N State Street, La Farge, WI

Vision 20/20
Sep 29 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

AVPageView 8292015 112434 AMAs the Driftless Folk School completes its first decade, we are seeking your ideas and aspirations for the future.  Where should this grassroots community organization go next and how should we get there?  Join us for a presentation and open discussion on the mission and values of the Folk School, as well as programs, campus, organizational structure, and strategic partnerships.

Your ideas and support are essential to the health and very existence of DFS.  Please join us let your voice be heard! A dinner will be served, so PLEASE REGISTER so we prepare enough for all.

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