Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Driftless Folk School

One more bit of serendipitous luck in our finding this corner of Wisconsin to homestead is that we ended up being very close to the new home of the Driftless Folk School. If anyone reading this is interested in taking classes on traditional arts, homesteading skills, and self reliance, check out their offerings.
Driftless Folk School home page  

I took my first class a couple weeks ago on pruning old, overgrown apple trees to get them back in shape. It was well done, hands on, and also a good way to meet other people in the area with similar interests and goals. 

We went on our train journey shortly after the class, so I couldn't start pruning straight away. 

So I finally got to cracking on the old apple trees early last week, and proceeded to build a rather large pile of discards, but I'd say I only have a fair start to the project. Will see how they respond this year, and do some more next year, as buds are just starting to swell, and I want to let that proceed undisturbed.

I have my eye on some other classes as well, and hope to not just learn some essential skills, but to build connections with the like  minded people in the area. ( though some of the participants are from rather away).

Anyone wanting to quickly pick up hands on skills but not knowing someone to learn from, will find folk schools a good place to get those skills. I know there is a very large one out east:
and I've stopped in and looked at this one in Minnesota.

There are others.


  1. Hi Steve. Thanks for the photo from your place. Out of interest do you burn the prunings, chip them or use them as kindling? I saw footage of someone a few years ago using prunings from old apple trees to smoke fish which would have tasted really good. Cheers. Chris

  2. Hi Chris- Some gets chipped for mulch, some is kindling/fuel wood for our home heating, and my plans for the future( after I build my smoker) are to use some chips to smoke meat. So I guess all the above. We bought the chipper attachment for our BCS walking tractor, and it does OK for smaller stuff, but is rather slow compared to a large purpose built chipper. My general intent is for nothing to go to waste, so have been saving wood ashes, and plan to try soap making this summer. Stay tuned!

  3. Thank you for posting the links to other folk schools, as I'm not near Wisconsin. Nice blog. Wandered over from TADR.

    1. Hopefully one is close to you, but if not, many of them offer overnight ( often "rustic") accommodations.