Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Driftless Folk School classes discounted for VFC owners

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Tue, Mar 03, 2015 @ 05:00 PM

Have you heard the birds chirping? Yes, it’s true! Spring is right around the bend. Along with chirping birds, DriftlessFolkSchoolcomes more sun, green foliage and the release of the Driftless Folk School’s Spring/Summer 2015 Catalog! Twice a year, the Folk School releases their catalog that announces their upcoming classes, gatherings and events. Their programing aims to support healthy, sustainable communities and personal development by providing meaningful educational opportunities and inspiring lifelong learning for individuals and families.

The Driftless Folk School’s newest catalog features over 90 courses/events in a variety of genres, including: alternative energy, animal husbandry, blacksmithing, craft, cuisine, farming/gardening, homesteading, natural building, natural world, music-dance, and woodworking. There is sure to be a class for everyone.

With the release of their new catalog, VFC is excited announce our continued partnership with this great community organization. The catalog features 25 of their cuisine, farming/gardening, and homesteading courses at a discount to VFC Owners. So, start paging through the new catalog and make plans to attend one, two, or three classes to hone or learn a new skill or hobby through the wonderful community that is the Driftless Folk School.

To learn more and/or register for a course, pick up a catalog, check it out on their website or contact DFS at


Driftless Folk School courses offered during March/April 2015 at a discount to VFC Owners:

Alternative Bee Keeping
Date: 3/14/15
Instructor: Charlie Keonen
Description: Spend 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.
Course Fee: $45/$35 for VFC Owners

Eating Year-Round from the Garden
Date: 3/28/15
Instructor: Larrisa Walk and Bob Dahrse
Description: Take 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.
Course Fee: $45/$35 for VFC Owners

Beyond the Veggie Garden
Date: 3/28/15
Instructor: Larrisa Walk and Bob Dahrse
Description: Midwestern staple crops (proteins, healthy fats, and whole-food carbs) for the adventurous gardener/cook. Explore growing, harvesting, processing, and cooking beans, peas, nuts, seeds, corn, amaranth and sorghum.
Course Fee: $45/$35 for VFC Owners

Fruit Tree Grafting
Date: 3/28/15
Instructor: Rikardo Jahnke
Description: Come learn the magic of fruit tree grafting! With this versatile skill you will be able to make your own apple trees at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them and have the tools to clone any apple tree you happen to fancy. In the class we will discuss and demonstrate whip-and-tongue and cleft grafting in detail. The basics of bridge grafting, bud grafting, and topworking older trees will be covered. The care and protection of young trees, selection of rootstocks, sources of grafting scionwood and general apple orcharding will also be discussed. Each participant will have the opportunity to graft three apple trees to take home. (Additional rootstock and scionwood will be available for purchase.)
Course Fee: $45/$40 for VFC Owners

Restorative Pruning of Old Apple Trees
Date: 3/29/15
Instructor: Lowell Rheinheimer
Description: Old apple trees are often severely overgrown and structurally compromised. Light penetration to the interior of the tree is especially important and the natural tendency of apple trees to continually grow up and out seeking light accelerates their decline by shading out and killing interior limbs. Pruning actually stimulates a rejuvenation process in apple trees and shifts them back from over maturity and stagnation to youthful regrowth. Pruning also strengthens trees by reducing the stress of gravity on long limbs. The science of pruning involves creating a scaffold limb system. The art of pruning consists of finding the just-right balance point of removal. The practice of pruning requires the knowledge of how much room to leave between different sized limbs, some basic "rules" like taking out limbs that grow down or back toward the center, and other guidelines that I will share with you during the workshop. The workshop will consist of a demonstration pruning of one or more trees with instructions. Participants will have an opportunity to actually practice pruning under guidance.
Course Fee: $75/$65 for VFC Owners
Material Fee: $40

Wholesome Grain-Free Baking
Date: 4/12/15
Instructor: Laura Poe
Description: For those living without gluten or even without grains, it can be hard to find delicious and wholesome treats for you and your family. In this class, we will be making several different desserts to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth. Using grain-free flours and alternative sweeteners, cooks of all skill levels will come away with recipes for sweets and treats for the whole family to enjoy--even those on restricted diets.
Course Fee: $45/$35 for VFC Owners
Material Fee: $15

Raspberry Fields Forever
Date: 4/12/15
Instructor: Dan Johnson
Description: Raspberry patches are a long term commitment to perennial sweetness. A well cared for patch may last 10 or more years. In this class students will learn the different varieties available to northern growers and gardeners. Propagation topics covered will include, bed preparation, transplanting, pruning, weeding, trellis design, mulching, and picking. Students can expect to take home canes of one or more varieties for establishing their own patches. Please bring gloves, pruning shears, spade shovel, bucket for canes.
Course Fee: $45/$35 for VFC Owners
Material Fee: $40

Baking with Sourdough Bread
Date: 4/18/15
Instructor: Jacob Hundt
Description: Learn the art, craft, and science of baking bread with a wild sourdough culture.  The air around us and the skins and leaves of many plants are full of wild yeast cells.  Under proper cultivation, this natural bounty can be used to leaven breads and pastries in the same way humans have done for thousands of years.  In this class you will learn how to capture, care for, and use your own wild sourdough culture.  Participants will learn how to knead dough and shape it into several types of loaves and how to bring to moist and flavorful perfection in the oven.  Each participant will receive a sourdough starter culture to take home.
Course Fee: $45/$35 for VFC Owners

Tags: Classes, Driftless Folk School