I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about a new project! I’ve been working with the fine folks at the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum for a couple of months now – dreaming and making plans for our First Annual Simple Life Folk School. It’s a wonderful partnership because my friends at the museum have the perfect venue for this event and have the knowledge and access to some of the best teachers we could ever hope to bring on board.
Where else can you go and learn how to drive oxen, keep bees, learn log cabin building techniques and shingle making, cook on the hearth and make bread in the bake oven, learn about natural dyeing for cloth and fiber, study medicinal herbs, hook an early rug, sew a woman’s pocket and decorate it, learn the value of canning, make fried pies and hoecakes, or learn the art of blacksmithing or woodcarving? Or make a split oak basket or chair bottom? And that is only a fraction of the endless options!
The Folk School is an ALL INCLUSIVE weekend that includes your choice of up to four workshop classes, 3 nights lodging, 7 meals and lots of nightly entertainment! Participants will get so much for one low price – classes taught by the area’s best experts in early crafts and old-timey ways, wonderful food, accommodations, and more fun than you can begin to imagine. Fellowship with other like-minded folks will be worth the price alone! Small class sizes ensure a quality, hands-on experience but also means you need to sign up early to get the classes you want! They will fill up fast!
The Folk School is July 28th – July 31st in Ferrum, VA – approx. 35 minutes from Roanoke. It’s centrally located so you can get here easily by car or plane. I want to start at the beginning and tell you what you can expect from the Folk School from the minute you arrive. We will be waiting for your arrival on Thursday afternoon and depending on what time you come you can go over and tour the Blue Ridge Farm Museum and get a glimpse of the farm where most of our classes will be held. That evening we will all meet up for an ice cream social (homemade ice cream from a local dairy – YUM) so we can get to know each other and visit about all the fun we are going to have the next three days!
Each morning we’ll all have breakfast in the cafeteria together and then head out to our first 3 hour class. We’ll all meet up again at noon for lunch and plenty of visiting about our morning experiences! Our afternoon round of workshops will begin after lunch, and each evening we’ll have a big dinner at the farm, among the log cabins and heritage breed animals. There will be live old-time and bluegrass music. We’ll have flat footing dance lessons, Appalachian Storytelling and more. A tin type photographer will be on hand each day so you can have your likeness made – a wonderful keepsake from the event. On Sunday morning we’ll gather in the old log barn for an old fashion singing, and afterwards have a group visit sharing with each other about our experience and making plans for the next one!
After coming up with many, many class topics, we finally whittled down the list to twenty old-time subjects that make me want to take them all. You’ll have a hard time choosing just four! We have:
TEAM DRIVING OXEN & HORSES • CABIN BUILDING
NATURAL DYEING & DROP SPINNING • MEDICINAL HERBS
BEEKEEPING • OAK-SPLIT CHAIR BOTTOMING
OPEN HEARTH COOKING / BAKE OVEN COOKING / CIDER PRESS
SPLIT OAK BASKET MAKING • RUG HOOKING
FRONTIER WEAPONS • NEEDLE ART • CANNING
BLACKSMITHING • LYE SOAP MAKING
SCRIMSHAW • FRIED APPLE PIES & HOE CAKES
BACK COUNTRY COLLECTING • APPALACHIAN STORYTELLING
FOLK WOODCARVING • COUNTRY COTTAGE GARDEN TOUR
So if I haven’t convinced you to join us – give me a call and I will certainly tell you why you can NOT miss this once in a lifetime opportunity! Where else can you come to a log cabin farm museum in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and learn old-timey craftsmanship and experience life in the 1800’s – all for one inclusive price among like-minded folks who share your love of early things and a more simple way of life, fellowshipping and having fun while learning. I WILL SEE YOU THERE!
You can see all the details and even Register online at: