As the self-sufficiency/DIY phenomenon grows, a number of “folk schools” teaching old-fashioned, nearly lost domestic and homesteading skills are springing up around the country. Writing in Grist, Lori Rotenberk looks at the rise of the folk school movement:
But now, a growing interest in sustainability and the rise of craft and DIY culture, as well as unease with the current course of the economy and climate, are drawing people back into the folksy classroom.
“There’s a level of uncertainty about what the future holds for us as a society,” says Kyle Lind, a 27-year-old college graduate who recently started a 10-month internship at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minn. “Oil and food prices are on the rise. The cost of electricity and heat are skyrocketing. More and more people are realizing they have to know how to do for themselves.”
At Driftless Folk School in rural Wisconsin, you can learn to make cheese, butcher a deer, make a broom, build a solar cooker or forge a knife. At the Folk School of Fairbanks, Alaska, you can learn to build a canoe, make children’s toys, and weave. At North House Folk School in Northern Minnesota, you can learn to sew Scandinavian-style work shirts, learn to grow your own fruit orchard, make herbal medicine and build your own sauna (yes, please!).
[The organizers of the folk schools] see the movement as more of an awakening, an awareness that we’ve drifted a bit too far from nature. Not as doe-eyed as their earlier ’60s counterparts, they know the world won’t become one happy commune. Still, they point to a budding homesteading movement in both urban and rural areas as evidence that these ideas are gaining traction.
I’m gonna guess we’ll be hearing a lot more about these folk schools in the near future. Is this something you guys have heard of?