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December 1, 2022

9/2/2016 9:39:00 AM
Something for everyone at Folklore Village's Sustainability Weekend

by Denise Thornton

Folklore Village will be hosting its second annual Sustainability Weekend Friday through Sunday, September 9-11, offering participants experiences ranging from a variety of practical, hands-on homesteading skills to cultural sustainability events including a barn dance to the music of The Red Squirrel Chasers.
"When most people think of sustainability, they think about our food system and our environment, but sustainability also includes culture," Terri Van Orman, Executive Director at Folklore Village said. "That's why we bring in living cultural heritage performers."
"We want to highlight our own American culture, as well as international folk music and dance," she continued. "Folk culture didn't just happen in 1848. It's happening now, and it's alive and well."
Musical headliners for the weekend are The Red Squirrel Chasers. Stephanie Coleman from Brooklyn, NY on fiddle, Jim Collier from Raleigh, NC on mandolin, along with Jim Nelson and Dedo Norris from St. Louis, MO on guitar and bass will be teaching workshops during the day and performing dance music each evening as they explore the border between old-time string bands and the lonesome bluegrass sounds that surfaced in the 1940s.
"Bluegrass is known for that iconic five-string banjo Earl Scruggs sound, which hit the scene around 1945," Meghan Dudle, Folklore Village program coordinator said. "But the Red Squirrel Chasers capture the earlier sounds of the 20s and 30s, when old-time string band music and the more formalized structure of bluegrass/harmony singing were still, let's say, playing nice with each other. This band creates a whirlwind cascade of melodies with the interplay between mandolin and fiddle."
In keeping with the cultural sustainability theme, participants can learn how to call a square dance Saturday morning with Rina Rossi, a Minneapolis based caller. She'll be focusing on how to deliver dance patter while directing the action of a square/circle/mixer dance. And midday Meghan Dudle, a former Wild Goose Chase Clogger, will introduce the basics of clogging, a loose toe-tapping dance that goes great with old-time music.
Environmental sustainability enthusiasts will have plenty to do with an all-weekend opportunity to participate in the reconstruction of the historic Aslak Lie Log Cabin under the tutelage of Nels Diller, an accomplished builder and craftsman who has studied Norwegian log cabin building techniques in Norway.
For a look at a contemporary home built with sustainability in mind, a tour is scheduled Saturday afternoon from Folklore Village to nearby Underhill House where the architect, Della Hansmann, will detail its many sustainable features, including straw bale walls, sod roof, passive solar design, use of local materials and both solar hot water and photovoltaic panels.
Folklore Village will be sharing information about our area's native grasslands Saturday morning with a walk n' talk through their 70-acre tall grass prairie with naturalist Anne Linkert who will answer questions and identify native wildflowers and grasses.
Practical homesteading skills are also on the agenda. Learn to identify and use the best environment- and user-friendly garden tools, including the European scythe at noon on Saturday with Allen Pincus.
Explore the basics of preserving your harvest through dehydration, and taste some samples Saturday morning with Judy Pincus. On Sunday morning, learn the secrets of two autumn recipes for Farrow Squash-Apple Soup and mulled cider with Cena Sharp, a chef with the Driftless Market in Platteville. Expand your knowledge of how food choices affect health, the economy and the environment Saturday afternoon with Lucy M. Long, PhD, Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania.
Participants can also learn how to make an herbal-infused oil to soothe the skin Saturday afternoon and create your own personal blend from a variety of herbs and flowers with Caitlin Hatch.
"This event grew out of the Delicious Driftless Fair we hosted in 2013 in partnership with with Southwest Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and other groups," Van Orman said.
One of Folklore Village's regularly scheduled Healthy Hoe-Downs will anchor the Saturday evening schedule. The hoe-downs sustain the tradition of American Country Dance from New England contras to old-time squares and Midwestern big circles. Families and beginners are welcome.
This season the hoe-downs are being sponsored by local farms, who share their bounty in a farm-to-table dinner. For the Sustainability Weekend, Kriss Marion with Circle M Market Farm, a small family homestead near Blanchardville, will share.
"We're working to make Sustainability Weekend a new tradition at Folklore Village," Van Orman said. "We hope we have included something for everyone. One of our goals is to get the word out on a larger scale."
For a complete schedule of events, registration forms and prices, visit the Folklore Village website, or call 608-924-4000.

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