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Ely Folk School

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09 September 2021

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Learn to Make Butter Cheese: Live Online


with Gary Colles

Calendar Sep 9, 2021 at 2 pm

Thursday, September 9, 2021
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $40

September's Cheese of the Month is Butter Cheese! 

Join Master Cheesemaker Gary Colles and the Ely Folk School as we make a new cheese from scratch each month. 

Butter cheese or butterkäse, is "the best cheese you've never tried," according to Bon Appetit. It's creamy, with a fat content nearing 50% which rivals triple-cream cheeses. Expand your cheese repotoire by embarking on a journey to make your own butterkäse with us! 

Join us in the rewarding practice of making cheese from scratch under excellent tutelage with fine company. You will certainly learn something new and although you will not leave the Zoom class with a final product, the end results will wow you! 

You will receive the recipe and the supplies list with ample time prior to class. Please be sure to fully read the ingredients list and reach out with questions on where to find any lesser-known ingredients. After class, your cheese will require additional care prior to consumption. 

About the Instructor: Gary Colles has been making artisan cheese for nineteen years. Beginning with teaching in Michigan where he and his wife live, he has added North Carolina, Alabama, Iowa, Florida and Minnesota. He has worked and trained with Glengarry Cheese Company in Canada, New England Cheese Making Company, and Farmstead Cheese Making. He is always reading more on cheese making, and his reference library now has fifty books on cheese.  

Please register for each person attending in your household to support both the instructors and the Ely Folk School. Thank you!

Mushroom Cultivation: Three Ways to Grow Gourmet Mushrooms at Home


with Nik Prenevost

Calendar Sep 11, 2021 at 11 am

Saturday, September 11, 2021
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuition: $25

Mushroom growing is gaining in popularity as people are better understanding the health benefits as well as the culinary value. Various mushrooms have peaked peoples interest for home cultivation. Growing shiitakes, lion's mane, wine caps and oyster mushrooms are an excellent way to easily grow mushrooms for your own consumption.

The class will cover three different methods to grow mushrooms year round. These three methods range from beginner to intermediate so anyone could participate, even kids! Mushroom growing is a unique experience that brings learning opportunities for growing your own food.

Grow your food. Eat your mushrooms.

About the Instructor: Nik Prenevost cultivated mushrooms at Mississippi Mushrooms LLC for seven years from 2012-2019 and is currently a consultant for growing mushrooms in the Twin Cities. 

"I believe in supplementing your diet with locally sourced food that you have grown yourself. It is the ultimate way to know what it is in your food and what inputs it took to grow it. Cultivating mushrooms is one of the most satisfying forms of growing food I have experienced, especially since the turn around is so quick in comparison to tradition garden growing plants. Fungal farming is an exciting adventure that keeps me learning new techniques to cultivate but also insights into how our own biome works. When I grow mushrooms, I feel so connected to the food source and the final dish tastes that much better. I want to help people learn through easy techniques to grow mushrooms and be apart of this growing trend."


Mead Making: Let's Ferment Some Honey!


with Nik Prenevost

Calendar Sep 12, 2021 at 11 am

Sunday, September 12, 2021
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuition: $25

Mead has been touted as one of the earliest forms of alcohol. Combining honey, water and yeast, this fermented beverage is one of the easiest and delicious ways to imbibe. It is gaining in popularity especially because of its gluten-free nature. 

This class will teach you how to properly make, age and store mead like a pro. Nik will share tips gained from years of experience fermenting in a commercial setting to help make your mead stand out from the rest. Details will cover honey types, yeast strands, fermentation tips, flavor additions and clarifying and stabilizing your mead. 

During the class, we will make an entire batch of mead together and we will raffle off the product to take to your home to finish the fermentation ($170 value). By the end of the class you will learn how to easily make delicious mead in up to 5 gallon batches that you can drink and share with your friends and family.

About the Instructor - Nik Prenevost: I am the Assistant Mead Maker at the White Bear Meadery (WBM) in Gem Lake. The first and only true Meadery in the state of Minnesota, WBM provides up to 20 meads on tap and continues to grow in size as a business and varieties of mead it produces. From traditional meads to cider or root beer meads, I have made them all and have experienced first hand with the successes and failures of experimentation in the industry. From the first time I tasted mead in Tampa, FL I came home to Minnesota in search of the 'nectar of the gods'. Enter White Bear Meadery. Working in a commercial setting with the Owner and founder, Josh Eckton, has ramped my mead making experience up from none to incredible meads.

Introduction to Tapestry Weaving


with Laura Berlage

Calendar Sep 12, 2021 at 2 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Sundays, September 12 - October 17,  2021
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $144   Materials: $95  Shipping: $20

This course takes places over six consecutive Sunday afternoons. 

Curious about how tapestries are made and ready to try your hand at pictorial weaving? This most ancient form of textile creation is rich with history and invitation for creative expression.

Master weaver Laura Berlage will take you on a multi-week journey into the magical world of tapestry, where you will learn to transform warp and weft into a peaceful sunset landscape, measuring approximately 10x10 inches. Starting with a simple frame loom, focus will be given to establishing good tapestry technique and learning the process for horizontal and angled forms—beginning with foundational geometrics and building into more naturalistic forms. Fundamentals of cartoon creation and shading will also be covered. Unlock the mystery of how tapestry is made and add these skills to your expressions in fiber.

Join us for this welcoming online class! This class is beginner friendly, though please note that repetitive beating on the textile with the hand comb may cause aggravation of arthritis. 

The materials kit includes a frame loom plus stick shed dowel, ready to assemble; 2 large eye tatting needles; wool yarn for the project; wand comb/beater; spool of cotton warp; copy of the cartoon; and a handout with links to pre-recorded auxiliary tutorials. The student will need to provide for themselves good light; 2-3 tapestry needles; 2 binder clips; and a pair of sharp scissors. 

About the Instructor: Laura Berlage is a contemporary Renaissance woman living and working on her family’s century-old homestead farm outside Hayward, WI. From fiber arts to creative writing, music to storytelling, she never tires of the magic of transforming idea into form and overlapping narrative and visual. Laura also loves working with the many and beautiful natural materials from her farm—especially the wool from her sheep. Laura began her devotion to tapestry at age 13, studying 5 ½ years with master tapestry weaver Fran Potter before completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in 2011.  She continues her lifelong passion for learning with engaged, hands-on teaching for small groups to encourage creativity, imagination, and expression.

Invasive Color: Using Invasive Species as Natural Dyes


with Theresa Hornstein

Calendar Sep 18, 2021 at 9 am

Saturday, September 18, 2021
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM 

Tuition: $60  Materials: $12

Did you know many invasive plants can be used as natural dyes? There's no guilt about peeling off the bark or pulling up the whole plant to make these dye baths! Students will learn plant identification, a bit of natural history, and how to use these otherwise undesirable species to create beautiful colors. Experimentation will include the use of modifiers and mordants and several different methods for obtaining colors. Each student will go home with a 8 different dyed skeins, approximately 30 yards each. The instructor will provide yarn and all dye materials. Students should bring a plastic bag for samples.

Beginner and experienced natural dyers welcome!

About the Instructor: Theresa Hornstein was trained as a biologist and worked in academia for over 35 years. However, she has always had a passion for the arts, specially fiber. Working with natural dyes has been a way to combine her passions. For the last 4 years, she's been focused on using invasive species as dyes and is currently working on a book on a book on the subject. 

Needle Felt a Chickadee: Live Online


with Laura Berlage

Calendar Sep 18, 2021 at 2 pm

Saturday, September 18, 2021
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $36   Materials: $25  Shipping: $15

Register before September 11th in order to receive supplies prior to the class. 

Needle felting is fun! Learn to transform hand-dyed wool from the instructor’s flock of sheep into your very own adorable little chickadee. We will mail you the materials ahead of time, then Laura will take you step-by-step through the process via Zoom. No previous experience is necessary.

The materials kit comes with enough wool to make two chickadees, so you can perfect your technique on the second one after class. All you need to complete the project is a work surface like a sturdy table, good light, and a pair of scissors. Everything else is included! Experience the magic of needle felting or learn some new tips to add to your growing skillset.

Needle felting can feel especially therapeutic, as we repeatedly stab the wool with our barbed needles while creating a cute, wooly friend in the process. Join us for this welcoming online class!

A full kit will be mailed to each student, complete with the wool, foam work surface, needle, eye beads, and other necessary pieces. Students will also receive in the kit a welcome letter with notes on using Zoom as well as a link and password to a pre-recorded version of the class if they find this resource additionally helpful.

About the Instructor: Laura Berlage is a contemporary Renaissance woman living and working on her family’s century-old homestead farm outside Hayward, WI. From fiber arts to creative writing, music to storytelling, she never tires of the magic of transforming ideas into form and overlapping narrative and visual.

Laura also loves working with the many and beautiful natural materials from her farm—especially the wool from her sheep. Completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in 2011, Laura continues her lifelong passion for learning with engaged, hands-on teaching for small groups to encourage creativity, imagination, and expression.

Capturing Fall Colors


with Ken Hupila

Calendar Sep 25, 2021 at 9 am

Saturday, September 25, 2021
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $84

Be a part of an autumn tradition in the North Country – observing and photographing fall color! This class will provide a one hour orientation on techniques and equipment utilization while in the field. We’ll then take our gear into the Superior National Forest and look for numerous vistas, unique perspectives, cozy vignettes and macro work. With luck we may come across some forest critters as a bonus!   

Class will meet initially at the Ely Folk School. Bring lunch, camera and gear - manual, all lenses, tripod, remote release, circular polarizer (if you have it) - and rubber boots. Dress for the weather. You may choose to carpool or caravan, dependent on public health and personal comfort.

About the Instructor: Ken Hupila grew up and lived in Northern Minnesota for most of his life. He moved to the Ely area in 1978 and has been a resident here since.

Ken is an educator, having taught in the Ely School System for 33 years. He is an outdoor adventurer who has canoed, camped, hunted and fished from Alaska to Minnesota –including a 500-mile, 27-day paddle on the Albany River to Hudson Bay in 2006. He has been a wilderness guide for over 40 years in the BWCA and Superior National Forest.

He became a professional photographer in 2001, specializing the past 5 years in outdoor photography. Recently he entered the writing world as an outdoor author covering topics such as his guiding experiences, his trip to Hudson Bay as well as personal wilderness trips that he has taken into the backcountry. Ken has taught photography classes through Community Education and the Ely Folk School for the past several years.

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