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Greetings Friends,
      This spring has felt a little like deja vu from where Ely was at this time last year. Despite the current setbacks in community health, resiliency is what has always kept this town alive. As the darkness of winter fades and light returns, I am optimistic that the light is returning to our community as well. Whatever your comfort level is, I hope you continue to engage either virtually or physically. We look forward to opening the Folk School to limited capacity, in-person classes, as well as continuing a variety of online classes. It has given me joy to see the resiliency of the Ely Folk School and your engagement increase steadily over the last year. Thank you!

Alexia Springer

View April class calendar online

April/May Class List

Nature Writing for Women: Welcome Spring, live online with DyAnne Korda
  April 10 at 10:00 am

Eating Healthy on a budget live online with Erika Barnhill
  April 14 at 12:00 pm

Knit a Spring Hat live online with Laura Ricketts
  April 14 at 2:00 pm & April 21 at 2:00pm

Learn to Make Edam Cheese live online with Gary Colles
  April 15 at 2:00 pm

Eating Healthy on a budget live online with Erika Barnhill
  April 15 at 6:30 pm

A Taste of Blacksmithing with Phil Leino
  April 24 at 10:00 am

Introduction to Lightroom Classic live online with Les Conrad
  April 28 at 10:00 am

Incorporating Plant Based Eating in Your Diet live online with Erika Barnhill
  May 4 at 6:30 pm

Needle Felt a Swan live online with Laura Berlage
  May 6 at 2:00 pm

Hammer & Tongs- Making Basic Tools with Paul Webster
  May 8 at 9:00 am

Learn to Make Colby Cheese live online with Gary Colles
  May 13 at 2:00 pm

Instructor Spotlight: Erika Barnhill
What is currently your favorite class to teach and why?
My favorite class to teach is about gut health. So many people are unaware of how important the health of your gastrointestinal system is to overall mental and physical health. If your digestive system is not functioning well, then the rest of the body is generally unhealthy because you’re not getting the nutrition your body and brain need. Symptoms like bloating, fatigue, and depression may be the result. I believe that once people can have a better understanding of how the health of the gut affects the entire body, then they can begin to make changes, which will have long-term, positive affects on their health.

 How long have you been involved at EFS?
I have been involved with the Ely Folk School since last summer.  My family and I travel to Ely almost every summer to spend time with my husband’s family, who lives there during the summer.  I have been visiting Ely since 1997.  It is a lovely place, with lovely people.  I met Betty last summer and started teaching classes there periodically on various topics relating to health and wellness.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?
I am a busy wife, and mom to four children ages 14-20.  I love learning, reading, and researching.  I continue to participate in programs to further my knowledge so that I am able to share the latest information with my clients.  I love being outside doing just about anything and I love gardening as well.  

 What is one of your hidden talents?
I was an athlete and my sport of choice was basketball.  I have two daughters who are National Clogging Champions, a son who plays soccer, and my other daughter is working toward her black belt in martial arts.  I am passionate about eating well and living an active lifestyle and want to be an example to my family as well as the individuals I work with.

Monthly Sisu– Family Classes: Beaver Hat Story
Written by Greg Chmeliks
 “….We rented a log cabin on a lake so all 16 of us could fit and be together.  The class was on Saturday and we woke up to -27 F, a fitting day to sew some beaver hide.  Once again Bert and Mark were at their finest.  They were patient and engaging with this group of young adults.  We had 9 ‘kids’ ranging from 15 to 26, they explained the entire process on how they stretched the skins, then marked out the patterns, cut the fur and started sewing.  Some were perfectionists and others were competing for speed. We had a great day, a couple of the ‘adults’ stayed with the ‘kids’ and it was great to watch them all interact without the aid of their electronic devices.”
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Class Spotlight: Learn to make Edam Cheese, live online
The first class in our ‘Cheese of the Month’ series!
Edam is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands, and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland. It’s excellent for melting and a popular choice for soups, sauces, and hot dishes. Join us in the rewarding practice of making cheese from scratch under excellent tutelage with fine company, and you will certainly learn something new. After class, the cheese will need to be pressed and bathed in a brine for several hours.  and although you will not leave the Zoom class with a final, completed product, the end results will wow you! 

The Ely Folk School is made possible by: Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust, Lake Country Power, Minnesota State Arts Board, Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment, and Rotary International. We invite you to become a Friend of Ely Folk School through your donation. Thank you so much for helping us accomplish our mission of building community by providing learning experiences that celebrate the wilderness heritage, art, history, culture, and craft of the people of northern Minnesota.
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