We can’t physically be together in class, but we knew you’d be interested to catch up on what our instructors have been doing during this difficult time. You won’t be surprised to hear that they haven’t changed their spots – they are continuing to create and to be role models for life long learning as they join all of us in staying the course.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Ross Safford
From Ross Safford:

…of course I’m baking and cooking quite a lot. I came up with a variation of an oatmeal bread and made it sourdough. Also small batch blueberry jam. But most of my time has been spent making paper from plants and such. Grasses and cattails, onion skins….I took a class at the Minnesota Book Arts this past summer.

Thanks for checking in – Ross

Photo Credit: Submitted by Ross Safford
Michelle Bruhn shared tips on natural egg dyeing and generously offered to help with any gardening questions you might have:

Also, I’ve been doing more little FB/IG stories/videos on planting seeds, with updates on where to get seeds and plants this year (many of the seed Co’s are weeks behind or only selling to farmers now). I know our local food shelf is swamped with keeping up with increased demand, so I’ll be helping out more than ever planting at their garden (In WBL) so growing at/for a food shelf is always helpful- or just supplementing your own homegrown foods… I just posted about growing Victory gardens as well.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Michelle Bruhn
I’m pretty busy with schooling my kids and planting season- but if someone has a specific suggestion for how a gardener/urban homesteader can help please ask 🙂

Photo Credit: Submitted by Michelle Bruhn
Always thinking, and always thinking about how to better engage kids and open their world through photography, Carl Wegener has been busy working on a ‘distance learning’ version of his digital photography class:

(I’ve) been testing out converting class content to an online version. Currently I have two online students and used the Zoom online application with only limited success. Planning tomorrow to change the software …to see if things will improve. Once the bumps can be figured out, my plan is to offer my classes through the Marine Mills Folk School to essential healthcare worker families on a donation fee basis. The idea is to be a contributor during pandemic. It would be interesting to see if any other instructors would want to do the same.

Photo Credit: Carl Wegener
Sara Grays, one of our knitting instructors, sent her greetings and like many of our instructors, continues to focus on creating community. Her idea of a community project to create a blanket to be auctioned off to help support a worthy organization dovetailed perfectly with our Tuesday ‘Knit Night’ group led by another knitter, Liz Towers. The group is working together to create a beautiful afghan, to be auctioned off to help MMFS, bless their hearts!

Photo Credit: Submitted by Marge Barrett

Marge Barrett says ‘hi’ and sends hopes that everyone is healthy:

I teach creative writing. I was sad not to teach my course, Telling the Story, particularly since this is the time we should all think about pulling out pens and paper to write. The stories of this pandemic will be told for hundreds of years. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren will want to know how you acted in and reacted to this enormous worldly event.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Marge Barrett
That said, I haven’t had much time to write myself. I’ve been editing, along with my publisher, a book of poetry that is supposed to come out in September. If You Have Something to Say, Margaret has taken up my energy, as well as talking, Duo-ing, Face-timing with friends and our children in the Twin Cities and in New York. I zoom story hour every day with our four and six-year old grandson and granddaughter, play virtual Monopoly and “Bunch” games with our eleven and eight-year-old grandsons, and chat every night before bedtime with our thirteen and nine-year-old granddaughters. My husband and I are sheltering in place at our lovely cabin in Marine, watching spring come in. A couple of weeks ago, the entire sunset sky was filled with honking trumpeter swans and Canadian geese. That I will write about someday—soon.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Larry Underkoffler
Finally, our Barn Hex Sign instructor Larry Underkoffler sent some fun pictures and an encouraging message:

I have been spending many hours in my studio and at our place in Northern Wisconsin, creating more Barn Signs, building a flagpole from a pine tree on our property, making several Fish Mobiles, this one out of card board. Thanks for asking! I hope we can open back up sometime this summer. I suspect we will be needed! — Larry

Photo Credit: Submitted by Larry Underkoffler