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John C. Campbell Campus Update - Garden Area

In February, 38 students joined us on campus for our Traditional Craft Mentorship program. This program allows emerging artists to spend time at the Folk School learning from accomplished makers and instructors in a community-driven environment. This year, our mentorship areas of study included blacksmithing, natural dyeing, and timber framing. 


Led by instructor John Campbell, our timber frame mentees learned techniques using hand tools alongside power equipment and gained hands-on experience building the structure that will become our new garden pavilion. This multipurpose pavilion will be used for drying and storing herbs, natural dye ingredients, and craft materials. Additionally, it will serve as a meeting location for gardening classes and our garden crew, be fitted with a station to wash and prepare vegetables for our dining hall and will provide a covered outdoor kitchen for dyeing projects and garden-based cooking demonstrations.  


The building of this pavilion is one of many exciting garden projects happening this year on campus. Last year, we acquired a BCS 2-wheel tractor in the fall which allowed for more streamlined planting. We purchased and erected our unheated high tunnel, where we could plant cool-weather greens served in the dining hall throughout November, December, and January. This spring, our unheated greenhouse will be filled with spring greens and hold eggplants and peppers in the summer, and we have ordered a variety of trees and shrubs for planting over the next 18 months.


We opted to move, revamp, and recycle parts of an existing greenhouse for a new, heated greenhouse with working electricity. Over the next several months, we will redesign the greenhouse's interior to be more conducive to our education and propagation needs.  


These improvements would not be possible without you. Join us in ensuring our garden and other gathering places on campus continue to thrive and give back to our Folk School community. Learn more about how you can support campus projects by contacting our development office at or calling 828-837-2775.

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