Releasing predatory beetles on the Folk School's infested hemlock trees
The Folk School is partnering with Young Harris College to begin a program of biological control for the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an invasive insect that has been devastating Eastern Hemlock trees throughout the Appalachian region. The Folk School's hemlock trees are no exception, and have been infested with the adelgid.
Dr. Paul Arnold, head of the YHC Predatory Beetle Lab, came in April 2009 and released 600 Sasajiscymnus beetles in the Folk School’s hemlock grove between the Keith House and the Bidstrup house.
Tiny beetle (on thumb) near infested hemlock tree (look for white patches at base of needles).
In addition we procured 52 Laricobius nigrinus beetles from Dr. Richard McDonald who collects the native predatory beetles from the Pacific Northwest. Using predatory beetles is an example of biological control, or finding a natural predator of the invasive insect, as an alternative to using insecticides.
The two species approach means the different beetles will attack the adelgids at different times in their life cycle so we should get better control. Our intention is to keep track of the results as part of the region-wide efforts to determine the most effective control strategies and save our native hemlocks.
Laricobius nigrinus beetles, a natural predator of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Our thanks go to all those who have expressed concern about protecting our hemlocks and especially to Patrick Horan and Noel Thurner whose gift made the purchase of the Laricobius beetles possible.
Field House is Our First Energy Star Green Building
The brand new Field House - a green housing option for students
Field House is a comfortable, “Green Built” energy efficient solar student house with a traditional exterior look. It has outstanding views from every room, and it's conveniently located between Bidstrup House and Orchard House. It has six double occupancy rooms with attached baths (2 are handicap accessible), and there's a two-level covered porch common area. Joe Murray was the General Contractor for this project, and Steve Farrell was the Architect.
• Energy Star construction (HERS rating of around 50!) (What is a HERS rating?)
• Structural insulated panel walls
• Thermal and sound insulation is provided by Icynene environmentally friendly foam
• Passive solar design
• Active solar hot water
• High efficiency mini-split heat pumps with separate thermostats in each room
• Conditioned crawl space and attic to improve heating and cooling efficiency and reduce moisture
• Marvin Integrity windows
• Timbertech composite decking
Local Artists with Work in the New House:
• Lamps by raku potter Harry Hearne
• Bathroom tiles by Lisa and James TeviaClark
• Furniture by the Folk School Maintenance Crew
• Ironwork by local blacksmiths Ron Howard, Joe Miller, Elmer Roush, Able Allen and Mike Moravetz.
Our latest course catalog - printed on FSC certified paper
We've made a choice to switch our printed publications to a better paper. We're now using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper for printing our catalogs, brochures, auction invitations, Friends Newsletter, and fundraising letters. The inks used in all of our publications are linseed/soy based.
We encourage you to pass your catalog on to a friend when you're done with it, or recycle it, if possible.
Ecological Restoration We have worked extensively with a local non-profit, the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition, to restore the Folk School's reach of the the Little Brasstown Creek. For a detailed report of the restoration project, please visit HRWC's website: