Blue Bites: Driftless Tastes & Textiles Weekend June 2019
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I’m in! Where do I sign up?
So excited you’re interested. Right now we are asking people to share their interest in Retreating with us:
Stay in the loop, we are making BIG fun plans.
And what’s it all about?
Dyeing with indigo, playing with Shibori and batik pattern-making with fabric and paper, hanging out, eating well and getting to make beautiful stuff with your hands. Open-ended creativity and friendship.
This year we are hosting two (count ’em, TWO!) retreats, each with a different and super fun focus.
You are looking at the June Deep Into Indigo Retreat now. Learn more about the July retreat here.
Ok. So what’s the June Retreat going to be like?
The Driftless Area of Wisconsin (including Westby and Viroqua) are renowned in the region as top-notch local food destinations. The area is home to cheese makers, fruit growers, wineries, community-supported agriculture farms, and restaurants. Our retreat will include a food tour of area businesses which contribute to the vibrant food scene, and where we will have the chance to be delighted by samples of local products.
For our Blue Bites Retreat weekend you can arrive as early as 5:00pm Wednesday June 12, 2019. Wednesday arrivals will enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner crafted by Jenina to help you settle in for a fun and relaxing weekend.
There won’t be any formal indigo instruction on Wednesday night, but we will have the chance to work on projects, look at indigo books, videos and other resources, and just generally hang out and get to know each other.
If you can’t make it on Wednesday evening, please arrive by 9:00am Thursday June 13, 2019 to begin the weekend’s activities. During our food tour we will visit at least 3 food production operations in the area (which might include a coffee roastery, soda maker, cheese maker, and/or candy maker), have a delicious lunch of local ingredients provided by one of the area’s premier caterers, and visit a local winery. Our day of food touring will also include a visit to a local quilt shop (one of our sponsors) so that we can grab any last minute supplies we will need.
Shibori Instruction will begin on Friday morning, when we are fresh! We will be able to start dyeing in indigo that morning as well. The dye vats will be open for your work until approximately 3pm on Sunday June 16, 2019.
Wait…When and where is this retreat again?
The retreat will be held in Westby, WI, which is about 2 hours NW of Madison. We’ll send you the address and directions along with your retreat confirmation.
So, what’s a food tour anyway?
Well, a food tour is just what it sounds like–a chance to move from place to place tasting, sampling and learning about local food. Most of the time, food tours involve walking from place to place, in our case we will be doing a combination of driving and walking.
The great thing about a food tour is that you learn the behind-the-scenes stories of these businesses that produce beautiful food and food products. Food and beverage producers are typically a very passionate bunch who are excited to share their knowledge. Our touring will involve a combination of producers, caterers & winemakers.
What is the retreat center like?
It’s a delightful, unique place. The lodge is a converted feed mill located just a couple of blocks off the main street in Westby, WI.
The space is divided into 3 individual apartment areas, each having its own bathrooms, kitchen, living and dining areas. The downstairs apartment houses our communal kitchen and eating space.
There is a large, communal conference area with tables where we can work. The conference area adjoins the covered garage space as well as a nice back yard where we can set up our dying activities.
There are many full bathrooms. We are happy to designate a bathroom as a totally chemical free zone, if you require it. Just let us know.
‘Sup with the food?
I’m glad you asked. Not to worry, Jennifer will not be cooking! The very talented and amazing foodie extraordinaire Jenina Mella is going to make all of our meals. Every dish will be as locally produced as we can manage.
Those of us who attending the 2017 Deep Into Indigo Retreat are still dreaming about her watermelon salad. For Jen, the highlight of 2018 was the hand made granola and that lunch on Sunday. She never wanted it to end.
For those with special dietary needs, the food will be gluten sensitive, meaning that most dishes won’t have gluten. There will be gluten in the kitchen.
The food will also be vegetarian friendly. That means that there will be meat, but it will be easy to avoid.
If your dietary needs are more specific, feel free to please bring along your own food. We cannot offer any discounts on the retreat price. Let us know ahead of time if you are bringing food, so we can make sure there’s room in the fridge.
I am traveling from far, far away. How do I get there?
Another good question, you are very smart. You have lots of options. You can fly into the LaCrosse Airport. A Viroqua native tells us that this is the most expensive option. However, it’s also only an hour away from the retreat center.
Alternative airports are Madison (about 2 hours and 15 minutes away) and Minneapolis (the longest drive at 3 hours but possibly the cheapest airport option).
We’re happy to share your contact information with other retreat peeps (after you all give us permission) so that you can coordinate ride sharing from the airport of your choice.
Remember, if you have more general questions, please check out our FAQ page.