Saturday, May 23, 2009

good morning three-day weekend!

That's Chuck Klosterman, one of the honchos here at CAF. He's outside crowing right now, along with the bleating sheep and a very hungry goat kid. I'm going to head out there in a minute (I slept in, what with the holiday and all) but first wanted to say good morning, and let you know to keep checking back over the three-day weekend because a lot of corn getting planted and I might hit the river today for my first fly-fishing adventure of the season. So if you're into trout and dirt, I'm your girl. But before any of that—I'm going to make some pancakes and enjoy it with some eggs. Because I have a full day ahead of me outside on the farm and on the river, so I think a real breakfast is in order.

Anyone out there want to learn the fiddle? I'm thinking about doing a Mountain Music Challenge, where I'll explain step-by-step how a total beginner could start playing southern mountain style fiddle - on the cheap. If at leat ten of you are interested in joining up, I'll get it started. I think a lot of people out there want to play and are making it a bigger deal than it is. I'll happily hold your hand, and help you get started. Just think, It's Memorial Day now, but you could be playing mountain music at your campfires by the 4th of July.... Any takers?


Blogger Artful Gathering said...

Good Morning from Wiscosin!
Chuck is a handsome rascal. What kind of chicken is he? Have a great weekend and I will check
back to see what you've been up to. Dawn

May 23, 2009 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

He's an Ameraucana Rooster, as is Rufus and Sussex. But Winthrop, the wererooster is a Brahma

May 23, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Tracy Bruring said...

Happy weekend. I will be watching. I don't own a fiddle but would if i had one. have a great weekend.

May 23, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning from Connecticut. Did someone say, "Mountain Music Challenge?" I have been looking online for a cheap fiddle - at least, something to get me started. I would be game if I can locate one. Any recommendations???

May 23, 2009 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

How cheap is "on the cheap"? Details, please! I might be in, but am leery of buying a musical instrument that I might not take to. I've always been a singer rather than a player, but I might want to give this a shot.

May 23, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

hell yeah, just go on ebay and get a 4/4 violin outfit on the cheap. there are a million student models on there under 50 bucks (with shipping). Try to find one with 4 fine tuners, a bow, and rosin.

May 23, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

Hey, I would love to learn to play the fiddle. Count me in.
This is a great time to buy a used student as schools are finishing up and people are trying to unload their kid's violin. I saw one at a pawn shop for 25 dollars yesterday and the dude said he always gets them this time of year.

May 23, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Coriolis said...

I'm a Southern Mountain dweller who already owns a fiddle (which began its life as a classical violin but doesn't know we've changed directions yet.)

I've been meaning to pick up traditional fiddling for an embarrassing number of years, and would absolutely love a tutorial to kick my procrastination out of the picture!

May 23, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Nire said...

Depending on how cheap "on the cheap" is and if I can find my fiddle, I'd be interested!

May 23, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Nire, check craigslist for 4/4 violins. I expect anyone can get one for under 50.00 - but you can beg, borrow, or steal one too. I don't care.

please don't steal.

May 23, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

I would love that! Like some of the other readers, I need to get my hands on a fiddle - but I am totally in!

May 23, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Georgia said...

I just bought a fiddle and am now taking lessons thanks to your book- I'm learning Irish fiddle but I also have the old time fiddle book you recommended. I'm game!

May 23, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Rois said...

I'd love to learn about fiddle playing.I have been trying to teach myself to play by ear with the hopes that my Great Grandma who played all over at barn dances will some how channel her talent through me.

May 23, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to learn -- count me in! :)

May 23, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Kelle Belle said...

If I can find one, I am in

May 23, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger ecoKeith said...

I have a cheap violin I bought off of eBay and would welcome some guidance to making it sound like anything but fingers scratching on the chalkboard. You would think that since I'm from Tennessee, now living in North Carolina, I would already know how; but if I could learn to play it as much as I love the old mountain music I'm all in.

May 23, 2009 at 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Nikki Jackson said...

We're interested! We'll be checking our local pawnshops later today.
Warning - I've never played an instrument, so I'm gonna be the realist beginner, ever!

May 23, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Cypress said...

Yeah baby!!! Bring on the cheapness! Bring on the fiddling! Bring on the creative scrounging for a cheap fiddle! (I am using a cast-off, 3/4 size viola, strung as a violin)
Thanks Jenna! I really want this to happen. How many does that make so far...ten yet?

May 23, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger ecoKeith said...

Hi Jenna, I would love some instruction on how to play this violin I got off eBay for, you guessed it, $50. You would think that since I'm from Tennessee and now living in North Carolina that I would already know how to play, but at least I have a healthy love for the old mountain music. Take care, love the blog, can't wait to see what you come up with.

May 23, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger girlandcat said...

Thanks to your book I have dusted off the violin that I had abandoned back in high school, and am now learning old time and scottish fiddle, and would definatly be up for any tips you may have : )

May 23, 2009 at 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess what?!? I am now the owner of a 4/4 fully-outfitted student violin, thanks to ebay! Hey, maybe I will channel my grandmother's improv musical talent. It worked with the piano. Count me in.

May 23, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Local Nourishment said...

Count us in. We have three aspiring fiddlers and two fiddles ready to roll!

May 23, 2009 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Count me in! I can't wait!

May 23, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Lynnanne said...

I'm lookin' for a fiddle! Sounds like fun. :)

May 23, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bidding on a violin on ebay right now. I'm quite excited, I think this will be something fun for my kids and I to learn about this summer!


May 23, 2009 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm starting my 2nd year of Suzuki violin (thanks to my preschool violinist). Currently I am half way through book 1 and would love to learn some non-classical music that would be fun to play. Since I am just starting to learn to read music and have no money for music, I find myself limited.


May 23, 2009 at 11:33 AM  
Anonymous beccaWA said...

I have a fiddle, and had some lessons... from a very good old-time fiddle player. However, due to lack of money and the "too busy" factor my fiddle hangs on the wall...

This challenge comes at a very good time. I welcome this jump-start to pick it up again. Bring it on!

May 23, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...


Be sure to make plenty of time for flyfishing. And as Noah Adams wrote in his St. Croix Chronicles, "... flyfishing should never be rushed..."

Tight lines and beautiful salmonoids


May 23, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...

I wanna learn to "play me some mountain music". I will be right there with you all if I can find myself the fiddle I need!

I enjoyed getting caught up with you and your little homestead. Soon we will have some laying hens ourselves as my husband is finishing up a portable coop.


May 23, 2009 at 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fiddle has been purchased! Now off to plant the garden!


May 23, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger TheRaspberryChicken said...

Hi Jenna,

What exactly do you have in mind? Are you just giving directions in writing or a video??? Please forgive my ignorance... I have a 9 year old who has been wanting to take violin lessons (I always tell her she has to learn to play the fiddle too!) for a while. Money is very tight right now so this might be a way to introduce it to her at no cost... Do you think it would be worth trying?


May 23, 2009 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Ben and Amy Dau said...

I would need to get a fiddle, but I am totally game. I think I can snag one from a friend pretty handily. Thanks for the offer!

May 23, 2009 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous gquaker said...

Chuck Klosterman has got to be the best name for a rooster. Maybe, ever.

I'm down with learning how to play the fiddle, too.

May 23, 2009 at 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Amyz said...

I would love to learn the fiddle! I might be able to get my hands on one in the next couple weeks, so count me in!

May 23, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Little Ant said...

Sounds like a great challenge. Haven't touched a stringed instrument since grade school but I'll see if I can muster one up. I love your rooster Chuck. He is quite the handsome dude for your gals. I've only got Rhode Island Reds but once I manage to get relocated I do so want to diversify my chickens and get some different breeds.

May 23, 2009 at 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Tessa said...

Hey! I've been keeping track of your blog for five months now; every since my mom bought me your book. I loved it, and admire your adventurous spirit! I was forced to come out of the woodwork when I read about your Mountain Music Challenge. I've just ordered my 4/4violin! I never would have imagined when I got up this morning that today would be the day I would purchase my first violin. How exciting!

May 23, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Count me in! I just bought my 4/4 violin on ebay. Can't wait to start.

May 23, 2009 at 1:40 PM  
Anonymous teri said...

hello from oregon's coast range mountains! been meaning to de-lurk for a while - read your book then found your blog, and have loved reading both.

my partner and i moved here from east coast about 2 years ago, and jumped into the country/farming/self-sufficient life with abandon (over over a decade each in new york city). we now have dairy goats and chickens, along with the starts of a massive garden.

i'd love to join your mountain fiddle challenge, if you do it - i played classical violin from 4th-12th grade, and haven't touched it since - but pulled it out of my mom's basement over a year ago with the intention of learning some fiddle tunes to play by the bonfire.

since it's still sitting in the corner, this might be the nudge i need.

count me in to your challenge, and feel free to drop by our blog about our life out here (linked with my name) if you feel to.

all the best,

May 23, 2009 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...


Found your blog a few weeks ago and stop by daily to check on CAF. I love love love your little kid. He is adorable. I am in on the mountain music challenge. Please tell me what instrument I will need to participate. Iknow you mention a fiddle... : ) Thanks. Cathy

May 23, 2009 at 4:43 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

I'm in for the challenge! I just fixed up my Grandfather's fiddle and I'm itching to learn how to play it! Bring it on.

May 23, 2009 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Holy Crow! I went out to plant my corn crop (over 60 stalks, watch out July) and I came back to 40 comments! Hell yeah, we're doing this.

May 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger True Mama said...

I'd love to learn the fiddle! Count me in. :)

May 23, 2009 at 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to learn. Details?

May 23, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Count me in on the fiddle lessons. When do we start?

May 23, 2009 at 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would love to learn some fiddlin'! As a piano and flute player of the somewhat distant past, I'd like to think I've got some musical ability left in me. ;-) However, like a few others, I'll need to get my hands on a fiddle first...will work on that this coming week.

Just finished your book today, btw, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Even went out and picked up a couple of tomato and pepper plants, along with a few herbs to start a little container garden! Thanks for the inspiration!


May 23, 2009 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Got the fiddle and ready to go...what's next.

May 23, 2009 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger Vermonster said...


I would like to join you. I've commented before on you teaching. To bad we can't get together when I and my family are in Vermont visiting in a few weeks, in fact we'll be there in 18 days. Yes, I count down the days.
Thanks for offering to teach us all.

Marina aka Vermonster

May 23, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to too.

May 23, 2009 at 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who the hell is Chuck Klosterman? ??( please dont throw me off the blog for cursing)

May 23, 2009 at 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello from So Calif! Took some lessons a REALLY long time ago, and have dragged my fiddle around for years as I traveled back and forth across the country as a traveling nurse. Would love to take it up again and mtn, traditional and bluegrass are what I love!
P.S. 3/4 thru your book, saw you in Mother Earth News. You're living my dream! California Nancee

May 24, 2009 at 1:34 AM  
Blogger Rhonda Jean said...

You know my answer but I looked on ebay and the cheapest violin I could find here is $300. I hope you go ahead with your plan. I'll watch from the sidelines and as soon as I get a fiddle, I'll play. Thank you.

May 24, 2009 at 2:40 AM  
Blogger BrookeND said...

Dearest Jenna,

IM IN!! This may sound silly, but I was just driving home tonight and keep thinking about your banjo and your fiddle (from the book) and was just thinking "jeeze, I should really teach myself to play one of those instruments!" Then I came home and read your blog!!

I would LOVE to learn and join the group, just let me know what's next! I live in Florida and urban homestead here on my land in the hot HOT humid sun. It'd be great to learn southern style fiddle - you can't get further south than FL. Although Georgia and Tennessee are actually more of a "southern" culture than here :-)

Ok, it's been a long day here planting the summer crops... Off to bed, please count me in!

By the way, my name is Brooke Dressler. It is a pleasure to meet you (cyberly) <-- is that even such a word?

-Brooke N. Dressler

May 24, 2009 at 2:49 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Chuck Klosterman is a writer who mostly talks about pop culture and music. He's hilaroius, clever, but kind of a dick. I like him, and that rooster is the same way, so he was named.

Rhonda, people have been buying student fiddles for under 50 bones with shipping - just ebay search 4/4 violin outfit, something cheaper will come up.

May 24, 2009 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jenna, do you play the mandolin? I'm in the process of buying one!

May 24, 2009 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

I'd like to state that I have designs on suddenly playing all these instruments when I've never picked one up before in my life. Hopefully next week I'll get the job I've been eyeing and once I have some money in my pocket I intend to: get the guitar some new strings and tuned at a local music shop and learn it, buy and learn an autoharp as I am in love with this instrument, buy and learn to play a dulcimer(as you've sparked my interest in this instrument), and now that you've started this fiddle challenge I'm starting to this this will also have to be something I learn. Am I too ambitious for someone who's never played an instrument?

May 25, 2009 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Lisa, I don't. Someday maybe, probably. But I know Wayne Erbsen just put out an intro to mando book and I bet it's great. It'll be a good intro.

congrats on the mandolin!

May 25, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Carrie - Hell no!

May 25, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous kandy Gray said...

i would LOVE to learn the fiddle,....but i have been proven to have NO musical talent and i am NOT just being modest. but in my head i play and sing like an angel. good luck to all you who try!

kandy from canada

May 25, 2009 at 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to learn how to play the fiddle! I've read your book and used your bread recipe and I went yard sale shopping and barn shopping this weekend I loved it. I'm also try to get my stuff together for some chickend and may be a goat for milk. My garden looks great and we'll probably expand next year. I love you blog and read it every few days you are an insperation keep up the great work! Thank You! Stephanie in NH

May 27, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

You will need to offer a banjo lesson next...

May 27, 2009 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger ulla said...

I am up for the Fiddle..Have just started the mountain dulcimer and i fell in love...have no musical background, just love singing and listening to music, I'll start looking for the 4/4 on ebay. Just started you blog and love, love, love it. Have also started to homstead in southern missouri and love the woods, views and the people and animals. I agree with you, never wait "until the time is right" it may never be and then you're 80 yrs old and think back to what you should have done. Keep on strummin' Ulla

September 9, 2009 at 1:45 PM  

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