St. Lawrence University

North Country Folk Series

Folk Series Instructors

John Miller III John Miller III

North Country river artist John Miller III carries on the tradition of late 19th-century souvenir paddle makers of the Thousand Islands region. These folk artists, the best known of whom was Alpheus E. Keech of Clayton, painted river scenes on paddles to serve as souvenirs of the Thousand Islands, the Adirondacks, the St. Lawrence River, and other North Country waterways. Miller crafts paddles out of the hard words used in boat building. In the tradition of the original souvenir paddles, he hand-paints them with oils and varnishes them. He paints from his own experiences of the waters and woods of the North Country and also creates custom scenes on commission. He has worked with organizations such as TAUNY and the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton to display and teach the techniques he uses to carry on the souvenir paddle painting tradition. His work can be seen at the TAUNY Center and has been featured at the White House.

Josh Carter

Josh Carter is a homestead gardener of seven years with a passion for fermentation as a mode of food preservation. For three years he has been experimenting with raw milk natural rind cheeses in the vein of limburger, camembert and blue. Though definitely not an “artisan”, he recently completed “Essential Principles and Practices of Cheesemaking” at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. He continues to be humbled by the wondrous complexity of the cheesemaking process, and hopes to pass this wonder on to others.

Kate Fagerlund

A farmer, nurse, and (largely) self-taught carpenter, Kate has been living at Birdsfoot Farm in Canton since 2009. In 2010, having never built anything more complicated than a bookshelf, she decided to build herself a house. Several years later, she's happily situated in it, and almost (almost!) done building a sizable addition to the house with her honey Christoff.

Kate is often amused to reflect that living "simply" requires the mastery of so many complex skills, and that in her search for greater self-sufficiency she has found herself working ever more closely in a community of interdependent people. These delightful paradoxes suit her just fine though, and she's always eager to teach and share the knowledge and insights developed through her experiences.

Linda Allen Linda Allen

Basket weaving became part of her life after moving to Beaver Falls in the 1980’s. It didn’t take long for that creativity to come out. She opened a shop at her home in 1990 carrying basket supplies and her hand-woven baskets.

Linda works with a variety of materials, including reed, bark and most recently waxed linen and beads. She is known for her intricate patterns and for incorporating various materials into her designs.

Linda is the owner of Adirondack Basketry and an instructor with the Adirondack Folk School.

Rebecca Pickens

Rebecca is an avid gardener and community herbalist, who has studied with Rosemary Gladstar and Dr. John Christopher. She is a member of the New England Herbalist Association (NEHA) and United Plant Savers (UpS). As an herbal practitioner and owner of Mind's Eye Farm & Herbary, Rebecca delights in sharing the power of plants with her students, clients, and visitors to the farm.

Scott Shipley

Scott Shipley is President of Northern Lights Energy, Inc. Scott is a NABCEP certified solar electric system professional, a graduate of Cornell University, and a graduate of SUNY Canton’s Electrical Construction program. Scott has been working and living with solar energy for over 20 years. Scott’s primary services include: solar electric system design and installation, electrical efficiency upgrades, complete residential electrical wiring and construction services and backup generator installation. He works throughout St. Lawrence County and upstate New York. Visit: