Foxfire books

Have you ever heard of the Foxfire books? I got to see some this weekend, as we were looking for home remedies for a sunburn (my pale skin is no match for 5 hours of sunshine, despite multiple coats of sunscreen). The Foxfire books are a collection of stories compiled in 1966 by an English class in a Southern Appalacian community. Students interviewed elders of the community and recorded their stories, crafts, and words of advice into a journal.

The students’ portrayal of the previously-dismissed culture of Southern Appalachia as a proud, self-sufficient people with simple beliefs, pure joy in living, and rock-solid faith shattered most of the world-at-large’s misconceptions about these ‘hillbillies’.

The project has continued for 45 years, and has expanded from a journal to a museum and even a method of teaching that gives students the opportunity to determine how they learn the material. (They will learn, but they get to choose how.) This was the beginning of the project – an English teacher was challenged with making learning interesting to his students. The students chose to produce a magazine, which taught them interviewing, writing, and communication skills. Ultimately, they ended up preserving this unique bit of American culture whose knowledge will be preserved for generations. One student writes

For two years I was a part of the magazine class; as a result, I have experienced all the emotions that go along with it – the tears of angst that come with lost or crashed disks, the frustrations of a computer that just won’t cooperate, the nerves before the first interview, the thrill of a good interview, and the incredible pride after seeing your name in print for the first time.

The Foxfire books contain information about anything from identifying wildflowers to salting pork to traditional ghost stories.  If you get your hands on one of these books, just know that you’re holding something special.


About Terra Milo

Terra Milo is Your Computer Girl. She believes that technology runs on energy, so when you're creating websites and emails, you are literally sending energy to your potential clients. Make sure that energy is confident, positive, and enlightening! Terra teaches coaches and entrepreneurs all the computer skills they need to launch their business and spread their mission in the world. From websites to newsletters to social media, she will empower you with skills and confidence so you can infuse your messages with inspiration and love.

2 thoughts on “Foxfire books

    • Me too! It’s just fascinating. It’s an ongoing project, so you can get recent copies, but I think the old ones would be really interesting to start with.

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