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Young Adults July 2014

“What’s Your Spark?”

July and August Programs for anyone age 10 and Up…

including any curious adults!

(Note:  Some programs require sign up ahead of time. 

Call the library at 382-3717 or email Heidi at

Monday, July 14, 3-5 pm:  “Newspaper Blackout”

     In  Steal Like An Artist,  Austin Kleon talks about “10 things nobody told you about being creative.”  If you’re a person who really has an urge to express yourself in some creative way, but have trouble getting started, you will find a lot of help in this book.  Austin’s #10 idea is “Creativity is Subtraction,” that when we have too many possibilities, it can actually be very overwhelming.  So put some limits on yourself!  (“Dr.Seuss,” he says, “wrote The Cat in the Hat with only 236 different words, so his editor bet him he couldn’t write a book with only 50 different words.  Dr. Seuss came back and won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, one of the bestselling children’s books of all time.”)

     Come play “Newspaper Blackout” with us. You will be able to see just how eloquent you can be by putting some limits on the choices you have for expressing yourself with words.  The tools?  A bit of newspaper and a black marker.  Come see just how fun stealing like an artist can be.



Monday, July 21, 3-5 pm:  “Bubbling Beneficial Bugs”

     Not all microbes or “bugs,” as we tend to refer to them, are created equal. This includes bacteria, fungi, molds and yeasts.  Some can, of course, make you sick, and others can make you well.  In fact, you owe your very life and survival to many of them.  The bacteria in your gut for example, are essential partners in digestion.  Without the right numbers and types of them, your health and vitality would go downhill fast. Some help us create foods we like---yogurt and breads, for example.  Others have a remarkable ability to preserve foods and even make them more digestible and nutritious.  In this session you will get to “co-create” with microorganisms as you learn how to make your own yogurt and bread dough.  You will also make friends with lactobacilli, some “darn good” bacteria that have been used for centuries to safely preserve vegetables without the use of preservatives or freezers or canning gadgets. You will make your own fermentation vessel to take home, full of beautiful veggies from local farmers, that will enable you make your own pickles and kraut (or other “cultured” veggie combination) that is not only full of good digestive enzymes, but increased vitamin levels and other healthful properties.  Knowing how to make these healthful foods yourself is a lifelong skill that will serve you well.

Class size is limited to 12, so call to sign up ahead of time to reserve a spot, at 382-3717 or email Heidi at  


Tuesday,  July 29  3-5 pm:  “If You Plant It, It Will Talk:  The Secret Language of Corn”

     Iowa farmers produce over 2 billion bushels of corn a year! People who drive through Iowa often complain that it’s boring to see nothing but cornfields for hundreds of miles, but they only seem boring on the surface because we can’t really see what’s going on in a cornfield. 

The really amazing stuff is invisible, happening in the air and underneath the field. Those corn plants are all having a conversation with each other, speaking in a silent, invisible chemical language. They’re talking about the weather and the soil, but most importantly they’re talking about life-threatening predators.

It may surprise you to learn that corn can have a kind of conversation—not in words like we do—but it can communicate with millions of microorganisms in vast underground networks around its roots. Corn senses and reacts to its environment, responding to sound, light, and chemical signals.

In this afternoon of corn-filled fun, join us in appreciating the beauty of corn, enjoying some tasty corn snacks, and learning the magical interactive story of corn’s secret language… an experience that’s sure to change the way you think about cornfields forever.


Monday, August 4, 3-5 pm: “Tiny Little Gourd Drum Necklace”

     Do you like to work with natural materials, creating something unique that no one else has?  You might like to join us for some spinner gourd fun!  We will sand and polish tiny little spinner gourds, cut off the small top end, clean out the seeds inside and paint/decorate the outside.  Then we’ll stretch some soaked goat hide over the top, as in drum making, and use waxed linen or sinew to stretch the goat hide evenly all around the top.  We’ll also attach a cord and some talismans or trinkets to it as well, so you can hang it around your neck.  Each will be different, reflecting your view of beauty.  Please call us and let us know if you are coming