Exploring creativity and nature

Summer workshops offer variety learning opportunities

Legacy Learning Boone River Valley has three June workshops designed to help participants be creative and explore the beauty of nature at the same time.

Jennifer Berte will lead a workshop June 13 and 20 or July 17 and 24, on Bible journaling. The two Thursday sessions will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Produce Station Pottery, 723 Seneca St.

The practice of illumination or adding decoration to manuscripts, dates back to the early fifth century and continued into the Middle Ages when scribes, monks and other artists used colored pigments as well as silver and gold leaf to add decorations or perhaps initials or illustrations to books and Bibles.

Berte will help participants continue that tradition with their own books and Bibles. The group will spend two evenings practicing the basics of the craft, starting with supplies and tools to use as well as discussing how to decide what artwork to create. The second night might get a little messy, according to organizers, as the participants practice techniques with a variety of products. They will also share ideas to complete artwork in their books or Bible. Organizers said participants can bring along books or Bibles to use or a new workshop journal.

Berte holds a master’s degree in English/Literature and has taught at the college level for 15 years.

Tuition for the two-night session is $50 with a $15 material fee.

Ben Hoksch will lead a Wild Foods Workshop on Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16 at the Hickory Cabin in Briggs Woods Park. The sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Participants will be able to explore Briggs Woods and experience how acquiring food for the environment fosters community and a sense of place. Those attending will have a chance to develop skills related to identifying, harvesting, processing, cooking and preserving wild edible plants and mushrooms. Participants will make and take cordials — wild fermented sodas that turn to wine and then vinegar — from wildflowers and a drying rack for preserving food.

“If I teach someone a plant, bird, mushroom etc., it is a gift that will impact them forever; then they must care,” Hoksch said. “I have spent the last 10 years coming to understand how special Iowa is and how it needs skilled individuals to represent, live with and fight for it. This place formed my land ethic with help from a slew of passionate individuals.”

Hoksch has worked as botanist and lepidopterist and has a master’s degree in biology from the University of Northern Iowa.

Saturday evening will include an informal potluck. Participants are asked to bring something to contribute and guests and friends are welcome. The evening in will include cooking over an open fire and eating what was gifted from the land. Organizers said musical instruments encouraged.

Participants can stay over in the Hickory Cabin and semi-private spaces are available for $45 per night. Reserve by calling 515-835-1264.

Local gardener Richard Carlson will lead a workshop on Tufa Troughs and Planters for the Garden. The workshop will be held Saturday, June 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. at 601 Brewer St., Webster City.

Participants will create a hyper-tufa garden trough and a tufa bowl using a stone-like material, which mimics a type of rock. They will have a chance to experiment with different oxides to color the concrete or create carved surface embellishments for the lightweight planter. Organizers said tufa containers are perfect for a variety of plants because of their superior drainage and are especially appealing for succulents.

Richard Carlson is known in the region for his expertise and dedication to gardening and innovative planting containers.

Tuition for the session is $30 with a $20 materials fee.

To register for the workshops, visit www.legacylearningbrv.com