Kaleigh Morris

Kaleigh Morris

Popocorn Bonanza explores alternate uses for yummy treat

Popcorn has many uses beyond that of an enjoyable snack, and community kids had a chance to explore those uses at the Popcorn Bonanza.

Popcorn has many uses beyond that of an enjoyable snack, and community kids had a chance to explore those uses at the Popcorn Bonanza at the Stettler Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 9.

Held in honour of the upcoming International Popcorn day on Jan. 19, program co-ordinator Darlene Philpot was all about the white, fluffy treat.

“We’re celebrating all the virtues of popcorn,” she proclaimed. “It’s a wonderful snack, it makes excellent bird feeders, and it can be used in art.”

There’s even a plant, the Plagiobothrys (of which there are several types), which is colloquially known as the popcorn flower. One of the art projects Philpot and the attending youth undertook was making a construction paper, marker, and popcorn representation of the plant.

Once those were set aside to let the glue set, the kids started making popcorn bird feeders, using pine cones.

“The great thing about these is they’re completely biodegradable,” Philpot said. Kids had a choice of using giant or tiny cones, though the tiny cones in the end turned out to hold the popcorn better between their scales, the individual plates of the cone.

“They can also be refilled when emptied,” she said, helping stuff popcorn into one giant cone.

Once the cone-feeders were complete, the kids began to decorate paper bags, which they filled with popcorn, cereal, and other yummy treats to make a bag of popcorn-based trail mix.

As a final project, the group worked to “grow our own popcorn,” putting kernels inside plastic baggies with damp cotton balls. Eventually, Philpot said, the kernels should begin to sprout — though this was a new experiment for her so she didn’t know how it would turn out in the end.

Donna Morris, a Stettler resident, brought her daughter Kaleigh, 7, and friend Hannah Schierman, 9, to the Bonanza, where both dug into the arts and crafts — and the bowl of popcorn. More popcorn ended up inside the two girls than on the arts and crafts projects, but Philpot didn’t mind.

“I can always make more,” she said with a laugh.