Confluence plans Fall Harvest Event

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Photo provided Kids gobble up "stone soup" this summer at Nature at the Confluence. The center will again be cooking up "stone soup" at a harvest event at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 20.

SOUTH BELOIT - Want to bid adieu to summer with some s'mores, organic soup and good company?

Everyone's invited to sample some "stone soup" at the Nature at the Confluence Fall Harvest Fire and Drum Circle from 6:30 - 8 p.m. on Sept. 20 at 306 Dickop St. It's recommended people bring their own outdoor chairs for the s'mores making.

The free event will feature an outdoor fire, s'mores, a drum circle and stone soup making, according to Therese Oldenburg, program coordinator for Nature at the Confluence.

"It's to inspire people and to celebrate harvest season and the end of our garden season," Oldenburg said.

Oldenburg said there is just enough organic onions, potatoes, tomatoes and herbs to make stone soup.

The idea of stone soup is based on a folk tale. A man started cooking a stone in water and had villagers donate little bits of their produce to make a delicious feast.

The story as well as stone soup making was featured at Nature at the Confluence activities with kids this summer.

"Kids loved the soup. They were coming up for seconds and thirds. They loved the idea of it served out of a cast iron kettle by the fire," Oldenburg said.

Oldenburg noted she sent home produce with some of the stone soup fans who then made soup at home and sent her pictures of it.

The upcoming harvest event also will feature the drum circle. Guests will be able to try out percussion instruments, shakers and rattles alongside drumming musicians.

Oldenburg said Nature at the Confluence offers free community fires about once a month. She is already planning the next one on Oct. 18, which may include a collaborative art project.

The outdoor events typically attract around 70 people.

Another popular event at the center is Cameras at the Confluence, informal photography meetups where people get together and take pictures of nature with cameras or cell phones. The next Cameras at the Confluence event is planned for 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 with a theme of "The Golden Hour: Fall."

"The idea is to inspire each other and look at things from a different angle," she said.

Oldenburg has lots of other activities in the works. She hopes to develop a drumming class and drum making class for children and adults.

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