March 9th, 2015

Think Spring – What’s all the Buzz About?

vegetable-621782_640Last summer a friend gave me a delicious tomato from her garden that was a gorgeous metallic green color with red stripes. When I went to the grocery store, however, I couldn’t find the flavorful varieties with unique names like the one my friend gave me.

We’re deep into cold weather but I have spring on my mind, so I used the resources at my library to do a little research. Did you know that in addition to books and magazines about gardening and horticulture, CCPL has online resources on their website both an “Agriculture Collection” as well as “Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture”? I had access to hundreds of publications! I learned that most grocery store tomatoes, especially during cold months, are shipped in trucks from California and Florida. Definitely not local or home-grown!

Curious, I did a little more research and learned that heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated (natural pollination, via insects or wind) and their seeds reproduce true to the plant they came from. I also learned that there is an overwhelming variety of heirloom tomatoes to choose from.

After a little more reading about available heirloom varieties, I plan to choose a few to plant this year.  I’m also interested in using more local produce than what I find at the grocery store. In addition to checking out a bunch of cookbooks to get ideas, I plan to attend “Eating Local: Community Supported Agriculture” on March 12 at the Rising Sun Branch, where I’ll get to chat with local farmers.

I’ve encouraged my gardening friends to attend the “Homesteading 101” program at the Chesapeake City Branch Library on March 23, led by Shane Brill, an urban homesteader. Mr. Brill will discuss raising bees and chickens and how to preserve fruits and vegetables.

The weather outside may be frightful, but the tomatoes I plan to grow I’m sure will be delightful!

Last summer a friend gave me a delicious tomato from her garden that was a gorgeous metallic green color with red stripes. When I went to the grocery store, however, I couldn’t find the flavorful varieties with unique names like the one my friend gave me.

We’re deep into cold weather but I have spring on my mind, so I used the resources at my library to do a little research. Did you know that in addition to books and magazines about gardening and horticulture, CCPL has online resources on their website both an “Agriculture Collection” as well as “Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture?” I had access to hundreds of publications! I learned that most grocery store tomatoes, especially during cold months, are shipped in trucks from California and Florida. Definitely not local or home-grown!

Curious, I did a little more research and learned that heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated (natural pollination, via insects or wind) and their seeds reproduce true to the plant they came from. I also learned that there is an overwhelming variety of heirloom tomatoes to choose from.

After a little more reading about available heirloom varieties, I plan to choose a few to plant this year. I’m also interested in using more local produce than what I find at the grocery store. In addition to checking out a bunch of cookbooks to get ideas, I plan to attend “Eating Local: Community Supported Agriculture” on March 12 at the Rising Sun Branch, where I’ll get to chat with local farmers.

I’ve encouraged my gardening friends to attend the “Homesteading 101” program at the Chesapeake City Branch Library on March 23, led by Shane Brill, an urban homesteader. Mr. Brill will discuss raising bees and chickens and how to preserve fruits and vegetables.

The weather outside may be frightful, but the tomatoes I plan to grow I’m sure will be delightful!

What kind of garden are you planning?


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March 2nd, 2015

CECILWOOD 2015: Teenage Moviemakers Unite!

Cecilwood teaser 2015You can make anything. Think about that. You just write it, film it, edit it, and it exists. A story that had never been told before is now a reality. You did that. You took something abstract and foggy from your head and brought it to life with a little style and some heart and now it’s a permanent thing. Friends and family watched it, applauded, and gobbled popcorn beside you. You heard a stranger say, “That was cool.” You might have even won the grand prize. Doesn’t that sound like a good way to kick-off the springtime? Doesn’t that sound like hard work well spent?

It’s Cecil County Public Library’s 6th annual festival of short films! This year’s theme is “Time Is Running Out!” Participants must tell a story about a person, place, or thing where time is an essential element to the plot. You can do a comedy, an animation, a drama, a documentary, or an action scene (just to name a few). Film-loving directors between 11 and 17 years old must register at any CCPL branch by March 31st before they may submit a film. The film submission deadline is April 30th. Some or all of the films will be publicly screened at Elkton Central Library on Thursday, May 7th at 6:30PM, but remember—you must submit your film on a flash drive with all the pertinent paperwork! Contact any branch for more information or click here. Gift cards will be awarded for first, second, and third places, as well as an “Editor’s Choice Award” compliments of the Cecil Whig.

Mr. Matt’s recommended reading: “Digital SLR video and Filmmaking for Dummies”, “Filmmaking For Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts”, “Story” by Robert McKee, “How To Make Animated Films” by Tony White, “Acting For Young Actors” by Mary Belli, and “Picture Yourself Directing a Movie” by Eric Nicholas.

Good luck, now go forth and film greatness!


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