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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November 22nd, 2011

Crafting the Perfect Holiday

Christmas Display 2011_1A few days ago I started working on the decorations we will use for our holiday book display at the Elkton Central Library this year.  I am decoupaging old book pages on to a Styrofoam tree.  Will it be a success? I’m not sure at this point.  For me the joy of creating is not really being sure what you will end up with and the pleasure I receive when it turns out, hopefully, better than expected.  The other nice thing about it is that I’m recycling old books and flower pots!

Everyone is looking for ways to save money during the holidays.  One of the ways I save (and recycle) is by making my own gifts for relatives and friends out of vintage paper and fabric.  They appreciate the thought, love and effort put into the gifts, and I enjoy making them.  It, however, is not a pretty sight at my house during the “creative process.”  When an idea strikes me, I rip through the boxes and boxes of vintage paper and fabric I collect until just the right pieces come together.

The library has a wide assortment of craft books from Scherenschnitte (Papercutting) to rug hooking and many dedicated just to holiday crafts. Two of my particular favorites are Sara Toliver’s Vintage Christmas Crafts and Terry Taylor’s Altered Art.  I love the vintage quality of these two books and have made shadow boxes as gifts using ideas from both of them.  Happily, these shadow boxes have become treasured gifts, prized by the recipients.

vintage xmas gifts bookHere is a list of some other craft books available at the library that might inspire you to “craft” the perfect holiday this year.  In December all the Cecil County Public Libraries will host holiday craft programs for all ages and open houses with music and food.  We invite you to join us in celebrating the holidays.  And now is the time to check out those craft books!

What will you be crafting for the holidays?


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