June 13th, 2016

Homesteading

vegetables-790022_640Are you interested in learning more about backyard farming this summer? Check-out these homesteading programs at your local branches:

Backyard Chickens 101
Cecilton Branch Library, Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 pm
Get an introduction to backyard chicken keeping from Beth Tumas of Aristos’ Harvest Farm and Apiary.

Canning with J.R.
Perryville Branch Library, Saturday, July 16 at 11 am
Get canning with J.R.! Local cookbook author, J.R. Coffey, will demonstrate the water-bath method, with a tasting to follow.

Local Bees and Honey with Myrl Stone
North East Branch Library, Monday, July 18 at 6:30 pm
Chester County Beekeeping Association President Myrl Stone talks about the importance of pollination, how his bee farm operates, shows off a honeycomb, and takes your questions about working with nature.

If you’re ready to learn more, CCPL has a sizable collection of books and magazines on homesteading and related subjects. You can also download current periodicals through Zinio where you’ll find magazines like Mother Earth News Food and Garden, American Patchwork and Quilting, Field and Stream, and Organic Life. Through our digital library you can access a comprehensive periodicals collection supporting research in agriculture in the Agriculture Collection. Also in the digital library you’ll find our Gardening, Landscape and Horticultural database.

One of the benefits of holding a CCPL library card is access to free online learning through Gale Courses. Explore the course catalog and you’ll see that it isn’t just about developing workplace skills. You’ll discover courses under Personal Development, including Health and Wellness, where you can find courses like: Introduction to Natural Health and Healing, Start Your Own Edible Garden and Handling Medical Emergencies.

What’s your favorite part of backyard farming: caring for the animals, growing the plants or the canning the harvest?


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May 9th, 2016

Plant Swap

PlantsIf you’re an avid gardener like me then this is your busiest time of year. It’s time to clean out your vegetable and flower beds, plan this year’s garden, and get your seeds started. When planning my garden I think about which plants worked well last year, which ones didn’t, what perennials need dividing, and where I need new plants.

One of the easiest ways to get free plants is to divide the ones you already have. One of the wonderful things about perennials is that as long as they are happy where they are they will come back year after year with very little maintenance on your part. But eventually they will get too big or start looking unkempt, and then it’s time to divide them. This will not only improve the health of the plant but give you extras you can use in your garden and share with other gardeners. I know I’d rather pass on an extra plant and give it a good home than, heaven forbid, throw it away!

But what if you’re looking for something new? One of the best, and cheapest, ways of adding diversity to your garden and trying new plants is to go to a plant swap. At a plant and seed swap gardeners bring their extra seeds, seedlings or plant divisions and trade them with other gardeners. It’s a great way to share plants and gardening experiences, and it’s free!
Whether you’re an experienced or beginner gardener you want to make the most of your garden. At CCPL we have an extensive collection of gardening books and magazines, but if you’re looking for the latest, most up-to-date information you might want to check out our collection of on-line magazines available through Zinio where you can download home and garden magazines like Birds and Blooms, Country Gardens and Organic Life. In addition, our Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture database contains magazine and journal articles for everyone from the novice gardener to the professional.

For more hands-on instruction you can find home and garden programs throughout the Cecil County Public Library system. Check online through our calendar or look in The Link, our library newsletter; available in branches, online or have it emailed to you for a first look at upcoming events.

On Thursday, May 12 from 6-8 pm the Elkton Library will hold its 4th Annual Plant Swap. And if you can’t make it to Elkton, the Perryville Library will be holding their 2nd Annual Plant and Seed Swap on Wednesday, May 25 from 6-8. We hope you can make it! This will be a wonderful opportunity to swap plants, seeds and experiences with other gardeners. Don’t miss the chance to try something new in your garden!

What’s your favorite perennial to share?


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