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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February 9th, 2015

Get Ready for College with CCPL

studentAre you looking for scholarships for college? Trying to prepare for the SAT or the AP test? Look no further than Cecil County Public Library!

CCPL has a myriad of resources just for students looking to apply for college or trying to find scholarships. You can come into the library and check out books on both subjects, such as:  “Peterson’s Scholarships, grants and prizes 2015” and “Get Paid to Play: Every Student Athlete’s Guide to over $1 million in College Scholarships.”

However, if you are the type of person who would rather do everything digitally, there are many online resources that you can use through the library’s website. There are online practice tests for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and GED. Just click the Test Prep and Scholarship Resources section on the “Digital Library” tab of the library’s website.

If you are not a big fan of reading, the library has videos and audiobooks to help you study. Hoopla is an audio and video streaming library service which offers numerous test prep resources. If you are studying vocabulary, you could listen to “SAT Prep: Core 100 Words” by downloading it right to your device for free – and listen on your way to school, whether you drive yourself or take the bus. If you need help with math, you could download and watch “New SAT Prep 4: Intro to the Math Section.” All of these resources are free with your CCPL library card.

Are you or your student applying to college and confused by the process to apply for financial aid? Come to the Elkton Central Library at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 12 for a program about FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and applying for college financial aid. There will be plenty of time for questions. To register call (410) 996-5600 x481 or visit our website.


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