"Cultivating Community" has been a Spring/Summer 2012 community-wide initiative designed to share information in the Fredericksburg region about farm-to-table and sustainable food communities. Two informative and enriching library events wrapping up the growing season are coming up!
Foraging for Edible Food
Saturday, September 29, Porter Branch, 3-5pm
Adults can learn about the difference between what you can and can’t eat from the wilds.
For more information, call branch manager Martha Hutzel at 540-659-4909.
Big Read Book Discussion: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Monday, October 8, Headquarters Theater, 7-9 pm
The library is encouraging a community-wide Big Read. Adults and teens are invited to enjoy refreshments and listen to or participate in discussion of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the story of her family’s challenge to grow and buy food locally in southwest Virginia. Books are available for loan from all CRRL branches. The discussion will be moderated by University of Mary Washington Professor Emeritus Steve Watkins. Mr. Watkins is a writer and frequent contributor to the Free Lance-Star’s “Healthy Living” blog. His books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
For more information, call branch manager Margaret Beattie at 540-372-1144.
She never knew her father the farmer. But in Paul Fleischman’s Seedfolks, Kim is determined to do something to connect with him, though he died before she was born in far-off Vietnam. Her mother and sisters remember him with incense and candles on the anniversary of his death. However, that’s not enough for Kim. She has something else in mind even though the prospect of carrying it through is unnerving. The Cleveland neighborhood her family can afford to live in is scary. But outside the apartment building is vacant lot. Well, it’s not exactly vacant. It’s filled with junk—an old couch, tires, all kinds of trash—a real haven for rats. But it’s ground that’s not spoken for. And Kim has a plan.
While discussing the idea of the series of library programs under the umbrella of Cultivating Community, it suddenly hit me that we could have a vegetable garden on the grounds of the Porter Branch! The next thought was...we could give the bounty of fresh vegetables to the Stafford County food pantry, otherwise known as S.E.R.V.E. The idea was to help the community, teach young people about fresh food and where it comes from, and allow those families who use the food pantry to obtain some fresh produce, locally grown.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Farmer's Markets, 9am-noon
If you're at the Fredericksburg or Spotsylvania Farmer's Market this Saturday, May 5, stop by and say "hi!" to a librarian. We'll have fun activities for the kids and cookbooks for you! We'll be at both markets the first Saturday of each month through August.
England Run “Library Blossoms” Plant Sale, 9am-noon
The second annual Friends of the Library plant sale featuring hanging plants from local grower, Dominion Growers. These plants were gorgeous last year, value-priced, and sold out in 2 hours. This is your chance to pick up a Mother’s Day gift or create an instant decorative garden.
In the spirit of our Cultivating Community effort for this year, I thought I would share with you some of the computing resources that the library and the community both have to offer. There’s more help available to you than you think!
First off let me start by telling you about the Fredericksburg PC Users Group. Their website is http://fpcug.org/. They can also be found on Facebook and Meetup.com. The FPCUG provides a variety of meetings and speakers for beginners and veterans alike. If you want to learn more about your new PC or are having difficulties with it, there’s a good chance somebody at the FPCUG can help!
April showers bring summer vegetables! Join us this Saturday for the grand opening of our community garden.
The Porter Branch community garden will be a demonstration garden for the community and produce will go to SERVE. Join us to learn more about local farming and how easy it is to grow a little or a lot of your own food.
Watch the garden's progress on our Tumblr site: librarycultivatingcommunity.tumblr.com
A special story time and movie will be presented and children can pot a plant to take home.
Jeff and Ginny Adams of Walnut Hill Farm will have a table and information about local farming.
North Stafford High School Horticulture Program will have plants for sale
Free packets of seeds, both vegetable and flower, will be available compliments of the North Stafford County-Garrisonville Rotary Club
The Master Gardeners will answer your gardening questions
The Master Naturalists will have an information table
This is just one way the library is Cultivating Community in 2012: www.librarypoint.org/cultivate.
"Cultivating Community" is a community-wide program designed to share information in the Fredericksburg region about farm-to-table and sustainable food communities. These web sites support those goals by exploring how you can assess the sustainability of your community and your home, finding locally grown foods or growing your own, cooking, and sustainable gardening.
Community Sustainability Assessment: gen.ecovillage.org/activities/csa/English
A comprehensive checklist that anyone can complete to get a basic idea of how sustainable their community is. While it requires good knowledge of the life-styles, practices and features of the community, it does not require research, calculation and detailed quantification. This assessment takes about three hours for an individual to complete, or a series of sessions if done as a group experience by community members.
Join us for our Cultivating Community Kick-off event, tomorrow night at Salem Church Library, 7pm.
Librarian Wini Ashooh will present a short introduction to Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the story of her family’s challenge to grow and buy food locally in southwest Virginia. Books will be available for loan.
The program continues with a panel discussion about local farming and food, organic gardening, community gardening and more!
Elizabeth Borst - Manager of Spotsylvania Farmer’s Market; active in the Fredericksburg Food Initiative, and creator of the Buy Fresh Buy Local guide for Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and King George
Wendy Stone - Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation- will talk about the Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market and the new Fredericksburg Community Garden Plots.
Kelly Liddington - Richmond County Extension Office
See more Cultivating Community events!
While I love the idea of purchasing only organic and sourcing all of our food from local farmers or venues, it simply never seemed like a realistic option for our large family of 6 either in terms of practicality or finances. But it doesn’t require an outpouring from your pocketbook to become appreciative of local and seasonal food. Sometimes, it’s as easy as casting a few seeds into the dirt.
When we planted our first vegetable garden and I tasted my inaugural Brandywine tomato, I was completely hooked. Holding a warm tomato fresh off the vine that tasted like some sort of ambrosia of the gods was life changing. That summer, I ate my way through plates of Brandywine, Costoluto Genovese, and Black Krim tomatoes. I grew ronde de nice and adorable pattypan squashes and learned a million different ways to serve squash. I discovered the amazing varieties of eggplants and made ratatouille with our abundance. I fell in love with the amazing variety of seeds and plants offered by such suppliers as The Seeds of Change, The Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and The Cooks Garden.
With the gardening season starting in full force, there are many moments when we plan a project, even get started and then get stuck. Further guidance and reading is required. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library certainly has a large collection of paper copies of gardening books. But what happens if the perfect book is checked out and has holds on it? Or, perhaps you can't get in to see us at the library. Time is running out, and you need to start now.
I was aware of the fact that EBSCOhost has a collection of electronic gardening books but did not know how extensive the collection is. By typing in "gardening," as the search term, I came up with over four pages of results.
To utilize the results of your gardening, there are also many different cookbooks also available as eBooks.