Cultivating Community

08/14/2012 - 3:31am
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

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.

06/07/2012 - 12:28pm
Porter Branch Vegetable Garden

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.

05/04/2012 - 8:54am
Cultivating Computer Community

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  They can also be found on Facebook and  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!

03/30/2012 - 8:39am
Cultivating Community: Web Resources

"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:
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.

03/19/2012 - 1:13pm
Cultivating Community

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.

03/14/2012 - 3:30am
Cover to Herbs in Bloom

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.

02/22/2012 - 4:07pm

There is nothing as satisfying as seeing a successful vegetable garden. Like anything else, a little planning and some work is required. There are many resources to check when you are starting a project, but I am going to make it a little simpler for you so you can save yourself the time of sifting through the million hits that you will get when you start an online search.

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