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Gardening season is just around the corner! February 20, 2016

Posted by CCLD in Horseheads.
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seedlibrary

Gardening season is just around the corner! Did you know you can check out seeds at the Horseheads Free Library? We are a Seed Lending Library, which means you can borrow seeds, grow your plants, save some seeds from those plants at harvest, and then return those next generation seeds to the library for others to borrow. The seeds you save and return are a gift to your community.

Coming in March, we are adding more seeds to our collection. Come on in and select some tomato seeds, such as the delicious and succulent Black Prince Tomato, or the fun bright yellow Taxi Tomato! Get adventurous and try out some hot pepper seeds, such as the Hot Paper Lantern, or the fiery Red Rocket! For the flower lover, we will have a variety of sunflowers to try, which are especially nice for children to try their hand at growing! All our seeds are non-GMO and are mostly organic, with some heirloom seeds as well.

Interested in learning more about gardening? We have it covered! Sign up for our Garden Series classes! The classes we are offering this year are:

Grafting How-To:  Wednesday, March 16, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Producing Healthy Transplants:  Wednesday, April 13, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Garden layout and Design:  Wednesday, May 11, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Pollinators of the Home Garden:  Wednesday, May 18, 6:00 PM-7:30 PM

Seed Saving Bee/workshop #1:  Wednesday, August 31, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Seed Saving Bee/workshop #2:  Wednesday, September 14, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

All classes are presented by Jabe Warren, Horticultural Educator. The seed saving workshops will be a practical hands-on practice of how to save seeds, so you will be able to save your own seeds and return them to the library! Registration is required for all classes. Call 739-4581 to register. Our Garden Series is generously funded by the friends of the Horseheads Free Library.

Pamela Lee
Horseheads Free Library

Van Etten Garden Club Plans Super Foods Community Garden June 1, 2015

Posted by CCLD in Community, Van Etten.
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Summer is here, hard to believe after another long, cold and snowy winter. Where does the time go? The start of the Summer Reading Club will be here before we know it as well.

The Van Etten library will be creating a Super Foods Community Garden to correlate with the 2015 Summer Reading Club theme, “Every Hero Has a Story”. We have formed a Garden Club where participants will help plan and create a gardening space. We will learn about proper soil combinations and proper planting of seeds and plants. One thing we have already learned…for example, did you know that cucumbers grow very well when planted near beans, lettuce and radishes, but they really don’t like it when they are planted near potatoes? (It’s a lucky thing that I planted them on opposite sides of my garden at home, because I did not know that when I planted them!!)

The garden club will meet on Wednesday mornings to weed, water and maintain the garden. Our goals are to maintain a successful garden with optimal harvesting of produce, share our produce with the community and look into the possibility of recycling seeds for next year’s garden. All produce not consumed by club members or library patrons will be donated to the local farmers market on behalf of Ms. Teri Carling (local gardener, nursery owner and farmers market participant). Teri has helped the Van Etten library immensely in planning our garden. From all of us at VE, thank you Teri!

The planted seeds…..

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Our seedlings at 18 days old….

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The Super Foods Community Garden is funded in great part by a generous grant received from Inspire of Spencer-Van Etten. Inspire is a non-profit public charity supported by donations from individuals and organizations and grants from foundations. Thank you Inspire.

It is our hope that the Super Foods Community Garden will provide adults and children with the knowledge and skills to create their own gardens and grow healthy food. This project will also provide lifelong learning skills, and encourage and enhance overall health.   Gardening knowledge promotes the economic advantages of growing foods at home and harvesting and recycling seeds for future gardening seasons offers a money saving technique.

There are numerous at home gardeners and nursery owners in the Van Etten area, and many are willing to share their knowledge.  The Garden Club members are all filled with great anticipation to see if our “green thumbs” will be green this year. Wish us luck!

Michelle Erickson
Van Etten Library
Chemung County Library District

Spring is starting and so is yard work… May 4, 2013

Posted by roganp in Recommendations.
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Beautiful no-mow yardsHurrah! The tulips are out! The daffodils are out!

The dandelions are out.  😦

Spring is starting and so is yard work. The latest thing about lawns seems to be – not to have grass, but to have a vegetable or flower garden in your front yard.  Whatever you choose to do, pick up one of our books on lawns to tell you how to have a spectacular front yard.

Here are a few titles to check out:

Beautiful No-mow Yards: 50 amazing lawn alternatives by Evelyn Hadden

The Edible Front Yard: the mow-less, grow-more plan for a beautiful, bountiful garden by Ivette Soler

The American Meadow Garden: creating a natural alternative to the traditional lawn by John Greenlee

Scotts Lawns: your guide to a beautiful yard by Nick Christians

Quick & Easy Curb Appeal by Better Homes and Gardens

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Horseheads’ Curious Garden July 9, 2012

Posted by ackermanj in Horseheads.
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Library GardenIt’s Summer, and here at the Horseheads Library, we are bustling and blooming! Bustling with Summer Reading Club activities for kids and adults and blooming with our library garden. Late in Spring, my co-workers decided to have a children’s gardening program, based on the book “The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown. Kids who came to this program planted a variety of plants, including sunflowers, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and even their own chia heads. After a quick successful start in a miniature greenhouse, the plants were soon thriving, and our in-house gardeness extraordinaire (pictured here) got to work, transplanting, weeding and creating an outside garden spot for our bounty. This has attracted a lot of patron attention and appreciation as all want to know what we are growing, and more importantly what we will do with all of these goodies. So, at harvest time, we have decided to host a program where participants can come and sample some recipes using our produce, possible selections will include grilled pizza, a caprese salad, basil smoothies and cucumber soup. The date will be determined as we see how our garden grows, so be watching our website calendar for this and come and sample some of our wonderful garden fare, as our “Curious Garden” turns into an “Epi-curious Garden.” Also, new gardening books to check out include: “Grow, Cook, Eat” by Willi Galloway, Michelle Obama’s “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and gardens across America”, and don’t forget our gardening magazines such as Horticulture and Birds and Blooms.

Happy Reading and Eating this Summer!

Janet Ackerman, Supervisor of the Horseheads Library

Gardening and the Library August 2, 2010

Posted by cclddirector in Director's Comments.
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Whenever spring decides to roll around, I never cease to be amazed. I look forward to seeing the crocus and irises emerge, the grass turn green, and the sight and sound of the first robin. But what gets me the most excited is the return of the caterpillars and butterflies to the garden. Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the thought that these two polar opposites are even closely related. I mean, how could you explain the “Jekyll and Hyde” of a long, squishy eating machine possibly becoming a light, delicate, colorful wisp of flight?

I’ve always wanted to invite these amazing creatures into our yard and last year my wife and I gave in to the urge- we decided to plant a butterfly garden. We did our research and found out we should provide a few basics such as food plants for the caterpillars and nectar sources for the butterflies. Butterflies are sun worshipers preferring a sunny spot away from strong winds. Sandy puddles of water for moisture and basking areas of rocks and logs are also favorite hangouts. Plus, butterflies are important plant pollinators and because of their specific requirements for certain plants, they are good indicators of environmental quality.

We wanted a wide variety of plants that would provide nourishment during the entire life cycle of a butterfly: egg, caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa) and adult butterfly. So our perennial flowers include purple coneflower, liatris, sedum, butterfly weed, asters, and butterfly bush. Next year, once we have a better idea of the growth habits of our perennials, we may add a few annuals such as alyssum, zinnias, heliotrope, marigolds, or sunflowers.

I’m proud to say that we were more than adequately rewarded for our efforts as Monarchs, Viceroys, White Admirals, Aphrodite Fritillarys, and something I had never seen before- the Hummingbird Moth, filled our backyard. I enjoy sitting in the backyard with my wife just watching this new world unfold. Surprisingly, we also saw an increase in the number of birds that visited and our list now includes hummingbirds and the American Goldfinch for the first time.

I think what I like most about the garden is the simple beauty of nature. I have come to realize that, with the emphasis on endangered species and other environmental concerns, preserving nature is one thing and appreciating it is quite another. There is so very much beauty all around us to see, touch, and hear.  Nature is so miraculous because it is always changing.  No matter how many times you look at something, it is always different. Our butterfly garden has come to remind us of natural cycles and the delicate interconnection of all life.

The beauty found in nature is a common theme in life and in art. Whole sections of libraries and bookstores are filled with books on all aspects of nature. For me, the library is much the same as the butterfly garden, there is every bit as much color, vibrancy and joy to be found in the stacks. And if you add the two together, it gets even better- or in the immortal words of Cicero- “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

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