Tag Archives: farms

The Farmer’s Handbook of Explosives

Just when I thought that I’d never find a classic old library book more entertaining than How to Be Happy While Single, the good people in Reference Services handed me this Dupont company gem – The Farmer’s Handbook of Explosives


It looks so harmless.

You won’t find it in our circulating collection or even in our catalog, because it’s one of those great old reference books that (gasp!) fell through the cracks – it doesn’t even have a barcode.

It’s pretty rare, too. According to WorldCat (the grand catalog of library catalogs), there are only two more known copies of this 1910 edition out there in libraryland. Of course, there could be others in private collections, or perhaps in your great-grandfather’s attic.

I didn’t read our copy from cover to cover, as it’s in serious need of preservation work. But I scanned a few pages and stopped to enjoy the lovely old photographs of explosions before returning the book to its caretakers.   

Remember, DON’T operate blasting machines half-heartedly. That’s sound advice in any age.  

 – Amy, still not writing about Film or Audio


Filed under Uncategorized

Ladies of the Land

Back in July, I took my family on the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Western Region Farm Tour, a “behind-the-barn” look at local food production.  We got to see loads of produce, take a hayride to see pasture-based cattle, taste delicious local cheeses, and even feed alpacas.  And those were only four of 20 participating farms.

elliot1 elliot2 elliot3

The tour was a great introduction to the work of PASA, our partner in this Saturday’s Sustainable September program.  We’ll be screening Ladies of the Land (watch the trailer), followed by a panel discussion featuring several local lady farmers, including Jen Montgomery from Blackberry Meadows Farm, Lucinda Hart-Gonzalez from Paradise Gardens and Farm, and Leah Smith, Member Services Coordinator of PASA.  The program starts at 3:00 pm and will be held in Classroom A at the Main Library.

The library has plenty of other resources to investigate and learn about food production. To start, check out Our Daily Bread (watch the trailer), a visual essay on industrial agriculture, or The World According to Monsanto.  For something a little more upbeat and closer to home, try The Grange Fair: An American Tradition (watch the trailer).  On Thursday, September 17, we’re partnering with Slow Food Pittsburgh to screen Slow Food Revolution and discuss the growing slow food movement.  Another good one might be Milk in the Land, also screened earlier this year as part of our Real to Reel Documentary Film Series.

And those are just some of the documentary DVDs.  We have lots of other media on sustainability and related issues, and, of course, plenty of books too.  If you’d like to find more, or if you’ve been inspired to start producing your own food, check out our Take It Slow lists, especially the film list, or check with a librarian.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized