Tag Archives: seed swap

I Resolve… to Swap Seeds!

In late 2013, I found myself drunk with possibility.  So long, stinky 2013!  It’s time for  a new year!   A new life!  I concocted about 100 new year’s resolutions.   Start rock climbing!  Paddle board all summer! Learn to kayak! Eat a ridiculously clean diet!  Plant and grow more food!  Read 52 books!  Purchase all clothes second hand! Fix up the bike and ride it everyday! Cook dinner at home every night! Remember every niece and nephew’s birthday! Be a better person!  Stop eating so much cheese! Have never-ending patience! Do more yoga! Train your dogs  to not act bananas!  Slow down! Quit caffeine!

You may have guessed that my list was a little too long and ambitious. The new year hit and I realized that I needed to manage my expectations.  Sadly, I can’t do it all.  Maybe I wouldn’t want to –  who wants a life without caffeine?  So, first step: whittle down the list to my priorities.  Second step: learn how to make things happen. I did what any linguistic learner would do. I read some helpful articles and blog posts about how to actually make resolutions work.  It’s all about systems and support, my friends!

I broke down my resolutions into manageable chunks, and have hacked away at them by asking for support and by creating systems that I can use to tweak my schedule. It’s almost spring, so  now the focus is on things I can do outside. I am going to build my gardening skills. Luckily, I work at the Library, which offers  a plethora of tools to do just that.  We have a great collection of gardening and cookbooks.  We also have actual gardens and a seed library.  And we have programs to help us become better, more sustainable gardeners.  On Saturday, March 15th, in collaboration with Grow Pittsburgh and Phipps Conservatory, we will offer our second annual Seed Swap.  This is a great way to get you motivated for the gardening season.  In addition to the actual swapping of seeds, there will be workshops. We’ll have a seed starting workshop at 12 pm and a seed saving workshop at 1pm next door in the Oversize Room.

So don’t get overwhelmed by resolutions or by the fear of finding a way to work gardening into your schedule.  All you must do is come to the library.  We have you covered with the support you need to become a great gardener.

Happy swapping!

Holly

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Starting Small

Pay attention to what you’re doing, and don’t get in over your head.” – Barbara Pleasant

startergardenMarch is coming, and with that in mind, I am already starting to think about what to plant in my garden this year. Last year I planted my first real vegetable garden, but even with friends and co-workers giving me tips and encouragement along the way, it was a daunting activity in the beginning. There are so many different gardening books/videos/classes out there, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Unfortunately the library is as much help as hindrance in that department–browsing the shelves in our home & garden area can be a mind-melting experience.

As a beginner, I needed a book that was simple and fail-safe. As luck would have it, I happed upon Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens by Barbara Pleasant. This is an excellent book for the novice, as it provides easy to follow garden plans with detailed instructions for what to buy, when and where to plant your vegetables, and (of course) how to care for those vegetables lovingly. It’s almost like gardening-by-numbers, which is not a bad way to start learning how to grow your own. As Ms. Pleasant points out in the opening pages of the book, “one worry free way to start your first vegetable garden is by following a “recipe” provided by an experienced gardener, and that’s just what this book provides … these gardens are practically foolproof!”

In addition to detailed garden plans, there are also special sections on everything from starting plants from seed, to the magic of mulch (I love you mulch,

Proof (from the poster)  that some books yield excellent results.

Proof (from the poster) that some books yield excellent results.

it is because of you that I no longer have to mow my lawn!) All of these sections are accompanied by simple and clear illustrations, and in some cases, helpful color photographs.

Of course, the library also offers more detailed lists of resources, on everything from vegetable gardens to composting to local organizations that can help you get started. For those particularly interested in gardening from seed, you will want to save the date for our excellent seed swap and seed saving workshop on Saturday, March 2nd.

So how ’bout you? Do you have any large (or small) gardening plans this year? Do you have any favorite go-to gardening books or resources? Share your thoughts below!

Now lettuce rest, I’m feeling beet,

Tara

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