I recently received a “Like” from the awesome folks at the Soulsby Farm blog! If you’re looking for solid gardening/farming knowledge that you can pass on to patrons or just use at home, you should visit their blog!
In the first five seconds of reading I learned that worms love Cheerios! Mind. Blown. So, I had to share. I plan on reading for way more than five seconds! Lots of great stuff there!
It’s been an insane few weeks preparing for the Public Library Association Annual Conference! I have a lot more I’d like to share, but time has gotten away from me. So here are a few ideas to get started for urban food education!
If you’re in an urban library, you can still teach patrons quite a bit about gardening, even if you don’t have a lot of green space.
For instance, you can grow lettuce, herbs and microgreens near a window. There are a ton of great tutorials out there to check out!
If you have just a small bit of dirt running along a wall, consider growing peas. Peas are easy to start now, and they’ll grow up a small trellis or string along the side of your building!
If you have some space ( a few feet ) to place a container, consider potatoes! Using a collapsing pot let’s you grow potatoes during the season, then remove the dirt and the pot easily in the fall!
And don’t forget window boxes. With a window box you can grow dwarf varieties of snap/sugar peas, edible flowers, herbs and more!
Yes, that’s a real thing. You can write a grant that helps you cover the expenses of a garden at your library! WOW! Okay, we’re running out of time…so let’s get crackin’ on those applications…
Here are two coming up soon (found through kidsgardening.org – a fantastic website!)
March 1 – 2012 Mantis Award (to receive a Mantis tiller/cultivator)
April 1 – 2012 Midwest Garden Grant (for those living in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin)
This is the time when grant applications are about to be due. I found an astonishing amount of regional and local gardening and food education grants across the country. Try search terms like your city/region/state name and ‘gardening grants 2012’.
Many local branches of Master Gardeners offer local grants! Reach out to your local group if you don’t already have a working relationship with them!
It’s mid-February, and you know what that means. Almost Spring. Which means almost gardening time. And if you’ve been reading my last few posts, you know I’m getting all wound up about libraries as sources of food education.
So, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to give you a crash course in preparing a food garden and library programs related to it. Whether you’re an urban library surrounded by concrete or a rural library with abundant agricultural resources, I think you’ll find information that can help you out!
We’ll go over different types of gardens, organizations that can help you out, grants that are available, programs you can run and more!
I went to Mid-Winter in Dallas last weekend. I didn’t get to attend many events, but I did attend the second session of R. David Lankes’ two part session “Expect More” which asked participants to creatively re-envision libraries and what we need to do to remain relevant. It encompassed much more than that, and I’m not doing it justice but it’s not the point of my post anyways.
While there, a person in my discussion group mentioned their library was considering serving meals to patrons on the weekends because they have a high-poverty population and are in the middle of an urban food desert – a common combo.
I thought this was especially interesting given the news surrounding the Seed Library at the Pima County Public Library. The seed library gives community members a way to exchange open-pollinated and heirloom seed varieties.
Libraries as food education centers, food resource centers and community garden locations. Are libraries a starting point for helping improve food education and overcome regions that are food deserts?
Here’s a vegetable garden planted the Arlington Public Library (VA).
I plan to keep hunting for other libraries with vegetable gardens and food education programs. Don’t have a lot of space? Some folks just use a pick up truck to grow a garden and start educating folks. Check out the Truck Farm movement!