DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

sustainability

Aug 19 2016

It’s Time to DIGG In!

by Dea Anne M

DIGGlogo_colorAugust 29th marks the advent of an exciting new offering at DCPL. Join us at the Decatur Library for the official launch of DCPL’s DIGG Seed Library. Master Gardner Sarah Brodd will discuss planting and growing your fall vegetable garden – plus, there will be a giveaway featuring a gift card from Pike’s Nurseries. This special event also serves as an introduction to DCPL’s new collection of free heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. The seeds will be available for all DeKalb Library card holders to check out and will be housed on the first floor of the Decatur Library.

DIGG stands for DeKalb Invests In Growing Gardens and this seed library is the first one ever in the Metropolitan Atlanta area. A significant part of the educational mission behind this project lies in promoting a wider awareness of food deserts in our communities as well the provision of healthy, sustainable food to a larger population. Please join us on Monday, 29th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Decatur Library as we launch the DIGG Seed Library.

Also, be sure to check out the DeKalb Mobile Farmers Market, a new program funded by the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) initiative and by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The program seeks to bring fresh, affordable food to residents of DeKalb County. You can visit the market at the Scott Candler library today, August 19th, or on September 16th at the Clarkston library. Check out the market website for more times and information.

If you’re interested in learning about food sustainability or seeds check out these resources from DCPL:normal

Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin. Salatin, who was profiled in Michael Pollan’s groundbreaking book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is a Virginia farmer who redefines the term “locally sourced” armed with a passionate sense of mission which he leavens with an off-beat sense of humor.

For a completely different take on agriculture and the ways in which technology changes, and might deliciouspossibly benefit, our food supply, check out Jayson Lusk’s Unaturally Delicious: how technology and science are serving up super foods to save the world. Provocative and written in a lively voice, Lusk’s book will cause you to rethink what the word “natural” really means, especially when it comes to food.

If the names of some venerable fruit and vegetable varieties – like Moon and Stars melon and Green heirloomZebra tomato –  enchant you as much as they do me, then you’ll find a lot to like about Heirloom Plants: a compendium of heritage vegetables, fruits, herbs & flowers by Thomas Etty and Lorraine Harrison.  Inside, you’ll find truly fascinating histories of plants like Miss Willmott sweet peas and the book design is charmingly reminiscent of the type of seed catalogs common in the earliest part of the 2oth century. There’s lots of solid information here too about cultivating these very special varieties so that you can watch them thrive and enjoy a bit of history in your own garden.

 

 

 

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Sep 22 2010

Something for (almost) nothing

by Dea Anne M

I would never classify myself as a cheapskate, but I do like saving money. I’m always telling my cost-conscious friends, “If you’re looking for a bargain, get a library card!” After all, the library offers book, magazines, music, and movies for…nothing! What could be a better deal?

For a gardener like me, another great bargain is making compost. All you really need to get started is source of kitchen scraps, for most of us that would be our own kitchen, and a place to stow them while time, heat, and air to do the work. The result is a nutrient rich fertilizer/soil for your garden, shrubs, flowers, and container plants. I had wanted to get started on composting for awhile but I couldn’t seem to find the right container.  There’s the old school, and very effective, bin constructed from chicken wire and lumber. I am, however, someone who is woefully unskilled with hammer and nails. There are also plenty of excellent commercial bins available but none that I felt were within my budget. Finally, I located a simple bin at Home Depot for a price I thought I could handle. Okay, I admit that it was on sale.  When I say simple, I mean it. My bin consists of four interlocking sides and a spring top lid, but it has been doing the job for a year and a half and I couldn’t be happier. Vegetable scraps, washed out egg shells, coffee grounds, and tea bags all go inside along with shredded paper and yard trimmings and out comes rich, black soil.

While composting is a straight-forward operation, there are a guidelines and tips that can make the process more effective and enjoyable. Here are a few of the resources available at DCPL.

Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner Batches, Grow Heaps, Comforter Compost and Other Amazing Techniques for Saving Time and Money, Producing the Most Flavorful, Nutritious Vegetables Ever by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin

The Rodale Book of Composting Deborah L. Martin and Grace Gershuny, editors

The Urban/ Suburban Composter: the Complete Guide to Backyard, Balcony, and Apartment Composting by Mark Cullen and Lorraine Johnson

Let It Rot! The Gardener’s Guide to Composting by Stu Campbell

…and for kids, how about…

Compost! : Growing Gardens From Your Garbage by Linda Glaser; pictures by Anca Hariton

Oh yes, back in the late spring, I noticed a plant growing out of my bin. A week later, I realized that what I had was a tomato plant that must have sprouted from a composted seed. I’ve left it alone and it has grown into mass of vines nearly 12 feet long. Plus, it has produced delicious tomatoes all summer long.

Now that’s what I call something for nothing!

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