Crafts & Hobbies
Summer is the season of fresh fruits and vegetables, available at grocery stores, farmers' markets, and even our own backyards. One of the best ways to bring a burst of summer flavor into a dull winter day is to make jam and jelly when the fruit is at its best. Making jam is a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to spend a summer afternoon.
If you have always wanted to learn to make jam but don’t know how or think it is too difficult, come join us for a jam-making demonstration at the England Run Maker Lab on Saturday, July 1 at 10:00. We will discuss the various ways of making jams and jellies, as well as make strawberry freezer jam for you to try. Come by for our jam session, and check out books about preserving nature's bounty.
Little or no experience in art, but want to learn? Local artists are leading a series of free art classes for novices at the England Run Branch this summer. Classes meet on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 7:00-8:45. Adults may sign up for one or all of these fun classes. Call 540-899-1703 to sign up!
Do you have a small space but still want to have a thriving garden?
Get Your Garden Off to a Great Start!
If you're like me, you're looking forward to warm weather, flowers, and delicious homegrown produce. You can give your garden a head start by sprouting and growing seedlings indoors. Horticulturist Holly Schemmer will take the mystery out of starting vegetables, herbs, and flowers from seed. Seed selection, sowing techniques, materials, and timing will be discussed and demonstrated to give you the skills to grow your own spring garden plants. We guarantee you'll go home with a green thumb.
Last year, some library staff members, including myself, challenged others—and our customers—to complete the 2016 Read Harder book challenge from Book Riot. I’ve been trying to expand beyond the books I typically read within the children’s department (and outside of it), so that I will have a better base for recommending books. However, in May, we had our first child. So I did what I could, but a newborn really does eat up a lot of time and energy. Unsurprisingly, I did not read a book in every Book Riot category, although I read multiple books in some categories. Here are the books I read for Book Riot's 2016 Read Harder Challenge. If you are interested in seeing what books other staff members have read, check out our 2016 Reading Challenge Pinterest board here.
If you would like to participate in a reading challenge in 2017, look at our 2017 Reading Challenge Pinterest board, where we are featuring more than one reading challenge to try. Will I read for all of them? Will you? Let's make this a challenge accepted.
From the makers of Mother Earth News comes Mother Earth Living magazine—the ultimate guide to a healthy and natural lifestyle. Throughout the issues, you'll discover different methods of keeping a non-toxic household, the best and latest remedies for simple colds and longterm illnesses, recipes with whole foods, and quick garden tips.
The library has print issues of Mother Earth Living from 2012 to the present. The January/February issue features efficiency tips for the new year, such as getting rid of unwanted clutter around the house, meal planning, health benefits of fermented foods, and the outstanding effects of the culinary and medical herb oregano. Put your copy on hold now!
What are you doing reading this article? Go take a hike! No, seriously. Take a Hike Day is on November 17, so you should go take a hike. Not only is Virginia filled with a variety of trails for all levels of hikers and all interests, but local trails are plentiful, too.
In Forgotten Ways for Modern Days, Rachelle Blondel (coauthor of Granny Chic) offers an array of natural household recipes to maintain a nontoxic household environment.
Blondel emphasizes that having a lifestyle that is free from harsh cleaning products improves your life as it flows day to day. When you use these recipes, there is no risk for anyone in your family (children and pets included) will inhale toxic chemicals.
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an annual Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November, challenging participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel. If you're thinking of participating, you’ll find plenty of helpful writing tips at the library and on nanowrimo.org.