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Gardening and farming resources abound at the library

By Paulette Stiles

Rowan Public Library

Anyone dreaming of growing a garden or starting a small farm will find a good partner in Rowan Public Library, where there are whole collections of resources on gardening of all sorts, from succulents to roses to vegetables, and on all things farming from tractor repair to raising animals to getting farm goods to markets near and far.

Here are some recommendations to get started:

“Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!” by Patricia Lanza. Lanza provides an excellent book for beginners wanting to garden in a new way. This primer on a no-dig, no-till method of gardening that layers the garden bed similar to what happens on the forest floor, provides conditions for a fertile rich organic bed for easy care gardening with lush variety.

“The New Horse-Powered Farm: Tools and Systems For the Small-Scale, Sustainable Market Grower,” by Stephen Leslie, takes a new look at farming sustainably by rejuvenating the ancient art of farming using a draft horse, including practices, draft horse breeds and care, and cultivation (including grains) using horse-drawn power for creating closed-loop farming.

“The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way,” Bradley, Ellis, & Martin (Eds.). The necessity to make a profit often must be balanced with minimizing chemical use for safety of food and family. This plant-by-plant guide offers the latest information on symptoms and solutions for over 200 commonly cultivated crops, compete with an insect and disease encyclopedia.

“The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses, Ponds, Compost Piles, Aquaponics, Chickens, and More,” by Shawn Jadrnicek. Using water to do the work, Jadrnicek offers a comprehensive system that integrates permaculture methods for improving efficiency on a working farm using innovative rain water harvesting, providing longer growing seasons, creating rich soil resources and ultimately making the resources work for you.

“Growing Plants for Fun and Profit.” This Gale Course is an online class covering how to turn a love of plants into a business. Michael Harlan, author of “Growing Profits: How to Start and Operate a Backyard Nursery,” and his wife, Linda, teach this course.

The Harlans provide a course with a practical guide to licensing, site preparation, equipment, how and where to find supplies, how to select and produce plants, how to produce quality material, and how to market products online and locally. Gale Courses are available free with use of your RPL library card.

“The Good Living Guide to Keeping Sheep and Other Fiber Animals: Housing, Feeding, Shearing, Spinning, Dyeing, and More,” recommended because there are many kinds of small farms, some of which can include a handsome goat.

With agriculture enjoying a renaissance and a desire for more meaningful food systems, learning how to grow, manage and develop lifestyle-changing gardens, homesteads or small farms for happier, healthier living may be as simple as a trip to your local library.

Back-to-School Bash: Friday, 1:30 p.m., East. Celebrate the beginning of a new school year with a Harry Potter-themed bash. Test your knowledge with Harry Potter trivia, and create your own Hogwarts acceptance letter to take with you on your next school adventure. Then, enjoy a showing of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007, 138 minutes, PG-13). A responsible caretaker (age 18+) must accompany children 13 and under. All ages welcome to this free event. For more details, call 704-216-7842.

Gardening Party Saturdays: Saturday, 11 a.m., South. Gardening is cheaper than therapy – and you get tomatoes. Join with other gardening and pollinator enthusiasts monthly for Gardening Party Saturdays. This month’s project is Building Pollinator Houses for Bats and Bees. Questions? Call Paulette 704-216-7731.

Camp Out in the Children’s Room: Aug. 9, 2-4 p.m., headquarters. Children ages 3 to 10 are invited to camp out indoors. We’ll build forts, read stories and sing around the campfire, and eat some s’mores. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. Please register in advance at 704-216-8234.

Star Wars Spelling Bee: Adult Summer Reading Program. Aug. 5, headquarters, 6:30 p.m. Test your spelling skills at the Adult Summer Reading finale. All ages are welcome to this free event. Costumes encouraged. Refreshment provided. Summer Reading prizes will be awarded. Program lasts 60 minutes. For more details call, 704-216-8248.

Triple P Positive Parenting Program: Aug. 12, 5:30 p.m., South; Aug. 13, 5:30 p.m., headquarters; Aug. 14, 5:30 p.m., East. Would you like to add some tools to your parenting toolbox? Triple P’s Positive Parenting Program helps all parents handle everyday issues that can make family life stressful. Learn parenting strategies that have been proven to work for over 30 years in 25 countries worldwide. Margaret Stridick of the Terrie Hess House with Prevent Child Abuse Rowan will present. This workshop is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Contact Chelsea at 704-216-8269 or Chelsea.Childers@rowancountync.gov to reserve your seat.

Displays: Headquarters, Communities in Schools (school supplies accepted on site), Olde Rowan Fiber Guild; East, Lady Bird Display by Lindsey Barnhardt.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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