Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is upon us!

Ignore for the moment the fact that there was ice in the bird waterer last week, and that we may still get a freeze well into April.

Gardener’s spring is upon us, that time when the buds are swelling, the earthworms are shallow under the mulch, and gardeners get distracted if they spend too much time indoors on the weekends. Some of the fruit trees are already in bloom (and we cross our fingers that they won’t get nipped by a late freeze), many bulbs are starting to emerge, and a fine winter crop of gardening catalogs are awaiting attention.

At the Libraries, we are seeing many gardening books checking out as people plan their gardens. We are also seeing new and increasing interest in what has come to be called mini-farming – what one book* defines as “becoming more economically independent on a small holding.” Another name for mini-farming is backyard homesteading, which reflects the pioneer spirit and desire for independence that leads people to grow their own food.

Mini-farming encompasses not only high-yield vegetable gardening but also raising chickens and other livestock, food preservation, disaster preparedness, and self-reliant living – all of the old-timey rural skills that were once common across America.

To help people brush up on these skills or learn them anew, your library has developed a new resource: the Mini-Farming LibGuide (LibraryGuide).
In the Mini-Farming LibGuide you will find selected library items and links to useful City of Albuquerque and Extension Service resources. Follow the helpful list of links on related subjects to search your library’s Encore search & discovery engine for titles on those subjects.

Here are a few of those subjects:

biodynamic gardeningbuild a chicken coop
canning foodcommunity gardens
country recipesdisaster preparednessfood preservationgrowing your own foodkitchen gardens
old-fashioned recipesraised bed gardeningraising chickensrural home economicsself-reliant living
self-sufficiencysustainable gardeningurban farming

The Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System is here to help you in your quest to grow good food for your family, and make the most of your land!
* The Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm & Garden Log Book by John Jeavons, J. Mogador Griffin and Robin Leler

Written by Scott, ABCLS Staff Member.

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