Thursday, August 16, 2012

Other voices, other blogs

Here at the Orland Free Library our homepage is our blog page. The library's homepage is actually a Wordpress blog, with links to the catalog, research resources, and other pages about the library.

Each of us on the staff takes a weekly turn to write for the blog. Wednesday is my day. Yesterday, since Google told me that it was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Child, I decided to write about that icon of cooking, and highlight the books and videos we have about her in the library.

The majority of people who see these blog entries are people who get on the public computers, so I have always figured that no one reads the entries; they just breeze right on past in their haste to check their e-mail or Facebook. So I wrote the entry and went to lunch, just pausing a moment to take Julia's Kitchen Wisdom off the shelf, thinking I might check it out later.

Halfway through my lunch a co-worker came into the break room to ask if she could loan out the Julia Child book on my desk. "Of course," I answered.  Someone had actually read the blog entry and wanted the book! I was amazed---I never knew anyone read those entries. It was worth giving out the book to learn that someone had read what I wrote.

Garden Variety Librarian is not my only blog---I also have one called goldfields that I write about John Bidwell and northern California history. It has about the same number of subscribers, which is to say, very few. But if you are interested in Bidwell and the history he lived, take a look.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Great Big Basket o' Veggies!

It's harvest time in the garden again, and everything is producing. Every year in August I bring a big basket full of fruits and vegetables to the library to talk about with the kids. I have some great veggie eaters in my storytime group. Judging from their responses, they like every kind of fruit and vegetable.

Everything in the basket pictured here grew in my garden, except for the carrot. That came from the Farmers' Market. (There were two carrots, and more peppers and squash before I cut them up for the craft.  I should have taken the picture before storytime instead of after.)

Most of these items I picked just this morning. You can see corn, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, basil, peaches and plums. And a cantaloupe. We talked about the different shapes and colors, about how not all tomatoes are red, and how peppers come in almost all colors.

We read two of my favorite veggie tales: Up, Down, and Around, by Katherine Ayres, and Growing Colors, by Bruce McMillan. On the flannelboard I put up pictures of fruit and we sang:

Strawberries, Peaches, Watermelon too
Good for me and good for you.
They are yummy, they are sweet,
They are such a tasty treat.
Strawberries, Peaches, Watermelon too
Good for me and good for you.   (sing to the tune of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star")

Then I held up various vegetables and we sang:

"Tomatoes, corn, and green beans too . . . "  and then  "Cucumbers, cantaloupe, peppers, too. . . . "  There's no end to the combinations you can sing about.  Seems to me this would be a good song to sing when you want to get your kids revved up to eat their vegetables.

We made zucchini prints for our craft. See last year's entry for pictures and instructions, including how to make paint stamp pads that can be stored in the refrigerator.