We have germination! One Thai basil seed has sprouted. It has been one week since it was planted. Now the light will be on 18 hours a day (on a timer starting at 6:00 a.m. and turning off at 12:00 midnight).
Public Green Blog
River Trails School District 26 and River Trails Park District are offering 10′ x 5′ plots in El Jardin De Los Sueños (Garden of Dreams) at Euclid School, 1211 N. Wheeling Road in Mount Prospect. Participants must sign and submit a Garden Agreement available at the River Trails School District office at 1900 E. Kensington Road or to be downloaded at www.rtsd26.org. Annual dues are $20.00 and plots will be available starting in May. Gardeners must provide their own tools; composting bins and water will be available. For more information please call 847 297 4120.
The Seed Starting Project is underway! We planted our first flat using all heirloom pepper and basil seeds. Pepper varieties include: Long Cayenne, Miniature Chocolate Bell, Alma Paprika, Kalman’s Hungarian, Santa Fe Grande and Tequila Sunrise. Basil varieties include: Genovese, Purple Dark Opal, and Thai. We’ve put the flat on a heat mat as bottom heat helps to promote germination for many seeds. Most of these varieties should germinate by the middle of next week. Check back here to see the progress! more
A recent trend in green living is to downsize one’s dwelling. If this is something you have been considering, did you ever wonder what it would be like to live in a twelve foot by twelve foot cabin? If so, check out Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream. The author lived alone in a friend’s twelve-by-twelve cabin for forty days, detailing the time he spent there and reflecting on previous life experiences. Thoughtfully written, this story engages readers and gives them a glimpse into what this small-scale life might be like.
The Green Committee of the Mount Prospect Public Library is excited to begin our Seed Starting Project! Look for our seed starting set-up in the lobby of the Library near the Registration Desk starting in early March. We will be planting peppers and basil to start. Later we will plant tomatoes and cucumbers. If you would like to know more about starting your own garden plants from seed or if you’d like to join in the discussion and share your experiences and seeds, please register for Seed Starting and Sharing on March 5, 2014 at 7 pm in Meeting Room B.
How much do you know about what you’re eating? Do you worry about GMO labeling and safety? Check out these informative and entertaining documentaries on DVD for answers to your questions. Please see the Reference Desk for more information.
If you have ever considered joining a CSA, now is a great time to sign up and ensure your spot for the 2014 season. CSAs are generally run by local independent farms. Your investment in the farm is paid back in the form of weekly or bi-weekly baskets of locally grown fruits and vegetables. You can expect to prepay a set amount for the season and you will receive a share of the farm’s produce on a set schedule throughout the late Spring, Summer and early Fall. This is a great way to receive an assortment of fruits and vegetables (and some CSAs also offer eggs, dairy products and meat for an additional fee.) There are many websites such as whole living, the Kitchn and Pinterest that are chock full of ideas on how to use your bounty. If you want to ease into joining a CSA, buy a half share, which costs less and will consist of a smaller box once a week or a full size box every two weeks. Local Harvest is a good site to use to find the perfect CSA for you. Simply enter your zip code to find a list of CSA farms, as well as pickup dates and locations. Stop in the library to check out some books on the subject, including The Locavore Way by Amy Colter, The Sustainable Kitchen by Stu Stein, and Gaining Ground : a Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard.
To get a jump start on harvesting spring vegetables, consider making/buying a cold frame. These are mini greenhouses, usually low to the ground, with glass or plastic panels that can heat up soil so plants can be grown outside much earlier (or later in the fall) than would otherwise be possible. Lots of information is available on the web concerning how to construct a cold frame (search “cold frames”).
The Library also has print resources with instructions on building a cold frame: The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour has lots of useful information about cold weather gardening and also includes plans for building a simple cold frame.
Got a bicycle you don’t need anymore? Here’s a great way to recycle it! On Saturday (Nov. 2) from 9 a.m. to Noon, several locations in the Northwest suburbs will be accepting bicycle donations as part of the “Pedal Power” program. These bikes will then go to Chicago Public School students as a reward for good grades.
Nearby drop-off spots include Mike’s Bike Shop in Palatine (155 N. Northwest Hwy.); Glenview Cycle (1011 Harlem Ave.) and Garner Cyclery in Northbrook (1111 Waukegan Rd.) For more information and a complete list of drop-off locations, go to http://gopedalpower.com/ .