Month: April 2020

News from the Research Desk Blog

Asparagus!

Asparagus is one of the earliest spring perennial vegetables–after it is established in the garden, it will yield edible spears year-after-year.

Now is a good time to plant asparagus crowns.

Asparagus should be planted in a location with lots of sun in fertile well-drained soil. Asparagus needs to mature up to 3 years before spears can be harvested regularly.

Once established, asparagus will produce spears for up to 8 weeks starting in April. A bed of asparagus, if well-tended, can last 20-30 years!

Unfurling asparagus spear: These asparagus spears have been grown from asparagus crowns planted on April 1, 2017. This is the first year they will be harvested:

For a selection of current magazines related to vegetable gardening (or any subject you can imagine!) check out our offerings from RB Digital.  You will need your current MPPL Library card number and PIN–then follow the instructions to get started.

If you need assistance with access or other questions, please contact us via Live Chat: bit.ly/MPPLlivechat; email: info@mppl.org; or phone: 847-253-5675 and leave a message–we’ll call you back.

 

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World Book Super Page

Attention parents! Until the end of May, World Book is giving us access to all 15 modules of their excellent online series with their World Book Super Page. This is more than just the trusted encyclopedia for children, teens, and families. It is also access to thousands of activity and craft instruction. Anyone want to make puppets?! Or read ebooks about dinosaurs, Bigfoot, Ancient Egypt, or outer space?  The Super Page also has access to Spanish, French, and Arabic editions of World Book.

For more crafts, see our subscription for CreativeBug.

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Money Smart Week Goes Virtual!

Money Smart week, originally scheduled for April 4-11 this year, was canceled like almost everything else due to the COVID-19 precautions.  Financial literacy doesn’t stop being relevant, however, and so in an expanded celebration of Financial Literacy Month all April, the good folks behind MSW have created useful, educational, and insightful webinars on various topics. Each topic is uniquely relevant to our current environment and is pre-recorded so you can view them when it is most convenient for you! Just click on the links below:

-Take Control of Your Finances

-Inside America’s “Financial Diaries”

-Money and Budgeting for Kids!

-Medigap Insurance: How to Pick the Right Plan
Another canceled MSW program that will give you insights into which plan is right for you and how to use the tools available at MPPL to access related information.

 

RBdigital Big Bonus!

The Library is a longtime subscriber the magazine streaming resource RBdigital. Just recently we’ve upped the game. From only 55 different magazine titles, we now have thousands. I was up to page 7 on the results list when I gave up counting.  Some that I’ve been enjoying the past week include Archaeology, Cook’s Illustrated, Bon Appetit, GQ France, Architectural Digest India, and National Geographic Mexico. If you have a printer and crayons, you can print pages from the coloring books for adults! Yes, there is an app.

Our other magazine streaming site is PressReader. It has some of the same magazines but thousands of others as well as newspapers including Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune. It also has a great app.

Kale and Lettuce Seedlings

Kale, lettuce and other greens can be started inside and, for some, a preferred method of planting these cool weather vegetables as opposed to direct seeding outside.

Planting these smaller seeds in a controlled environment is the best method to ensure strong seedlings. Direct seeded vegetables, especially cool weather ones, have more unreliable germination rates due to variable weather conditions and animals, i.e. birds and squirrels. But starting seeds inside is more labor intensive as containers need to be filled with growing medium, seeds need to be planted, seedlings need to be thinned/transplanted and hardened off before planting outside in the garden. With direct seeding, you plant the seeds and then wait and hope you get some germination.

These kale and lettuce seedlings under grow lights were started about March 27 and have just been transplanted to larger containers. When temperatures start staying in the 40’s at night, they will go outside to be hardened off and acclimated to the outside conditions. After about a week or so they can be planted in the garden.

For a selection of current magazines related to vegetable gardening (or any subject you can imagine!) check out our offerings from RB Digital.  You will need your current MPPL Library card number and PIN–then follow the instructions to get started.

If you need assistance with access or other questions, please contact us via Live Chat: bit.ly/MPPLlivechat; email: info@mppl.org; or phone: 847-253-5675 and leave a message–we’ll call you back.