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Grow your own nutrition

Did you know that there are many really easy to grow veggies that are super-nutritious? Some of them are even extremely tasty, like the sweet peas (from my garden) pictured here. You may find yourself eating them right off the vine! Check out this Top Ten list and start planning your garden for this summer.

Homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs: a bountiful, healthful garden for lean times by Jim Wilson; photography by Walter Chandoha

Winter Farmers Market Continues This Sunday

The Canton Winter Farmers Market returns this Sunday, March 13, from 10:00AM-2:00PM, but with a different location due to the soggy weather: Come to historic Cherry Hill School on the Northwest corner of Ridge and Cherry Hill Road at 50440 Cherry Hill Road. Eighteen local vendors will be there this Sunday. Don't miss it!

Save the Date

One more Canton Winter Farmers Market is slated for Sunday, April 10 from 10:00AM-2:00PM

Pasta Drive

The Farmers Market will continue its pasta drive to help restock the shelves at Open Door Ministry's Food Pantry in Canton during all three Winter Markets. Drop off any boxed, dried pasta at Cherry Hill School during the Market.

Saving and Sharing Seeds

Seed libraries are a way for people to share the seeds from the plants they grow, as well as to gain access to other heirloom varieties with which their neighbors may have had good luck. The Bay Area Seed Interchange Library is one such organization, which appears to be working well. Have you swapped seeds with others? Do you keep your own library of seeds from year to year? Would you be interested in participating in a seed swap in Canton? For more info on saving seeds, check out this article:

You can compost

No, really, you can! Even if you live in an dwelling without a yard, you can still turn your food waste into rich, useful compost. Michigan garden expert Colleen Vanderlinden shows you how over at Planet Green. You can also check out some of our many resources on composting:

The compost specialist : the essential guide to creating and using garden compost, and using potting and seed composts by David Squire

Starting Your Veggie Garden From Seed

Now is the time when many gardeners in our area begin to start seeds indoors, so they'll have lovely seedlings to transplant into the garden when the weather warms up. You can even reuse many items from around the house, to save both money and time. We also have a number of books that will help you with starting from seed:

Gardening with heirloom seeds: tried-and-true flowers, fruits, and vegetables for a new generation by Lynn Coulter

CPL Quilt Group

Our group features Grace — a local quilter. She is going to demonstrate "the Paper Piecing Technique" for making quilt blocks. For those of you who are not familliar with this technique, it creates very intricate patterns. Grace has completed 50 pattern squares — one for each state. She will have them to show on Wednesday February 2 from 7:00-8:00PM and will also explain the process. It should be a very interesting demonstration.

Check out Rich Traditions: Scrap Quilts to Paper Piece and 40 Bright and Bold Paper Pieced Blocks for more information on the technique.

From 8:00-8:45 we will have discussion on quilting. If any one has something they have made or are making bring it to share with the group.

To-may-to, To-mah-to

Don't those tomatoes look delicious? This winter weather may have us stuck inside, but we can at least prepare for the glorious gardening days to come, right? There are many types of tomato cages you can use to support your plants, several of which are highlighted in this post over at Mother Earth News. Personally, I've never used anything as architectural as these folding wooden tomato cages, but I think I might try building some.

How do you Save Money in Your Garden?

Gardening has many rewards, but as we all have to scrimp and pull our belts a bit tighter, it can seem like it's expensive to get started. There are many things we can do to be more thrifty in the garden, though! Over at The Home Gardener, Dave Townsend offers three really great tips: start from seed, propagate your own plants, and participate in plant swaps.

Are there other ways that you've found to save money in the garden? I like to reuse household objects to make garden items, and I recycle my friends' and neighbors' decorative straw bales as mulch each fall. What tips do you suggest?

What do gardeners do in winter?

We drool over seed catalogs and dream of what we'll grow when the snow is gone! Winter is a great time for some other garden projects, though — the kind you can do while nice and toasty inside. And as an added bonus, many times you can re-use materials that you'd otherwise have to toss in the trash. Check out Michigan gardener and author Colleen VanderLinden's list of 15 "Trashy" Ideas for Your Garden. While you're at it, take a gander at some of the many books we have about crafting for the garden.

Comforts of Home

The comforts of home : thrifty and chic decorating ideas for making the most of what you have by Caroline Clifton- Mogg — One of the 2010 Librarians' Picks for Non-Fiction, this book offers the philosophy that a comfortable home is an orderly home. With a plan for where things should be, it becomes easy to make it useful and a place in which you want to spend time. There's no time like now for being thrifty as well, and using the tips here you can make your home work for you, using (or at least starting with) what you have.

Simple Times

Simple times by written by Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello — Fans of Sedaris' I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence will not be disappointed by her latest guide. Now is the time to be thrifty and to embellish your life with your crafty skills while you scrimp and save. No one crafts like Amy Sedaris, but you can try to imitate her by following her instructions. BONUS: the images in this book are simultaneously gorgeous and hilarious, and there are even illustrations by renaissance guy Justin Theroux.

Sewing Home Furnishings

Illustrated guide to sewing home furnishings : expert techniques for creating custom shades, drapes, slipcovers and more — Have you ever seen a gorgeous fabric in the store but thought you didn't have the skills to make it into curtains, a pillow, or a slipcover? Look no further, this book has clear instructions that will allow you to teach yourself as you go. It includes a variety of techniques as well as instructions for calculating yardage and other seemingly tricky parts of the process.

Success with Small-Space Gardening

Success with small-space gardening by Graham Clarke — Many people would like to have a garden, but find that they are limited by a lack of space. Perhaps you  have a small yard, or your homeowner association or condo board limits your options. You can still have a beautiful and even productive garden, no matter how small. This book show how to design for whatever space you have available, using clever and unusual but easily executed techniques.

Handmade Beginnings

Handmade beginnings : 24 sewing projects to welcome baby by Anna Maria Horner — This lovely book has a variety of projects for the mother- and father-to-be, the baby, and the baby's nursery. The creations are photographed in a simple, elegant style, and the instructions and patterns are all very clear and easy to parse even for a beginning sewer.

This Old House

As the holiday season continues on into the month remember to include reading of This Old House magazine. The Dec/2010 issue of TOH includes several informative articles on inexpensive homeowner gifts and their assessment of the best product picks for 2010. This Old House is part of the library's print magazine collection and is published monthly.

The Tulip Anthology

The tulip anthology photographs by Ron Van Dongen; foreword by Anna Pavord; edited by Billie Lythberg — Tulips are one of the most ubiquitous flowers seen in spring, and they have been written about, cultivated, and sought after for ages. This gorgeous oversize book presents color photos accompanied by information, poetry, and facts.

Remix Design with Marleen Prater

Don't settle for an average home when you can have a fabulous home with the advice decorator Marleen Prater of Remix Designs. Marleen will share her secrets for affordable re-mixed decorating to have your home looking its very best for the holidays. Join us on Thursday, December 16 at 7:00PM in the Community Room. No registration is necessary.

U.S. News & World Report

The Dec/2010 issue of U.S. News contains 50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2011. Articles concerning your health, money, career, mind and the world are included. Please note this will be the last issue of U.S. News & World Report. This magazine will no longer be published as a print or digital replica magazine. The U.S. Media group will continue to publish the usnews.com website.

How to Grow Practically Everything

How to grow practically everything by Zia Allaway, Lia Leendertz — This hefty volume is truly chock full of ideas for gardening projects. From creating garden beds to container gardening to edibles to attracting wildlife, this book really covers a lot of ground (ha!). Beginners will find the introductory sections useful, while more seasoned gardeners will be able to jump in to the particular project that suits their interest.

Joe Gagnon, The Appliance Doctor

The renowned Joe Gagnon, aka The Appliance Doctor, tells us how to spend our money wisely when purchasing large appliances, so we get the most bang for our hard-earned bucks. The doctor also shares when it is time to replace or repair an appliance, based on his years of expertise. We all know and love Joe Gagnon from radio and newspaper columns — now is your opportunity to meet and talk in person on Thursday, December 2 at 7:00PM in the Community Room. No registration needed.