Celebrate pollinators in June!

Learn more about pollinators, how to attract them into your garden, and reflect on what can be done to protect them and the work they do in our ecosystems. Of course it’s a subject always of interest, but June 17-23, 2019 is National Pollinator Week, designated by the U.S. Senate as a celebration of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, bats, and more. Here are some books and resources on bees and other pollinators.

Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them by Paige Embry
Organized by bee, Embry provides an overview of the various native bee species in the U.S, covering the nesting, foraging and mating habits of each bee. Embry visits the owners of almond groves, cherry orchards, blueberry fields and more to better understand different bees. Written in a chatty, folksy tone with many high-quality photos, this is a lovely book to dip in and out of. Continue reading “Celebrate pollinators in June!”

Birds, Bees, and Butterflies

The first Spring in our new house was spent figuring out where we wanted things and tackling the things we didn’t – I battled sticker bushes and morning glory, we moved garden beds, and got a patio poured. This year all that hard work started coming together. I planted vegetables, we got patio furniture, and got some flower beds organized – but like all good library nerds I had to do research first.

I’ve always wanted my yard to be habitat friendly so when I weeded I didn’t just take out everything that’s considered a weed. I kept clover and bachelor’s button despite their bad reputation. I also let things happen naturally with random plants that popped up on their own like lupine, hyacinths, daffodils, and a calla lilly! We added lavender, rosemary, borage, and mint for bees. I also, made little rain gardens and added bird feeders and from last year we have foxgloves and crocosmia for the hummingbirds.

I’ve seen so much new wildlife come into our yard lately; looking forward to what each year brings! Here are a few books in our collection that helped me out: Continue reading “Birds, Bees, and Butterflies”

Taking Me Back

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day over our love of Spam. One year for her birthday her husband bought her a sampler pack of 12 different varieties! That was something new I learned – I had only ever known of the true blue original can. Growing up my mom used to mix spam, shredded cheese, and mayo together and place it on an English muffin then pop it in the oven where it got melty and crunchy. It was delicious!

That got me thinking about other recipes I enjoyed growing up – the ones my mom learned from her mom and on and on it goes. Here are a few books in our collection that highlight those recipes with a modern twist: Continue reading “Taking Me Back”

Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves: Women in the Kitchen

There’s that old patriarchal saying that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen,” but in an industry dominated by men, it’s actually a lot harder to “get in the kitchen.” Just last year the Department for Labor Statistics showed that only 19.7 percent of restaurant kitchens are run by women. Things are changing, but it’s a cultural shift – kitchens have been notoriously unfriendly places for women between sexual harassment, long work hours, and lack of parental leave.

Here are two memoirs of women who have pushed against the norm and are changing the way we think about food. Continue reading “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves: Women in the Kitchen”

Wild Sourdough

Meet my starter: Neko!

I love bread, but more and more it just tastes like filler. My husband and I started going to a neighborhood Farmer’s Market open year-round to incorporate more whole foods and seasonal finds into our meals at home. One of our favorite vendors is a sourdough bread baker. I started doing a bit of research into wild yeast and thought this is bread I would be more than happy to eat! After trying a few loaves, I started to wonder how I can do this myself Continue reading “Wild Sourdough”