Category Archives: gardening

Spuds Party, a Hit!

Hash browns, French fries, tater tots and chips!  Yummy!-  and all made from potatoes.  This Greenie Program  was started in May with the planting of Kennebec potatoes.  It was an early harvest last Saturday when delicate white spuds were lifted out of the soil.

me twoThe program started with two readings, “Up Down and Around” by Katherine Ayres,  got everyone introduced to vegetables and the direction they grow in. Children shared their own stories about vegetables in their home gardens.  None of kids were growing potatoes in their own gardens, so the excitement was building!

 

potThe second book was “Two Old Potatoes and Me” by John Coy, which was an informal guide to planting potatoes.  A young girl discovers withered and sprouting spuds in the kitchen cupboard and with her father’s guidance they cut up the spuds and plant them. Watering, hilling the dirt, weeding, and watching out for Colorado Potato Beetles, all lead up to potatoe harvest time.  Would we be digging up potatoes in the Community gardens? Or would our spuds be duds?

After the books everyone went to the gardens and a shovel was retrieved from the shed.  Children gathered around the plants…the spade made  a cut in the soil…POTATOES! POTATOES ! POTATOES!  Nature had not disappointed us.  The children were so excited, we just kept digging. We soon filled the bucket one third full with different sized spuds.  The harvest yielded one potato for each child.

The spud party spilled back inside,  where a blind potato chip tasting got under way.  The flavors of the chips were: salt and vinegar, aged cheddar and sour cream, and garden tomato and basil.  The chip voted best flavor was salt and vinegar. Who knew a vegetable could be so much fun?

Posted by Miss Jane

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Red Wigglers Revisited

For our second year of Greenie Programs we once again kept red wigglers living at our desk in the Children’s Department.   The container that the worms were living in was the perfect environment; dark and moist. The Red Wigglers also known as compost worms were feeding on banana peels, coffee grounds, lint, and newspaper, truly a feast.

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The first story read was“Ned’s New Home ” by Kevin Tseng . It was a cute story about Ned’s house being an apple and  it “raining apple juice” sending Ned in search of a new home. After attempting to reside in different fruit, with a house made from blueberries as a disaster, Ned once again finds a perfect home in an another apple.

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The book “Bob and Otto” by Robert O. Bruel, tells of a worm and caterpillar as friends. One day Bob says he needs to climb the old tree; that it is important. Otto can not understand why. As the story continues we realize that Bob needs to become a butterfly. Although,  all Otto did was to dig around  the tree’s roots, he made it able for his friend Bob to become a butterfly by helping the old tree grow. Bob and Otto reunite, with Bob being thankful for Otto’s simple act of digging.

The craft was inspired by “Ned’s New Home”. A paper apple was made with two holes punched in on each side. A leaf and stem were first glued to the apple. Then a green pipe cleaner was threaded through each hole. Each end of the pipe cleaner was rolled to create a head and tail of a worm. An eye was glue to the top of one end. To finish the craft a popsicle stick was taped to the back of the apple.

Afterwards we talked about how worms live and grow and then the group got a close up look at the red wigglers with our “creature peepers”.  These magnifiers let everyone get a good look from above and below in viewing the worms.

Once  outside everyone got a least two handfuls of dirt and worms to put into the compost bin. “Black Gold”, or amazing composted dirt, will be the end result!

 

Posted by Miss Jane

 

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Fall’s Here: Cue the Pumpkins!

a hands-on gardening series for kids!
Saturday, October 6th at 11am: Wild About Pumpkins
 We’re wild about pumpkins, are you?  We’ll be sharing our favorite pumpkin tales and treats, along with a pumpkin craft to take home.  Ages 3 and up.  FREE.  Registration is required.  We’ll also be kicking off our 3rd Annual Great Pumpkin Seed Contest on Saturday!
Saturday, October 13th at 11am: Awesome Apples
 It wouldn’t be autumn without apples!  We’ll have an apple tasting to go with our favorite apple stories and an apple craft to take home.  Ages 3 and up.  FREE.  Registration is required.
To register for these programs, please visit or call the Children’s Department at 401-846-1573

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Worms Are Our friends in the Garden

Who knew worms could be so much fun! Our Greenie group gathered to enjoy stories, a hands on look at worms, and exploration of the Community Garden. The books chosen followed the friendship between a caterpillar and a worm, the recipe on how to make compost, and a worm’s search for a new home.

“Ned’s New Home” by Kevin Tseng, wiggled into the hearts of the Greenies as Ned the worm tries out fruit after fruit hoping each one will replace his rotting apple house. None were suitable, until a bird picks up Ned up while sitting on a cherry only to fall onto an apple tree full of big beautiful apples.  Ned was finally happy!

Mary McKenna Siddals’ delightful pictures and rhyming text in “Compost Stew: an A to Z Recipe for the Earth”, told of the needed elements in making a proper compost. Our Greenies learned that through the seasons many items can be added to a compost bin, including red wiggler worms.

In Robert Bruel’s “Bob and Otto“, Otto the worm parts way with his friend Bob the caterpillar as nature takes its course for Bob’s metamorphosis.  Bob says he needs to climb the tree to eat it, while Otto says he needs to dig under the roots of the tree. When Otto again meets Bob, now a butterfly, he is sad for the fact that he doesn’t have wings.  Bob reassures Otto that if it wasn’t for his digging in the soil the tree that grew the green leaves for him to eat would would not have happened.  The Greenies realize how important the simple act of digging by worms can be.

After the stories and a small craft, the Greenies were able to view live worms with our “creature peepers” (a sort of magnifying glass). The worms had been quietly living in the Children’s Department in a special container, feeding on lint,  cardboard, and vegetable scraps.  Afterwards the Greenies ventured into the Community Garden where the worms were released into the soil and compost bin.

 

Posted by Miss Jane

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Wiggly Worms and Lovely Ladybugs

July’s Greenie Gardeners brings us two fascinating garden creatures: worms and ladybugs.  Worms do the heavy duty, underground work of composting the soil while ladybugs help us with eating plant-destroying aphids from our gardens.

These monthly program are free to register for.  Recommend for ages 4 and up.  To register for these programs, please visit or call the Children’s Department at 846-1573.

Wiggly Worms: Saturday, July 21st at 11am

We’ll be learning all about the lives of worms – how they wiggle, what they eat, and how they help us – through stories and hands-on experiences with these amazing wigglers.  A take-home craft is included in this storytime, followed by a trip to our Community Garden and composter in the back of the library.

 

Lovely Ladybugs: Saturday, July 28th at 11am

They do so much for us than just look pretty.  We’ll explore the world of ladybugs through stories and take a close-up look at them with our Creature Peepers before venturing out to the Children’s Garden to release a whole jar of ladybugs into the gardens!

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“Greenie” Gardeners Programs for Kids

Children and families will have a chance to get down in the dirt and become a “Greenie” with our newly installed Community Gardens at Middletown Public Library.  Beginning in June, we’ll be offering monthly gardening, plant, and nature themed programs through the Children’s Department.  The library will have a Children’s Garden that will offer hands-on experiences as well as programs that will bring the “outdoors in”.

These monthly program are free to register for, and our first program will be on Saturday, June 9th at 11am.  Recommend for ages 4 and up.  To register for these programs, please visit or call the Children’s Department at 846-1573.

Saturday, June 9th at 11am: “Going Buggy” Story and Craft Program

It’s “good bugs” vs. “bad bugs” in this buggy version of Greenie Gardeners.   We’ll learn that there are good insects and bad insects for our gardens, and what some of the different kinds are.  This bug themed program will have thematic bug stories,  action rhymes, and a craft of designing your our own bug box.

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