The edible estates project consisted of tearing up the manicured front lawns of several households and replacing it with plants that produced edible food. The goal was both to make a statement and to be practical. This is remenicient of Victory Gardens during the World Wars where thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt even the White House lawn had some vegetable production. Similar ideas are also implemented in community gardens, but this project specifically picked the front yard as the area to attack, making the garden front and center. Here's a video of one of the gardens to give you an idea:
Here's a video interview with Fritz Haeg about the project:
The book consists of the plans for these gardens, homeowner stories, the drive behind the project and a few guides of what you can grow in your zone. What most homeowners were worried about, as can be expected, was what would the neighbors think? However, in most cases there were positive attitudes from the community and even a closer relationship between people in the neighborhood. The front yard was no longer a buffer zone between people but an active center of activity. The book also includes a few tidbits to think about:
Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 13 are probable carcinogens, 14 are linked with birth defects, 18 with reproductive effects, 20 with liver or kidney damage, 18 with neurotoxicity and 28 are irritants - National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns
Homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops. - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
"Suits fly against the national lawn-care companies, and interest is kindled in ''organic'' methods of lawn care. But the problem is larger than this. Lawns, I am convinced, are a symptom of, and a metaphor for, our skewed relationship to the land. They teach us that, with the help of petrochemicals and technology, we can bend nature to our will. Lawns stoke our hubris with regard to the land. What is the alternative? To turn them into gardens. I'm not suggesting that there is no place for lawns in these gardens or that gardens by themselves will right our relationship to the land, but the habits of thought they foster can take us some way in that direction.
Gardening, as compared to lawn care, tutors us in nature's ways, fostering an ethic of give and take with respect to the land. Gardens instruct us in the particularities of place. They lessen our dependence on distant sources of energy, technology, food and, for that matter, interest."
Tomorrow, October 29, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be the featured speaker at the Wallenberg Foundation lecture. Archbishop Tutu, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, has been a tireless supporter of human rights in South Africa. He helped establish the the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa which investigated abuses of human rights. Tutu emphasized the importance of justice as well as forgiveness in this process. His work reflects that of Raoul Wallenberg who risked his life to save thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Every year, the Foundation honors a person who embodies Wallenberg's quest for peace and justice. Desmond Tutu's lecture will be at 7:30 in Hill Auditorium.
John Berryman was a master poet who tragically took his own life after years of mental illness and alcoholism. He was born on October 25th, 1914 in McAlester, Oklahoma. Despite his struggles, Berryman wrote prodigiously. After studying Shakespeare at Cambridge, he moved back to the states and, after years moving from college to college, settled at the University of Minnesota. He is best known, perhaps, for his Homage to Mistress Bradstreet, a dialogue between him and Anne Bradstreet, a 17th century poet. He is also remembered for his 77 Dream Songs about an imaginary character named Henry. Of these poems, Berryman says: "These Songs are not meant to be understood...They are only meant to terrify & comfort." These two lines from Dream Song I are telling:
I don't see how Henry, pried
open for all the world to see, survived.
Michael Rex is a big fan of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon but he thought it “severely lacked big-toothed monsters and small creatures in peril” so he came up with Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody. And how fun it is! Full page color illustrations keep your eyes looking everywhere for eyeballs and bats and other cute and scary treats. Say goodnight to all the creatures, skulls, tombs, martians, goons, bones, bats, and mummies who rub their tummies. And perhaps leave that nightlight on as you try to doze after reading it.
Bacon is my favorite food. I know it's not the healthiest of choices, but it never fails to lift my spirits as it lifts my sodium level. If you share a love of this meaty delight, check out The Bacon Cookbook - More than 150 Recipes from Around the World for Everyone's Favorite Food. Inside you'll find the history of bacon, a guide to international styles of bacon, tips on cooking and storing bacon, and a yummy assortment of recipes. I was especially intrigued by the dessert section of this book which includes instructions for "Bacon and Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles". This book also contains a list of sources for buying premium bacon here in the U.S. Visit www.gratefulpalate.com to find a truly fabulous Bacon of the Month Club. Mmm...bacon.
Mrs. Woolf and the Servants, Alison Light's look into the relationship between Virginia Woolf and her servants, creates a window into life at the Woolf residence. The biographical sketch focuses on two servants in particular, Nellie Boxall and Lottie Hope, who primarily worked in the kitchen. Light's portrait of Virginia Woolf's domestic kingdom highlights the divisions that starkly separated Woolf from those she employed, emphasizing that without domestic servants, Woolf would have been unable to produce her creative works. A Room of One's Own is not enough; one also needs a lot of help to clean the room.
To read Claire Messud's review from the New York Times, click here.
Looking for a magazine article but forgot which issue it was in? Trying to find a review of a movie? Or a dishwasher? Or a presidential debate? Leave the newsstand behind and take a look in General Reference Center Gold. Our most popular magazine database has 25 years worth of articles from thousands of publications. Take a look and see if your favorite magazines are in there today.
Find out about all of the library's fun stuff for kids with AADL's parent page! JUMP is your stop to find recommended stuff for kids and learn about upcoming library events. Parents can also get information to plan their visit to the library an even find out about resources to help kids with their homework. It's all at jump.aadl.org!