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Sustainable living at your library

by Joyce Dierauerlibrary director
'Let it Rot' is one of many books on sustainable living at the Summit County Libraries.
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By now I hope you’ve had a chance to read our “Summit Reads” book – “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. We will be having more discussions about the book May 4 at North Branch, Silverthorne at 5:30 p.m. And on May 25 at the CMC auditorium, Breckenridge at 6 p.m. we’ll discuss Pollan’s four food chains – industrial food, organic or alternative food and food we forage for ourselves. One of the concepts he presents is trying to eat locally, by buying food grown within 100 miles of where you live. If this is something you’ve been thinking about trying, I thought I would outline various books that you could read to help you in this pursuit.”Self-sufficiency: A Complete Guide to Baking, Carpentry, Crafts, Organic Gardening, Preserving Your Harvest, Raising Animals, and More!” Edited by Abigal Gehring, the book presents information on planning and growing an organic garden, making your own foods like yogurt, butter and cheese, gathering wild mushrooms, canning and preserving the foods you grow, raising goats, pigs, and llamas with a list of food co-ops in every state listed in the back.”Sustainable Living for Dummies” by Michael Grosvenor discusses living sustainably at home by reducing water use, cleaning without toxic chemicals, greening up your garden by composting your waste. He has another chapter titled “From farm gate to dinner plate,” which discusses how to know if the foods you shop for were produced in a sustainable way. It also explains the role food labels play in guiding you towards sustainable food choices. The final chapters deal with working and traveling in a sustainable way.If you’ve been thinking about growing your own fruits and vegetables, a book for you to check out is “Organic Gardening in Cold Climates” by Sandra Perrin. Sandra is a successful organic gardener in Missoula, Mont. The section on varieties of vegetables that do well in cold climates is invaluable. She discusses making every day count in the short growing season. Other topics covered are mulching and biological pest control.A vital element in organic gardening is composting. We have a number of books that deal with just that topic. One of the better titles is “Let it Rot!: The Gardener’s Guide to Composting” by Stu Campbell. Successful composting requires a basic understanding of the life forms and processes that operate within a compost pile, a willingness to experiment, a little effort and a little artistry. This book covers the various methods of composting and equipment you can build to help the process.A final new book for your sustainable enjoyment would be “Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century” by Dick & James Strawbridge. Living a sustainable lifestyle means using no more than our fair share of the planet’s resources to meet our needs. Self-sufficiency automatically leads to a sustainable lifestyle. This book covers taking stock of your home, looking at renewable energy options, growing with hydroponics and setting up a cold frame or greenhouse, foraging for wild plants, animal husbandry from chickens to bees and making your own cheese, jam, yogurt, drying fruit and herbs, curing meat and fish, plus making green cleaners and natural remedies.So if you’re interested in going back to the basics and trying to be more self-sufficient and sustainable, I suggest you come and check out the many books the library has dealing with these topics. You can reserve them online at the library’s web site http://www.summitcountylibraries.org by going to your library account using your library card or going directly into the library’s online catalog and requesting your book online. If you don’t have access to the internet, then please call any of your libraries: Main Library, Frisco at (970) 668-5555; North Branch, Silverthorne at (970) 468-5887; or South Branch, Breckenridge at (970) 453-6098.


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