Happy 1st day of Spring! We’re anxiously awaiting garden time and more outside time in general. As you can see below we couldn’t wait any longer to start planting seeds. Every square inch of sunny space is taken up by seedlings waiting to get outside. Gardening is a lot of work but each year I get more and more excited about it. It really feeds my soul to be in the dirt and the science is there to back that up. Here’s a great article to get you inspired about gardening. I love the harvest “high” they talk about. I can really relate to all of the mental benefits.

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Here are a few books we’ve been enjoying from the library lately. With avid readers in the house we’re there at least once a week so it’s pretty easy to have a running list of books on reserve.

Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie DePaola … so many of his books are favorites of ours. In this one Pascual, a young boy, joins the Franciscans and is told to cook for them but doesn’t know how. Kitchen angels come down and cook for him while he spends his time in prayer. We can all glean valuable lessons from this book. Now, if we only had kitchen angels to deliver our freshly cooked meals! That sounds heavenly.

Here’s a long list of Tomie DePaola books to look for at the library. So many good ones!

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. So many great themes in this book and perfect for spring. It’s a heartwarming story of life’s struggles and new growth – garden growth and personal growth. My little gardener girl loves this one.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind  by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.

I heard about William Kamkwamba and his windmills a few years ago but just recently found the picture book explaining the story and then the kids and I watched his very first TED X talk. If you haven’t seen the TED X talks with William Kamkwamba, watch this one first. Now watch this one, 2 years after the first! The boys were very inspired by William and his determination and inquisitive ways. Next, Jack plans to read this one.

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Blue on Blue by Dianne White with illustrations by Beth Krommes. This one has rhymimg text describing a thunderstorm with incredible artwork by the Caldecott Award Winner Beth Krommes.

Here’s a little description of scratchboard art, the technique that the illustrator uses to create her highly visual artwork.

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To get into the Spring spirit we went to volunteer with Clockwork, at Cultivate KC. Just the thing to kickstart the gardening bug! We helped out at their Gibbs Road Farm transplanting seedlings to larger pots and preparing an area for a cover crop of clover. I’ve written about this fantastic urban farm catalyst for Kansas City here before, if you would like to know more about their mission.

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Cultivate KC also hosts Urban Grown, a fantastic garden tour featuring Kansas City urban farms and farmers and the dates for the 2015 tour are set for June 27-28th. This is such a fun tour, I always learn so much!

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Dates for upcoming Local Food Expos and Transplant Sales

Kansas City’s Eat Local and Organic Food Expo

March 28, 2015
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Johnson County Community College (JCCC) Gym 

April 11, 2015
9:30 am- 2:30 pm
MCC Penn Valley Community College Gym

Gibbs Road Farm Transplant Sale, Saturday, April 25, 2015 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
 
The Bad Seed Transplant Sale, Friday April 18th 4-9 p.m.
 
Enjoy this 1st day of Spring and chime in with any children’s books you’ve been enjoying lately.
 
– Julie