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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Many Upcoming Events at Reading Public Library

Checking out my gardening logbook, I realize that this is the week I have traditionally started my Brussel’s sprouts seeds. So, I’ve slotted next Sunday to hit the dirt. I’ll also plant onions and celery. They are relatively new to my seed-starting adventures, and results so far have been mixed.

I admit that I have taken this aspect of gardening to the extreme. My three two-tier grow light racks will take over a good portion of my den. The lights are on timers, and they will go on around 5am and will go off around 8pm. Seedlings are a big part of my life from the beginning of March to the end of May.

You can start your gardening with a lot less effort. And an excellent way to do this is use the Reading Public Library's Seed Library. As its name implies, it is open to everyone, and it is free.

Browse the library’s vegetable, herb, and flower seed collection. Check some seeds out to yourself. You can take up to six unique seed packets (one per plant type), to bring home. You don’t have to return the seeds—like you have to return a book—but you can if you want. They won’t be the same seeds you borrowed, of course. Those will have been put into the ground and transformed into beautiful, bountiful plants of your choosing.

Seed saving requires some effort and a bit of know-how, but it’s fairly simple. The library, being a place for knowledge, has the resources available to learn how to do this. Of course, seed saving is a topic for another month, like September, but thinking about your garden is a wonderful, wishful thing to do, especially now when teases of spring are tempered by the inevitable return of winter.

The seed catalog is just one thing happening at the library. There are two more community events happening in March that Tony Pikramenos, our librarian, wants to share.

The library will be hosting a Silent Book Club starting in March. No, the club will not be reading books like The Silence of the Lambs or Silent Spring or All Quiet on the Western Front. Actually, there will be no assigned reading and no pressure to say something insightful. Participants are invited to bring whatever they're currently reading (book, magazine, newspaper, whatever), then relax for an hour of quiet reading time in the company of fellow readers. There are no other rules. Before and after the designated reading time, those who want to can chat about anything they like. The group will meet on March 4, 18, and April 1 (all Wednesdays). The library will open at 6:30pm, and the quiet reading time will run between 7pm and 8pm. Feel free to show up late or leave early. Being in a book club and not talking about books sounds like torture, but I’ll probably give it a try!

If reading or silence is not your thing, here's another library event that will be music to your ears. A Community Sing-Along happens on Friday, March 27, at 6:30pm. The library will have some Rise Up Singing songbooks on hand, but if you own a copy, please bring it. You may also bring an instrument to accompany the singing. The chords for each song are listed in the songbook, but not the specific changes. Attendees will take turns choosing songs for the group. If you prefer not to pick a song, that's okay. Everyone's welcome, even those who just want to listen. Refreshments will be served.

For the last library note, Tony reports that the Hallowanukkah candle is still burning. As of this writing, there have been sixteen guesses recorded as to when it will finally burn out. As a reminder, the miraculous battery-operated tealight has been shining since Halloween. The person whose guess is closest to the date the candle goes out will win a new book of his or her choosing, courtesy of the library. You can call, email, or go to the library to submit your guess.

Here are a few other noteworthy things happening in March. The third of the four Winter Concert Series shows happens on Saturday, March 14. Doors open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7pm. The act is The Bluegrasoles, a local trio playing America, rock, folk, and blues music. There will be a dinner buffet, so for $10, you can make it a night of food and music. Also, for the first time, you can BYOB. All the Reading Recreation Commission asks is that you listen happily and drink responsibly.

On March 28, the Second Annual Maple Cook Off is happening at Reading Town Hall. There will be more details to follow, of course, but right now, the competition needs cooks! If you have a beloved, tasty recipe for a maple-infused entrée, salad, veggie, appetizer, or dessert, send your name, phone number, and what you plan to enter to The Maple Cook Off is a fundraiser for the Reading Green Spaces Committee.

And speaking of the Reading Green Spaces Committee, they will be providing breakfast foods at Town Meeting on Saturday. The meeting starts at 9:30am, so come a little early so you can browse the delicious selections, pour yourself a cup of coffee before the opening gavel falls. See you there!

That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on February 27, 2020.

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