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Spring Into Gardening with Library Books and Programs; Learn About Rose O'Neill March 27 at Library Center

With the mercury inching up slowly and the spring vernal equinox arriving today, March 20, gardening is on the top of our minds.

You can learn a lot about how to plant a thriving garden from the library’s collection of books and materials. Go small with Emma Hardy’s “Teeny Tiny Gardening,” or go all the way with “The Mini Farming Guide to Vegetable Gardening: Self-Sufficiency from Asparagus to Zucchini” by Brett Markham.

You can also pick up some helpful tips firsthand from the experts at two upcoming library programs.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, March 23, in the Library Center auditorium, adults are invited to learn The Basics of Organic Gardening from Paul Robertson, with Master Gardeners of Greene County.

Paul will explain the fundamentals of organic gardening and how to deal with weeds; water issues, organic fertilizer; compost and mulch; and organic solutions to pests and diseases. Paul is a Master Naturalist and a botanical and natural science illustrator who is also featured in the Master Gardeners’ spring Potting Shed University. His presentation will be based on his 35-plus years as an organic gardener, and on science-based research on the benefits of organic gardening.

On Wednesday, March 26, at 6 p.m. in the Midtown Carnegie Branch upstairs meeting room, Master Gardener Mark Bernskoetter will present Grow Your Own Food. He will share tips and tricks for getting the most out of your home food crops. Mark has been involved in gardening since childhood and became a Master Gardener in 2004.

If it’s chickens you want to raise instead of tomatoes, check out the Raising Chickens program at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22, in the Library Station’s Frisco Room. Librarian Victor Kohman does it, and he will share his experiences and discuss the advantages, disadvantages and responsibilities of having your own backyard flock.
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For a totally different experience, save the date: 7 p.m. March 27 at the Library Center auditorium. The Bonniebrook Historical Society plans a program about the Rose O’Neill you never knew. Many think of her as the Kewpie doll creator, but she was a force in women’s suffrage, anti-discrimination efforts and shone light on the state of the nation’s impoverished children.

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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