Snow does not the true gardener defeat & Orlando, FL – wth?

Yes, we’ve had snow every day for weeks and weeks. Yes, there are still several feet of it on the ground. But the farmers down the road have shoveled out their sugar shack which means it’s almost time to make maple syrup because the sap is rising. And the last frost date (third week of May up here) is only 11 weeks away!! That means…..

::looks out window at snow-covered tundra::
::raises notion of shoveling off the garden plots to allow the soil to thaw faster::
::Beloved Husband puts head in hands::

Right. That means winter is not going anywhere soon, but it is time to start planning the garden. Last year’s garden did OKish, but because of booktours and the deaths of my mom and father-in-law, it was not as well-cared for as I’d hoped.

This year will be different! (Yes, that is the cry of gardeners everywhere this month.)

The focus this year will be on growing and harvesting foods that we can easily preserve to eat in the winter. Part of our "living gently on the earth" philosophy is to become as self-sustaining as possible. That means not depending on potatoes grown in Idaho and shipped across the country when we can easily grow them ourselves. I hope to harvest loads of potatoes, onions, dried beans (for soup and chili), parsnips, carrots and squash that will all keep well. I’m also growing the things that make summer so awesome: tomatoes, lettuce, basil, beans, peas, etc.

I have ordered from three different companies this year: High Mowing, Seed Savers, and Seeds of Change.

Another project this spring (well, when the snow melts, and God knows when that will be) is to propagate my mint, lemon balm, and geranium plants, as well as divide my hostas and daffodils. (Yes, I am lookin at you, Renee Warren, when I say that – I will need your hosta advice!!)

I can blather on at length about gardening, but it causes most of my family to roll their eyes and I don’t want to bore you. How interested are you in hearing about my garden?


The coolest all-around book awards- The Indies Choice – have been nominated. Why are these so cool? They can only be voted on by independent booksellers. I am rather proud to draw your attention to the "Most Engaging Author" category as well as the "Young Adult Fiction" category.


A pre-published YA author named Sarah got herself into a kerfuffle with the main branch of the Orlando Public Library recently. The teen section of the library, called Club Central, is roped off and restricted to patrons aged 13 – 18. Sarah blogged about being challenged and asked to leave the section and then she posted the library’s response to her complaint. What do you think about this??

14 Replies to “Snow does not the true gardener defeat & Orlando, FL – wth?”

  1. 1. I love hearing about gardening, so bring it on! =)
    2. That library in Florida is being ridiculous. If they want to keep one section of books completely restricted to age 13-18, then they need to have a duplicate section with all of those same books that adults can peruse and borrow.

  2. I understand where the library is coming from which might be because I am a librarian. I work in a large urban library with a homeless contingent and in the past we have had trouble with older men lurking in the YA section, taking up the tables, staring at and/or accosting the teens and making them feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. We had to change our policy so that only teens and children could sit at the tables or adults with teens.

    Adults are welcome to browse the YA shelves at our library. There are a group of adults who enjoy reading the YA books, we are aware of that and don’t want to discourage them. I can see why a library might have to resort to a more stringent policy so that teens would feel comfortable in their section though, if there has been trouble.

  3. See, there’s being reasonable and then there’s what Orlando is doing. Reasonable = adults can be in there browsing but can’t hang out. Unreasonable = no adults allowed. I can’t see why a library would completely restrict adults from entering children’s / YA areas. Do they keep kids and teens out of the adult areas too? After all, why would kids or teens want access to anything in that section? And they can create a terrible distraction to adults trying to read or study.

    If there’s been trouble, then the library needs to look at other ways to deal with it. Cameras, increased staff walkthroughs, move the section, signage (not that anyone reads it), etc. Heck, they could even make the area teen-only from 3-5pm or whenever their prime teen usage time is. None of those are ideal, but banning adults completely is not the answer.

    And that’s my perspective as a youth librarian.

  4. The library policy really bothers me too, but them my library is fairly small and the YA and adult books are all mixed together. I can’t really fathom being barred access. I understand where they are coming from, but I think there are other ways of achieving the goal of protecting the kids. I think that having a rule about only teens being able to sit and read at tables or chairs in the section is fine, but barring anyone over 18 completely?

  5. Being a K-8 lms and also having worked in a suburban public library, I understand the need for making the place safe and welcoming to the 13-18 set, but I agree with some of the other comments that it could be handled very differently. I hardly read adult fiction anymore, so any library I visit is usually to browse the YA and children’s sections, guess I would be out of luck there. And I remember (although it’s pretty ancient history now!) being a very avid, early reader, and the disappointment of not being allowed access to my public library’s YA section until I turned 12. It’s a very restrictive policy. While it may have been initiated from the best of intentions, I hope that the trustees re-visit it soon. I wonder what the teens think?


    Thank you for spreading the word about this and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one upset by the policy.

    As I’ve stated clearly in my blog post, I DON’T have a problem with a teens-only section. I don’t have a problem with those policies that prohibit adults to sit at the tables, use the computers, or hang out without looking at books in the teen section. I have a problem with having a librarian literally breathing down my neck while I look at books. I believe many other libraries handle this issue in a much more reasonable way.

    I don’t want to use their computers or furniture and I can promise to completely ignore every teen in the section – I just want to look at books in a library.

    Oh and I can definitely vouch for you in the “Most Engaging Author” category. (Also, I really appreciate it!)

  7. gardening

    Here in the South we’ve had an actual winter and most people are kind of shocked. I say “die you over-sexed fleas and pesky pine beetles”. I’m a long time gardener and it will be nice when my late-season daffs decide to bloom at the proper time instead of their bizarre February floor-show which has been the norm for several years.
    I always enjoy reading about what other people are growing and what they are reading. And I’m esp.interested in your writing process.(I first wrote WRITHING process)
    My propagation mat has been up and running since February 17 with seeds sprouting into baby peppers, eggplants, herbs, onions, coleus, and container flowers. I started all my tomatoes on March 1. Writing about your garden? Bring-it-on!

  8. This is ridiculous. As Sarah pointed out in her blog post, this policy reinforces the notion that there is nothing of value in kids and YA books for adults. I work in the kids/teen sections of a bookstore, and so many people look embarrassed when I lead them to Twilight, Harry Potter, or The Book Thief (often an adult book club pick) and they realize what section it’s in. I’m 23 and I mostly read kids and teen books, and I’m proud of it. And I wouldn’t want any adult feeling unwelcome in my section of the store — unless they’re obviously being a creeper or visibly bothering someone, in which case I will either follow them around the department trying to “help” them, or ask them to leave. There is no reason libraries can’t kick people out if they are disturbing other patrons.

  9. snow on the roof of your writing cottage

    With all the snow that you guys have been getting I’m curious about the solar panels on your writing cottage. Are they operational and functioning?

  10. Re: snow on the roof of your writing cottage

    Nope. They are snow-covered. But I hope they’ll come back to life soon. Am considering mounting them on posts at a steeper angle next year so they shed snow better and are easier to get to.

  11. The downtown library in Chicago has a teen section. Adults are allowed in to browse and check out books, but no hanging out. I’m totally cool with that. I don’t like that the books are locked up. I’m glad we can browse–but every time I go, security follows me around and makes me uncomfortable. I just want books to read. THOSE are the books I want to read and I don’t like being made to feel like a criminal because of it. I couldn’t care less about the teens hanging out in there. I want nothing to do with ’em.

    It’s frustrating. Fortunately, the branch libraries don’t have the same policies. Unfortunately, their selections leave very little to be desired. *sigh*

  12. Love the Gardening Post

    I loved reading your gardening post. If you have any questions about dividing hosta, don’t be afraid to ask!

  13. that would piss me off to no end. i’m 19. so in their eyes i shouldn’t be reading YA once i got past my 18th birthday, and lose access to whole section of books full of authors i enjoy overnight? bull.

  14. I love gardens

    Would love to hear more about your garden. I’m impatiently waiting for spring myself. We had a pretty bad winter, I’m afraid some of my plants and herbs didn’t survive the amount of snow that poured in and the cold. So spring come on now!

    Goodluck on your spring project =)

    Nova @

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