Adult summer reading program cultivates mind, garden

By Haywood County Library | May 12, 2014
The Giving Garden at the Canton Branch Library.

Cultivate the mind this summer by participating in Haywood County Public Library’s adult Summer Reading Program, running Monday, June 2, to Friday, Aug. 29. This year’s theme will be “Cultivating the Mind and the Garden.”

Program participants will be invited to read books on various healthy eating and gardening-related topics, attend cooking and gardening-related events, visit the Seed Library at the Waynesville Library, volunteer in the Giving Garden at the Canton Branch Library and more. Interested adults are invited to register to participate starting June 2 at any of the library system’s branches.

At the time of registration, participants will receive an activity sheet with reading-, cooking-, and gardening-related activities to be accomplished, such as, “Check-Out a Cookbook and Make a New Recipe,” “Attend a Garden Program,” “Read a Suggested Book,” etc.

To help get program participants jump-started, adult services librarian Kathy Olsen has compiled a list of healthy eating and gardening books and DVDs that will be included with the registration packets. Participants will also receive a brochure of events scheduled throughout the summer.

While the primary purpose of the program is to encourage reading, program participants will also have the opportunity to explore new resources available through the library that may be unfamiliar to them, such as the Seed Library at the main library in Waynesville and the Giving Garden at the Canton branch.

The Seed Library is a free seed-lending library that operates on the premise that when gardeners check out seeds, they will be plant them at home and return the next generation of the seeds to the library for others to borrow.

Located behind the Canton Branch Library, the Giving Garden is a raised-bed vegetable garden that is used to teach various aspects of gardening (square-foot gardening, vertical gardening, composting, etc.), with all harvested produce going to Canton’s food pantry, The Community Kitchen. It is a joint initiative of the Haywood County Public Library, the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Center, and the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program.

Once Summer Reading participants complete their activity sheets, they will receive a prize. Available prizes will include book lights, journals, and lunch bags. Participants will also be invited to submit book reviews. Those who write a review will be rewarded with a $5 Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale voucher.

Those who sign up to participate will receive a packet of wildflower seeds with their registration packets, along with a raffle ticket for the two grand prizes. The program will end with a pesto party at the Waynesville Branch Library at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

Attendees will watch pesto being made from plants from the Giving Garden, and then get to sample the results. The drawing for the grand prizes will be held at the pesto party; participants will not have to be present to win.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. For more information, visit or call 452-5169 (Waynesville) or 648-2924 (Canton).