Through a grant from the South Carolina State Library using funds from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Kershaw County Library will be encouraging reading and discussion of Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
Recounting the year she and her family committed to eat only locally produced food, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author discusses both their efforts, which included growing their own produce, raising chickens, and buying from local farmers and farmers’ markets directly; and why. To that point, Kingsolver raises issues related to modern food production and the way most eat today, including discussion of genetically modified food, the cost of transporting food internationally, and a lost connection with the natural world (and good tasting food).
“We believe the points made in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle will resonate. Many people have farmers in their family only a generation or two back, and that connection is still alive and well. Regardless of political persuasion, we have a lot of enthusiasm for gardening, local farming, and self-sufficiency,” states Library Director Amy Schofield. “It’s visible in the thriving farmer’s market, the proliferation of backyard gardens, and also in the concern I’ve heard expressed many times on how we can create a more healthy community and respect our natural world.”
To promote this book, the library will have extra copies available for checkout, and independent bookseller Books on Broad will have discounted copies on hand. In addition, book talk events are planned and some of the ideas discussed in the book will be placed into action. Throughout the summer the library will be hosting book discussions, cooking demonstrations with chefs and nutritionists, gardening workshops through the Kershaw County Master Gardeners, and even chicken coop building how-to sessions with local woodworker Anthony Hawkesworth.
As a way to promote the book (and its ideas) to families, the library will be providing a community garden on land adjacent to the Camden location, generously provided by The Mullikin Law Firm. Families are encouraged to learn with this garden, which will be called The Growing Plot. A kick-off event for The Growing Plot is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 3 at the Camden Library.
Children ages 5 and up will make a seed necklace that sprouts when worn, with guided instruction by representatives from the Certified SC Grown program, a division of the SC Department of Agriculture.
Schofield summarized the Book to Action project by stating that “the idea is to not only to read a book and talk about it, but also to be inspired by the ideas it raises, and from that inspiration do something positive for yourself and the community.”
For more information, please visit the library website at kershawcountylibrary.org or contact Amy Schofield, Library Director at email@example.com or 803-427-6420.