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Library News Release

Release Date: 09/07/2011

The Seattle Public Library hosts 'Urban Self-Reliance" workshops

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The Seattle Public Library will host 17 workshops as part of the "Urban Self-Reliance" series in September and October at several Library locations. Learn how to live a more practical, sustainable life by growing and preserving your own food, using a bike as a healthy and economical means of transportation and more.


The workshops are free and open to the public. Registration is not required, except where noted below. Seating may be limited based on room capacity. Free parking is available at the branches; parking is available in the Central Library garage at the regular rates. 


See below for the workshop schedule and descriptions.


"Can You Eat Your Lawn: Using Permaculture Tools to Create Edible Landscapes" -  Laura Sweeney, owner of Terra Flora Farm will discuss easy, practical, low-maintenance options for home food production, including edible hedgerows, sheet mulching and more.


"DIY Seismic Home Retrofitting" - Experienced home retrofit contractors and experts will show participants how to assess and retrofit their homes using the City of Seattle's free pre-engineered plans. This workshop is presented in partnership with the Seattle Office of Emergency Management and Seattle Department of Planning and Development. Registration is required; call the Seattle Office of Emergency Management at 206-233-5076 to register. 


"Apartment Gardening with Amy Pennington" - Learn simple ways to add homegrown goodness to your urban home with gardener and food writer Amy Pennington.


"Small Sparks Neighborhood Matching Grants" - Learn about the Small Sparks Fund from Thomas Whittemore, neighborhood district coordinator for Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods. Seattleites can apply for up to $1,000 for community improvement projects.


"Introduction to Bike Commuting" - Join a certified Cascade Bicycle Club instructor and learn how to share the road with traffic, plan the best route to work and more.


"Bicycle Maintenance" - Learn basic bike maintenance techniques from instructors from The Bikery, a non-profit community bike project.


"Simple Sewing (Bags/Pillows/Potholders)" - Sew Up Seattle will teach beginners the basics and encourage those with experience to create a project using donated scraps. Registration is required; call the branch to register.


"Keeping Chickens in the City" - Learn the basics of keeping chickens in the city, including starting with chicks, feeding and housing requirements and more. This workshop is presented in partnership with The Seattle Free School.


"Hand Sewing: Repair DIY (Do It Yourself)" - Learn everyday sewing skills, including how to sew on a button, handpick a zipper, patch a garment and more. Registration is required; call the branch to register.


"Basic Canning/Jam Making" - Learn about canning equipment, how to can safely, resources for recipes and instruction and recommended tips from a pro. This workshop is presented in partnership with The Seattle Free School.


"Make Your Place: Non-Toxic House Cleaners with Raleigh Briggs" - Learn easy, affordable recipes for products you can use to clean your home, your body and even your pets.


"Preserving for the Pantry with Amy Pennington" - Learn how to preserve local and seasonal produce with gardener and food writer Amy Pennington.


"On the Wild Side at Green Lake: A Mushroom Hunt Primer" - Become familiar with wild mushrooms and gain practical knowledge about safe wild mushroom gathering, preservation techniques, mushroom recipes and more.


"Learn About the West Seattle Tool Library" - The West Seattle Tool Library is a community-led project providing pay-what-you-can access to a wide range of tools, training and relevant advice. Learn how to become a member and support this neighborhood project.


"Hand Sewn Upcycle Without a Machine: An Appliqué and Fancy Stitch Workshop" - Make an appliqué, learn about reverse appliqué and other decorative techniques. Registration is required; call the branch to register.


"Finding Edible Weeds in Your Garden and Lawn" - Seattle author and expert forager Langdon Cook will talk about how to use your backyard as an exotic produce aisle.


"Disaster Supply Kit" - Learn how to put together your own disaster supply kit during this hands-on workshop.


For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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