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Friday, February 10, 2017

NF 10 x 10 2017







Here are ten STEM books I could not live without...nor should you!

These ten titles include different ecosystems, speak to biodiversity, introduce readers to a world reknowned female scientist, talk about big topics, present the scientific method, and are ENGAGING!













Friday, August 26, 2016

National Dog Day

It's National Dog Day! Hurrah, an entire day to celebrate man's (and woman's) best friend! In honor of the day I've put together a reading list of dog-inspired titles for you to enjoy!

On the nonfiction shelf there are many to choose from. I had a blast researching Sniffer Dogs and I know many of my fellow writers have also enjoyed meeting so many extraordinary canines.  Check out Nancy Furstinger's Paws of Courage and her biography of Henry Bergh. Both are well researched and engaging reads.




  Super Sniffers by Dorothy Patent is perfect for younger readers!



 I have so many favorite fiction titles - Here are a few to add to your shelves!









Of course, there are also the dog titles that tug on your heartstrings and are better read with a box of tissues. 





And picture books!





Whatever you decide to pull off your shelf today - enjoy! And give your pooch a hug!


National Dog Day

It's National Dog Day! Hurrah, an entire day to celebrate man's (and woman's) best friend! In honor of the day I've put together a reading list of dog-inspired titles for you to enjoy!

On the nonfiction shelf there are many to choose from. I had a blast researching Sniffer Dogs and I know many of my fellow writers have also enjoyed meeting so many extraordinary canines.  Check out Nancy Furstinger's Paws of Courage and her biography of Henry Bergh. Both are well researched and engaging reads.




  Super Sniffers by Dorothy Patent is perfect for younger readers!



 I have so many favorite fiction titles - Here are a few to add to your shelves!






Of course, there are also the dog titles that tug on your heartstrings and are better read with a box of tissues. 




Whatever you decide to pull off your shelf today - enjoy! And give your pooch a hug!


Friday, May 27, 2016

The Reading List

I am so excited to spend some time this week reading! I've finished two very hectic months of book festivals, conferences, and school visits, and now I can settle back into spending time researching my next Houghton Mifflin title and READING!

On my list -- I just purchased Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Even though I spent years researching THE STORY OF SEEDS and spending time with botanists and other seed scientists, the subject will stay with me forever. And this book looks beautiful. 

Following that theme - I'd love to read Elizabeth Gilbert's Signature of All Things. These three would make a great trilogy! 

On the kid lit front: 

I also downloaded the audio book of The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brusker Bradley. This book has been on my TO READ list since it came out. I am so happy to have the time now to listen to it. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

OK to GMOs?

What brings me back to this blog?  A new report on GMOs has been released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on genetically engineered crops.  This quote was cited on CBS This Morning: "...no substantiated evidence that foods from GE crops were less safe than foods from non-GE crops." Monsanto and other companies selling GE seeds are basking in this validation.

But, it also determined that genetically engineering crops did not produce substantial yields as the companies promised.  This was the main reason for producing them in the first place.
So, both sides are claiming a victory here.

But there is a bigger picture --  the impact of GE crops on our environment.  The impact on biodiversity is vast.

Most of what we eat is genetically modified -- 90% of US corn, soybeans, and sugar beets.

And what about labelling? We still deserve to know what we are eating and the ability to make our own choices.

I feel like we are race horses with blinders on speeding ahead without looking around us. My only hope is that this, and other studies, further our discussion on this subject.



Read more about genetically modified seeds in THE STORY OF SEEDS: From Mendel's Garden to Your Plate, and How There's More of Less To Eat Around The World.







Sunday, July 19, 2015

At the Farm

So, what's this I hear about kale? Can this super food actually be bad for you? Do not panic. There is hope! So before you opt out of eating one of the healthiest greens around, please read this thoughtful and informative post from my fave farm market -- then go straight to your own market and find out  how and where they grow their kale. 

  "Ok. Let's get this straight people. Before you show up to The Berry Farm with pitchforks and torches, let's take a minute to breathe and think this through.
Yes, plants that grow in soil use their roots to uptake nutrients and water for their growth above the ground. And yes, plants are capable of also pulling up heavy metals and other forms of soil contamination.
Brassicas, (Cole crops in the family Brassicaceae) like kale, collards & mustard, are particularly reputed as having the ability to "photo-remediate" the soil. What this means is that these plants are capable of up taking minerals (desirable and undesirable) from the soil and concentrating them in their above ground biomass aka leaves, stems & flowers.
Ordinarily, the term photoremediation is favorable. For example, the use of sunflowers to up take heavy metals from the soil is a good thing because the heavy metals (such as lead) are removed safely from the soil and concentrated in the flowers. The plants can then be removed, thus removing contamination from the soil. 
So what does this mean? Well for starters, let me just lay out the facts for you about how we grow things here at The Berry Farm:
1.) The Berry Farm is situated on agricultural land that is both historically & currently the best & most fertile in the county.
2.) Our farm land has historical agricultural roots. (Yes that pun was intended)
3.) We care about our soil. We practice crop rotation both outside on our fields & inside in our greenhouses. We utilize cover crops & green manures to replenish the soils nutrients.
4.) We make our own compost. We use organic waste (food scraps: egg shells, banana peels, apple cores, spent fruit & veges), grass clippings, and leaf mulch from our farm. We use this compost in both our raised beds and throughout our greenhouses."
 The Berry Farm, Chatham, NY

Now, don't you feel better? I know I do! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nonfiction Monday - On The Trail

Read everything.

When I am researching a book I try to read everything on the subject and then some. Sometimes that reading takes me back...way back...to things I've written earlier. It could be a magazine article on the topic of my book or even a report I wrote back in college.

In this case, I dug out an old report I wrote in elementary school on dolphins. It's a topic I've returned to before when I wrote OCEANS. I remember writing this report. I was totally into it. I read Nat Geo and every book I could find on the topic -- which wasn't difficult because my mom had an extensive library right at home.

Looking at this report I can see the nonfiction author I was going to be. Not only was it complete, it had 9 chapters, was illustrated, and included a bibliography.

I laughed as I read the comments inside.  My teacher circled the word BOVINE and wrote beside it  - What does this mean?  Could she have not known that, or was she suggesting I should have defined the word in text?

The report earned me a grade of O+  which is short for Outstanding +  and this note:

Nancy,
It is my pleasure to read such a report. A tremendous amount of work on your part. I'm sure if I had to ever write a report about dolphins I would turn yours in instead of mine.

BAM! the 5th or 6th grader in me is still beaming and thankful my teacher was so encouraging.

Reading this will help me get back into that middle grade head as I write my WIP. What excited me then will probably still excite my MG readers now.

So for today, I'm reading everything and taking some time to connect with my inner middle grader.