March is that time of year when the weather can feel like two steps forward, one step back. One day it’s 60F degrees, and we’re tapping our maple trees to make the much coveted maple syrup, and the next we’re shoveling, yet another, 10-inch snowstorm. Still, I always get optimistic after the trees are tapped, knowing that spring, truly is, right around the corner, and those late winter storms — with the one last chance for a snow day — can be sweet. They are, after all, referred to as “sugar snow.”

Two steps forward and one back is progress, albeit slow. It’s like a dance, “tapping” trees and “swinging” into gardening starting seeds, pruning trees, and raking last fall’s leaves. It’s a slow transition from the death of the year into life, and before we know it, our gardens will be bursting with nutritious veggies, and the downtown will be bustling with people clamoring for Pier Fries and Lisa’s Pizza.

Speaking of nourishing, March here at Libby Library, is all about food. If you haven’t seen our lobby, we are continuing our collaboration with the Old Orchard Beach Community Food Pantry and Resource Center. Every Tuesday and Thursday, pantry volunteers stock the table and shelves with surplus goodies. The items are free and available to anyone in the community, regardless of need. Please feel free to stop by and grab a loaf of bread and a can of tuna for lunch.

We are incredibly thankful to the folks over at the pantry for the service they provide our community. With food prices continuing to soar, being able to grab a snack at the library can be a pretty wonderful treat. For those on a fixed income, sky-rocketing food prices are a growing concern. Food dollars just don’t have the elasticity they once did, and if one is on a SNAP budget, things can be even scarier. As such, we have invited Lex Jensen with the SNAP-Ed Program at the University of New England in Biddeford to come to the library. Lex will be doing a virtual pop-up grocery store on March 31 at noon. She will show us how to make the most of our grocery dollars — aisle-by-aisle. The program will be live and recorded, so that those of us who might not be able to tune in at noon on a Thursday can watch later via the library’s Facebook page or website.

Our focus on food and our strong belief that everyone deserves a cake on his/her birthday gave birth to the Birthday Cake Box program. Each “box” contains: one cake mix, one container of frosting, a 12 oz can of soda, a box of candles, and a 9”x11” cake pan, which serves as both a handy container to corral all of the ingredients and a pan for baking the cake. It’s everything needed to make a birthday cake. The soda takes the place of the egg, oil, and water in the recipe. Yeah, we think it’s magic, too! If you would like to donate a kit, or even just single items, please feel free to drop them off to Kim at the library. The boxes will be presented to the food pantry.

While cake is usually a celebratory and happy confection, we here at the Libby Library were a little saddened to be sharing a Fare-the-Well cake with the incomparable, Johannah Cushing, as she embarks on a new adventure. Johannah will be missed, but we wish her happiness and success at her new job, and we know that she will be amazing — no matter what!

Spring is here folks! Looking into the future, this summer, our youth summer reading program is themed “Oceans of Possibilities”. Now, that sounds intriguing!

And as our favorite Aardvark reminds us, having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card! Spring on over to the library and fill-up on all of the goodies and goodness.

Wendy Brown is a local foods aficionado. Her favorite spring green is dandelion, which she enjoys foraging with her husband and co-author of “Browsing Nature’s Aisles: a Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs.” Her favorite way to prepare dandelion greens is as a pesto served over gluten-free pasta. When Wendy isn’t out foraging for dinner, she enjoys spending time at the Libby Library reshelving books and chatting with the patrons.

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