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2012: Seedfolks: Finding Common Ground


March of 2012 marked the 3rd annual Community Read. Each year, Geneva Reads organizes community events, programs, discussions and speakers centered around one book. In 2010, we read The Color of Water by James McBride; in 2011 we read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. In 2012, we read Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman.




A vacant lot, rat-infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise: To Curtis, who believes he can win back Lateesha's heart with a harvest of tomatoes; to Virgil's dad, who sees a fortune to be made from growing lettuce; and even to Maricela, sixteen and pregnant, wishing she were dead.

Thirteen very different voices -- old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful -- tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.




Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California in a house with a printing press, a grand piano, a shortwave radio, and his father—children’s author Sid Fleischman. Playing recorder in early music consorts led to his books of verbal duets—I Am Phoenix, Joyful Noise (winner of the 1989 Newbery Medal), and Big Talk. His novels built from monologues include Bull Run, a 16-character account of the Civil War's first battle, and Seedfolks—the chronicle of the first year of a Cleveland community garden. His interest in theater inspired his young adult novels Mind's Eye, Seek, and Breakout, all of which revolve around the spoken word. His historical fiction includes Saturnalia and The Borning Room. He's written nonfiction and picture books as well, including Time Train, Weslandia, and Sidewalk Circus.


Alongside the Newbery Medal, he's won a Newbery Honor Book, the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the PEN West Literary Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and most recently was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award. He makes his home in the village of Aromas, California.


2012 Community Read Events


Youth Quilting: Showing Our Community's Colors!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 from 3:30 - 5:00 pm

Geneva Public Library, 244 Main Street, Geneva, NY


Children ages 6 and up are invited to learn about quilting, an ageless skill, and to help create a useful and beautiful community quilt to display in the Library! Join Youth Services Librarian Tanya Thompson, Director Beth Horn, and Pat Merkle, author of the Color Me Quilty blog, on Wednesday, February 22nd at 3:30 to get a sneak peak into the world of quilting! We will be creating a beautiful quilt in celebration of our community and of the Community Read of Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman.


Please register for this program by calling 315-789-5303 and asking for the Children's Desk.



Book Fest 2012: Dig into a Good Book!


Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 12:30 - 3:00 pm


Geneva Community Center, 160 Carter Road, Geneva, NY


The Geneva Reads Book Fest celebrates children's books and the joy of family reading. The theme of the 2012 festival is “Dig into a Good Book!,” featuring City Green, by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. There will be a variety of reading-related activities, crafts, giveaways, and storybook characters to enjoy. This festival is aimed to inspire everyone to nurture a love of reading and to encourage reading in the home. Ideal for children ten and under and their families.



Film Series: Food, Inc.


Thursday, March 8, 2012 @ 7:00 pm


The Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY


In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.


Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.



Coffee & Conversation: Agricultural Biotechnology


Friday, March 9, 2012 from 8:00 - 9:00 am Geneva High School Library, Geneva, NY


What is it, how is it being used, and what are the risks and benefits? Biotechnology, genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will be defined and discussed in the context of agriculture in the US and the world. We will discuss the potential benefits and risks of these technologies to human health, the environment, agricultural systems and society at large.


Presenters Tony Shelton, Ph.D. and Marc Fuchs, Ph.D. Professors Shelton and Fuchs are from the Departments of Entomology and Plant Pathology, respectively, at Cornell University and both work at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.



Books 'n Brunch


Saturday, March 10, 2012 from 11:00 - 2:00 pm


The College Store, 51 St. Clair Street, Geneva, NY


Enjoy refreshments, a 20% store-wide discount, and a 30% discount on Paul Fleischman's Seedfolks!



Author Film Series: Mark Bittman "The Food Matters Cookbook: Lose Weight and Heal the Planet with More Than 500 Recipes"


Sunday March 11, 2012 at 2pmThe Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY


Mark Bittman | The Food Matters Cookbook: Lose Weight and Heal the Planet with More Than 500 RecipesMark Bittman is one of the country's foremost food writers, author of "The Minimalist" food column for The New York Times and of multiple James Beard Award and IACP/Julia Child Award-winning cookbooks, including How to Cook Everything. Selling more than a million copies, the book was described by a Washington Post reviewer as "the new, hip Joy of Cooking." Bittman also appears regularly on NBC's Today Show and NPR's All Things Considered, and has hosted three public television series. His latest cookbook is a follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating, offering recipes that are both healthier for you and for the environment.


Admission is $5 - $3 senior /student - Children grades 12 and under are free



Coffee & Conversation: A Harvest of PoetsThursday, March 15, 2012, 7:00 - 8:00 pm


Geneva Public Library, 244 Main Street, Geneva, NY


Join us for a bevy of blooms as published poets Lori Nolasco, Patricia Roth Schwartz, and Roberta Panek read from their own works about gardening, growing things, and the bounty of the earth.


Coffee & Conversation: The Healing Garden Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 7:00 - 8:00 pm


Geneva Community Center, 160 Carter Road, Geneva, NYA presentation/discussion of many health benefits of gardening. Topics will include design elements to provide peace and sanctuary, culinary and medicinal weeds and herbs, and the new research evidence that a soil bacterium affects the immune system to improve mood, making the gardener happy. Both the activity and the results of making a garden can feed your soul. Jana Lamboy, PhD in Plant Pathology, retired from teaching horticulture at FLCC and from the New York State IPM Program. She is a 20 year resident of the Town of Geneva, and grows field cut flowers to sell at the Farmers Market. Film Series: The Garden


Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 7:00 pmThe Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY

The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.


But now, bulldozers are poised to level it.The Garden follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand answers:vel their 14-acre oasis.Why was the land sold to a wealthy developer for millions less than fair-market value? Why was the transaction done in a closed-door session of the LA City Council? Why has it never been made public?


And the powers-that-be have the same response: “The garden is wonderful, but there is nothing more we can do.”If everyone told you nothing more could be done, would you give up?


The Garden has the pulse of verité with the narrative pull of fiction, telling the story of the country’s largest urban farm, backroom deals, land developers, green politics, money, poverty, power, and racial discord. The film explores and exposes the fault lines in American society and raises crucial and challenging questions about liberty, equality, and justice for the poorest and most vulnerable among us.Coffee & Conversation: The Amazing AppleSaturday, March 24, 11:00 - 12:00 pm


Jordan Hall, Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 W. North Street, Geneva NYCornell research is developing new apples for consumers and growers! Susan Brown and Kevin Maloney, Apple Breeders for Cornell University, working at the New York State Ag Experiment Station in Geneva, will present information about this exciting program. The Cornell apple breeding program is known for the varieties ‘Macoun’, ‘Courtland’, ‘Empire’, ‘Jonamac’ and ‘Jonagold’ as well as the scab-resistant varieties ‘Liberty’ and ‘Freedom’. Learn how new advances and knowledge are aiding our improvement of this well-known fruit. Follow apple from its ancient history to new modern findings that may change how you think about this favorite fruit.


Coffee & Conversation: Meet Geneva Exchange TimeBank Members with founder Edgar CahnTuesday, March 27, 2012 from 8:00 - 9:00 amGeneva Community Center, 160 Carter Road, Geneva, NYCurious about timebanking? Talk with Geneva's participants about what is happening with the Geneva Exchange.Neighborhood Lunch with Edgar CahnTuesday, March 27, 2012, 12:00 - 1:30 pmGeneva Neighborhood Resource Center, 105 Seneca St, Geneva, NY


Neighborhood Lunch with Edgar Cahn at the GNRC (entrance is under the grapevine staircase). Join TimeBanks USA founder Edgar Cahn for lunch and a conversation focused on ideas and possibilities forTime Banking in Geneva's Neighborhoods.


Please RSVP to: Justice and Cultivating Community: Time Banking and System ChangeEngaged Citizenship Speaker: Edgar Cahn


Tuesday, March 27, 2012 @ 7:00 pmThe Geneva Room, HWS College Library, Geneva, NYThe characters in Seedfolks discover community by interacting in the growth of an urban garden. Another vehicle for cultivating community is TimeBanking, a program founded by Dr. Edgar Cahn, where participants exchange skills and interests that are valued equally, helping one another person-to-person, an hour at a time. TimeBanking, like a neighborhood garden, nurtures communities of support, strength, and trust. The Geneva Exchange TimeBank is a member of TimeBanks USA and a program of the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva.Festival of Nations


Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 1:00 - 3:00 pmGeneva High School, Geneva, NY

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