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Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Kind of Mushroom Is This?

“My husband found this wild mushroom out in the woods. What kind is it?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff looked at the approximately 12” by 15” fungus in a bowl.  Large, ruffled, salmon, white, and orange it almost seemed to be something that belonged at the bottom of the sea.

The first places we looked were A Field Guide to Mushrooms, North America by Kent H. McKnight, The Mushroom Book and Mushrooms by Thomas Laess√łe. Each of these books has a section that uses fruit body shapes and cap features to help identify mushrooms.  Upon initial examination the patron and the staff felt that her specimen belonged to either the family Corticiaceae or Polyporaceae. The photographs in the books were not exactly like her sample, so we continued the search online.

We did an image search for each of these families of mushrooms.  We found photographs from for two Polypores which might be likely candidates, the Berkeley’s and the chicken. Continuing on, the chicken or Chicken-of-the-Woods (as per The Mushroom Book, p.69) looks almost exactly like the one sitting on the library counter. According to what was written this mushroom, when young, is safe to eat and supposed to taste like chicken.  As our staff members are not mushroom experts, we advised our patron to find someone more familiar with them to determine if our identification was correct and it was safe to eat.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can You Find Me the Phone Number for Grey Duck Garlic?

“Can you find me the phone number for Grey Duck Garlic?” This was a question the Newton Falls Public Library librarians received earlier this year. “I want to sell the garlic I grew this summer and I’m not sure how much to charge for it.  Can you tell me how much organic garlic is selling for?” The staff, seeing how well the Library Sprouts’ garden was growing, could understand how the questioner was finding that he had enough to sell.

GreyDuck Garlic is certified organic and sells thirteen varieties of garlic. We were able to obtain their phone number and online order form for our patron.

Searching online for “mahoning valley garlic farm” we were able to answer the second question.  Miller’s Garlic Farm, a locally owned farm, has a small retail store at The Coin Shop located at 5160 Youngstown Poland Road. Their garlic may be ordered online.  The medium sells for $15 a pound, the large and extra large for $17 per pound. Our patron was happy to have the information he needed in order to price his product.

If you are looking for ideas for using your garden produce, check out the library’s Harvest display.  There is also a large selection of cookbooks which may be borrowed.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Need the Lyrics and Music to the First Verse of God Bless America.

“Can you help me? I need the lyrics and music to the first verse of God Bless America.” The Newton Falls Public Library staff thought they were very familiar with the song, but did not realize there was another verse.

 We located the words to both the lesser known first verse and the more well-known second verse at This site said that Irving Berlin wrote the song in 1918 and revised it in 1938. According to the information there, the words to the first verse are actually a spoken introduction and are:
            “While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
            Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free
            Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
            As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.”

The website, has an image of the music to the first verse and information for ordering. We informed our patron about it. There were also sites were the music could be downloaded to a personal computer.