Gardening: The Perfect Pastime?!

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the sun has unleashed my inner gardener. Hosted by Dana Ingalls, a Liaison librarian at MacDonald Campus, the Introduction to Gardening Workshop on April 1st 2021 was a great session to encourage the McGill Community to nurture their green thumb. 

With another 8 pm curfew in place, our life in Montreal seems to have slowed down again. However, this provides a great opportunity to cultivate our own little gardens using tools and many resources which are easily accessible! The Macdonald Campus Seed Library Guide on the McGill Library web site is such a great place to look – it contains lots of information on how to obtain the seeds needed, as well as all the necessary next steps to be successful! The workshop really emphasized that no matter the size of your living space, there is always a way to start a garden.

If you have a small indoor space you can start a garden by planting herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, mint…), hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, green onions, lettuce, microgreens, carrots, radishes, etc. Get some old containers, poke some holes in them, and get growing! Seed starting is very important for a healthy plant. Make sure you have a warm room, fertilizers, LOTS of light (artificial growing light bulbs are great) and seed starting soil mix (or you can sift any soil to make sure there are no rocks/chips which would prevent the seedlings from growing). April is a great time to start some veggie seeds inside, like tomatoes. 

If you have a patio or small outdoor space, you can use containers and set them where available. Any size is good, depending on what you’re growing and what you have. You can even use reusable tote bags if you make sure to create drainage holes if there aren’t any. Most vegetables and herbs can be grown in containers, even the big ones like corn or giant pumpkins. To maximize space, trellises are great for climbing vegetables (cucumbers, zucchini, peas, etc.)

If you have a larger yard, you can either grow directly in the ground, or build raised beds.  However, be diligent because the soil in many parts of the Montréal area is stony, and clay is common, so garden plots must be well-tilled, cleared of stones, and fertilized! 

Dana’s workshop was great as it covered many topics: common pests and how to deter them, starting points for beginners, an introduction to companion planting (a great way to utilize space and the nutrients in the soil), and how to save your seeds for next season. As someone who has been intimidated by gardening for a long time, and struggles to keep a cactus alive, this workshop really made me realize, it’s just about starting strong and then committing to your little plant babies!

If you’re interested in watching the workshop recording you can click here. if you have any gardening related-questions, you can contact Dana by emailing her at dana.ingalls@mcgill.ca

Happy Planting! 

Redpath Book Display: Welcome to the Digital World!

The Humanities and Social Sciences Library presents our next book display: Welcome to the Digital World, where all the same wonders and struggles of life outside of the internet manifest in new – and sometimes not-so-new-  ways online. Through this display we aim to show the many aspects of digital spaces and what it means to be a digital citizen. 

With a discussion as big as the virtual world, the topics are nearly endless. In order to better understand different aspects of digital citizenship, we have curated different sections of interest, including:

Digital Citizenship- These books take you on a deeper dive into what online citizenship means in the context of communities, relationships, and society.

Social Media – How do we express ourselves online and how does this digital space shape our identities? Take a closer look at vibrant online communities and individuals.

Online Psychology – The online world has an unquestionable unique effect on our emotions and psyche. This section looks at the ways being online helps and harms your mental health, and how to prioritize self-care in the real and virtual world. 

Work and Online – Now with work, school, and extracurriculars online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, how do we maintain motivation and continue to grow?  Take a look at this section for books on how to improve your work/life balance at home. 

Empathy – How does gaming, virtual reality (VR) and more, affect our ability to relate to one another? Can VR be a tool for actually stepping into someone else’s shoes? 

Love – Currently, 20% of Canadian committed relationships began online. This new medium of contact has profoundly changed the way people connect romantically.  How has our approach to dating changed, if at all, within the last few decades of apps, websites and services that match you up?

In addition to books, the display includes suggested videos, documentaries, games, and more to explore this topic of digital citizenship. Happy browsing!

If you have any questions, feel free to email hssl.library@mcgill.ca. 

McGill Films 101

Why procrastinate with Netflix when McGill offers 7 other streaming services for you! Here is a guide with tips on how to navigate the wonderful world of film and documentaries available to students. 

The Audio and Visual Materials guide is your first stop to accessing these services. You can also check out the Self-Isolation Care Package Films page for some top picks. 

For a super easy login, just have your McGill username and password on hand when prompted.


FILM ON DEMAND: 

This service is mostly focused on documentaries and has a variety of topics to choose from! If you want to dive deeper on a topic you learned in class, or simply get some trivia facts this is for you.


AVON (Academic Video Online):

The collection tab separates the content by academic focus and there’s plenty to choose from. This service is perfect for finding a great documentary or an interesting source for a paper. 


KANOPY: 

A gem! This platform has many documentaries and films to teach you a little something about the world.


CRITERION ON-DEMAND: 

While you need a VPN to login it is well worth it! McGill IT* has the easy steps here. Once you’re connected to the McGill Server you can access the platform as normal with your McGill credentials. Criterion-on-demand has award-winning films and cult-classics, you are guaranteed to find a movie you’ll enjoy. 

*If you’re stuck you can reach the IT Service desk who will guide you! 


NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA (NFB): 

The National Film Board of Canada has thousands of titles if you’d like to watch wonderful stories but don’t have that much time. 


CANCORE: 

Support independent filmmakers with Cancore! Enjoy a wide access of Canadian films including resources relevant to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies.


DRAMA ONLINE: 

This one is for all the theatre kids. Filmed performances of plays include the National Theatre, London; at the Globe Theatre; and Shakespeare’s history plays. In order to access the video recordings, be sure to click the video box!


HAPPY STREAMING!

If you have any questions, feel free to email hssl.library@mcgill.ca for additional help.