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Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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Nature

A guidebook for building and maintaining a bat house to attract bats, including plans, mounting information, frequently asked questions, and information about the bat species most likely to use a bat house. 

A collection of twenty-eight poems about a girl living in the country.

A touching tale of a grandmother and her granddaughter exploring and cherishing the natural world. When Mimi finds out her favorite words—simple words, like apricot, blackberry, buttercup—are disappearing from the English language, she elects her granddaughter Brook as their Keeper. And did you know? The only way to save words is to know them.

A 2021 Caldecott Honor Book, Outside In reminds emerging readers of the ways nature creates and touches our lives in homes, apartments, and cars, and is the perfect tool to reflect on the world’s connectedness. Rhythmic, powerful language shows us how our world is made and the many ways Outside comes in to help and heal us, and reminds us that we are all part of a much greater universe. 

The buzz of bees in summertime. The tracks of a bird in the winter snow. This beautiful book captures all the sights and sounds of a child’s interactions with nature, from planting acorns or biting into crisp apples to studying tide pools or lying back and watching the birds overhead. No matter what’s outside their windows — city streets or country meadows — kids will be inspired to explore the world around them. Illustrated by Mark Hearld. 

A springtime book to germinate a deep appreciation for nature. While a little girl plants seeds in her garden in neat straight rows, the wind whirls seeds of flowers and trees every which way. The little girl weeds and waters her garden, the wind just lets its garden grow.  From seedling to flower, this book describes the beauty of both a cultivated garden and one created by nature. An author’s note at the of the book gives tips on planting a garden.

Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing, and all the other animals that make a garden their home. In this exuberant and lyrical book, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves…and down in the dirt.

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource. Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues young readers to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm. Winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal.

As a young man, John James Audubon, the renowned American woodsman and artist, had to make a choice between following his father’s dreams for him and discovering his own special destiny. In this book, Robert Burleigh imagines a conversation in which Audubon tells his father why he has chosen to forgo the ordinary life of a shop-keeper and instead live out in nature to develop his art and his relationship with the world. 

This poetic tribute invites readers to experience the blazing light, cutting wind, endless sky, piercing cold, and extraordinary beauty of the prairie. It’s a land of extremes, as the lyrical text and illustrations make clear, that inspires extreme devotion from its hardy inhabitants.