Upcoming Events

Tuesday, April 24

Companion Planting for Vegetables

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The companion planting chart provides a list of 10 common vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and more. The age-old practice of companion planting is based on the theory that certain plants can either enhance, or in some cases inhibit, the growth of others. Scientists have tested some of this folk wisdom and found this type of inter-planting to be beneficial in several ways. Some plants repel or at least confuse pests while others attract beneficial insects that aid in pollination. Some plants supply additional nutrients to the soil that affect the growth and flavor of their companion or simply provide shade.

Saturday, April 28

Nature Hike Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge (FWNC&R)

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Nature Hike led by BRIT Board Member and Fort Worth Nature Center Board Member, Bob O’Kennon.

Join us at the Fort Worth Nature Center as we step back in time and experience what the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex was like in the early 20th century. FWNC&R covers 3,621 acres of natural area comprised of forests, prairies, and wetlands and includes over 20 miles of hiking trails, making the park one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States. 

  • Bring: Water, hats, sunscreen, hiking sticks, and a sack lunch. We will provide snacks and refills of ice water.
  • Cost: $10 Non-Members/$5 BRIT Members/FWNCR Members Free
  • Pets: Are permitted but must be strictly supervised, cleaned up after, and on a leash. 
  • Location: 9601 Fossil Ridge Road, Fort Worth, TX 76135

Please bring your Membership cards with you on the hike. Carpooling is suggested. We will meet at BRIT to leave by 7:15 a.m. If you want to carpool, please email Tammie Crole by Friday, April 27th at noon.  REGISTER HERE

-------BRING THOSE CELL PHONES TO PARTICIPATE IN CITY CHALLENGE 2018-----

Challenge

Which City is the Wildest? Bring Your Cell Phones on the Hike to Participate!

Cities around the world will compete on April 27 – 30, 2018 to see which urban area has the most nature and the most engaged residents! This City Nature Challenge will include more than 60 cities from 17 countries around the world including 7 metro areas here in Texas: Amarillo, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Lower Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio.

If you live in or around one of these areas, show the world just how much nature we have here in Texas! It’s easy to participate by joining an event or making observations on your own using the iNaturalist app. Take a picture of a wild animal, plant, or fungi, upload it to iNaturalist (www.inaturalist.org), and the online community will help you accurately identify the species.  Download instructions for iNaturalist

Bees! Part I

Where would we be without them?

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Join us for Part I of this two part class and delve into the fascinating world of bees and bee keeping. The morning session will introduce class participants to the many facets of bee keeping including the history of bee keeping, a look at why we need bees, and an overview of the current challenges facing bees. Participants will also learn about bee colonies, bee hives, and other associated issues.

Instructor Trip Smith is a Horticulturist with a BS (1971) and MA (1977) degree in horticulture from Texas A@M University. He has been a bee keeper since the early 80s. He is working to establish an apiary at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and has been with the Garden as the Conservation Curator since 2008.

Please note: This class will be held in the Conservation Greenhouse Classroom at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Bees! Part II

Supporting bees in your garden.

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Join us for Part II of this two part class and delve deeper into the fascinating world of bees and bee keeping. The afternoon session will focus on setting up and managing a hive including where to get bees, establishing the colony/hive, harvesting honey, and the applicable rules and regulations concerning bees in general.

Instructor Trip Smith is a Horticulturist with a BS (1971) and MA (1977) degree in horticulture from Texas A@M University. He has been a bee keeper since the early 80s. He is working to establish an apiary at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and has been with the Garden as the Conservation Curator since 2008.

Please note: This class will be held in the Conservation Greenhouse Classroom at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Tuesday, May 1

Meet the Researchers

BRIT Researchers

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What makes the BRIT Researchers tick? How did they develop an interest in botany, and how did they end up here? Find out at this very special presentation! Members of the BRIT Research staff will give a series of five-minute "lightning talks" about how they got started in science and what their current job entails. There will be time for questions and answers after, and our Welcome Center boasts a special exhibit about BRIT Research.

Saturday, May 5

Creative Nature Journaling

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In this unique workshop, teaching artist Delia deVer will guide you through a series of creative exercises and activities in both writing and drawing that will draw on the inspiration found in nature. Students will capture this inspiration, expand on it, and learn to express it more fully through journaling. Students will explore different media and go away with ways to keep adding to their journal pages.

Instructor Delia deVer, originally from Mill Valley California, moved to Texas after studying visual art at the California College of the Arts. During an artist residency in Marfa, TX the open spaces of the region spoke to her interests in abstract and nature inspired work and she gained an appreciation for the unique art culture found here in Texas. deVer returned to California in 2012 and worked with The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Angeles Gate Cultural Center, and Engage, inc. in addition to teaching private lessons.

deVer is a trained dharma artist in contemplative arts. Her art and teaching style are informed by both western and eastern approaches to life and art. deVer works out of her studio in Fort Worth, Texas bringing unique programs to organizations, teaching private lessons, and offering weekend creativity retreats that combine mindfulness development and art making experiences.

This class will take place at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Required Materials:

Please bring the following items to class:

  • a small sketch book (or a little book that is OK to reuse- works too)
  • a black marker, paint pens, Gel pens, and/or ball point pens
  • colored markers, colored pencils and/or crayons
  • recycled and/or art paper for collage
  • glue stick
  • other miscellaneous office supplies that you think might be handy
  • a bag to carry your materials with you as we’ll be on the move!
Saturday, May 19

Front Porch Citrus

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Plant your own citrus grove right here in North Texas! Homegrown fresh key lime pie, orange marmalade, and ice cold lemonade are just a growing season away. This course will teach you how to grow potted citrus on the front porch or the back patio. If your yard has some sun and just a little bit of room, you can grow these attractive and useful plants. This class takes place at the instructor's home in Fort Worth. All tools and materials are provided.

Monday, May 21

Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Thursday, May 31

Spring Bulbs - Begin in the Fall

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Planting spring bulbs in the fall is as natural as falling leaves and football games. It is an opportunity neglected by the home gardener, if he/she doe not include some of the hardy, easy to grow spring beauties in the garden next fall. Bulbs are truly some of the simplest of flowers to grow, easy to care for and inexpensive. All they ask is a fall planting in 2018 and they will reward the grower with weeks of early spring color, fragrance and beauty. In general, good bulbs produce flowers the first season after planting as the flower buds are already formed when the bulbs are purchased and planted for 2019 spring.

Saturday, June 2

Exploring Texas Wildflowers

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Join us in exploring the world of native Texas wildflowers with experts in the subject! Attendees will learn basic techniques for field identification, scientific and common names for local wildflowers, and where and when to look for them. Come prepared to walk around outside. Bring a photo or a (legally) picked specimen if you want to talk about a specific plant. No more than 2 per person, please. 

Instructor Heather Bass is an ecologist specializing in plants and insects. Her most recent research has been at BRIT looking at sustainable landscaping with native plants and its impact on pollinator populations, water use, and carbon footprint. Heather also researches strategies for native prairie restoration in local Texas prairies and has spent time in Alaska researching tundra plant community responses to climate change. Heather has a BS in Biology and an MS in Environmental and Earth Sciences.

This class will take place at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Masterpieces and Microscopes

The micro-wonderland of Plants

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Using BRIT's state of the art microscopes, you'll journey into the micro wonderlands of plants! By looking through the microscopes and projecting enlarged views, your imagination will be energized and ready to create a large mixed media drawing that may resemble anything from a surreal landscape to abstract art. All you need is a frame and you will have some modern art for your home or office along with a very interesting conversation piece!

Instructor Delia deVer, originally from Mill Valley California, moved to Texas after studying visual art at the California College of the Arts. During an artist residency in Marfa, TX the open spaces of the region spoke to her interests in abstract and nature inspired work and she gained an appreciation for the unique art culture found here in Texas. deVer returned to California in 2012 and worked with The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Angeles Gate Cultural Center, and Engage, inc. in addition to teaching private lessons.

deVer is a trained dharma artist in contemplative arts. Her art and teaching style are informed by both western and eastern approaches to life and art. deVer works out of her studio in Fort Worth, Texas bringing unique programs to organizations, teaching private lessons, and offering weekend creativity retreats that combine mindfulness development and art making experiences.

This class will take place at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Composting: Beyond the Basics

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All compost is not created equal. You've learned the basics of composting now dive deeper into the subject and learn why hot composting is the best way to generate compost for your garden and to use in compost tea. Learn how to make compost that meets the needs of your soil, how to determine whether your soil needs fungal or bacterial compost, and the best way to use each type. 

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Please Note: This class will take place at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Landscaping with Native Plants

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Plant your landscape with native plants to save water, attract pollinators, and reduce your carbon footprint! Learn how to identify and choose native plants for a landscape, plan a layout, and care for your plants. An expert will guide you through the process of designing your own native landscape, whether it be for an urban container garden or a large suburban yard. An informative class for those who are seeking general knowledge on native landscaping and for those who already have a project in mind. 

Instructor Heather Bass is an ecologist specializing in plants and insects. Her most recent research has been at BRIT looking at sustainable landscaping with native plants and its impact on pollinator populations, water use, and carbon footprint. Heather also researches strategies for native prairie restoration in local Texas prairies and has spent time in Alaska researching tundra plant community responses to climate change. Heather has a BS in Biology and an MS in Environmental and Earth Sciences.

This class will take place at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Fire Ants

How they got here and what to do about them.

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If you’re a gardener and you live in Texas you know that fire ants are frequently uninvited, unwelcome guests in your beds and lawns. Their mounds are large and unsightly and their bites can be extremely painful. But how did they get here? Where did they come from? What exactly are they good for (if anything!) and is there a safe and effective way to get rid of them? Join us for this class and learn the ins and outs of fire ants. 

Instructor Joyce Fethke-Block, a native Minnesotan, was raised on a family farm in the southern part of the state where she learned to love all aspects of gardening. After deciding that a career in the restaurant business wasn’t for her, she returned to school at the University of Minnesota and majored in Horticulture. She moved to Texas several years ago, married a native Texan, and along the way became a Master Gardener, a member of Texas Nursery and Landscape Professionals, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in, what else, Horticulture. Joyce has worked at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden as the curator for the Rainforest Conservatory & Christmas Coordinator for almost 4 years. She and her husband live in Alvarado, TX. According to Joyce, Texas is a whole other country when it comes to gardening!

Please note: This class will be held at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Aerated Compost Tea

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Interested in taking your composting knowledge even further? Then join us for this class on aerated compost tea (ACT) and learn why spraying your soil with ACT is a more cost effective way to inoculate your soil rather than spreading compost directly. Learn the right way to make ACT and the right way to apply it so that you get all that good soil biology working for you. 

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Please Note: This class will take place at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Tuesday, June 5

Monitoring bat in Fort Worth through outreach

Victoria Bennett, Texas Christian University

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North American bats are subject to a number of potentially serious threats including emerging diseases and land-use change; however, there is great uncertainty as to whether such threats are detrimental to bat populations. Unlike birds, bats are cryptic, nocturnal, and produce vocalizations above human audible levels (ultrasonic). However, with ultrasonic detectors we can conduct surveys that allow us to record species-specific bat activity levels (an indicator of abundance) and activity patterns, such as migration. In turn, we can gain much needed insights into the population dynamics and stability of bats. Thus in 2013, we established the TCU Bat Outreach Program established in 2013, which not only raises public awareness for bats, but is the first long-term, citizen science-driven study to monitor bat populations in Texas, and potentially the United States. To date the TCU Bat Outreach Program involving K12 students has shown that urban parks can represent quality habitat for bats and essential migratory stopover sites.  This data has given us a better understanding of whether we can enhance and use urban refuges to benefit bat populations and this may be crucial to their conservation.

transect route
Transect route at BRIT/FWBG.

 

Utilizing Seed by Making Seed Tape

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One of the great joys of gardening is planting! Well, actually, it can be a bit frustrating especially if you are planting seeds. Seeds are hard to pick up with your fingers, spacing is difficult as the seeds slip from your hands, and trying to keep seeds in a straight row is almost impossible. Forget about the seed packets, we have a better way! We are going to teach you how to save surplus seeds and make your own seed tape for the next planting season.

Monday, June 11

Camp BRIT

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Register now for Camp BRIT 2018!


Bella Goes to Camp
This half day camp is for Pre-K & K, ages 4 and 5.
BRIT Members: $90 | Non-Members: $110
Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Week 1: June 11-14 | Week 2: June 18-21

Little B.I.T.s (Botanists in Training)
This full day camp is for students entering 1st & 2nd grades, ages 6 & 7.
BRIT Members: $200 | Non-Members: $250
Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Week 1: June 25-28 | Week 2: July 9-12

My Plants, My Place
This full day camp is for students entering 3rd-5th grades, ages 8, 9, and 10
BRIT Members: $200 | Non-Members: $250
Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Week 1: June 25-28 | Week 2: July 9-12

Monday, June 18

The Signature of All Things

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Make your own Jams and Jellies

Demonstration Cooking

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Join Master Gardener Pat Higgins as she demonstrates how to preserve our wonderful local, seasonal fruit by making strawberry jelly. In this demonstration class, Pat will share her recipes as she cooks, mashes and fills the jars with delicious homemade jelly. She will also cover the basics of water-bath canning. You can help stir if you want! 

Instructor Pat Higgins has been a Master Gardener since 2005 after retiring from Bass Enterprises Production Co.  Besides gardening she enjoys painting and cross stitch.  She is active in the Education program with Tarrant County Master Gardeners and Lead Propagator at the TCMGA Community/Demonstration Garden greenhouse.

Please note: This class will take place in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Kitchen.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Wednesday, July 11

Green Revolution

Reggie Robinson, Jared Williams, and the GR Agents of Change

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Green Revolution is an ESTEM (Environmental, Science, Technology, Engineering, and math) and positive youth-development program that provides environmental education experiences that sustain the natural curiosity of youth.

Click here to learn more about the Green Revolution program.

Monday, July 16

The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, September 4

Pura Vida – Thinking Locally, Connecting Globally

BRIT Education

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The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Monday, September 17

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, October 2

Acquiring an Orphaned Collection: The University of Louisiana Monroe Herbarium

BRIT Research

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The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Saturday, October 6

What is the Soil Food Web?

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The key to having nutrient dense food is having a healthy functioning soil food web in your garden. This course will give you a good foundation in understanding how to use biology in your organic gardening to grow tasty, healthy, nutritious food. Pair this class with the hands-on 'Soil Biology for Gardeners' for a deeper dive into this fascinating subject.

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Please Note: This class was rescheduled from its original date of  Saturday, April 7. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

$30 members/$35 non-members

Soil Biology for Gardeners

Get up close and personal with your soil.

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The organisms living in soil are crucial to soil health. In this hands-on class participants will work with microscopes to identify the different types of organisms that live in the soil. This class is a companion to the earlier class "What is the Soil Food Web?" and it is strongly recommended that they be taken together for a more complete understanding of the soil organisms we’ll be discussing and viewing. 

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Please Note: This class was rescheduled from its original date of  Saturday, April 7. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

$20 members/$25 non-members

Monday, October 15

The Sound of Butterflies: A Novel

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, November 6

BRIT Research Botanist

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A lecture from our newest BRIT Research Botanist. Expected start date July 2018. Topic to be decided.

Monday, November 19

Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!