Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Preserving the Seasons: March, Week 1

March is here, and with it comes the promise of Spring. Though the spring equinox is still a couple weeks away, this week's forecast holds the promise of warmer weather -- much to everyone's relief.

It's been a long hard winter here in northeastern Ohio. I confess I hadn't really realized that until just last week. Between keeping my apartment on the very cool side, walking to and from work in all kinds of cold and snowy or icy weather, and generally enjoying watching the snow, I hadn't really considered it to be one of those legendary "hard" winters our parents and grandparents told us about.

But after seeing the snow piled on the ground for so long, I admit I, too, am relieved to see occasional hints of green.

After weeks and months of neutral-colored landscapes, it becomes a real joy to find the first daffodils poking through the soil. We still have a long way to go before the first seeds are planted and sprouting in the garden, but at least we're on the right road.

Save for those sensible few who have cold frames or greenhouses, we're not likely to find much fresh local produce. That time is coming, though, so March is a good time to start preparing for the next growing and harvesting season.

Before gardens get started, we can find wild greens growing wherever uncultivated patches start greening. At the same time, we begin preparing the garden soil, planting seeds (even indoors), and gearing up to grow what will be preserved this summer.

It's a time of hope, of renewal, of a new beginning. And after the dormancy of winter, I am so grateful for those blessings.

I'll still be cleaning out the pantry this month, but I'll gradually be able to work some fresh green plants into my diet, making me feel refreshed and ready to take on the world again.

It won't be long now!

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