Getting Ready for Spring
It’s time to start getting ready for spring! Historically, spring was a rough time for many, as often stored winter foods were used up or had gone bad, and fresh foods had not yet been harvested. Fortunately, we have much better methods of preserving foods now. And with the supermarkets, no one has to worry about where their next meal will come from.
For those who enjoy eating local food, now is the time to start thinking about which CSA you might want to join this year. You may also be looking for a new farmers market. Many Marylanders are planning their gardens, or already starting seeds.
Right now is a good time to inventory what is in your pantry. If you store food for winter, now is the time to use up what is left. It’s good to consider what you liked to eat over the cold months, and what didn’t get eaten. Clean out that fridge, defrost things that are unrecognizable, and start getting ready for spring’s local foods! Start looking through CSAs in your area so you can sign up with one or two.
Getting Ready for Spring – March
If you want to try a new preserving technique this year, now is the time to get supplies and plan. Once you are inundated with fresh produce, you want to already have what you need to keep it around! Canning jars, a dehydrator, baking sheets and reusable containers for freezing, all are good options to have on hand.
Getting Ready for Spring – April
Some farmers markets are starting to open in April. Likely there won’t be a lot of vendors, and they won’t have a lot to sell. You may find asparagus, spinach, onions, parsnips, and even fiddleheads. Now is a great time to start talking with your farmers, as they won’t have as many customers. You can learn more about their farms, or what might be harvested later.
Go looking for new farmers markets around you. You can find out if there might be new foods or vendors there that might be worth visiting, even if the market isn’t as close to you. Support markets that open early!
Getting Ready for Spring – May
Most farmers markets will be open by May. You’ll see more vendors and more variety at the markets, as well as in your CSA box. You may see broccoli and cauliflower, green onions and garlic scapes, lettuce, peas, radishes, and turnips. Rhubarb and strawberries will be arriving as well. In your local store, you might see these veggies and fruits earlier, from farther south. My local farmstand labels where their produce comes from. I always enjoy watching the labels change as harvest seasons open, heading North up the coast.
Before the bounty of the farmers markets and CSAs begin, take some time to prepare. Make sure your kitchen has space to store your new foods. Have some easy recipes to make on hand. Think about whether you want to try preserving some of the goodness so you can enjoy it later. You might try freezing, canning, dehydrating or fermenting your foods. Learn how best to store different foods so they last, still crisp, until you are ready to eat them. Most of all, make it a habit to see your local markets, and try buying something new each time you visit!