March is such a wonderful month that gets lost in the shuffle of the ending of the holiday season and the start of warmer weather. But so many great things happen in March like daylight savings time (I know, I know we lose an hour but think of all the sunlight you get to embrace!), spring officially begins and, my favorite, my farmer’s market starts back up.
From March to December I talk and learn from any and every farmer I can find. As passionate as they are about what they grow and how they grow it, they are just as passionate about cooking their fare. And like me, they love to talk about it.
You can find a wide variety of lettuces, herbs and other produce and some really great simple recipes to try at home. I’ve never gotten a recipe from a farmer that had more than 5 ingredients. Usually all 5 ingredients can be found at the farmer’s market which makes it an ideal place to try something new.
My favorite part of local farms are farm shares otherwise known as Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs. A farmer will sell shares of their farms harvest for a year to a set number of locals. Some times they will accept a person working on the farm in place of money but regardless of which a person does its the support that makes it what it is.
Search around your neighborhood, ask friends or family or visit the farmers market and ask the vendors there to point you in the direction of a CSA. They fill up fast but are so worth it. And if you miss your chance this year there is always next year and just shop weekly at your local farmer’s market.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am so ready for winter to end. I have family in Boston and just seeing the pictures of their nevermelting snow has made me weary of winter. And that is saying a lot since I’m a January baby and think that’s the best month ever.
But I’ve just returned from my parent’s house in Augusta, GA and it was 72 degrees today! It was lovely. And all I could think of was starting my garden, in my first house. I’ve had container gardens at several places I’ve lived but nothing more permanent. And now that we have a house, all I can think of is starting a garden like my grandfather. His garden provides all his vegetables for late spring, summer and fall. And every year I’m jealous.
Gardening takes patience. Patience is a virtue that I don’t have. But I’m working on it. And there’s nothing better than using fresh herbs when cooking and I love being able to just cut off what I need when I need it (it’s such a waste buying those big bunches of herbs from the store when you don’t need them, although I will show you a great tip on how NOT to waste them).
There are veggies and fruits that I use so often it is best to have on hand at all times. Things like garlic, onions, and lemons, I tend to use in almost every dish I make. And i’ve learned having lettuce on hand makes me want a big salad all the time!
So if you’ve ever considered having a garden, try it! Start small with a few pots or go big! Or if you’re not ready for that head to your local farmer’s market and support the wonderful farmers who do it for a living and buy their produce. Just start!