Saturday, April 14, 2018

Celebrate the Seasons: April!

Welcome to my new series, “Celebrate the Seasons”! Each month, I’ll be posting a few suggestions for how to fully appreciate the changing of sunlight, weather, flora, and fauna. Being grounded in the seasons helps us to connect more deeply with the natural world, and to appreciate the ebb and flow of the year.

I’ll plan on writing these posts early in the month, but it’s not too late to celebrate April! Check out these six suggestions for welcoming spring.

1. Take a walk, even if it’s just around the block. Spring is an expression of the miracle of life, and you want to soak it all in. You’ll find blossoming trees, honeybees buzzing around dandelions, fluffy robins searching for worms, and more flowers than you can count (many of them “weeds”!). As you walk, take the time to really look and enjoy the emerging life.

2. Plant something. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, try planting something easy to grow like mint or other herbs. Or just grow plants from your kitchen scraps— that was my first gardening adventure. If you do enjoy gardening, now is the time to start thinking about summer crops: squash, dill, basil, cucumbers, watermelons, corn...

3. Forage for dandelion greens. This is the best time of year to do some edible foraging! Dandelions are easy to recognize. Just be sure you don’t get them out of yards that have been sprayed with chemicals or from contaminated soil. I like the snack on the flowers, but I’m determined to try the greens again. They are very bitter, but I want to try frying them in butter, which helps any hardy leafy green. Here are some dandelion recipes to try!

4. Find a local source of eggs. Did you know that chickens don’t lay very much over the winter, but start laying more again in the spring? I had no idea eggs were seasonal, but the arrival of my chickens’ first eggs several weeks ago signaled the start of spring like nothing else. This year, why not look for a source of eggs from hens who are raised under natural conditions, in tune with the seasons? Check out the listings for local farmers’ markets (St. Louis list here), or Google “eggs for sale” in your area. (If you live in St. Louis, Cackle Farms has wonderful eggs, and I’m sure there are dozens more. Someone in your neighborhood might raise chickens, too!)

5. Open the windows and air out the house. I’m very grateful that the past few days I’ve been able to do this, blowing away the mustiness of winter. (Some spring cleaning might be an order, too.)

6. Make plans to attend an Earth Day event. There are thousands across the country to choose from. If you’re in St. Charles, check out free yoga in the park, and everyone in the area will get a kick out of the St. Louis Earth Day Festival

What are you doing to celebrate April? Share in the comments below!


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