SPRING IS IN THE AIR
When I see the first bright tulip and daffodils awaken from their long winter’s nap, it feels like Spring is here at last! The weather is starting to warm up! Daylight savings time (in Canada/ U.S.) gives us one more hour of sunlight in the evening; encouragement for planting herbs, flowers and vegetables in your own balcony or yard. I feel so happy when lilac trees start to bloom and the air is filled with sweet fragrance. Then, I am convinced spring has truly arrived.
HEADS UP TO HEALTHY “SPRING RESOLUTIONS”
We have New Year’s resolution why not Spring Resolutions?
Did your New Year’s goals fizzle out? Don’t be too hard on yourself. In hindsight, some of your goals may have been overly ambitious. The beginning of spring is a good time to reassess those good intentions. If you’ve fallen off of the bandwagon entirely, take this as an opportunity to spruce up those goals. Find yourself an accountability partner who will help you stay on track and also give you encouragement when you hit some of those milestones. Start a garden unless you have one already. Mix herbs with your flowers this year.
FRESH SPRING VEGETABLES
In Ontario, early asparagus shows its short lived slender stalks in May and June. Spinach has a longer range from May -to- October, while radishes stay one month longer, to the end of November. Early greens normally appear towards the end of May.
Most of our vegetables arrive in the month of June (in Ontario). Fresh peas and snow peas are my favorite treat. I have to wait until June to enjoy these delicacies. I always loved garden vegetables. My mom grew a lot of vegetables and fruit. We even had three peach trees.
MY FIRST GARDEN
I had my own little garden plot when I was 11 years old. I could grow anything I wanted. I picked strawberries and one onion. My sister’s garden was right beside mine. The strawberries did not fare as well as the onion. The onion was massive. I could not figure out why I got so few and small strawberries. I did learn that strawberries needed a lot of water. I was not really worried even though I missed a few days of watering. The joy was watching my strawberries grow. Something I had planted myself. I could count on mum to buy strawberries. While tending my garden, I would walk along the fence where my mum had planted raspberries years ago. I was anxious for them to get ripe. Nothing was sweeter. We had red and golden raspberries all along the back fence.
One hot summer day I wanted a peach. There was nothing in the house. Mom said to go outside and put your hand under the peach (on the tree) and lightly tap it. When the peach falls in your hand it was ready to eat. This was exciting! The third peach fell into the palm of my hand. And, it was a big one! I ate the peach outside because it was so juicy. Although my hands were dripping with peach juice, I was careful not to get any on my dress. I threw the pit under the tree (as I was told to do) and went inside to wash up. Note: organic peaches are safe to eat off the tree. I remember these wonderful days. My childhood memories were always filled with sunshine. There was an empty field behind our house that was mostly clay. The cracked clay would curl and break in the hot sun. In the summer rain, I would run outside in my bare feet to this patch of clay. I liked the way the wet clay squished between my toes as I danced in the rain. It was so much fun.
SEASONAL ONTARIO FOOD
Get the complete list of Ontario Seasonal Food. Click seasonalontariofood.blogspot.ca Its a good idea to support your local farmers.
Did you know Spinach has 30% protein! 100 calories of fresh baby spinach has 12 grams of protein while 100 calories of ground beef has 10 grams of protein. Per calorie, spinach does have more protein than ground beef. Percentage-wise, spinach is 30% protein while ground beef is 40% protein (and 60% fat). No FAT in Spinach!