It’s spring. Hallelujah!
Not that I’m complaining about the winter that just ended — one of our mildest. (Wouldn’t want Mother Nature to overhear and really give me something to complain about next year.)
The arrival of spring, though, isn’t just about warmer weather. Spring is a mindset — a time of renewal.
Let’s sweep away the dust of winter, breathe in fresh air and embrace life anew.
Here are 10 ways to welcome spring into your world.
• Plant a garden.
Even if just a few pots on your patio, nothing is as inspiring as watching vegetable plants grow and then eating the food they provide. It’s too early to plant most things, so take the time to plan.
• Start a compost pile.
Give your orange peels, coffee grounds and eggshells a higher purpose. Compost will come in handy if you decide to garden.
You’ll find all the instructions you need here: www.therockpile.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/OhioStateFact-Composting.pdf.
• Go to a farmers market.
Markets will be opening throughout central Ohio. You’ll be able to shake the hand of the person who grew your food, you might be encouraged to try a new food, and you might even make a new friend.
• Forage for food.
Ramps, morels and other wild edibles are ripe now. Many of Ohio’s state parks permit foraging (be sure to check with parks first, because the ones that do have rules to follow) and the Ohio Mushroom Society (ohiomushroom.org) welcomes new members and organizes hunts.
• Ready your grill.
Whether or not you’ve been cooking outside this winter, your grill can probably use a good spring cleaning.
Stock up on charcoal, wood or propane, too. If you happen to forage, grilled ramps are a spring delicacy not to be missed.
• Cook with flowers.
Put nature on your plate in a new way — toss chive blossoms and nasturtiums into a salad or decorate a cake with fresh roses. (Just make sure they haven’t been treated with harmful pesticides.)
• Buy a share of a farmer’s harvest.
Such community-supported agriculture programs help local farmers, and the reward is a box of fresh produce every week in the summer. Visit www.localharvest.org/columbus-oh to find a farm near you.
• Learn a new culinary skill.
Take a cooking class or tackle a challenging recipe at home to add another dish to your repertoire.
• Go green.
Whether you grow fruits and vegetables or get them from a farmers market, a CSA or the grocery store, spring is a fine time to vow to eat more of them.
Most adults get fewer than the recommended four or five daily servings.
• Pack a picnic.
Even if it’s just taking your peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the park on your lunch hour, dining al fresco is one of the best ways to enjoy the season.
— Lisa Abraham writes about food for The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @DispatchKitchen.
Breaking Bread: Celebrate spring with 10 smart, fun food moves
It’s spring. Hallelujah!