Looks like March is coming in like a lion. Looking out at over a foot of snow here in the foothills but I’m loving all the moisture it will give to my spring bulbs and perennials.
We are in that interesting season of early spring when we can go from t-shirts to snow shovels in a day. Keep those extra emergency layers in the car and enjoy the interesting weather fluctuations.
No time or space for a garden this year? How about joining a CSA? You’ll receive a weekly harvest of farm fresh, organic produce starting in the spring. Now is the time to enroll. Check out localharvest for info.
Soon it will be too warm to hide beneath those oversize sweaters, so getting in shape may be on your list. Join a gym, buy a CD program to do at home, take a yoga class or start a walking or jogging routine. Get out and play and don’t miss your last chance to make a snowman, go skiing or deck someone with a snowball.
Private cooking, crafting and garden classes, garden consultations and herb walks are available for you or your group or organization. Call Susan @ 303-697-6060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Mexican Fiesta Cooking Class and Dinner
Denver Botanic Gardens, Thursday, March 12, 6-8pm, $42 member, $47 non-member. register here
Discover the ease of preparing delicious dishes from south of the border! Learn how to master the classics: salsa, guacamole and chipotle crema and use them for garnishes for a Mexican meatball soup, creamy chicken with pumpkin seed sauce and zesty fish tacos. Wash it all down with hibiscus/lime tea and chili chocolate cupcakes. Recipes and dinner included.
Cooks Herb Garden
Denver Botanic Gardens, Tuesday, March 31, 6-8pm, $42 member, $47 non-member
Discover the numerous health and taste benefits of growing your own herbs! Learn how to grow, harvest and use in cooking by looking at seven of the most popular culinary herbs including marjoram, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives and basil. Participants make an all purpose, garden seasoning blend and enjoy a gourmet herbal dinner. Take home an herbal seasoning blend and an extensive handout with recipes and growing instructions.
Fun Things to Do
Ski Joring and Crystal Carnival, Leadville, CO, March 6-8. Horses pulling skiers over jumps, races, paintball and general revelry. http://www.visitleadvilleco.com/ski_joring
Collaboration Fest – March 21, 3-7 PM – Sports Authority Field at Mile High, $50. Get your designated driver and enjoy this beer festival featuring more than 40 historic craft beers. Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG)
Monte Vista Crane Festival – Take a road trip to the beautiful San Luis Valley to witness the return of the cranes at the annual Crane Festival. Held March 13-15 for all you bird lovers. www.cranefest.com.
Bring out your green for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade downtown on March 14. www.denverstpatricksdayparade.com.
Denver Home Show, National Western Complex, March 14-16. Dreaming of a remodel or need some ideas for that new deck? Want to see designing TV celebrities? Here’s the place to go. www.homeshowdenver.com.
Denver March Powwow, Denver Coliseum, March 21-23, Music, dance, crafts, food. All things Native American. http://www.denvermarchpowwow.org.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Monday, March 2
Denver Art Museum – Saturday, March 7
Aurora History Museum, Thursday, March 12, Wednesday, March 18
Denver Zoo – Saturday, 2/7, Thursday 2/19
Denver Botanic Gardens – Chatfield, Tuesday, March 3, York Street, Sunday, March 22
Clyfford Still Museum, Friday, March 27
Spring fever is due to set in with a vengeance this month. Check out www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg for pages of great information regarding gardening in the fickle weather of Colorado.
Get your seeds ready this month and start the cool weather crops inside. You can plant bare root strawberries, along with bare root trees and shrubs as soon as the ground can be worked. Don’t remove any mulch, March is definitely a month your plants will need protection.
Take advantage of all the gardening classes available now at the Denver Botanic Gardens and local nurseries and garden centers, some for free. Quench your garden lust with some potted tulips, primrose or crocus.
You can start your garden cleanup and do some pruning, just don’t touch those spring blooming shrubs like forsythia, lilac and mock orange, wait until after blooming.
Recipes of the Month
Since it’s the month of St Patricks day we should do something Irish. I always associate Ireland with lamb and potatoes. Here is an easy lamb stew to serve over mashed potatoes.
Hearty Lamb Stew
- 1 lb lamb stew meat or lamb shoulder cut into bite size pieces.
- Olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, any color, cored and diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with juice, I like Muir Glen organic
- Water or chicken broth, around a cup
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cut lamb into small bite size pieces. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a stock pot or dutch oven. When hot, add lamb and saute until lightly browned. Add peppers and onion and cook until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer and cover. Simmer until lamb is tender, about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, adding water if necessary. Adjust seasonings and serve over mashed potatoes (best), rice, or couscous.
Indian Chicken Stew with Veggies and Lentils
A great soup for these snowy days.
- olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breast or thighs, skinned, boned and cubed
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs curry paste (I like Pataks brand)
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried ginger, or 1 tbs grated fresh ginger root (better)
2 cups peeled butternut squash or sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite size pieces.
- 1 bunch kale, chopped small
½ cup lentils
3 or more cups chicken broth
- 1 can 14 oz coconut milk
1 14.5 0z can diced tomatoes with liquid
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, chicken, curry paste and spices. Sauté until chicken is nearly cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Add squash, broth, lentils and tomatoes. Cover and simmer until potatoes or squash are tender, adding more broth if necessary. Add coconut milk and kale. Season with salt and pepper. When kale is tender, serve. You can top this soup with toasted coconut, scallions and cilantro.
Estes Park Wild Plant Weekend
Friday, May 29, 2015 – 3 pm check in to Sunday, May 31, 1pm
Become immersed in the fascinating world of wild edibles and medicinals in this weekend getaway. Learn how to rejuvenate yourself with wild herbs for the body, mind and spirit. Explore the ancient art of making restorative teas, salves and soothing natural remedies while you relax in Rocky Mountain splendor.
Hike through gorgeous scenery and explore wildflowers and edible and medicinal plants.
Classes are taught on all facets of identifying, harvesting, growing, eating and crafting with wild plants. Participants make and take home customized herbal teas, a soothing salve, recipes and detailed handouts. Weather permitting, most classes are held outside. A variety of activities such as a horseback riding (xtra charge), swimming, craft studio, museum, mini golf, labyrinth and roller skating may be enjoyed Saturday afternoon.
All classes, handouts, samples, meals, happy hour and lodging are included. Accommodations are at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park new mountain lodge that borders Rocky Mountain National Park. The spacious bedrooms have two queen beds and a private bath. Six meals are included with a buffet of different entrees including a salad bar at lunch and dinner, as well as fresh fruit and veggies.
3-5 pm Check in
5pm Wild Tapas Happy Hour, Introduction
Class: Wild Plants 101 – Safety, Identification and the Top 10 plants for eating and healing.
Morning hike to Rocky Mountain National Park – Identification, ethical harvesting practices and edible and medicinal uses of wild plants.
Afternoon free – on site activities include hiking, horseback riding, indoor pool, craft studio, museum, mini golf, labyrinth, roller skating.
Class: Foragers First Aid – How to use wild plants for medicine. Learn common, local plants to safely use for various ailments. We’ll make a soothing herbal oil and salve, demonstrate an herbal poultice. Explore herbal teas and how to add nutrition to sauces, smoothies and meals with fresh and dried wild herbs. Custom craft your own tasty, nutritional/medicinal teas from an herbal buffet.
Class – Ritual and Spiritual Uses of Sacred Herbs.
For centuries plants have been used in ceremony and ritual. Explore this fascinating ancient art as we make sage sticks and prayer bundles to take home from a selection of local ritual herbs.
Double occupancy: $353 per member, $373 per nonmember
Single occupancy: $442 per person, $462 per nonmember