The first bulbs are blooming, the days are getting longer and even though winter surely has a few more tricks up its sleeve, the glorious season of growth is on the way. March is Colorado’s snowiest month. I always stock up a few extra provisions for the inevitable power outages and road adventures.
Until we see exactly what the pandemic will do, most of my classes are zoom classes for private groups and organizations. I am working on classes for the Denver Botanic Gardens and Crested Butte Wildflower Festival but at this point, any in-person classes will be small and held outside. Once classes are confirmed they will be up on the website and I’ll put them in the monthly newsletter.
Under fun things to do? Ok, maybe a stretch but there is something so deeply satisfying about cleaning out your junk drawer or coat closet. Getting rid of all that clutter and having space for items you really use. Check out Marie Kondo on YouTube or Netflix for inspiration.
Take just one area, drawer, shelf at a time. I find this is a much easier process than trying to do the whole thing at once.
March is when we can start thinking about gardening in earnest. Check out the seed selection online. I like Botanical Interests, Renee’s Garden, and High Desert Seed and Gardens. Mask up and go visit the garden centers. By the end of the month, they should be starting to stock up on plants and should have their seeds in now.
Be sure to have a plan in mind. Check out the many great gardening books available, free classes on youtube, or your local county extension office for help with planning and the best cultivars for your area.
You can start your seeds inside for cool weather crops and annuals like kale, Swiss chard, and salad greens. By late March, if the soil has warmed up, you can put in bare-root fruits, trees, and shrubs.
Herb of the Month – Chickweed - Stellaria media
One of the first plants to peek out from under the snow in spring, this sweet little herb makes a great ground cover for cool, moist, shady places.
Chickweed leaves and flowers are a tasty edible plant, full of B complex vitamins, calcium, and vitamins A and C. It is a demulcent herb, great for soothing both internal and external inflammation. It has been used as a blood cleanser, a remedy for rheumatism, skin disorders, sore throats, stomach ulcers, and as a poultice to draw out fluid from abscesses and boils.
I find it is very soothing to the eyes and when my girls were growing up and would come down with pink eye, I would crush some fresh chickweed with water, smear the paste on a piece of cheesecloth, and apply it to their eyelids. It worked every time to draw out the infection. I use it whenever my eyes are irritated from too much time on the computer or exposure to sun and wind. If you don’t have chickweed, cucumber slices, grated raw potato, and moistened green tea bags also soothe irritated eyes.
A great wild edible, I use chickweed in salads, eggs, pestos, casseroles, and smoothies. It is best used fresh and used like spinach, a cool weather plant it dies back in hot weather.
The Herbalist's Happy Hour
Warm weather is on the horizon and it's time for refreshing beverages, cocktail parties, and al fresco dining. My book includes recipes for fresh, artisanal beverages and finger foods made with ingredients from the garden. I went for low effort and delicious results. It includes recipes for cocktails, infused liquors, non-alcoholic refreshers, bitters, garnishes, savory small bites and more. From Blueberry Basil Blast to Smoked Salmon Mousse you’ll find plenty of ideas for healthy hydrating and flavorful snacking. Get it here