Early spring arrives this month and crocus, snowdrops, and daffodils will soon be peeking out. Time to start planning gardens, freshening up our diets with spring greens, and looking ahead to longer days, warmer weather, and new adventures.
With all the uncertainty and crisis in the world today it can seem hopeless to try to do anything and much easier to surrender to complacency and denial. It is soul-soothing to pitch in, at any level, and there are a lot of opportunities to do so. You can give a donation to the food bank or an environmental group, volunteer at a local church, or drop clothes at a shelter. Call someone who you know could use support, pick up some trash, or just be kind to a stranger. We all have skills and talents the world needs right now. Do what you can, you'll feel better about everything.
Interesting article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/03/19/5-surprising-benefits-of-volunteering/?sh=4310346f127b
I will be doing private classes and traveling for March and April. Stay posted for public classes starting in May.
Fun Things to Do!
Free Days - https://scfd.org/find-culture/free-days/
Buffalo Bill Museum, Wednesday, March 2, https://www.buffalobill.org
Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, Friday, March 4, https://dinoridge.org
Denver Botanic Gardens at York St. and Chatfield Farms – Thursday, 2/17, https://www.botanicgardens.org/events/free-days
Denver Art Museum – Tuesday, March 8, https://www.denverartmuseum.org
Colorado Railroad Museum, Thursday, March 17, https://coloradorailroadmuseum.org
Monte Vista Crane Festival, March 11 -13. Get away to the San Luis valley for great scenery, tours, and wildlife. https://mvcranefest.org
March 11- March 12, Winter Bluegrass in the mountains at Keystone. https://warrenstation.com/event/winterbluegrass2022/
For more ideas check out https://www.colorado.com/events.
There is something so deeply satisfying about cleaning out your junk drawer, kitchen cupboard, or coat closet. I like to take just one area, drawer, or shelf at a time. I find this is a much easier process than trying to do the whole thing at once. Check out Marie Kondo on YouTube or Netflix for inspiration. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNaPKFA1niUFRgzkVqqhJVg
For more ideas, check out this interesting group of recipes for green cleaning from the University of Arkansas. Fun to make, economical, and probably much safer than what you have under your sink. https://www.uaex.uada.edu/environment-nature/water/quality/clean-green-homemade-cleaners.aspx
Spice of the Month – Cinnamon - Cinnamomum cassia and verum
Cinnamon is a warming, stimulating spice for the transition from winter to spring. Along with its great taste and scent, it has many therapeutic qualities.
The cinnamon spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon shrub. Cinnamon has been used to improve digestion, help to balance blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Cinnamon is excellent in baked goods, puddings, teas, and coffee. I like to add a pinch to my chilis, smoothies, hot chocolate, sweet potatoes, and baked winter squash. Use this lovely spice to add warmth, energy, and digestive and heart health.
*Cinnamon should not be used in large quantities by pregnant women due to its stimulating effects. Also, avoid overusing if you are on blood thinners.
And the garden season begins. Check out the seed selections online. I like Botanical Interests, Renee’s Garden, and High Desert Seed and Gardens. Leave your impulse buying tendencies at home and go visit the garden centers. Have a list if you are buying seeds, if I don’t, I usually end up with enough to start a small farm. Be sure to have a garden plan in mind. Check out the many great gardening books available, gardening classes, and your local county extension office for help with planning and the best cultivars for your area. For more inspiration I like this lady, she knows her stuff.
You can start your seeds inside for cool weather crops and annuals like kale, radish, broccoli, beets, Swiss chard, and salad greens. By late March, if the soil has warmed up, you can put in bare-root fruits, trees, and shrubs
Recipes of the Month
The Herbalists 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
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”
- Mark Twain