Our landscape is greening more and more every day. Buds swell and flower, new birds arrive daily, and early greens are emerging.
The first cold hardy seeds and seedlings are planted in our garden. Whenever it is dry enough, I try to get into the garden to stay ahead of weeding and garden bed preparation. It’s best to work the soil when it’s not too wet, which can be tricky at this time of year! By having several garden beds ready to go, there’s always space when I’m ready to plant the next thing. Seeds and seedlings I plant in April include: peas, spinach, arugula, lettuce, kale, chard, cilantro, beets, radishes, and onions. I’ve started most of our brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts) inside – they will be the next to go out. Carrots and parsnips are also on my list to plant in the next few weeks.
Stinging nettles and dandelion greens have emerged and are young, tender, and delicious at this time of year. They also happen to be loaded with nutrients and are exactly what our bodies need as they awake for spring. I love this post by Urban Moonshine about harvesting dandelions in early spring. Dandelions’ bitter qualities are what make them health-giving but can also turn people off from foraging and eating wild plants. Nettles, on the other hand, are quite mild and can be used instead of spinach when cooking. Here is a post with harvesting instructions and numerous ideas for using nettles in your meals. Check out this post if you’re interested in other yummy plants to forage in the early spring.
Happy foraging, happy gardening, happy spring!
P.S. Our naturally dyed deviled eggs came out great! This year’s notes: my green is in need of improvement, and I learned to be cautious when playing with salt, baking soda and vinegar for my blue dye…avoiding blue volcanos in the kitchen is generally a good idea 🙂