Strategies For Eating Well In The Early Spring
Did you know that traditionally, winter was considered a time of feasting?
Not the barren hungry months we might think of. All the summer and fall harvests were preserved and stored for a winter’s worth of eating. The pantry and root cellar were full, and there was plenty of food to go around.
Early spring was when the hunger usually started to set in.
The winter supplies had dwindled, the over-wintered produce began to shrivel and be less appealing, and the garden had yet to produce it’s later springtime bounty.
Obviously, now days, we don’t have this problem.
We can roll right up to the grocery store and buy watermelon, peaches, lettuce, and blue berries any day we want to.
However, if you are attempting to truly live by the seasons, or are a hard core homesteader who eats only the food you produce, by the time March rolls around, you might find yourself longing for some fresh crunchy greens.
I know I certainly do!
Here are some strategies for eating well in the early spring:
#1 Plant a fall garden.
You can overwinter a good bit of fall greens with some heavy mulching and a cold frame, and have a small supply of greens all winter and spring!
Garlic that is planted in the fall will sprout quite early in the spring, and can be a valuable source of fresh greenery.
#2 Grow perennials.
Besides the fact that perennials keep coming back every year with little work on your part, they also tend to produce an edible greenery much earlier in the spring than annuals do. Even a biennial like kale, will give you lots of yummy greens much earlier than any vegetable you plant from a seed in the spring.
Wild greens are either perennials or re-seeded annuals, and there are several VERY early varieties.
Dandelions, Violets, and Stinging Nettle are a few of our favorite super early greens to forage!
#4 Ferment, ferment and ferment.
In the winter time, we eat fermented food every single day.
Thanks to my awesome Fermentools airlocks and glass weights, fermenting takes very little time or energy to do. Plus, my fermented food can be stored in my makeshift root cellar (crawlspace) and it uses ZERO electricity!!
Our favorite veggie and fruit ferments for every day use are:
The reason I love my Fermentools stuff so much is because the weights fit perfectly into my widemouth mason jars, and hold the food down under the bring. Plus, the airlocks completely eliminate the need for me to be constantly “burping” the jars to make sure they don’t explode!
#5 Preserve plenty of fresh veggies in a variety of other ways.
Fermenting gives us the best yummy crunchy almost fresh tasting vegetables, but it is SO nice to have frozen green beans and peaches, home canned tomatoes, and dried apples and fruit leather for a little taste of summer goodness.
These are our family’s strategies for eating well in the early spring.
Once the peas, lettuce and asparagus begin to sprout, the table becomes even more varied and plentiful!
What do you eat in the early spring??
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