Carrboro, North Carolina
Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim
South Royalton, Vermont
I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren
We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara
Wallace, West Virginia
My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn
My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April
The April Fool's joke on those of us living in Vermont today was the weather.
Temperatures were in the 50s for the first time since November, and it was partly sunny. People were walking around in T-shirts and shorts.
A dense fog rolled off the glacial snow banks, which have receded to about 2 feet from record heights in the snowiest winter since 1895.
Tomorrow, temperatures drop back to the low teens, and there's snow in the forecast later in the week. Welcome to spring in northern New England.
This is the time of year that many of us dream of planting gardens and try to remember what a daffodil looks like.
It's also the time when lots of Vermonters head to Florida, Arizona, California or Nevada for a week or two and pray while they're gone that the roads will dry their axel deep mud and become passable again.
On the bright side, I recently discovered fresh salad greens grown locally in a solar greenhouse. The farmer has been growing them all winter, but now that the light has changed, her crops are becoming more bountiful and varied.
Today's warm weather also may have cleared enough snow to allow other farmers to get to their hoop houses, which means we can expect fresh spinach, mesclun and spring onions by the end of May about the time the rest of us are thinking about tilling up our gardens. It really must be spring.
I was really spoiled in Columbus. There was a farmer's market just minutes from my house, which ran from April to the end of October/early November. In fact, I used to load the panniers on my bike, and bike to the market and home again. That was sometimes difficult depending on the size of the watermelon or fennel. I could often be seen trying to navigate my bike to my sister-in-law's house to split our CSA order with a plastic bag of veggies hanging off my handlebars since the order was often too big for my bike bags.
I am still on a mission for local farmers markets. Two do start in late April. One will be about a 30-minute drive from my house, and the other about 20. I'm eagerly awaiting their start. I'm getting tired of cooking with the same old ingredients. Then, several others have various starts through out the summer. The closest market to me starts in June, and then there's another close market that doesn't start until August!
In searching out markets, I found a few more great web resources. This first one came from my sister-in-law. These farmers are trying to set up a list of local products and where you can buy them. I thought it was a great idea, and I post the link here for any of you who might be considering something similar: http://www.basketoflifefarm.com/3.html
I also found a great clearinghouse of websites from the newly formed Green City Blue Lake group out of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. This article http://www.gcbl.org/land/green-infrastructure/re-imagine-a-more-sustainable-cleveland
emphasizes one of the aspects of the Cleveland Area that I already love. This area is resilient and ever hopeful. Obviously these are hard economic times in an urban area in the former manufacturing belt (rust belt sounds so derogatory). Cleveland's attitude seems to be, 'OK, then. What else can we do?' This level of optimism is encouraging. There seems to be a movement here to try and get urban gardening to go on in Cleveland's vacant lots. I know this is not a new idea, and I wonder if other regions are thinking about this with the housing crisis going on? Do any of you utilize such a space?
I found a lot of other encouraging links at Green City Blue Lake. It seems there is quite a movement in the Cleveland Area to get healthier through encouraging local food networks. I signed up for a bunch of e-news letters, so we'll see what information they bring.