The flowers begin to grow and blossom; the birds begin to sing; the trees to bud their leaves; the butterfly takes wing; the Earth renews its vitality, in the months of Spring.
Springtime Iris

Indeed the months of Spring do symbolize a renewal of the Earth, as the planet warms again in our endless rotation of mother Sun.

Each year at this time, we begin to see more locally grown fresh produce, wonderful foods coming to market that are rich in nutrients, and have not suffered the ravages of shipping from far off lands. While we love the concept of having fresh foods throughout the year, despite the seasons, those foods often lose much of their nutritional value and flavor while being shipped.

Shopping at local markets in Spring, one finds so many great vegetables, fruits and other foods that come to market this time annually. Cook with them and revel in the glory of their fresh flavor. Go on, put down the can of green beans and put away the bag of frozen broccoli. Head to your local market and buy it fresh from a local farm and you will see a heavenly difference in rich flavor.

Spring is also a time for great lamb products to come to market. Lamb chops, cutlets and leg of lamb among them, these are at the height of abundant flavor this time of year and we heartily recommend buying some from local butchers who get their supply from nearby farms.

More than meats and produce, Spring is a time also for the renewal of ourselves, as we come out from the semi-hibernation we experience by staying home more in Winter. Despite the poor economy, we all feel the urge to exit our shelters and enjoy the beauty that is Spring, and the warmth of sunlight.

In times of wealth, we tend to ignore the little things like a field of daffodils or crocus in bloom. This year, perhaps instead of jetting off to some distant place and locking ourselves in hotel rooms and museums, we should take a walk in a garden, visit an arboretum or one of the great gardens that abound throughout America.

Instead of jumping in the SUV and taking a tedious drive, take the hand of the one you love and go for a stroll, breathe deep and you will feel so much better. Taking a walk puts fresh air in your lungs, improves your circulation and like the budding crocus in your garden, brings renewal to your personal well-being. Its also a good thing to get the kids out of doors as soon as possible, to put fresh air in their lungs too, and let them discover the beauty that Spring unfolds before their eyes.

Springtime Flowers
Whether you live in a home with your own garden or an apartment on a lofty floor of a high-rise, put a little Spring in your own life. Make a garden box or plant a tree or bush on your property to bring a wonderful feeling of renewal into the lives of your family and yourself. It surprises my friends how refreshed they feel waking in the morning to see flowers in bloom and the vitality of green leaves through their windows.

This year, try planting an herb garden so that throughout the warm seasons, you can have fresh herbs for all of your cooking. If you have the resources, you can even build a little conservatory so that your herbs will grow throughout the year. On a relatively small plot of land,  my family has managed to grow some of our own fruit and vegetables for years and enjoy the bounty that starts in Spring.

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