I can just about feel spring in the air. A few times during this long, cold February when we’ve had the unusual warm and sunny day you can almost sense the earth is about to change on its axis and bring us springtime. Whew, I couldn’t be any more ready for it than the years I spent living in Chicago and waiting for those last piles of ice on the streets to melt away. I am ready for blue skies, sunshine and my spring flowers.
There are three ways to get ready for spring this week and get your juices going for planting, cultivating and eating fresh food again.
Arriving Monday is the spring issue of Local Table and I have to say this may be our best issue yet. I hope to get it out to all the Nashville locations by week’s end and the rest of Middle Tennessee by the following week. Our art director Bob Delevante has created another beautiful spring cover and we’ve got features on local meat producers, eating spring healthy, Nashville’s own candy confectioner Nashville Toffee, Kentucky neighbor and cheesemaker Kenny’s Cheeses, St. Thomas’ health practitioner Randy Prendergast, and of course, our guides to summer CSA sign ups, strawberry patches and farmer markets.
On the heels of the release of the spring issue, is the annual gathering for the Tennessee Organic Grower’s Association (TOGA). This year the event has expanded to two days, Fri., March 5 and Sat., March 6 and includes farm tours, workshops and a keynote speaker by local food practitioner and farming activist Joel Salatin. Friday are the farm tours and Saturday are the workshops and keynote. It’s a great event – whether you’re a small market farmer, interested in organics or have your own backyard garden – there is something to get everyone excited and ramped up for our upcoming growing season. To find out more, go to www.tnorganics.org
The other is Nashville’s annual Lawn & Garden show at the State Fairgrounds. Beginning Thurs, March 4 and running through Sunday, it’s a feast for the eyes as well as your nose. After a long winter, it’s pretty amazing to get to smell fresh soil and scents such as delphiniums, lilacs, and herbs. Even if you aren’t able to get excited about seeing blooming gardens, waterfalls, and colorful landscaping, just being able to take a deep breath and smell green is pretty incredible. Plus there are lots of great local retailers and nurseries. It’s usually the first place I buy a plant for the year. For more info, go to www.nashvillelawnandgardenshow.com