April showers not only bring forth May flowers, but its time here in the Midwest to wake up our gardens, clear the land, and start thinking about what to plant for our Farmer’s Market. It takes me back down memory lane.
Growing up in Mississippi there were no rough winters like we have here in Ohio – no snow – just what I call a few brisk months of cool weather, at times lots of rain and plenty of sunshine. By the end of May my grandmothers’ and neighbors had market stands throughout the city selling and exchanging the freshest vegetables and fruits on the planet. String beans, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, the “reddest” and sweetest tomatoes on earth; corn, beets, eggplants, spinach, onions and the list goes on and on.
The fruit orchards – I can’t forget the smell of peaches as they ripened on the trees - the blackberries hanging off the vine, and my pulling and eating figs off the tree. I thought every family in the country had fruit trees in their backyards like we did. Little did I know that this was a “southern thing”, that the beautiful weather blessed us with this gift.
As I fast-forward to having our own garden “up north” I think about all the benefits not only for healthy eating, but for protecting our environment, mother earth, our food not traveling for miles on our highways. We know where our food comes from. We eat “local”, its seasonal and fresh and monies gained at the markets stay in the community.
After all – “Cleveland is a green city on a blue lake.” Join us on one of our “Urban Garden and market Shopping Day” trips later on in the season.