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March Mildness (We Hope)

March is a month on the cusp. Not quite winter and not yet spring, March is the bridge between the two seasons. With day light savings and the vernal equinox tipping the scale in sunlight’s favor, March is also a month of hope and promise. The proverbial light is at the end of the tunnel, even if the tunnel passes through a mountain of snow.

After a winter hiatus, the pulse of life-affirming sap begins to flow again through the sugar maples and another sugaring season commences. It’s still cold and maybe even snowy, but we know that we have survived another winter.

Plant your seeds- Indoors, that is. Now is the time to start planting your High Mowing organic tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds indoors. Broccoli is another one to start indoors if you want an earlier crop. They all will have a sufficient head-start when it comes time to transplant them after the last frost in May. Peas can usually be planted outside as soon as the soil can be worked in mid to late March but the current snow cover could delay this until April.

Sprout into spring- While waiting for the warmer weather to catch up, enjoy fresh produce by sprouting your own veggies. Alfalfa, clover and daikon radish seeds will readily sprout and can top off a mixed salad or can be substituted for lettuce in sandwiches. Beans and lentils can also be sprouted and add a satisfying crunchy texture that will complement the excellent nutritional profile of these legumes. Dried green peas can be sprouted until they produce sinuous tendrils that will embellish any salad, soup or side dish.

Erin go Bragh- Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with some fine Irish cheeses. Cahill’s Porter Cheddar is produced by the Cahill family in County Limerick. They use an Irish Porter brewed by the Guinness Company in Dublin and incorporate it into their Irish cheddar, resulting in its distinctive marbled appearance. The Cahills only use milk free from bovine growth hormones and produce their cheese with vegetable rennet so that it is suitable for vegetarians.

Kerrygold Vintage Cheddar is made from the milk of cows pastured on the lush green grass of the Irish countryside. Ireland has one of the longest growing seasons in the world for pasture grass, extending over 10 months. The cheese is aged for two years, producing a sharp yet creamy cheddar. Ireland’s milk production has the smallest carbon footprint in the entire European Union; just one example of their commitment to sustainability.

Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese from County Tipperary is produced by the Grubb family and is named for the famous Rock of Cashel, an 11th century medieval castle in southeastern Ireland. It is a creamy cow’s milk blue cheese with a distinctive character but lacking the harshness of some other blues. The milk is sourced from the family’s Beechmount Farm and the cheese is made at the farm location.