We are getting there y’all! February was absolutely brutal here, weeks of temperatures in the negative teens, random unforecasted snow, just general yuck. Cold, gross, worst-part-of-winter yuck. But it is over and we are in March and things can only get sunnier, warmer, less snowy from here. Hooray!
March is never the prettiest of months in Wisconsin… everything is brown, drooping, and sloppy, still dormant and awaiting the final thaw while wallowing in the freezing cold slush that has yet to fully melt. But with that eventual thaw comes so much anticipation- from the emerging crowns of rhubarb to searching the grass for the early daffodils. The garden starts shrugging off the effects of winter (and we gardeners, dogs, and cats do the same) and preparing for the riotous growth of Spring.
It is pure magic even if it isn’t pretty.
France passed a law that preserves not only terrior and appellations, but also the smells and sounds of places to preserve their countryside heritage. This is amazing! Its kooky at first glance, but that sensory heritage is very much a part of what makes a place special… so I’m tickled that they’ve put a stop to the inevitable stories about new moneyed residents and gentrification project pushing out local farms, farmers, and businesses.
Duchess podcast about the history and maintenance and upkeep of great British estates as told by the Duchesses who oversee them. It’s absolutely lovely. Part history lesson, ghost stories, logistics, and listening in on a nice chat between amazing women tasked with amazing and unique challenges.
Vogue put out a fun article about 58 small businesses to support. None are specifically garden-oriented (and many are not at all), but I thought it was a fun story with some pretty beautiful stores. Maybe one is in your neck of the woods?
Would you like to take a trip inside the world of competitive vegetable growing?
I know since we are officially ONE WHOLE TRIP AROUND THE SUN INTO LOCKDOWN *ahem*, so sorry for shouting, and you all have probably banana breaded yourselves into oblivion already I thought that NOW is the time to share mine and give y’all a fresh lease on the easiest and most delicious treat you can make with one bowl and one pan.
How to Make Banana Bread– Recipe from The Kitchn. I’ve long been a proponent of the Flour Bakery banana bread recipe and I’m quite certain you all have your own tested recipe, but a few years ago I stumbled upon this recipe and I’ve got to tell you: It’ll make you the best banana bread of your life and is a rock-solid recipe. I’ve made some tweaks as I’ve made it my own, which I’ve listed below:
-I only use about 2/3 c. sugar
-I freeze ripe bananas whole, so I just defrost 3 (you can do this in the microwave if rushed) and cut the stems off, then I can plop the whole mushy banana in the bowl in one go
-I always add in a bit of spice, about 1 tsp. will do. I prefer Mixed spice, but plain cinnamon, Chai spice, even Pumpkin Pie spice would do
-You can obviously add nuts and/or chocolate chips, but I never think this recipe needs it
March is when, at least for us here in Wisconsin, seed starting ramps up and we get the grow lights fired up and plans in order.
With that in mind, sterilize your pots and growing containers, stock up (if you haven’t already) on growing medium, and get any other seeds you might need. Then get to planting! For us it is merely (said with nothing but love and affection) cabbage and kale for now.
Once things do start thawing and showing themselves again, go around and take stock of what’s been damaged be it structural or horticultural. This year the bunnies took a liking to one particular yucca. Lord knows how well it will come back, but for now I’ll tidy up the mess and give it the best shot I can.
If you have fruit trees that need pruning, get on with it while there’s still a chill in the air and frost in the ground. Be fearless and make sure your secateurs are sharp!
I hope the temperatures are rising along with your spirits and optimism for the gardening season ahead! We are almost there!