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Maybe it is strange to write a letter to yourself or maybe it is cathartic. I am not sure, but on this Mother’s Day I felt I needed to write something to my present self in order continue on this journey of Motherhood. So entertain me for just a second here. 

Dear Almost-3-years-into-motherhood-self,

The days of motherhood seem lighter don’t they? Do you think it is because the load changed or do you think it is because you feel the shoes finally fit? I am not sure if we will ever know, but it feels a little like both these days. Those early months were hard. At times we felt you may never get beyond them or they may crush you under the load. Many times it felt as if it was all you could do to keep your head above water. Being a mom was a role you always dreamed about it never quite felt natural till now. The guilt you felt at times about that was heavier than it should have been and it was quite self-induced. You know now that motherhood lays on some differently than others and that is okay, because we all end up finding our own way even though the experiences are too different. None of those challenges ever made you think twice about entering into such a duty in life. No role is more powerful or fulfilling is it? No job you have or award you will win will ever top what it feels like to raise a strong and compassionate human…no there is nothing.

There are many things that didn’t go as planned and some that went wildly beyond expectations in these last 2 years. There is no word in the world to explain the depths of love you feel for that little boy or how you fell even more in love with Mike watching him be a father. The clarity that came with that baby arriving in your life was a gift you never expected. It changed everything and landed you and Mike on a hill back in the place that brings you both the greatest joy. He was meant to live on that hill and his presence brought you to this place. It wasn’t an easy journey and you still like to block out some of the days because of the challenge and exhaustion you felt, but nothing great in life comes easy. You know this well.

Now that you are here and have watched your body come back to “normal” and have felt strong and whole again both mentally, creatively, and physically you know the time will come to tackle it again. It will look different. New changes will present themselves than before and you will push through something difficult again. There is no telling what it is, but you know after the shift of becoming a mother that you are capable of anything. You are capable of conquering the demons of postpartum or the physical challenges of recovery. You will emotionally come back again. You will find your footing in your career again. Maybe it will come easier or maybe it will be harder. That scares you. I know it does. It is okay to feel scared. You don’t know what will happen and that is never easy, but you know from these past few years you are better because of it all. In fact, I would beg to say that all of the beauty and difficulty left you a better version of yourself than you felt you possibly ever would be. Your passions are clear and you feel stronger than you did when you entered the journey. That solid ground is something you didn’t know before, but now you do. You have the support you need and you know better than to be fearful to speak up about saying I cannot do it alone.

Just always remember motherhood is a journey and not a destination in life.

You have big dreams, but you know that doesn’t mean they won’t come to be because of being a mom. You want to be there and to be present but you also want to show your children how to chase their dreams. There is nothing you want more than to represent what it means to be strong yet gentle and humble or how to live a life full of joy and creativity. So much of this is by example and you know it takes a lifetime to do this. You will always find a way to do this and know that it all happens in seasons. Some seasons you will be needed non-stop as a mom and work will fall to the backseat and other seasons you will be working more and your need as a mother will be different. Most of the time you will live in a world of finding balance. You know the way, just trust your gut and heart. It all goes quickly, but the key is living in the moment you are in and watching as the season shifts around you. This took you time to understand, but now more than ever you get it even if at times it is hard to find peace in these seasons.

You have done well thus far and you should feel proud. It hasn’t been easy. It won’t be easy, but it is beautiful and you have never felt more love or purpose than you do right now. One day you know it will change. Your little ones will be off in the big world and you will be wishing these days back. The firsts and lasts will be far behind you and you will wish you could be back chasing that barefoot two-year old through the woods again. You will wish for the sleepy morning cuddles and the tiny hand desiring to hold your hand. You will realize all the while you were trying to chase career dreams that the real dream was unfolding right around you in those glistening eyes discovering the world right in front of you. The days on the porch drinking a glass of wine with Mike and watching the dogs and him play will feel like the best memories over the ones where we traveled to Europe or attended an exclusive event. The simplest things will feel like the big things and you will hold those closer than anything else. Your life won’t be full because of the things, but the moments of building snowmen together for the first time or showing that little guy how to the wonders of the woods. Life is full and beautiful even when it pushes you to the limit. Enjoy the fullness. Soak it up. It will change again and it won’t ever be the same, you know this. Enjoy it.

As another Mother’s Day passes don’t worry about feeling celebrated, though you are worth it, you also know the greatest gifts you receive you already have and you feel celebrated every day because of the little things like the hugs and kisses or the tiny squished flowers. These are the gifts and I hope you never stop seeing the joy and beauty in them or the love they hold. Motherhood is your greatest role in this life and your heart will continue expanding through the years. You have room. You always will. Just remember to keep opening yourself up, welcoming growth, and remember you are the only thing that isolates yourself in this journey. Do not fear asking for help or saying you messed up. Faults are only faults if we never learn to grow because of them. Your imperfections are where you will always find the greatest room for love in your life. You still have a long way to go in this journey, but goodness just look how far you have come. For the first time you finally feel like you found yourself within a role you never knew how it ever fit. That is a big thing. Don’t forget it.

Love,
Yourself

What would you say to yourself as a mother? I would love to hear. Write something below if you would like. I think it would be amazing to hear. 

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Before our gardens ever become available to us, we first have our forests and land around us. Growing up in Northern Michigan Foraging is a part of life. There are literally whole days set aside for days in the woods to find the precious goodies of the woods that come with the end of spring. I have practiced the basics for years as I have grown up and this year am planning to take more classes on foraging in order to better know the land around me and to get a better awareness of what is available to us here. From wild blackberries and strawberries to fiddlehead ferns to morels to stinging nettle leaf. All of it is amazing, but one of the first we get the chance to enjoy are Ramps or as some call them, wild leeks. These guys pop up pretty soon after the snow melts right along with Dustman Breeches. They are some of the first green we see in the woods in fact, which is amazing and makes them easy to spot if you know what you are looking for.

A few things to note about looking for them and foraging:

  • Ramps have tall leaves which are very yummy and the bulb which has a purple outer skin and a white base.
  • I find they pop up in areas that are rarely touched or haven’t been touched by development in a very long time or EVER.
  • The best giveaway is the scent. If they smell like ones when you break off a leaf you are on to them.
  • When gathering them to take home, make sure you leave the bulb in the ground. This is how they come back. If you remove the whole bulb they will not return to that area.
  • Another way to keep them going for a while so you can quickly return for another harvest is to leave one leaf on the plant so they can continue photosynthesis.

These little guys are an early and wonderful reminder of the good things to come and we love to harvest them.

But how do you cook with them? Think about them like leeks or green onions. They can be added to dishes similarly, but their flavor will be relatively milder. Here my four favorite ways to eat them:

  • Make a Pesto: Toss them in a blender with a seed or nut of choice, some grated parm, a garlic clove, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Blend them up and you will have an amazing pesto for pasta, tossed on sweet potatoes, or to mix into a dressing even. We love putting it on flatbread as well.
  • Snip them fresh to top almost everything: We will just chop or scissor them fresh over everything you can imagine this time of year. Since they taste like onions they go with almost everything you can think of.
  • Pickle them or make sauerkraut: I mean you can basically pickle anything or you can use them in sauerkraut as well. They will release a unique flavor over time as they ferment.
  • Place them in an omelet or on pizza: Our neighbor cooked omelet with mushrooms and more on a sunday and he said it was amazing. We equally put them whole on top of a pizza and let them roast in the oven. Very good as well.

Truly ramps are really a great and easy thing to enjoy so gather up a handful store them in a air tight container after washing them and enjoy them throughout the week in different ways.

As always when foraging you should always thoroughly clean your veggies before using them. A benefit to foraging is the healthy things it does for your gut. The foraging presents new bacteria in your system and the plants are very happy in their element so they will encourage healthy gut bacteria growth, but you want to make sure they are rid of some other not so good things lurking out there especially if you will be fermenting them.

So tell me, did you grow up foraging? Do you love it? How much do you do it? I cannot wait to hear your stories about it.

Also what is your favorite way to use these guys in your kitchen?!

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I am SOOOOOO ready for Farmer’s Market season. We have all the markets on our calendar in hopes of making it a huge priority this year even though we are doing a CSA. I still love to attend and see what is happening and growing in our community it inspires me and makes me so excited to cook each week. This year we probably will be biking into town from a bike trail entrance to make it easier to find parking for Saturday markets. Saturday morning rides into town sounds so dreamy and like something late spring and summers are made of.

As we watch the grasses green now (I know we are a few weeks behind schedule here), we are starting to have access to some amazing things such as Ramps, Morels (soon!), and Fiddle Head Ferns will pop up in mere days. We also are still enjoying the goods of winter storage. This is a great time to load up on cabbage, make saurkraut, and get lots of potatoes for some base to put with mushrooms and those fresh foraged foods.

We are also seeing microgreens and those delicious first Pea Shoots that are pure magic. In the coming weeks so much will become available to us and by the end of the month we will finally and wonderfully see our first big harvest of Rhubarb, chives, and favas. So much excitement leading into June when it comes to what is fresh.

My hope is that by monthly sharing these little doodled lists to it helps you better plan your week of food and look for these wonderful things in the market. I would love for you guys to share some of your favorite recipes for these fresh and in-season recipes below. I am sure lots of you make AMAZING things with these crisp flavors.

Finally, if you by chance do not have a chance to either go to the market right now, don’t have a garden, or have access to a CSA you can look for these items in your grocery store. When I was first starting out eating seasonally I focused on only buying what I knew was in season even if EVERYTHING was available in a store. Doing this is helpful to start to find that rhythm of the seasons in your cooking and get used to the practice. Maybe next year you can tackle the garden, but for now this is a great place to start.

Below are my notes about these above foods for you to learn a little bit more about these awesome veggies!

MICROGREENS:
My favorite topping for EVERYTHING. Microgreens are basically sprouted versions of many of your favorite vegetables. It means that since they are sprouts they contain the same nutrients as their adult verion but it is intensified along with the flavor. They pack a great punch and are pretty. See my post here about them. 

PEA SHOOTS:
These are the early stages (similar to a microgreen) of a pea. They are sweet and bright and tender. I enjoy them raw and as a salad or on top of anything I would put microgreens. You can also add them into a pasta right before serving for a beautiful bright green. 

RAMPS:
Have an upcoming post about these next week, but these are typically foraged, but sometimes you can find them in farm markets. When foraging, leave the bulb, and one leaf so they can continue growing so you can come back again. They are basically wild onions so treat them as such. Top them on pizza or my recent favorite, make a pesto! Just replace your basil with Ramps. How about that?  

GARLIC SCAPES: 
These are seen sometimes late May here but most of the time are more prolific in June when they are clipped to encourage the bulb to grow. This is the bud of the garlic flower that will bloom. They taste just like garlic but less potent. Char them on the grill, make pesto, chop them and add to pasta with olive oil and parmesan. Just keep it really simple and even replace garlic cloves with them till fresh garlic comes around again. 

POTATOES:
These are still seen coming out cold storage. These are not fresh from the ground, but they are still available. Usually, farmers are wanting to get them out so they will mark them down significantly. Buy them up clean and chop them and freeze them to add to soups or roast when you would like. 

ASPARAGUS:
I wrote a whole post about Asparagus that I suggest checking out about what to do with them and the different colors. Check that out if you want to read more about Asparagus

RADISHES:
Spring radishes may be my favorite things. Watermelon radishes are the most beautiful spring delight as well so look for them. Most of the time the radishes this time of year will be mild, sweet, and really light in flavor. It isn’t till the ground heats up that they do. These are great for raw eating and then when they get spicy start quick pickling and mixing into slaws

CABBAGE:
Just like potatoes, these cabbages are coming from cold storage at this point. Enjoy it with slaw or buy it up at a good price and make a lot of Sauerkraut. 

FIDDLEHEAD FERNS:
These are the first early sprouts from ferns. Yes, like the ones you see in the woods. They are so bright and fresh. They taste amazing sauteed and added into a pasta or placed on a pizza or just sauteed in butter and eaten with salt and pepper. Usually found by foraging but some markets will have them as well. 

RHUBARB:
This is the trickiest guy in the Spring season of veggies/fruits. He is best enjoyed with strawberries so you can either wait and make this or make a rhubarb fast jam or a chutney. Get creative, but know that it is VERY sour. Also always discard the leaves and keep them away from kids and pets they are poisonous. 

MORELS:
The crown jewel of mushroom hunters is the Morel. Their season is short and quick and we have to keep our eyes open. No one EVER shares where they hunt and it is quite a sacred act up here. Most of the time you will either have to find them yourself (find a friend willing to take you), Look for them at the market, or just maybe a friend will share some after a good hunt. Make sure you properly identify them as there are look-alikes and those are I believe deadly or in the least hallucinogenic.

ARUGULA:
This peppery green is the mildest in its first clipping so look for it early in the season. The later in the season the more clippings makes it less enjoyable. Great farmers will clip and replant if they care about the greens flavor. Eat them in salads, toss them with pasta, add them to almost anything. They are amazing if you get great quality greens. 

CHIVES:
Hands down one of my favorite spring (early summer) herbs. The blooms are the most beautiful thing to top any dish with. Goodness me. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. You can find a recipe where I did this here

MINT:
There is a reason that Derby Day includes Mint Julep’s, Mint is fresh and abundant especially in that part of the country by then. Use Mint to add to salads or add to cocktails. Be careful with planting though, this stuff will overtake the garden.

SUGAR SNAP PEAS:
At the VERY end of the month and the first of June we will see the first harvest of the sugar snaps around the state. We all anxiously await these yummy guys don’t we? I know I do. Grilled, fresh, sauted…any way is great! 

MUSHROOMS:
Pretty every mushroom is wildly available right now in our area. Mushrooms if you enjoy them are amazing in so many ways. From tacos to tossed with grains to topped on flatbreads. The ways are really endless and not to mention locally sourced mushrooms are really beautiful. 

Know that this is based on the Midwest. Some of these things are exactly in season for us here in Northern Michigan and some won’t be but the idea is that most of these will be available in the coming weeks and to look for these in the market and at the store.

Excited to hear your favorite recipes for these veggies. Share them below so other readers can find new ways to cook some of these veggies.

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I shared last week that the greatest thing we can give ourselves for Mother’s Day whether it be to ourselves or to a partner is permission to care for ourselves. It really is and I believe that, but sometimes a physical gift to accompany such a thought and day is very nice as well to mark the occasion so I gathered up some beautiful, well-made, and useful things that most every woman I know would enjoy receiving. Whether you need ideas for Mother’s Day or if you have a friend who is about to celebrate their birthday these things will make any one feel extra special.

That said, you can see some of my top picks below or you can head to our curated shop for even more ideas. Though I have to say, many of these items were chosen from one of our favorite sites, Huckberry. They have amazing items for home, outdoor living, and life. I highly suggest heading to check them out too as they carry many of the below products at great prices too!

Happy Mother’s Day ladies and hope this list is helpful in finding a beautiful and meaningful gift.

Turkish Towel from Huckberry  |  Utility Jacket from Everlane  |  Cook’s Atelier cookbook from Amazon  |  Planter from Uzamati Ceramics  |  Handmade Candle from Huckberry and Uzamati Ceramics  |  Jade Roller from Herbivore Botanicals  |  Tales from a Forager’s Kitchen from Johnna Holmgren  |  Flannel Robe from Coyuchi  |  Packable Hat from Madewell  |  Jasmine Body oil from Herbivore Botanicals  |  Matchstick Holder from Farmhouse Pottery  |  Watering Can from Barebones Living  |  Sunnies from Sunski  |  Cheese Stone from Farmhouse Pottery  |  Foraging Bag from Barebones Living  |  Eco String Market bag from Amazon

Shop the whole gift guide here within our shop as well to get more ideas. 

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I open the doors in our kitchen that lead out to the edge of the hill where in the coming months we will begin building a space to hold gatherings for the first time at our new home. The work that lies ahead of us is apparent and I resonate with the earth in that way. The evidence of the growth that is still to come in the month is obvious as the trees are still bare and there are only sprouts of green coming up on the hills around us. This month is one where we finally feel we can open the doors and let in the fresh air here in the northern parts of the country. We still don’t brave putting away our boots or mid-layer coats even when we have 80 degree days in the forecast. We know that it was only a few weeks ago the ground was covered in snow and the ice was floating on the water. May is never a promise of anything but that we are closer to summer.

This month we will be getting dirty, working hard to prepare our yards and to shift how we eat as the first harvests show up in our Farmer’s Markets. We will spend this month filling our plates with the first tendrils from peas, asparagus, morels, ramps, radishes, and best of all Garlic Scapes. Greenhouses here are filled to the brim just anxiously awaiting to be emptied out into the fields. It feels that even with heavy snow last month the world around us never missed a beat. The days of chilly mornings in the market begin this weekend for us here and I cannot wait to spend the next 5 months almost eating from the local farms more easily. The flavors that spring brings are tender, gentle, bright, and sharp all at once and they feel perfect to enjoy after those long dirty days preparing our yards along with a cold beer or light in hue rosé. Spring surely has arrived when we find ourselves in those moments.

I am anxious to begin so much this month, but as I have learned from living here in the life os seasons, all comes in due time. We are best to simply prepare our minds, bodies, and souls for the moment the season finally allows for the space for us to finally begin. Never too soon and never too late if we are aware enough. May will contain waiting and running a lot between preparing our yard, prepping for upcoming gatherings, working on finishing a basement, and so much more. The projects are abundant and the work on our shoulders will be too. In there though we will always make time for wine on the porch watching the sunset as well lots of days playing in the big lake. Summer is only a month and a half away so now we do the hard work to prepare for the busiest season of them all.

If you want more about each month make sure you are signed up for our Monthly and Seasonal Newsletters. The Monthly sends out at the beginning of each month and the seasonal sends out on the official first day of the season. Each is jammed packed with ideas for the month, quotes, things to read, podcasts to listen to, and so much more! We also highlight some favorite products for the month as well. Lots of good stuff. 

You can sign up here for the upcoming June Newsletter and if you are on our Seasonal List you will also receive our Summer Newsletter on June 21st. 

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Image via: Love and Lemons Blog (her recipes are some of my favorites!)

I am just like all of you. When I first started cooking, I had no real idea what I was doing. I started out cooking with my dad and he taught me the ropes of cooking food and then my mom taught me to bake. Then I spent more time helping at family gatherings watching my grandmother feed the hoards of us at her house. I would pitch in on cutting cucumbers for salads and learn why this type of dressing and not that one. I grabbed on quick and fell in love. Then when I started living on my own I would find great restaurants and learn flavors from what I saw on menus. Fast forward to being married and having our first rental, I grew a garden and all those years of cooking with family taught me how to combine flavors, save money, and stay simple. I knew how to make the most out of the carrots in my garden year around to save money and how powerful a few chopped herbs are in something as simple as yogurt to dress a sandwich or tacos.

Since then, I have always been pursuing how to cook simple and back to the basics. So whether you are a novice cook just trying to feed yourself or the ones you love or just wanting a great simple meal to whip up with lots of fresh ingredients, these recipes will make it happen for you. I have flipped through or own all of these cookbooks myself (in fact a couple of these are friends of mine who are the author’s) so I know just how amazing what is on these pages are. Even more, these cookbooks also have info on how to combine flavors and ingredients to just whip something up if you really struggle with that. I think you will find any of these will teach you something new, make you greater cook, and help you to cook healthy and well for those you love the most.

Pretty Simple Cooking by Sonja and Alex Overhiser:
I have known Sonja and Alex for a very long time and these two are just the sweetest couple. Watching them launch this book while adopting their son as been such a joy. This book is about their journey with cooking from not cooking to publishing a book. They have info about choosing dishes on time and simplicity. All of it healthy and vegetarian to boot. The writing and inspiration is amazing especially for those wanting to dive further into cooking.

Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio:
Jeanine and I have known each other in the blogging world for probably over 5 years now. We have had breakfasts, met for drinks, etc. Now we are basically neighbors that she lives in Chicago and we cannot wait to catch up this summer, but I have to tell you that her cookbook whether we were friends or not would have a prominent place on my shelf no matter what. This book is the top gift I give new grads and for wedding gifts. It is beautiful, seasonal, and the recipes are so yummy and simple. It is the greatest book you can think of having in your kitchen. Seriously. Just pick it up now…not to mention she has an awesome meal planner ANNNND and she has another book on the horizon!

The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman:
Melissa is another northern girl and she has always been a go-to for recipes for me. I love her personality and vow to minimalism in the kitchen. Her photography is beautiful and she is a talented designer, thus why this book is every minimalist designers dream for cooking with. Not to mention, you should follow her on Instagram because she is so fun and her house is beautiful!

Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Allison Cayne:
This book doesn’t just give you recipes but quite literally teaches you how to cook. From showing step by step how to cut something to how different cooking terms are used. This is a really wonderful gift for anyone who wants to really dive in cooking and wants visual and tangible examples of what it looks like in a beautiful and practical way. The recipes are also really wonderful and my book is currently covered in stains because we use it so often.

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters:
The mother of farm to table’s original book may be the most important cookbook for every home cook to have in their home. Alice is basically my hero and had the privilege to meet her and enjoy a meal with her. Basically the highlight of my year last year, but this book is one of the most important books to have in your kitchen. There aren’t pretty photos of dishes or anything like most modern cookbooks, but her writing of recipes and how to source ingredients is so important. It will teach you to find confidence and simplicity in how you cook. It is a wonderful collection of simple classic recipes everyone loves.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman:
Who doesn’t love Smitten Kitchen? It is probably one of the most talked about food blogs amongst my friends and I have to agree that Deb knows how to really keep it simple and classic with amazing taste. This is great for the everyday cook who wants a little something elevated from the norm of what they eat each day. 

The Yellow Table by Anna Watson Carl:
I had the wonderful privlege to help Anna with her Kickstarter for this book and she really nailed it. If you are newbie to cooking great simple meals for entertaining and pairing wines with them, this is the book for you! Anna is the whiz of blending professional chef style with every day meals. You will learn so much from her and her beautiful view of cooking and gathering. 

Small Victories by Julia Turshen:
Julia is a massive talent in the food world. She has a beautiful way of creating simple dishes seem more than just every day. A wonderful resource especially for newer cooks this book takes all of Julia’s years of knowledge and lets you have a piece of it on your shelf at home. 

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman:
Not the most beautiful book, but if you ask nearly anyone what is the most helpful book in the kitchen I would say 1 out of 5 people would tell you this one. It is just that…how to cook everything. Every possible thing you could ever think about eating in one book and it will help you perfect all of your cooking skills.

So tell me, what are your favorite cookbooks as a newbie chef? Or better yet what books do you use for simple great meals at home every week? What are the ones that hold the prime spot on your shelf for easy pulling and are filled with stains? Those are the ones that are the most important on your shelf.

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Asparagus is one of the first veggies we will get to enjoy in spring. Though we are already eating Microgreens and Pea Tendrils as well as those root veggies we can finally get to since the ground thawed, now we will soon see these guys gracing the market in abundance. They grow wild here in Michigan and in much of the Midwest and as one of the top producers of Asparagus in the country here in Michigan, we as northerners are very into these guys. Come late June I have had my fill, but they never stop being one of my favorite go-to easy to use veggies we have available.

But I wanted to share with you some tips about cooking them well and some interesting info on how they grow so you can better understand them as we eat them this spring. I find that when I have information about a vegetable I know better how to handle it and work with it.

So to kick off talking about Asparagus here are 10 quick facts and info about the plant you may or may not know:

  • Asparagus Season in Michigan begins in May and goes sometimes through June
  • We typically eat the early shoots of Asparagus. The later in the season the woodier the stems become
  • Asparagus is a perennial (it comes back every year) and as it ages year after year the stems become thicker and thicker
  • Asparagus prefers sandier soil than most plants and many times makes very easy in terms of weeding.
  • Asparagus takes time to cultivate from a seed. It takes 3 years before you can harvest spears for eating, but the plants will produce for 10-12 years typically.
  • The fern created once it goes to seed is really beautiful and the best way to spot wild asparagus usually in late July or August.
  • Asparagus is arguably one of the best vegetables for you from a nutrient density perspective and caloric intake. Low calories and high nutrient value for the win!
  • The woody stem should always be snapped off, just bend till it naturally snaps. The fresher they are the easier it is. Save them to put in a vegetable stock and get all those extra nutrients in your stock.
  • There is more than just green. You can find white and purple as well.
  • Asparagus is a sustainable veggie meaning it has very few pest issues and pesticides aren’t that necessary and they enjoy dryer sandy soil so they need very little water as well. Making them a food source with a small environmental footprint.

So now how to prepare it? I sold you on it, huh? Well good news it takes little to no time to really enjoy these guys. They are a wonderfully quick way to pack in lots of nutrients with very little effort.

Here are 3 ways you can enjoy it without much effort at all.

ROAST THEM:
After detaching the woody stems (bend fresh asparagus till you feel the snap point and remove the woody hard stem before cooking), wash them thoroughly to remove sand and so on that very easily gets in them because of the soil they love. Then place flat on a non-stick pan. Drizzle them with Olive Oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 400 (you can also do broil on high) and pull them out when they are still vibrant green but slightly burnt or crisped usually 10-15 minutes at most. Zest with lemon and squeeze lemon juice. You can then shave some fresh parmesan over them if you want a little extra flavor.

PEEL THEM:
Wash them well, remove stems, and then take a veggie peeler and peel down their length onto a pizza, into pasta, into salads, or anything else you can dream up. They create great texture and flavor to spring dishes. A great way to mix it up later in the season as the stems get woodier.

SAUTE THEM:
Wash and remove stems and then saute them over high/medium heat in ghee or grapeseed oil. They will get nice and crisp and green. Then serve sprinkled with a dash of white wine vinegar and salt and pepper. When finishing with salt I usually opt for a course sea salt like Maldon or Jacobsen.

So tell me what is your favorite way to eat Asparagus? Do you grow your own? What tips do you have about eating them?

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The snow is melting. The days are warmer. We have sun on our cheeks in a way we haven’t in months. The grass is beginning to green and we are feeling as if spring is finally arriving. With it I am already feeling the ache for time in the dirt and months of growing our food. It is very much something I am ready for and have been for over a month now. As we see the dirt emerge and the grass come to life, I know our time and days of growing and sowing are becoming closer.

Growing your own food is one of trial and error and a lot of learning. Over the years I have learned but I would by no means begin placing the word “knowledgeable” in front of my skills. I have a long way to go and I see our land at our home as my greatest teacher. This late spring and summer, I will be learning a lot. Along the way though I have learned quite a bit about some of the things I love for creating a garden this time of year. From compost tumblers for small at home gardens to what hand tools I like the best. All of it is really from simple trial and error that I have learned.

Below, I gathered up some of the items I am using this year as we begin the growing season of spring. From rain boots to coats to gathering bags to mini greenhouses for tender plants and more. These items are ones I am giving a try this year or have been using for a long time and I cannot wait to share them with you as well as hear the items you love for this time of year in the garden.

Cultivator from Barebones Living  |  Compost Tumbler from Yimbly Harvest bag from Barebones Living  |  Grow Light Stand from iPower Recycled Planter from Smith and Hawken  |  Galvanized Watering Can from Smith and Hawken  |  The Whole Seed Catalog from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds  |  Compost Pail from Utopian Kitchen  |  Metal Wagon from Gorilla Carts  |  Small Wood Greenhouse from Target Spade from Barebones Living  |  Copper Markers from Amazon  |  Seedling Cups from Amazon  |  Work Coat from Patagonia  |  Black Mud Boots from Tretorn  |  Bird Feeder from Rejuvenation  |  Copper Hose from Amazon

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