These two Hidcote English Lavender plants grow in two large plastic pots in my garden. French lavender is too tender to survive the Philly winters. I have mostly native plants in my garden, but I make exceptions for roses, lavenders, and some food plants. The pollinators are going crazy on the lavenders. Bumble bees, little flies, mystery bees, the lavender is jumping!
One of my favorite native flowers in my garden.
Late winter and early spring can be a hard, hungry time. Winter stores of food are dwindling and gardeners have not start to produce fresh food, yet. Before modern supermarkets, shipping food long distances and freezers, this time of year would have bought empty stomachs. The full Moon of February was called the, ‘Full Hungry Moon’ because of this.
For gardeners in cooler climates, this time of year signals the beginning of the planting season. Here in Philadelphia, sweet peas are planted around the time of the spring equinox, depending on the weather. In the Mid-Atlantic region, now is the time to plant cool weather crops before the weather heats up too much. Weather has changed here in the Philadelphia region. Spring warms up very quickly, now. Any broccoli or cauliflower I plant can quickly go to seed. So, we have to plant cool weather crops as early as possible.
The following foods are ‘in season’, this is the time they are growing and at the peak of production and harvest. Some foods are in peak season in other places and shipped here. An example would be the abundance of citrus fruits grown in our food markets this winter since are in peak season in warmer places like California and Florida.
To learn more about eat seasonally, visit CUESA, to find seasonal chart and what is in season now.
Seasonal Foods for Spring
artichokes, Jerusalem (American native plant)
fiddle head ferns (Ostrich fern – American native plant)
mushrooms – morel, chanterelle, shiitake
onions – spring, visalia
peas – English, sweet, spring, snow
potatoes – new
zucchini blossoms (American native plant)
Leafy Green Vegetables
ramps (American native plant)
shoots – garlic, pea
sprouts – daikon
blueberries (American native plant)
lemons – Meyer
limes – key
oranges – blood, navel
Fish & Seafood
crayfish (American native food)
soft-shell crabs (American native food)
shad (American native food)
chives – garlic
Yes, that’s right folks. A snowy, cold, wet first day of spring in Philly. Happy Vernal Equinox.
Imbolc is a Celtic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly celebrated on 1 or 2 February (or 12 February, according to the Old Calendar) in the northern hemisphere and 1 August in the southern hemisphere. These dates fall halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
Imbolc is usually celebrated when the first stirrings of spring are felt, or on the full moon that falls closest to this time.
The holiday was, and for many still is, a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Celebrations often involved hearth fires, special foods (butter, milk, and bannocks, for example), divination or watching for omens, candles or a bonfire if the weather permits. Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day.
1 February, northern hemisphere
1 August, southern hemisphere
Related to: Candlemas, Groundhog Day
Observed by: Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx people), Neopagans (Celtic Reconstructionists, Neo-Druids and Wiccans)
What signs of spring have sprung in your neighborhood?