Spring in New Hampshire
Spring is in the air! The birds are singing, the streams are rushing, the flowers are coming up, and the hens are laying eggs again. The early radishes, spinach, asparagus, and rhubarb are available at the local Farmer's Market (or in your own garden) and the local nurseries are stocking up on lots of wonderful plants. Welcome to Spring in New Hampshire!
Get Out There
Get Out There! The weather is getting warmer and the snow is melting. Now is a great time to visit a local sugar shack like Kearsarge Gore Farm in Warner to try out some homemade New Hampshire syrup. Renew your connection to the Earth (and shed some winter pounds) on some of these local family friendly hikes. Spending time in Nature will give you a chance to observe all the amazing changes that happen in Spring. I highly recommend downloading the iNaturalist app and getting to know your local flora and fauna (Seek is their app for kids).
Spring Means Chicks
Spring means Chicks! Want fresh eggs, a living compost system, and some great entertainment? I highly recommend investing in a few backyard chickens this Spring. With a simple coop, a chicken tractor, and some food and water containers, you are good to go. Nothing says self-sufficiency like a vegetable garden and some laying hens. Plus chicks are adorable!
Start Your Seeds
Starting vegetables and flowers from seeds is so much fun and can save you a lot of money. You also have access to far more varieties from seeds catalogs than from the garden stores. Check out what I plant and when I plant it for some ideas.
Tomato, pepper, eggplant, and most flower seeds need to be started indoors. Peas, kale, spinach, and beets are all hardy annuals that will be happy be planted right into the garden as soon as you can get a spade into your soil.
If you are ready for starting seeds yourself, check out Starting Seeds 101.
Build a Garden Bed
Raised beds from the garden stores are great, but you can also build one for free using downed logs. Then fill your bed using a hugelkultur method, an environmentally-friendly way to build soil and to get rid of brush and dead tree limbs. First, put down a layer of bigger sticks and logs – the deader, the better. Next, a layer of grass clippings, leaves, and small, dead sticks. Next, a layer of the soil you dug out to make the hole. Lastly, topsoil, finished compost, or soil from the garden store. Learn how to build a raised bed here.
Want fresh, local veggies, but not ready to start a garden? Join a CSA this Spring and enjoy all New Hampshire has to offer!
In The Yard
Spring is a great time to seed clover into the bald spots in your yard (or to dig up your yard and plant native plants or gardens instead!). You can start a pollinator garden easily by visiting your local gardening store. Extra points if you choose native plants, because our native NH pollinators love them. It's also a good time to look for invasive species around the edges of the yard and to cut them down or pull them out before they can get established. But try really hard not to rake up leaves left over the winter because they are home to lots of caterpillars and larvae that will turn into beneficial insects for your gardens. Read more about creating a sustainable yard here.
Easter (Spring Equinox, Ostara) is a very ancient celebration of rebirth, symbolized by eggs, bunnies, and flowers (all symbols of fertility). Enjoy a Spring feast with early greens, eggs, roasted root vegetables, sourdough bread and cheese, a vegetable pot pie, baked beans, and a fruit pie (made with fruit or berries we froze last summer (link)). Easter baskets are a chance for us to give our children a bit of Spring fun at a time when things are often still gray and chilly, but they don't have to be wasteful. I have lots of ideas for filling baskets here.
Spring Cleaning? Check out our Clean and Green section for advice on how to clean without harsh chemicals and wasted packaging.