Spring officially sprung on Wednesday, March 20. But, as we wait for the snow to melt from the (hopefully) last winter storm, we have to put a concerted effort into getting the season rolling. Here's our top five ways for ringing in spring (aka, giving winter the boot).
1. Spring Cleaning—the oldest trick in the book still holds: de-clutter your space, de-clutter your mind. (Wendy Kagan wrote an article in 2011 about how less clutter makes room for joy, and we published a piece on the art of downsizing in our February 2013 issue.) Unpack the old dust mop, donate that pile of sweaters that you haven't worn in years, and open up your windows for some cross-ventilation of fresh, clean, Valley air. If the winter has left you less than active, your cleaning day can double as a work-out: nothing better than a little calisthenics while you Comet.
2. Wardrobe Wake-Up—for the Beauty & Fashion section in our April issue, we're featuring a spring fashion shoot, with seasonal styles from local shops, like de Marchin and Kosa in Hudson, Reservoir and Wood in Beacon, Juda Leah in Saugerties, Eden in New Paltz, and Cesare + Lili in Rhinebeck. Ditch your insulated boots and try on some bold, colorful patterns to reflect the vibrancy of the season.
3. Star Gazing—get your first taste of the classic warm-weather activity this Saturday at Hudson's Olana State Historic Site, the 250-acre estate and Persian-style home of Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church. Dr. Willie Yee and Joe Macagne, president and vice president of the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association, respectively, will lead the Astronomy Tour, a 21st-century exploration of the night sky. After a presentation on the sky's observable wonders, participants will move to the viewing field where Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association members will have telescopes set up for viewing the night sky's major features, including the moon, Jupiter, and stellar clusters.
4. Gardening Season—brush up on some gardening basics with Michelle Sutton's Essential Horticulture: Pithy Advice for Busy People, then stock up on some heirloom seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library (profiled in our January issue), which offers a full online catalog of open-pollinated seeds that are grown, saved, and hand-packed on their Accord farm. If you're looking for some extra gardening advice, check out the HV Seed Library's Seed Talk and Sale with the acclaimed gardener, blogger, and former garden editor of Martha Stewart Living Margaret Roach on March 23, and the Seed-Starting Talk at Victoria Gardens in Rosendale on March 24.
5. Spring Greens—Chronogram's Food & Drink editor Peter Barrett has a food-writing muse in spring's wild onion-and-garlic-variety greens. In his most recent blog post, "Green Gold," Barrett reflects on the wild garlic that blankets the Northeast: "those dark chivey-looking clusters at the edge of your lawn, if they smell like garlic, are found money." Check out his recipe for scallion pancakes, which, Barrett argues, are best when homemade: "when the rest of the ingredients are flour, water, and a little oil, there is no earthly reason not to make them yourself." Bon appetit!