– Edna St. Vincent Millay, Spring
Rather I should have started with a quote by T.S. Elliot – “April is the cruelest month” since as I write this, it’s snowing out. Nature’s joke on us!
In our area, most farmers markets won’t open until mid-May. However, Lancaster Farm Fresh 4 Season Harvest has continued its weekly deliveries with limited locations through the winter; the buying club will be back in full swing beginning in May.
Where else to go for Real Food in April? Martindale’s Natural Food Market and Swarthmore Coop offer local and organic fruits and vegetables weekly as does Trader Joe’s in Media. Swarthmore Coop runs specials on organic/local produce every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
If you’re planning ahead for May, check out Eat Local Philly for farmers markets in Havertown, Media, Swarthmore, and West Chester. Don’t forget to check out local buying clubs, pick your own farms, and CSAs.
Despite the snow outside today, it isn’t too early to think about planting a garden this year to ensure that your family has fresh vegetables. As I shared yesterday, a number of cool weather crops can go in the ground now, plus you can begin planning for hot weather vegetables like tomatoes and peppers. If you’re new to gardening, lettuce, bush beans, tomatoes, peppers, and spinach are easy to grow plants; just look to your weekly grocery list for ideas of what your family likes.
With fresh greens grown locally appearing in area grocery stores and markets, take advantage of the seasonal ingredients to revamp your menu plan. Maybe you had planned on having a salad every day way back on January 1st, but never started the habit. Checking out the produce section at Martindale’s or the Swarthmore Coop may be just the inspiration you need.
Spring sports are in full swing, and a great opportunity to get the entire family moving. Many fields have a playground or open area near by where kids can throw balls, kick soccer balls, ride their bikes or just play while their sibling practices. Packing a bag of equipment in the car makes it easier to take advantage of opportunities to play and exercise.
There’s no way around it – taxes are due this month. Use this deadline to review your current financial situation with your spouse. I just read a story recently about a couple and life insurance. The wife thought the husband was paying the bill for her life insurance, and he thought she was paying the bill. Long story short, she had no life insurance.
If you have small or large debt, make a plan with your spouse to take care of the debt, and set up the plan to happen automatically. If you’re getting a refund, maybe this needs to go towards your debt before you buy that new set of patio furniture.
As you do the seasonal clothing switch towards the end of the month and during May, review clothing needs for your family and put a list in your purse. Take advantage of garage sales, thrift stores, and clearance racks at retail stores to help you save money on the list. Think ahead several seasons and make note of bigger sizes. Do the same for shoes. I’ve had great success outfitting my kids with new shoes by keeping an eye on the clearance section at Kohl’s.
Garage sale and flea market season start this month. Delaware County Community College is hosting a huge flea market on Sunday, April 3rd starting at 9 a.m. at its campus in Marple Township. Delco News Network keeps a running list of garage sales and flea markets on its site. All of the Town Talk papers include listings for local garage sales and flea markets in their classified section. I will be highlighting local sales starting next Tuesday. Email me if you’d like me to mention one.
Strath Haven High School along with Earth Care Council is hosting an Environmental Fair on Saturday, April 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mike McGrath, host of You Bet Your Garden on WHYY 91FM will be talking about How to Get Your Yard Off Drugs at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free to the fair.
If you need a night out with the girl friends, Delaware County Moms has organized a Mom’s Night Out at the Swarthmore Community Center on Friday, April 8th at 7:30 p.m. as a fundraiser for Cradles to Crayon, a local charity whose mission is to provide children living in low income and homeless situations from birth to preteen the basic essentials, free of charge, that they need to feel safe, warm, ready to learn. Admission is $5. They’re accepting donations of gently used children’s clothing & supplies to be donated to Cradles to Crayons.
YMCA Healthy Kids Day and Ridley Health Awareness Day will take place at the Ridley High School on Saturday, April 9th from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon in conjunction with the Ridley 5K Run.