Spring is finally on the way!

I sincerely hope by the time this issue hits the streets the first of March we will be having some warm and sunny days. It's been a long, cold winter for all of us and a beautiful spring day is best appreciated after you've been chilled for way too long. Usually by this time in mid-February, I've already had several days in the garden where I've felt the warmth of the sun on my shoulders, but not this year. Besides the sun and blue sky, I'm also craving the crunch of a fresh salad with spring onions, radishes and carrots. My own little raised, covered bed got nipped by our long days of sub zero temperatures and it's made the wait for local greens seem especially wearisome.

The expectations of spring can be so inspiring, and not just for planting, but for appreciating the world around us. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. I spent some time in India last fall, and it really hit me how much we take for granted. Our way of life and our little piece of heaven-whether it be a house, or apartment in town, or a farm in the country. We live in paradise and if we take care of the land it will reward us with good things for both the body and soul.

This is the time of year our gardens come alive. Not only do the daffodils, tulips, and iris start to bloom, but we can also start thinking about the upcoming harvests of strawberries, potatoes, onions, greens, and more. It won't be long before our local farmers' markets start opening (check out the market listings in this issue for opening days) and the hunt for fresh, local food should be a little less daunting. In this issue of Local Table, we take a look at some of our local foods that aren't so tied to the weather, and make springtime a whole lot more enjoyable. From locally raised meats and cheese to hand crafted candy, and to the local restaurants using the harvests from our neighbors-Middle Tennessee has it all. If you haven't started exploring what our region has to offer, make this the year to taste really good, nutritious food raised right here in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.

Happy spring,

Lisa Shively