A recap of stories from the month of April

April is a month of earnest transformation, complete with the usual stumbles transitions bring: one-step forward into the sun, one step back into snow. In the kitchen, we find ourselves poised on the edge of seasons, eager to bring in the smokiest maple syrup from last month’s harvest, yet still forced to raid the root cellar for local vegetables.

It’s also a time of new beginnings and growth — the promise of these gray days is that something better is coming. The asparagus shoots are poking through the soft earth, but aren’t ready to harvest. The first seedlings of late winter become gawky greens reaching for the warmth. It’s a time of waiting, and patience.

In wilder places, nature has it’s own rhythm. As the forsythia bursts into yellow bloom, the fiddlehead begin to unfurl. But even there, patience is required. Wild leeks, known as ramps, are one of the first wild edibles to appear in springtime, but each garlicky leaf has been years in the making — it can be anywhere from five to seven years before each seed becomes a plump bulb.

This month on The Good Local, we’ve celebrated growth and new beginnings: from a lesson on starting vegetable seeds to the little hot sauce company with big dreams, a recipe that makes the best of the cold cellar and a festival that celebrates an alternate vision of beer-drinking culture.

Next month will bring fresh foods in season and new culinary adventures, but there’s no rushing ahead — you’ll just have to wait.

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Winter Bounty Apple Crisp

Brianna Bell spends some time at Hamilton’s popular co-op grocery store The Mustard Seed. Founder Emma Cubitt shares her favourite recipe for Ontario Winter Bounty Apple Crisp.

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Starting seeds

Merridy Senior from Puddleduck farm walks us through the steps to getting seeds started indoors ahead of the outdoor planting season. We also had our first official giveaway, teaming up with our friends at Soilblockers.ca. More giveaways to come in the near future so stay tunned!

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Pepper North

Meghan Sheffield follows Drew and Anna Stevens as they spend the day at a production facility bottling a batch of hot sauce for their family run company Pepper North based in Oshawa, Ontario.

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Canada’s All Ladies Beer Festival 

Jeannette Breward’s photo essay of the All Ladies Beer Festival at Evergreen Brick works in Toronto captures the highlights of the weekend and shows all beer and cider loving ladies why they shouldn’t miss the next event!