Spring Forward with Harmony Co-op
Daylight Savings Time occurred this weekend, and now that we've all adjusted to the time change and our coffee consumption has leveled off again, we can enjoy it for what it represents. We remember to set the clocks ahead an hour with the mantra "spring forward", and it's a good reminder that we are in fact headed forward into spring. Sure, the snow hasn’t melted yet (we will not care to speculate on how long that will actually take) and the ice houses aren’t even all off the lakes. That doesn’t mean we can’t start planning out the warmer, sunnier months ahead – well before the first flower sprouts that you’d almost forgotten about start poking their little green heads through winter’s last few snowbanks. We can plan our garden (and even get some seeds started), think of some new outdoor hobbies, learn some earth-friendly habits, and get as ready as we can to soak up as much springtime as possible.
One of the first signs of spring here at Harmony is the seed display up front, and we’re all very excited to see the High Mowing display arrive! Starting seeds indoors can be done no matter what the weather outside, and you can also try smaller window or kitchen herb gardens with some varieties. We’re in planting zone 3b; planting zones, developed by the USDA, help farmers and growers decide when to start which plants depending on the climate and plant hardiness. While we might think it’s too early, it’s actually a great time to think about starting some of the hardier varieties!
We're getting ready for spring in the education department, too! Harmony has classes weekly from September through May, and now that we're into our spring semester here we have some exciting events coming up. Aili Kultala of Beltrami County Greencorps will be presenting a class on home composting April 1st; since Harmony has been working with the county on their composting pilot program, we're even more excited to help spread the joys of sustainability. On April 16th we have a Gardening Basics class with Jill Pederson and Randy Olson of Merry Gardens Farm, and once you've eaten their fresh, organic local produce you'll know that these folks know their plants. Our monthly Harmony Co+op Explorers program (for kids 12 and under) will also be getting into the springtime spirit; we'll be making crafts in March, doing fun recycling-themed family activities at our Annual Owner Meeting in April, planting seeds in May, and getting ready for even more fun this summer. You can see all our upcoming classes and events here!
There's even more spring-themed fun coming up here at Harmony. April is our Owner Month, as well as Earth Day and the other spring holidays; we'll be doing special drawings and ownership incentives all month long. Our Annual Owner Meeting is Sunday the 26th; we'll have live music, children's activities, special sales, and fun prizes as well as a community meal and the meeting itself, chaired by our General Manager and Board of Directors. We'll be mailing out our patronage dividends as well in April, speaking of ownership incentives! We're also looking forward to our Summer Family Festival, with outdoor games and delicious food and, as always, monthly free kid’s activities with the Harmony Co-op Explorers. We’ll have farm tours for both adults and children so you can see where your food comes from and make friends with the farmer who grew it, and we’ll have our outreach table at events around town. There's even more excitement coming up than we can possibly fit here, so keep an eye on our website and social media—and don’t forget to stop in the store and see for yourself!
Here in northern Minnesota we are used to being a little optimistic. If we waited all winter for spring, we’d never leave our houses, so once the snow hits we just break out the skis or the snowmobile. The lake is frozen over? Great! Now we can cut a hole in the ice and fish through it! Fifty below kills emerald ash borers and other invasive insects, and aren’t the northern lights beautiful? That said, once the first waterfowl start jockeying for the open spots on the lake, as much as we love winter we're even more excited for springtime. The sun is shining a little longer each day as the snowbanks slump a little bit further down, and soon the birdsong and flowers will brighten our other senses. Not everyone enjoys losing that precious hour of sleep when Daylight Savings Time returns, but now that we've adjusted, we can use that as momentum to propel ourselves into the new season - and Harmony Co-op can't wait to spring forward with you!