By Mickey Howley
If you’re reading this column you’ve survived another St. Patrick’s Day. It is pretty safe here in the Valley on that day, just a few loonies wearing green. No parade like Malcolm White started in Jackson, one that gets bigger every year. Unsafe still are the St. Paddy Day parades in New Orleans where cabbages and potatoes are thrown. A pitched cabbage to the head hurts, I tell ya.
Thursday, March 20 this year is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemis-phere—the first day of fall for those south of the equator. Winter is officially over. It has been a pretty cold winter here in the Valley—single digits several times. It was as cold as I’ve ever felt it here and I even got to escape far from the Yalo Zone a couple of times during the most brutal days. And while the Mid-South chilled, the Midwest froze, and the East Coast iced, it was not the coldest winter everywhere. Nope. The West Coast was way warmer and drier than average. Northern Europe was practically toasty.
What does this all mean in the big scope of world survival? It means locally grown tomatoes might be later than normal. This has me most concerned. The ground is cold and it is most likely going to freeze again a couple of times and that is always tough news for lovers of all things local and fresh. Now, there is hope some enterprising farmer will plant those veggies early on the hunch it won’t freeze again. I’ll just remind everyone that it went below 32 degrees as late as May 4 last year. Ice cold. And as a result we had a late start to the Farmers Market.
But if the market might be late, not yet saying that it will be, there are still lots doings to get you out and about in the Valley. Take a break from all that spring cleaning (as if you’re doing that!) and gardening. Walk down Main Street any weekend evening and sample the tempting delicious aromas swirling on the street. From smoking barbecue to boiling crawfish to sizzling fajitas to baking pizzas, any and all of those will tempt you to step inside Main Street’s evening dining establishments and have a great meal. Or if the weather is balmy, several places have outside dining seating now. That’s a new and very nice way to enjoy the Valley.
And there are events coming up as well. There will be new art gallery shows opening April 11. Junior Auxiliary has their Spring Fling April 12. There will be more Loft on Main house concerts. Relay for Life is back May 2. And the Farmers Market starts sometime in May—depending on the weather and tomatoes.