5 Things for May

5 Things for May

As we approach the first truly vibrant month of the year, it seems only appropriate to begin this ongoing season this year that I hope you can find yourself referring back to as reminders. For a long time we have run these lists in our email newsletters each month, but we plan to transition some of the content heading into the next month and season, but I still wanted to offer these lists to you.

I love these lists because they guide our months and bring purpose and intention to it. Each month offers us new opportunities and new tasks. Sometimes it can feel each month drones on and before we know it we are through a year, but when we have even 5 simple things to do in a month, we can find a month of meaning and ultimately a year of being intentional and present with each ebb and flow of the year. So let’s dig into the month of May!

ONE: GET INTO THE FARM MARKET ROUTINE
This month many outdoor markets open. Our’s here in Traverse City opens this coming weekend and it feels like the beginning of summer almost though we know it is far from it. We still have a month and a half after all. But we begin to grasp better what is in season. Even in more northern climates such as Traverse City and places in Wisconsin and Minneapolis we can gather fresh produce. The produce right now will be crisp, bitter, light, and sometimes rather sweet. After a winter and months of cabbage, onions, potatoes, things from the freezer, to see a radish, turnip greens, and even dare I say it fresh herbs. It is exciting to see that and I make it a near habit to walk the markets every week because it is a refresher on what is happening in our community when it comes to food. Showing up here is like showing up for the community. I set a budget each week and make it a point to keep that all with my favorite farmers who have regenerative and natural practices with their food in hopes to build and encourage a better eco system in our local environment.

TWO: MOVE SEEDLINGS TO A GREENHOUSE OR EVEN PLANT THEM
We aren’t ready to plant here just yet, some of us will be by the end of the month, but I usually don’t even attempt to get anything in the ground unless it can handle a light freeze (carrots, radishes, etc) till Memorial Day weekend. It is a good time and we rarely get a freeze after that. But right now, I am watching the weather and once the lows reach regularly above 32 I start moving my started and more robust seedlings into our small greenhouse we keep on the west side of our house. I also set a thermometer inside and keep a heat mat at the ready for colder days. I find our small greenhouse keeps our plants protected but the heat during the day gets them moving even more than our being under a heat lamp does. By starting your own seedlings it is a chance to make the most of your crop and spend the least amount to produce your own feed. By mid month I typically seed the things that need to sown in the ground because I find they are ready for thinning by the first week of June. Much of your time in May is spent preparing to plant and just watching the early stages of your garden, which always excites me!

THREE: FINALIZE SUMMER PLANS
If you had planned to do something this summer, now is the time to firm up those plans. With Memorial Day this month, it is the unofficial start to summer here in Northern Michigan. We always deem it that because traffic increases, the beaches fill up even though many won’t get in the water. That said, if you had plans of traveling, camping, adventuring, now is the time to plan it and get everything booked for your trip. Also, if you are planning on visiting someone in the summer, it is nice for them to have your firm dates and plans for their own schedule.

FOUR: SHIFT YOUR CLOSET AND ENTRIES
With the onset of warmer days (yes they are coming) it means we can shift things up. Leave your cotton sweaters out and plenty of good layers, but you can tuck away the winter pieces like thermal underwear, wool socks, wool sweaters, and more. Also, we can shift our entries, put away the boots other than your rain boots obviously and put those coats away. Switch them out for your rain coats and waxed cotton ones. Your life will feel lighter and like you instantly welcomed in a new season. You can get a full list of for your spring closet here.

FIVE: READJUST YOUR HOME FOR WARMER DAYS
Last month i went out and spent money at my favorite plant store to have some green things in our home. It brought so much sun and brightness to our home. To me it began the shift to spring and eventually summer. I keep blankets in the house for most of the year, but in the late spring and early summer,  I pull the wool blankets and set them aside, I remove added furs on furniture and I shift the things around our home to welcome the warmer days. Sometimes I even rearrange when it feels right. I shift linens in our rooms and I remove the layers of blankets on our bed. All of it slowly happens over the month of May. We also place screens on the window and attach hoses again. All of it is the beginning of the warm days ahead.

So if you want to save this for yourself and what to do in May, below is a graphic you can pin or print to keep around for yourself. It will help guide your month to feel the welcoming of warmer days.

5 Things for May

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