With all the rain, gray skies and chilly temperatures, we’ve paid our dues this winter. And now comes the pay-off: lush green hills, warm temps and once-dry lakes now filled with water.

Hope does indeed spring eternal – especially in spring!

The season of clearing skies officially begins March 20. But already you can see the benefits at your local farmers’ markets. Here are just a few of the things to look forward to this time of year:

  • Easier travel. As the busy rainy season comes to a close, traveling by car will seem so much safer. With more relaxed driving, it’s much easier to cruise to a farmers’ market in another community. Our markets are in Arroyo Grande, Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo — all beautiful destinations.
  • Spring flowers. While you’re driving, you might want to check out the gorgeous wildflowers in places like Montana de Oro or the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Also keep in mind that spring is a perfect time to get colorful flowers at your farmers’ market.
  • Daylight for the Downtown Farmers’ Market. Once Daylight Savings Time returns (March 12), it’ll be light until around 7 p.m., which means the popular Thursday market will no longer be completely in the dark. Expect an hour of light right off the bat and increasingly more as we inch toward summer.
  • Strawberries! Picture yourself chomping into a fat, sweet strawberry. Good, right? March is the beginning of the season for both strawberries and avocados. Juicy cherries aren’t far behind.
  • Spring soups. Anyone who visits the farmers’ market in Morro Bay (and regular readers of this blog) know that Stephanie Burchiel makes soups for every season. Her spring soups include cream of asparagus, golden beet carrot and quinoa and her popular split pea soup.