March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The weather where we’re located in New York’s Hudson Valley isn’t exactly predictable, but generally speaking this old saying holds true. Early March is stormy — often there’s even a final hurrah snow storm. By the end of the month, if we’re lucky, we’re seeing buds and some first-of-season flowers. According to folklore, the worse March roars in, the sweeter it’s supposed to tiptoe out, docile like a lamb. We love the saying even though it’s not backed up by science or even anecdotal evidence.

In the past few years, we’ve lived through so-so Marches followed by Aprils with icy car windshields many mornings. There’s nothing docile about a frigid reminder that winter isn’t actually comfortably in the past. And we’ve also experienced wacky warm days in March that felt like June. One fact is constant: by the time March concludes – roaring or docile — we know spring is, one way or another, on the horizon. Which is maybe why we’re still repeating a proverb that can be traced back to the 17th century. (Or later; it depends on what you read and where you do your research).


Besides, March coming in like a lion and out like a lamb doesn’t need to be a perfectly reliable weather prediction. We now have iPhones for that. The point is that by April Fools’ Day, seedlings are generally doing their thing in greenhouses and the earth is thawing enough to be worked. This is good news. Soon enough outdoor farmers’ markets will open in the towns that surround us.. The dates are already cropping up on various websites. Opening day in Hudson is April 27th ! It’s May 5th in Rhinebeck and May 11th in Kingston. We’ll all have to wait until early June for Rosendale, New Paltz, and other villages.


Meanwhile, if you find yourself craving lamb as March turns to April, you’re not alone. You can turn to your standards, or test one of these recipes. There’s plenty to cook.

1. Try this bone-in leg of lamb from Epicurious. Its bright and varied herb mixture is inspired by a Georgian dish.

2. Braise lamb shanks and pair them with this mint gremolata from Bon Appetit.

3. Lighten up your winter lamb stew to match the new season! There are a lot of ways to do this. This recipe from Food and Wine calls for (frozen) artichoke hearts and white beans.

4. Celebrate the slowly warming weather by grilling lamb chops outside. Try a few or more of these fourteen lamb chop recipes from Delish.

There’s an added benefit to cooking lamb in early April: by the time Easter and Passover come along, you’ll be ready with a tried and true recipe to make for friends and family.