Point is, things are blooming. And this is very important, because the spruce tips are out! Every spring, spruce grow little buds. And as the weather warms up, they shed their little papery hats, and break forth in sparkly shiny green.
We've been out and about in the woods and in people's yards, and enlisting as many friends as we can. Here's a word from one of our master foragers, Matti Erpestad, and Emily's dad Steve:
Good spruce tips aren't good to eat in the same way as, say, apples. But they are tart, piney, and a little floral. There's a lot of variety between trees, so you have to taste each one before you load up your basket. But if you find a good one, they're pretty magical. Juicy, almost.
Those are the characteristics we're going to be building on in our Tree Line Spruce Gin, come August or September. Of course by then the spruce tips will be old and disillusioned, so we're picking now and storing them in the freezer.
And oh yeah, the other thing Minnesota has in the spring... bugs.