Spring into Action

April is the second month of spring, and for Canadians it is a good month to start planning for the spring planting. Make this is the year you start a veggie patch!

Let’s Keep it Simple
Thinking about where to get started? Start small, and give “square-foot gardening” a try. All you need is an area of about 2x3 metres — that’s more than enough to get started.

First step is to choose your location, and this comes down to the soil, and the light/shade. You might have to do some exploring with your spade to find a spot that has good soil. You’re looking for dark crumbly textured soil that is rock free.

If you discover rocky, sandy or hard pan clay, then you’ll need to look into building up your soil. Try looking online, or in your neighbourhood for some free soil. You can also make a trip to your local garden store and buy a good garden blend — the Original SEA SOIL™ products are a good choice.

Choose a spot that has at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. An ideal spot isn’t going to be surrounded by big trees or neighbouring buildings. If you’re blessed to be south facing then align your garden running east to west. This helps to ensure even distribution of sun.

Tip: Tall plants (pole beans, tomatoes, peas) go north of shorter plants (basil, bush beans, zucchini), and leafy greens (kale, lettuce, spinach) can tolerate some shade because they prefer cooler weather.

If this is your first time gardening then starting small is the right approach. Find info online at almanac.com/square-foot-gardening or go to the library or your local gardening centre and get a Square Foot Gardening guide. Square foot gardening is an ideal way to start growing for beginners. It approaches planting a garden by focusing on a small area (one foot at a time). It’s a system that actually provides high yields and is super easy to do!

Pro tip: April is the month to sow arugula (or rocket), broad beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, leeks, lettuce, peas, radish, spinach, and swiss chard.

Happy growing!

Health & Wellness

A delicious and nutritious dinner is a great way to make sure the family is maintaining a healthy diet.
Eating healthier equals living healthier. Here’s a time-tested classic that really delivers.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

6 bell peppers
½ pound lean ground beef
½ pound Italian sausage
1 small sweet onion - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 can small diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces
½ cup white rice uncooked
1 ¼ cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 ½ cups marinara sauce - divided
½ cup cheddar cheese - shredded

Nutritional Information
Calories: 385, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 922mg, Potassium: 933mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 11g
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Pro Tip
You definitely can freeze stuffed peppers, so they're a great meal to make ahead! You’ll have to bake them first though. Freeze them individually, or together in a baking dish. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.

Bon appetit!


Preheat your oven to 350°F

Remove tops off the peppers (save the tops)
- Chop tops of the peppers to add to the filling
- Remove seeds and membranes and discard

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook peppers for 5 minutes
- Remove and drain well

In a large skillet, brown beef, sausage, onion & garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains — drain any fat

Stir in the diced tomatoes with juice, rice, 1 ¼ cup water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover
- Cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender
- Note: You can add more water if needed.
- Stir in ½ cup marinara sauce

Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan

Fill each pepper with the rice mixture

Spoon remaining marinara sauce over peppers

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes
- Remove foil, baste peppers with any sauce in the bottom

Top with cheddar and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender

Prepared & ready to serve in 60 minutes or less!

A Straightforward Process

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April Sudoku

Did you know?
In Ancient Rome the month of April was sacred to the goddess Venus. It is also believed April gets its name from the Latin word "to open" and describes the trees opening at springtime.

  5 2
  8 6
2   8
7   3
9   8
1   4
8   2
2 3  
5 7  

Click here to view the solution

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