Gardening with Gratitude This September

You probably already know about the wonderful edibles we can grow in a fall garden. Pick up some seedlings of Rainbow chard, Russian kale, mizuna, bok choi, spinach – these and all those other nutrition-rich leafy greens thrive in cooler weather. You can probably get a decent crop of radishes before the ground freezes, and it’s a good time to try cool-season edible flowers too: pansies and their cousins, and chrysanthemums.

Here in Oregon we are blessed with the mild weather that makes these fall gardens possible, and right now we have another reason to be grateful for our climate. The return of the rainy season gives some relief to the heroic men and women fighting the wildfires that are devastating so much of our state.

Hundreds of thousands of forest acres are on fire. Everywhere else, our farms and fields and gardens are parched, and even many miles away from the firelines, dense smoke and ash are making it hard to breathe whenever we step outside.

If you love to work in your garden in the fall, if you feel invigorated by the crisp air, take a moment to send a silent prayer of thanks to the firefighters, first responders, and volunteers who risk so much to keep our homes, historic buildings, and public lands safe. Our air quality will improve in a matter of days, but our heartache for the blackened, burned-out lands will last much longer.

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