News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Too much excess produce? Share your garden love

Linn County Master Gardener

Gardens are either in survival mode or hyper growth during the hottest days of summer. Flowers are either abundant and bright or burned up. Vegetables are either over-productive or barren. Fruits are either breaking the branches or hard to find. Either we are preserving as much as we can or watering to sustain life. Now is a good time to share the abundance.

Is there someone in your neighborhood who is unable to grow flowers, vegetables or fruit? Do you know of someone who has a physical or medical condition that prevents them from gardening? Is there someone who has done a favor for you or just been pleasant? Is there someone who has done good things for other people without reward? Is there a young person looking for something to do or learn? 

Some worthy or needy people simply lack an ability, skill or time that you might have. Some people deserve a show of respect and admiration for their kindness toward others.

This is a good time to reach out and share what you have or can do. If you have extra flowers or produce, who can you share it with?  If you have downtime because your garden is thriving or suspended, how can you use that time to help someone who does not have your talents or knowledge? Share your garden love.

Parts of the garden are growing more than can be stored or preserved. Herbs, are trying to flower and populate the world (or maybe just our part of the Canyon). Gotta cut them back before they bloom and go to seed. 

So what do we do with them? Dry them for 30 seconds at a time (total about 2 minutes) sandwiched between paper towels in the microwave, store the leaves and buds in glass jars then offer fresh-dried herbs to everyone we know who could use some extra flavor in their cooking.

It’s too hot to spend days planting and hoeing, so how will we spend that time? Deliver zucchini to anyone who will take it. Pick the flowers and take bouquets to friends and friendly neighbors. 

Persuade some kids to get up early when it’s cooler and walk the gardens for discovery and observation of nature’s wonders. Let them munch whatever is edible. Play “name that bug” because the insects are plentiful during the dog days of August. Which are good bugs? Which are bad bugs? Which bugs eat other bugs? Take Google or Siri to the garden to answer questions brought up by the curious garden wanderers. 

What do we get out of sharing extra produce or time? Smiles, appreciation, sometimes hugs or tears of gratitude. Such a good reward! Try it, you might want to do it again when your garden allows. 

It’s time to take another jar of flowers to the Post Office, the Senior Center, the Fire Hall, the barista or the sweet lady down the street.

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