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This time of year is always a busy one as we scramble to get all our summer produce processed for the winter. I have been canning, drying and freezing for weeks now, but the garden doesn’t seem to be done. I am running out of room in my pantry for all the jars of tomatoes, sauce, pickles, chutney, salsa and juice. As a Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver, this is one of the most satisfying aspects of a bountiful harvest.
If you have extra produce from your garden and cannot use it, please consider donating it to ACCESS Food Share (https://www.accesshelps.org/foodassistance). The center takes donations of fresh produce and is located behind Hobby Lobby in Medford.
I was so pleased to see many of you at our All Member Meeting on September 10th. It was so nice to be able to let you know what the organization is up to, to answer questions you have had, and to catch up with folks we haven’t seen for some time. Some of you were even brave enough to stick around for the board meeting that followed. I encourage all members to attend at least one board meeting to see how JCMGA operates and plans for events.
Our Jackson County Master Gardeners have been working in the gardens at Extension when the air quality allows. Some of you may not know that in early September, our irrigation pump failed and we lost water to the gardens. We are working to get the pump repaired, but the actual well may need to be deepened, as the water tables in the valley are dropping. Though most plants in the gardens can go without extra water for a while, our nursery stock in the Native Plants Nursery and the Propagation Garden began to dry and die almost immediately. We were able, through a mobilization effort with members and community groups, to save most of the plants in containers. These were either taken by members to “foster” until they could come back to the nursery areas, or planted in individual yards. Much of the native plant stock was picked up by Valley of the Rogue State Park personnel, and will be used in restoration projects along the Rogue River and surrounding creeks. We were very fortunate to have saved almost everything.
As always, I am so grateful to be part of such a dedicated and caring group of volunteers. We are doing important work. Enjoy your abundant harvests and remember to GARDEN FOR LIFE!