Here at Grow Oak Ridge, on September 7th, we had our end of season potluck. One of our gardeners brought a propane griddle and cooked outside. We gathered around the griddle, gathered around the table, making connections, having fun conversations, moving indoors and outdoors. Our gardeners swapped stories about canning, pickling, and what we are doing in our fall gardens. It was a great time to gather and build community. I loved hearing people share with each other what they have done this season, for instance, different varieties of tomatoes and trellising techniques. Our gardeners received water bath canners, cover crop seed mixes, and onion bulbs!  

During the remainder of our August garden visits and this September, we have been discussing what we are planning to season extend, where to plant fall crops, and how to make the transition into a fall garden. It is hard to let go of the warm season crops that have given us so much! Sometimes it feels like it’s best to just rip the Band-Aid off and wish them well in order to welcome something new. 

We added 4 more families to the Grow Your Own program in partnership with the Y12 Gives Foundation, which will strengthen our program for the coming year by allowing 4 more families the space and supplies to get growing in the Welcome Garden at First Presbyterian Community Garden. We had a workday where they got their fall gardens planted early this September. 

For the fall, our gardeners got carrots, radish, kale, broccoli, turnips, beets, lettuce, and spinach seeds. I’ve been keeping track of the days until our first expected frost around October 27th and reminding our gardeners that it is not too late to plant several of their fall crops! As I am writing this, we are 42 days away. Drawing close, but not too late to plant radishes, lettuces, and other crops with shorter days to maturity.