UC Cooperative Extension office in Sonoma County produced a fact sheet for gardeners entitled “Produce Safety After a Fire.” The two-page article covers information from protecting yourself during and after a fire event to working in the garden and a discussion on soils affected by smoke from various sources. Their article is an especially good one to share with family and friends who garden.
In addition to the general good advice of inspecting and washing off produce affected by smoke and ash, the fact sheet also recommends: “Wash your hands before eating and handling food. Observe your produce, noting signs of particle deposits, and whether your plants appear healthy. Wash produce well by running fruits and vegetables under running water before storing, cooking, canning or eating them. Soak your produce in a 10% white vinegar solution by volume, which can lift soil particles off produce such as deeply veined leafy green vegetables like kale, Swiss chard, savoy cabbage, and hairy fruits like peaches. Remove the outer leaves of lettuce or leafy greens and peel root crops before eating.”
The article closes with advice we all love: “increasing produce consumption promotes healthy nutritional health and resilience to stress and chemical exposures, plus growing food can also be therapeutic!” I agree, during a recent break in the smoke locally; I was so happy to be out in the yard, watering, moving plants around, looking at my basil, and just having a good time.
Wishing you happy gardening during these trying times.
For the original article please go to this link.