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Rivers For Crops

Rivers For Crops

There are few things as awe inspiring as watching a river splash over boulders and waterfalls, and it’s especially enjoyable when you’re able to eat lunch while river watching. Such was the case this week when my wife and I ate lunch with my 90 year old father-in-law in Spokane. The Spokane River is noticeably carrying more water than last year at this time, partly due to the greater snow pack in the large mountain ranges north of Washington State. And after last year’s dry northwest weather - water is on a lot of people’s minds. The Spokane River eventually joins Lake Roosevelt which is part of the Columbia River.  The Columbia and Snake River System bring critical water for irrigating nearly two-thirds of a million acres of Northwest farm land nourishing crops like potatoes, wheat, barley, berries, apples, corn and lentils. Without a healthy supply of water our crops cannot reach peak nutritional value, which in turn nourish our bodies. 

Spring water flow brings a particular excitement to the Inland Northwest that stretches back as far as the rivers’ origins. At home you may have recently turned on the water for your upcoming garden, while a variety of seeds patiently wait to reach the soil, or are already sown. Many people use the Farmer’s Almanac for guidance about when to plant, but I follow advice from my well-seasoned father-in-law with whom I was eating fried oysters above the river. I wish you the best in your plantings and may the water flow from the earth and sky to nourish your crops all season long, so you can enjoy a variety of Washington grown crops at home or above a river.


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