New Title Has Arrived!

And finally the title comes clearly. Simply. Growing Food.
Of course, what is real is that I am
Learning to Grow Healthy Food.
Hoping for a sustainable organic garden.
And here I will share some of the experience, the questions, answers and most importantly,
what didn’t work.

Also, the address of this web journal has been changed. For further entries, please link to:


snow covered garden

Real Snow! Lasting for days, what a treat!

Snow, Ice & Darkness

Our neighbors to the South, who likely figure that they will get less winter than we do, here in Missouri, are sadly under the effect of a greater ice storm than happened here. I watched the weather on radar and we remained mostly at the edge of the storm. Even so we have SNOW! It’s layered with ice, but still crunches underfoot to give some traction.

Ventured out this morning during a break in the clouds to see how the greenhouse was doing. Surprisingly I had to shovel the snow away to open the door. We never would have designed like that up North, but didn’t even think of it while building here. No problem, a little chopping and shoveling away and I got through the crack in the door.

There was a little one, likely a mouse who scampered down the hill, looking to get into the door and had to run along the wall. I hope he found shelter under the outside steps. Unlike him, I was able to get in.

Inside was darker than I expected, even with inches of snow completely covering the roof. The temp was a “toasty 40 degrees”. (This quote is from an old movie shown on PBS made by a master builder/woodsman of building a cabin and living in the way back wilderness of Alaska. His words described the inside of the cabin when the fire was burning during winter. I like to compare his strength and inner warmth to my own softee nature. He didn’t even have down, gortex or silk longjohns!)

Dark Day in the Greenhouse

Dark Day in the Greenhouse. And this is with the sun shining a bit!

Lettuce Seeks Straight Up for Light

Lettuce seeks the sun, straight up for just about enough light

However, it is not bright and warm enough to bring the seedlings back into the greenhouse.

I’m glad that I didn’t plant the next round of seeds yet. Think I’ll wait a little while.

Freezing Rain Falls

The sky is black in early evening
the sullen skies pour forth
a gentle even, inexorable flow
of tinkling sparkling ice.

It sticks to earth, dried grass and steps
and hides the greenhouse roof.
I’m glad I took the seedlings
to a warmer upstairs room.

ice patterns in the frozen stream

The stream had ice a couple of days ago when the temps went up to 70 degrees.

Happy New Year Means Seed Starting

How I started my first seedlings this 2009

Using Lisa’s seed starting method, soaking the seeds in water with a dash of hydrogen peroxide until they open. Then using a tiny baby spoon, rescue them from the water and place in cozy seed starter material, at an appropriate depth.

Add light, the right temperature and of course, an extra helping of patience.

These onion sprouts look ready for a new home

These onion sprouts look ready for a new home.

What to Expect?

What to Expect in this Journal?

Are you one of those folks who reads the directions on the seed pack when its time to plant?

Or have you learned to read it months in advance, to be able to plan for when IS 4 weeks before the last frost?

Its a good thing that I don’t live up North anymore. Some places you can’t find a date that isn’t a few weeks before a frost. But I’m so grateful for the long hot muggy buggy growing season down here in the hills.

I’m not sure what to expect either. The title of this is not right yet, the format is not right yet. Heck, I’m not all right yet - but why wait around any longer?

Let’s get cracking!

I make a lot of errors in my rambunctious way of tending the growth of the garden. I read the books and ask for guidance from the Garden Club, seed providers and neighbors, and then of course, do what intuitively feels right.

Sometimes I ask the plants, when they are big enough to know what’s really best for them. Sometimes I follow directions.

Often, I realize after a while that I didn’t pay enough attention, or that my reasoning skipped a few steps and I am left to figure out how to fix the problem I created by being a bit too “free spirited” or just thoughtless.

More on that later, I don’t feel like confessing right now. Time to post and learn how to let comments come on board!

A grasshopper shelters under a bean leaf on a rainy day.

A grasshopper shelters under a bean leaf on a rainy day in mid-August ’08.

Welcome To an Ozark Valley Garden

Welcome to the Adventures in Organic Ozark Journal

This is the beginning of my second gardening year in the Ozarks. My first year with the garden and green house already up and “working”.

All that has happened here has been assisted by the wonderful Organic Garden Club which meets twice a month in the lovely little town about a half an hour away from home.

Our place is not quite secluded, but is quiet and peaceful. We are in the frost valley area, low and moist and lovely, like this:

Our little garden in the Ozarks

That’s Mid-Summer (Early August) ’08