Re-Grow Roots

Learning to live harmoniously in Missouri.

History of My Passion for Food and Life


I have lived a very interesting life, especially these last 4 years or so. I moved to California from Texas with my ex-boyfriend and lived together with his mom in her home in Oceanside. That’s when I started growing my first garden, using no-till and permaculture methods that I had been reading about, and buying almost all of our food from the local farmers market. That was in 2008 and I have been flourishing in this lifestyle ever since, constantly learning and growing more every day!

This is a little part of my backyard garden in Oceanside. We used manure and straw to build up the soil a little, very little digging or tilling, and we grew GREAT broccoli and cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and herbs!

Here’s another raised bed I did – manure and hay. Everything in there was purchased from a local man who sells starters from his backyard and these plants grew to be HUGE!

We rode our bikes to the farmers market every week to pick up all the food our household would need, aside from a few grains that we got from a local natural food store. Living in Southern California meant there was never a need to preserve food. It’s always growing and abundant. Almost all of our food was purchased from the same farm, La Milpa Organica. Eventually I ended up moving onto the farm to live and apprentice there! It was wonderful, for about 3 months… They had been getting loads of fines from local and state authorities because of all these random regulations that eventually put the farm out of business. My boyfriend and I broke up, the farm shut down, so then I began hitch hiking and traveling around the west coast. 🙂

Delilah, a beautiful Jersey cow

Eventually I fell in love with my now-boyfriend Carlos and traveled through more of the country with him. One of the first places we stayed at was a commune called the CRIC house. That’s where we first learned how to milk cows and goats, to make cheese, how to pickle and can loads of food, how to use a solar oven and how to set up a composting toilet… among many other things. The lessons we learned there were life changing and totally empowering. I am forever grateful for the incredible people who shared their lives with us.

One of three solar cookers at CRIC

The front porch of CRIC house (painted by Carlos, Shirley, and myself) where we spent lots of quality time.

We hitch hiked up the west coast from San Diego, CA to Eugene, OR where we took part in a tree sit in the Elliot State Forest, part of Willamette. They are tearing up that forest, clear cutting left and right. We helped set up barricades to keep out the bull dozers… they didn’t last very long and eventually people were arrested and the destruction continued.

Then we continued up to Olympia, WA and stayed with Carlos’ sister and her new baby for a while. Olympia is an amazing town with lots of barter opportunities and free wells that get water from the nearby Mt. Rainier. They have wonderful farmers markets, tons of community and front yard gardens. If you ever get a chance, check it out.

Multnomah Falls, on the Columbia River Gorge

Picking thimble berries along our journey.

After Olympia, I decided it was time to visit my parents in Branson, Missouri so we went down to the Columbia River Gorge and hitch hiked through beautiful Oregon to head east for Missouri. We met so many incredible, loving, smart, and wonderful people during our travels, and now that we have been in Branson since March of this year, we have an incredible group of friends here.

Local food in Branson, MO

Tomorrow Carlos and I are taking a bus to Des Moines, Iowa where we are picking up our new house on wheels – a 1985 Toyota Dolphin! We will be traveling once again, and this time we’ll be the ones giving rides to hitch hikers and hobos! We are spending every dime we have on this gypsy caravan to start a fresh chapter in our life together, and I have an incredible positive feeling about it. I am taking my small business on the road. We are packing up our instruments, our seeds, and going wherever we feel called to. I am elated!!

Our soon-to-be House on Wheels

I have met a lot of folks who think that the world is doomed, that people don’t give a shit and we are all going to die in a flaming hell of fire. I’m here to say – that’s bologna! Almost everyone I talk to does care about the fate of our planet and they do want things to be functioning in a more sustainable way. I have met numerous people who live off the land and invite strangers into their homes with open arms so they can spread the love they have for this earth. It’s heart warming. We all have the power to be the change we wish to see in this world!

So let’s do it.


Author: regrowroots

I am abundant love, joy, and healer.

6 thoughts on “History of My Passion for Food and Life

  1. Sounds like an amazing adventure.

  2. Great post and great blog! You made me a little homesick Desiree…Im from Bellingham, WA. I live in Missouri now too though, and Im loving every minute of it. Perhaps we’ll meet some time, sounds like there’s a lot I could learn from you:)

    • What part of Missouri do you live in? My family is moving out to the country near Ava soon. We are very excited to begin setting up a little commune there! 🙂

      • Hey Desiree, we live on a 50 acre farm in Christian county betwixt Ava and Sparta! We’re technically in Chadwick. Who knows, we may end up being neighbors.

      • That’s awesome! We’ll be neighbors almost. 🙂 The farm we’re moving to is also between Ava and Sparta, close to GoodHope. We’re working on building a Community Center there where will host all sorts of gatherings like herbal intensives, yoga, cooking classes, seed swaps, etc. I’ll be sure to write some blogs about it! Look me up on facebook & I can invite you to events when we have them. 🙂 I’m Dez Dino or Desiree Fleck on the FB.

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