Re-Grow Roots

Learning to live harmoniously in Missouri.


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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.

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Local Ozarks Barter / Trade Meeting

Bartering is a way of life for me. I use very little money, yet I’m living in total abundance and prosperity. I have more than I can use so I share it with my family, neighbors and friends. The love and gratitude that I share for everything brings me more of … everything. Thought > Emotion > Action

So here we have a barter meeting coming up. Join us if you can! 🙂

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Building a CommUNITY Garden

Starting a garden bed

I have recently been working with a group called Homegrown Missouri that I totally resonate with. The goals of the group that stand out in my heart are localizing food and localizing the community by building relationships and connections with our environment, ourselves, and eachother. Everyone has their own ideas in the group and I totally honor and respect each individual, as they do me. 🙂 It’s a beautiful thing. The group has meetings every month and in November we are having a workshop about fermented foods where members of the group will be teaching what they know. I am sharing beet kvass and Carlos, my partner / soul mate, is going to be teaching sauerkraut. Check out my last blog that features the flyer I made – https://regrowroots.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/free-fermented-foods-workshop/

I would like to share my newest endeavor that is going incredibly well and will one day become everything I dream of… a COMMUNITY GARDEN! It is located in my dear friend JoAnna’s backyard. I’m sure you will hear much more about JoAnna in future posts, as she is an amazing woman in my life. Her backyard is mostly grass with wild onions and dandelions growing here and there, as well as a pear tree, an elm, and a couple other little trees. My vision is to shift the entire yard into a food forest / community space where people can share food, potlucks, community, music, love, and growth!

Alpine Strawberries and Echinacea

We picked up some Alpine Strawberry starts from a friend and put them in the ground. I cut off the tops of them so all the energy will go to the roots and build a strong plant that will pop up in the Spring! 🙂 I also planted a bunch of echinacea Purpurea seeds that will come up in the Spring.

Huuuge backyard space!

This is the view from the deck. It is north of the house so that will be something to keep in mind. The beginning veggie patch is in the back by a big tree and an elderberry patch. Right now there are kale, cabbages, jerusalem artichokes, elephant garlic, and one lovely marigold.

Closer view of the garden beginnings

To the left of the photo are 2 raised beds that Carlos set up and we have some buckets waiting to be relocated and filled with dirt. Carlos actually dug the grass out for the raised bed. For most of our future beds, we will place down cardboard to suffocate the grass and build on top of that. That way, we will get lots of beds done before planting time in the spring!

 

 


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Symbiotic Relationships

a beautiful young carrot

I have been thinking about the symbiotic relationship between all things

The Dalai Lama says that I should not look at one thing as just THAT thing. For example a door is not just a door. There is a hole in the wall in front of me, strategically placed so that if I go through it I will end up in the hallway that leads to the bathroom, my parents room, the living room, and beyond that… the outside world! So in this hole in the wall stands a door that fits just perfectly and is held up with hinges on the top and bottom to swing in and out… etc etc etc. So the door is not just a door. It exists as a door because of all the other factors.

This is like everything in the universe. It all exists because everything else exists. When one thing disappears, other things disappear. This allows new things to grow. There is no emptiness, only opportunity.

Emptying my mind allows creativity in. It is not empty, but an opportunity for brand new thoughts to swim, fly, hop… skip sing paint frollick dance yell laugh squeak.