Dark Money Buys Elections

pbsdirtymoneydocumentaryAn important documentary for anyone who cares about the sanctity of one-person-one-vote and Big Money corporate rigging of US elections that thwart the voice of the people. I witnessed much of this while in my one-time home state of Montana – and it’s going on in every state in America.  Check out this limited time free airing on PBS through Oct 31 at https://www.pbs.org/video/dark-money-duhigg/.  Description: “A century ago, corrupt money swamped Montana’s government, but Montanans rose up to prohibit corporate campaign contributions. Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Montana is once again fighting to preserve open and honest elections. Following an investigative reporter through a political thriller, Dark Money exposes one of the greatest threats to American democracy.

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Parasites and Your Health Part II

Black Walnut Hull Tincture Copyright Jill Henderson Show Me OzIt’s surprising how many people completely reject the idea that they might have intestinal parasites when the truth of the matter is that hundreds of millions of people in America alone have some form of parasite living inside their bodies. In last week’s post, I talked about what parasites are and how they can affect human health. I also posted a very short list of ingredients and a super easy recipe for black walnut hull tincture, which together, make up one of the most effective, simple, natural, and inexpensive parasite cleanses you can do at home. And this week, I’m giving you the entire protocol schedule so you can make the most of this wonderful parasite cleanse. Continue reading

Parasites and Your Health Part I

640px-HookwormsJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

As creepy as it may sound, hundreds of millions of Americans are unknowingly infested with parasites that can cause everything from aching joints and fatigue to blindness and even death.  If you don’t think you could ever have parasites, better think again! In this two-part series, I’ll cover the most common beasties found inside the human body and how you can get rid of intestinal parasites using a simple, safe, and natural remedy. Continue reading

Bentley – The Perfect Gentleman

One of my latest pet portraits! Bentley the One-Eyed Wonderdog!

Forever Pet Portraits

Bentley Boston Terrier Artwork Copyright 2018 Jill HendersonBentley was a Boston Terrier that was known by all as the “one-eyed wonder dog!” Bentley had a big personality, enjoyed riding in the tractor, playing ball, and loving on his people.

Doug D. says of his custom 9×12 full-color pastel Forever Pet Portrait:
We received Bentley’s portrait today.  Beautifully done!  It is a treasure…life-like and captures him perfectly!  Excellent work!  Barb says to tell you she loves Bentley’s portrait and “thank you!”

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Granny Women and Bio-Piracy

Copyright Jill Henderson

Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Granny Women were once herbal doctors whose knowledge almost became extinct thanks to big pharma. Today, it is again threatened by restrictive patents from big ag and big pharma genetic bio-pirates looking for the next billion-dollar drug or plant gene that they can patent for billions of dollars in profits – taking away the public’s right to gather, use, and save seed from all native and naturalized plant life on earth. This week, we revisit the Show Me Oz archives to learn about the roles that Granny Women (and Medicine Men) have played throughout the history of mankind and why the knowledge they passed down to us is once again being threatened with extinction. Continue reading…

The Gift of Spice

SpicesJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Food has the power to hurt or heal, depending on how it is grown and prepared.  In this week’s article, I have a bit of “spicy” history and 10 fantastic naturally healthy spice blends that you can make at home and share with friends using common home-grown organic herbs and spices, which are not only super yummy but super healthy, too! Continue reading

Richie Allen Show: Interview on GMOs & Glyphosate

Richie interviews me in the second half of the program starting at 1:10:00.

Toxic Food for the Masses Part Three – Where Does Your Food Come From?

stop gmo signJill HendersonShow Me Oz

Excerpted from our new book:
Illuminati Agenda 21

In my last post, I talked in depth about how GMO crops and the food made from them contain a genetically-modified-protein that the body cannot break down into usable glycine, which is crucial for human health. And as bad as all this is, the troubles with GMOs doesn’t actually start in the gut – they begin in the environment in which they are grown, with the farmers that grow them and perhaps, even in your very own garden.

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Toxic Food for the Masses Part Two – The Gut & Fake Proteins

Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

Excerpted from our new book:
Illuminati Agenda 21

As I pointed out in Part One of this series on toxic food, it is quite apparent that there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects across the board. This has been demonstrated time and time again by numerous independent studies from around the world. Despite the length of time on the open market, people either are still unaware of the dangers or they simply choose to believe the lies paid for by Monsanto and company and those of the corporate chemical industry shills that have been put in charge of the FDA and USDA.  But the real evidence of this deadly collusion is in the sudden dearth of leaky guts and bewildering levels of diseases that come with them, and the brave independent researchers and educators willing to put their careers on the line for the truth.

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Toxic Food for the Masses Part One – GMOs, Glyphosate, and You

poisonous appleJill HendersonShow Me Oz

Excerpted from our new book:
Illuminati Agenda 21

Among the troves of man-made disasters that many of us see coming down the road, there is actually one of epic proportions currently underway. Yet, it seems that too few have yet to recognize it for what it is.  Of course, I’m talking about the worldwide health disaster being caused by GMOs and glyphosate. In this series, I’ll talk more about the scientific research that proves their toxic and invasive nature and how they may be affecting your family’s long-term health. Continue reading

Protect Yourself from Electromagnetic Radiation

Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared with you just some of the damaging effects that disharmonic sounds and electromagnetic frequencies can have on the human body including sleep disturbances, anger, depression, ringing in the ears, headaches, memory loss, reduced fertility, and many others.  Today, I’d like to share a few tips on how you can start taking control of the EMF’s in your environment to protect your family from destructive levels of electromagnetic radiation (EMFs) starting right now! If you want to check out the damning report by the Navy Medical Research Institute, entitled, “Reported Biological Phenomena (Effects) and Some Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation”, then read on!
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Casting The World Wide Inter-Net – Part III – 5G & The Internet of Things

Earth DownloadedExcerpted from our new book: Illuminati Agenda 21: The Luciferian Plan to Destroy Creation

In Part II of this series, I covered just a few aspects of how discordant sounds and electromagnetic frequencies can and are being used as weapons against the American people by the United States government and military via cell tower radiation, wireless devices, and EMF-weaponized sound projects such as HAARP and the nano-metals in the chemtrails used in geoengineering. Yet, many people are still skeptical because they really don’t want to give up the convenience of their cell phones and the fun of their other wireless devices. But the truth is out there for anyone to see. Continue reading

Casting The World Wide Inter-Net – Part II – Sound Frequency

sound frequencyExcerpted from our new book: Illuminati Agenda 21: The Luciferian Plan to Destroy Creation

In the first installment of this series, we learned about harmonic and discordant sounds and how they can hurt you, even if you can’t see or hear them with your eyes and ears. And just as our government and military industrial complex have known about harmonic frequencies and their correlation to life on earth, they also know that sound can be used as a weapon that kills. Continue reading

Casting the World Wide Net – Part I

desk-699095_640Excerpted from our new book: Illuminati Agenda 21: The Luciferian Plan to Destroy Creation

Everyone likes to think they aren’t addicted to their cell phones and other wireless tech but most are because the algorithms that run them were designed to be addictive.  Aside from the social disorders that excessive cell phone use is causing across the board, there is one aspect to the “technological revolution” that the military, government, and the motley rich tech developers don’t want you to know – the sound from your devices is killing you.
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Moon Shine: Herbs of the Night (part two)

Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

Last week I delved into the history of moon gardens and why, after all this time they are still a popular type of garden that anyone can create at home.  If you are like me, the first thing you want to know is what kinds of herbs and flowers work best in a moon garden. Because it will be enjoyed primarily in the evening or after dark, plants for a moon garden have several things in common. To begin with, moon garden plants generally have blooms that either stay open or bloom exclusively at night. These flowers generate the most “shine”. White, yellow and gold are all good color choices, though red and purple flowers can add a nice jolt of color for sunset viewing. Also, having one or two plants with sweetly fragrant flowers such as night blooming jasmine, white roses, or angel’s trumpets adds yet another layer of enchantment to the moon garden. Continue reading

Moon Shine: Herbs of the Night (part one)

garden-2393245_640By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Often associated with the mystical, moon gardens have been lighting up the night for thousands of years. Adored by lovers and philosophers alike, these midnight gardens were places of secrecy and silence, contemplation and meditation, ritual and ceremony. The moon has always given mankind a reason to look towards the heavens in search of answers and inspiration. The cool solid stillness of the night is the perfect venue to relax and reflect. The moon garden provides just such a place. It is no wonder moon gardens have become not only a popular gardening theme but a true place of peace. Continue reading

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl pastel copyright

This soft pastel painting was inspired by a lovely wilderness-filled summer haunted by the calls of a pair of these tiny “cat-faced” owls whose eyes seem to be the biggest part of their bodies.  Saw-whet owls are found throughout the United States and southern Canada but this little guy will feel right at home just about anywhere you want to hang him.  As a lover of birds in general, I have an especially soft spot for owls. This large 9×12 pastel painting fits into an 11×14 frame, but if you opt for a larger frame with plenty of matting this work of art will be the focal point of any room.  This original one-of-a-kind work of art can be yours for only $225.00 plus S&H.  Check out more of Jill’s work at https://foreverpetportraits.wordpress.com/ 

Poisoning the Elixir Part III-Water is Alive

river-2951997_640Excerpted from our new book: Illuminati Agenda 21: The Luciferian Plan to Destroy Creation

In Part I and II of this series on Water, we discovered how and why the earth’s water was being intentionally destroyed and poisoned by an elite cabal of eugenicists and industrialist polluters. And while they have tried hard to kill the living water, we’ve still got hope. Let’s be clear about this – water is not alive because it moves or stirs our souls, it is alive because it has its own memory and consciousness. Modern research on water memory didn’t really get going until Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese researcher and author began working with vibrational energy, or what Emoto called “hado” in Japanese. In fact, Emoto described his work as “…the intrinsic vibratory pattern at the atomic level in all matter, the smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness”. Continue reading

Poisoning the Elixir Part II – Fluoride

tap water-2825771_640Excerpted from our new book: Illuminati Agenda 21: The Luciferian Plan to Destroy Creation

In Poisoning the Elixir Part I – Water, we delved into how fluoride came to be intentionally added to our drinking water as a means of disposing of industrial toxic waste and mind control. Not only is the addition of fluoride to drinking water ineffective, a massive body of evidence exists that proves that fluoride is extremely dangerous to human health, too. At the very minimum, consumption of fluoride in water has been shown to causes irreversible dental fluorosis, which now affects 32% of American children. This drug-induced condition permanently yellows, spots, and rots teeth starting at a very young age. Additionally, accumulation of fluoride in the bones and joints causes skeletal fluorosis, which is a permanent and incredibly painful condition that leads to severe arthritis, bone diseases, and bone cancer.  Continue reading

Poisoning the Elixir Part I – Water

california-1751455_960_720by Jill Henderson

Excerpted from our new book: Illuminati Agenda 21: The Luciferian Plan to Destroy Creation

Water has been sacred to mankind since the dawn of time as proven by the respect and even worship given to it by every religious philosophy and text in the world. The human body is made up of 75-85% water and without it, life on earth as we know it would end. We are only alive because water is alive. Yet, water all over the world – including the water we drink every single day – is being mindlessly polluted and willfully poisoned. Will this nightmare be the true downfall of mankind?

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New Book Release: Illuminati Agenda 21

Illuminati Agenda 21 tells the story of the age-old battle between Good and Evil. The first part of the tale identifies the Luciferian perpetrators, tracing their origins back to ancient Sumeria, and tracking their hegemony over mankind through Babylon, Egypt, the Holy Roman Empire, and on to their modern-day lair known as The City of London. 

Part two brings the battle into recent times, where the Illuminati’s Agenda 21 is quietly unfolding in an insidious creep towards global fascism and their long-awaited goal of a New World Secular Order, which threatens to strip us of our humanity, replace us with machines, and destroy all Creation.

I hope you will take a few minutes to check out this latest book, which I co-authored with my husband, Dean Henderson – a brilliant political analyst and economist and a noted international author and speaker.  While some of my readers may find this book a bit out of the norm for me in terms of subject matter, it delves deeply into those things that I hold dear, such as alternative healing, organic gardening and farming, real food, GMOs and seed saving, as well as my reverence for nature and the spirit of being human.

All of these things and much more are portrayed both in my writing and in this new book, which uncovers what many people in these troubled times feel in their gut – that the system is broken and that the powers that be don’t seem to care all that much about our, or anyone else’s suffering so long as they stay rich and powerful…

So if you are literally sick and tired and want to find out why, step inside and find out the truth that is being hidden from us and what you can do to change the world for the better.

Check out our new book on Amazon!

Wild Edible and Medicinal Spring Flowers

Redbud blossoms Jill HendersonJill Henderson – Show Me Oz

With the end of the Great Sleep, spring has asserted herself firmly in the Heart of the Ozarks.  The rising intensity of the sun entices all living things to join in the brief but joyous celebration of new beginnings. Big or small, spring provides the perfect opportunity to search for new and interesting native plants. Continue reading

Rooting for Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Sweet potatoes are an ancient food crop; a staple that has sustained and nourished mankind for thousands of years.   Highly nutritious, sweet potatoes are the seventh most important food crop in the world.  Throughout the ages these sweet, orange, red and sometimes golden roots were valued so highly by early man, that they were often used as a form currency and as a token of friendship between cultures.  Today, this weirdly-shaped “potato” is making a comeback with home gardeners – and for good reason.  Read on!

Winter Sown Seedlings

2012 8-29 Seedlings (4)_thumb[7]By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Many gardeners know the benefits of planting crops, such as garlic, in the early fall and winter months, but did you know that many common herb, flower and vegetable seeds can be treated this way, too? Winter sowing is the age-old practice of planting seeds directly in the garden sometime between late fall and mid-winter. Because they are living organisms, seeds have the ability to sense the environment around them, which allows them to determine when weather conditions are just right for germination. As a result, winter sown seeds often germinate earlier, have higher rates of germination and have less problems with seedling diseases such as damping off. They also tend to grow faster and stronger than their indoor-sown counterparts, which allows gardeners to get a jump on the growing season.  Read more!

Seed Saving for a Healthy Future with Juice Guru Steve Prussack

Jill HendersonI had a super fun time being interviewed recently by Juice Guru, Steve Prussack.  We talked about common seed saving mistakes, the differences between GMO, hybrid and heirloom seeds, why saving seed is an important aspect of healthy living and a critical component of any disaster preparedness plan; what botanical maturity has to do with saving seed; sprouting seeds for food and more!  Saving seed is so easy, anyone can learn how in less than 50 pages using my book, The Garden Seed Saving Guide!
Listen to the entire podcast free! 
https://juiceguru.com/radio/ep-64-seed-saving-healthy-future-jill-henderson/

Making Herbal Tinctures: Part II

Mortar and Pestel - Copyright 2012 Jill HendersonBy Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

Last week, in Making Herbal Tinctures: Part I, we discussed the different types of solvents (menstruum) used to make high-quality herbal tinctures, including alcohol such as vodka, Everclear, brandy, and wine, as well as non-alcohol solvents like vinegar and vegetable glycerin.   But choosing the right solvent is only a small part of the equation.  Indeed, measuring your ingredients properly is the critical key to creating reliable and consistent tinctures.

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Making Herbal Tinctures: Part I

By Jill HendersonShow Me Oz 

In the world of herbalism, tinctures are the star of the show.  For those who grow, gather or use herbs for healing purposes, learning to make tinctures is one of the most important – and easiest – skills to learn.  Unfortunately, many people believe that all they have to do to make a good tincture is to pour alcohol over herbs packed in a jar.  But the truth is, tinctures made this way are almost always inconsistent in their potency and effectiveness.   In this two-part series, we will examine the right way to make tinctures so that you can be assured of obtaining the best, most healing tinctures possible.

Brewing Up Opportunities

Wages

Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
as seen in Acres USA July 2017 issue

It’s early Monday morning and head brewer Amy Fischer is standing on a step ladder in the back room of Wages Brewing Company carefully stirring a steaming vat of barley and wheat mash that will soon be fermented into a tasty batch of Whatknot Ale. After years of practicing and perfecting the craft of small-batch brewing at home, owner and brewer Phil Wages and his wife, Amber, officially opened their brewery and taproom in the small rural community of West Plains, Missouri, in early 2017. With an official population of just below 12,000 people, the last business most residents expected to pop up in town was a brewery, but for Phil Wages, it was the perfect opportunity. PDF

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Pink Ladybugs in the Garden

Pink Ladybug - Coleomegilla maculataJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Gardeners are always facing new and interesting challenges when it comes to pest management.  The first line of defense includes correctly identifying the culprit so that the right measures can be taken to control it.  I was recently talking to a fellow gardener about organic control of blister beetles on tomatoes when I happened to mention being cautious about using any kind of pesticide for fear of killing the pink ladybugs that have spent the last several weeks feasting on the pollen of nearby pepper plants.  Her immediate response was that those pink ones were just another type of spotted cucumber beetle.  I understand her confusion.  I used to think that, too.

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Natural Beekeeping with Dr. Leo Sharashkin

Leo Sharashkin with honey comb.Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
Acres USA May 2017 issue

If you have ever dreamed of keeping bees but found the process complicated, expensive, or the potential for losing your investment to disease and pests all too real, then you have never met Dr. Leo Sharashkin, a prominent wild bee enthusiast, educator, and apiarist who practices an ancient method of catching and keeping wild bees in specially-designed horizontal hives. If you have had the good fortune to meet Dr. Leo or to hear him speak to a room full of enthusiastic beekeepers or the crowd that inevitably gathers around his Horizontal Hive booth at grower’s conferences across the country, you already know that his encyclopedic knowledge of bees is boundless and the methods he uses to keep them, truly inspiring. Whether you are a budding beekeeper or an experience apiarist, you can keep happy and productive bees with less work and money than you ever imagined possible and do it in a sustainable, eco-friendly way.  Read more…safe PDF opens automatically

River Hills Harvest Raises Elderberry Production to New Levels

Durham shows off a full head of elderflowers.jpgJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
Acres USA – April 2017 issue

In the heart of the Midwest, River Hills Harvest is riding the new wave of demand for elderberry products. At the helm of this enterprise is Terry Durham, a long time advocate of sustainable agriculture, a builder of ground-breaking organizations and an elderberry expert best known for his devotion to developing the entire elderberry market from the ground up. “There is no competition for elderberry producers and growers are desperately needed to fill the rising demand for elderberry products.”  Read more…safe PDF opens automatically.

The Sweet Cicely Revival

1200px-Myrrhis_odorata_in_bloomJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

If you are a lover of kitchen or healing herbs, you have most likely heard of or read about Sweet Cicely, but have never seen it in person or grown it yourself.  The truth is that this lovely herb is rarely grown or used in America today, which is why I often refer to it as one of the “forgotten herbs”.  That being said, I think it is high time that herbalists and culinary artisans turn their attention back to this delicate beauty and return it to a place of honor in both the culinary and ornamental gardens of today.  (Feature image by Amanda Slater, Coventry, England – Sweet Cecily, CC BY-SA 2.0, edited,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4225926)

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The Roselle Zinger-Growing Hibiscus for Food, Profit & Fun

The Roselle Zinger Feb 17 Jill Henderson Acres USA

Jill Henderson
Acres USA – February 2017

What do you call a remarkably ornamental plant that produces an obscure yet desirable international commodity plus a wide array of useful products like seed meal, cooking oil, coffee alternative, fruity beverage, natural food coloring agent, organic pectin, medicinal herbage, and strong hemp-like fibers? Most English speaking people call this plant Roselle, but around the world it is known by many names including Rosa de Jamaica, Florida Cranberry, Red Sorrell, Jelly Okra, Karkadé, and Bissap (bee sap), just to name a few. But if you are a producer living in an area with a long growing season, you might wind up calling roselle a money maker. For such a desirable crop, most people in Europe and North America know roselle only by taste. That’s because it is the singular ingredient that gives Celestial Seasonings popular Red Zinger Herbal Tea its infamous berry-like “zing”. Yet, for all of its flavor and versatility, this tropical beauty is rarely grown in the home garden or in the fields of American farmers.  Read more…safe PDF opens automatically

Moon Shine: Herbs of the Night (part 3)

moon gardenJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
Now that you have an idea of the types of plants that can be grown in a moon garden, let’s get down to the bones! Start by selecting a location for your garden. It can be in a little used corner of the yard for privacy or meditation, or it can sit smack dab in the middle of the yard. For trip-free nighttime strolls be sure and allow plenty of room for pathways that are both wide and clear. And if you are not the type of person who really wants to wander in the yard at night, consider placing the garden near a porch or deck where it can be enjoyed in relative comfort and safety.

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Moon Shine: Herbs of the Night (part 2)

2016 8-16 MoonflowerJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~ In last week’s post (see it here), I talked a little about the history and lore of moon gardens and how they have been used by lovers, philosophers and for religious and ceremonial purposes throughout the ages.  In this week’s post I will share with you a whole host of plants that will look fabulous in your very own moon garden – some of which might just surprise you!  So, let’s get started!

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Moon Shine: Herbs of the Night

Herb Borage flowering (4)Jill Henderson Show Me Oz:  Often associated with the mystical, moon gardens have been lighting up the night for thousands of years. Adored by lovers and philosophers, these midnight gardens were places of secrecy and silence, contemplation and meditation, ritual and ceremony. The moon has always given mankind a reason to look towards the heavens in search of answers and inspiration. The cool solid stillness of night is the perfect venue to relax and reflect. The moon garden provides just such a place. It is no wonder moon gardens have become not only a popular gardening theme, but a true place of peace. Continue reading

Meat of the Matter – Peace Valley Poultry Relies on Community, Innovation

meat-of-the-matter-peace-valley-poultryBy Jill Henderson
Acres USA Magazine March 2017

In the heart of the Missouri Ozarks the little village of Peace Valley wakes to another beautiful sunrise, revealing the rolling hills and hardwood forests that Jim and JudyJo Protiva call home. It is here in this small, but tightly-knit community that a former Grand Canyon guide and a Rocky Mountain Ranger decided to settle down to raise a family and grow food in a way that honored God’s creation to the fullest. Over the next 21 years, the Protivas turned their passion for clean, healthy food into Peace Valley Poultry; perhaps the oldest pastured poultry operation in the state. Read the entire article in PDF

Fenugreek: The Forgotten Herb

clip_image001Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

When I first began gardening 25 years ago, the variety of garden seeds was extremely limited.  Heirloom vegetables were just beginning to make a come back and culinary herbs were seriously limited to a handful of the most popular types.  Today, the number of seed varieties available to the average gardener is mind-boggling, which is wonderful if you love to garden.  But for all the choices available to us, there is one small herb called fenugreek that is not only hard to come by, but one that has been almost entirely forgotten by gardeners, cooks, and herbalists in America.

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Eco-Alternative Farmsteading

Extra acreage has enabled the Townes to increase farm production.Real people growing real food.  “It’s all about protecting the land and bringing it back to health. Not just taking what we can get from it, but giving back to the system to keep it fed.” Emily Towne, Full Plate Farm.  Read more about Full Plate Farm in this article published in the January issue of Acres USA Magazine.
Read the entire article here.

Bald Eagles on the Rise

bald-eagleJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Winter is one of the best times to see bald eagles in Missouri.  A few years back, on a winter day much like this one,  Dean and I spotted a pair of adult bald eagles circling lazily above our house on the warm rising thermals of a mid-winter day.  Their white head and tail feathers shone brightly against the clear blue sky.  Since we don’t often get to see them for long, we watched the pair with much excitement and within minutes, a darker sub-adult joined them.  We were thrilled to get a rare glimpse of this eagle family, especially since we were so far from the large lakes and rivers where the eagles prefer to congregate this time of year.

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A Bygone Bee Gum

Bygone Bee Gum - Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress (4)

Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

I love history. Particularly when  I find it in a far-flung or unexpected place.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a tree with a huge hole in the side of it.  Of course, it’s not uncommon to find trees with natural cavities in them around these parts, but this particular breach was not made by nature or time, but by man – and for a very specific purpose.

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Green in December

Green in December Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress (12)Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

The weather in December is always a hit and miss affair here in Oz.  Some years it’s mild while others roar in like the Siberian Express that has blanketed our northerly neighbors in snow and ice.  And while that train has yet to roll into the Ozarks, we’ve had our fair share of temperatures in the teens already.  Yet, for all the cold we’ve experienced so far, there is still an amazing amount of green lingering in the yard and garden like this like this pretty Dwarf Stonecrop Angelina peeking out from behind a cedar log.   It’s enough to please the eye and tease our gardening souls into dreaming of spring.

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The Ozarks: No Place Like Home

Fall mosaic. Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Today is one of those magical days that come about from time to time in the waning hours of November. The big winter sun hangs low in a crisp blue sky, warming the ageless rocks at my feet. The golden light of midday has taken on an ephemeral tenderness that highlights the sculpted edges of thousands of umber, scarlet and saffron-colored oak leaves whose active lives have come to the ultimate conclusion upon the bosom of the earth. In some sudden and mysterious way, they are no longer leaves, but individual pieces of a naturally fantastic jigsaw puzzle just waiting to be pieced together.

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Winter Seed Saving: Pumpkins and Squash

Butternut Squash with seeds. Copyright Jill Henderson

Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

With the holidays in full swing, the last thing people might be thinking of is gardening.  But trust me, the two go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream!  In fact, if you grew your own pumpkins or squash this year and plan on using the sweet flesh to make delectable holiday pies, breads or savory dishes, now is the perfect time to save seed!

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Bamboo Goes Berserk

Bamboo Goes Berserk Copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

No matter how many years you’ve gardened, one day, you will wake up and say to yourself “Why on earth did I do that?!”  I know this is true because it’s happened to me and many gardeners I know.  Take, for example, the lovely, modest, tiny clump of what I believed to be switch cane (Arundinaria tecta), a small North American species of bamboo, that Dean and I found growing in the front yard (soon to be the vegetable garden) when we first moved here.   It looked to me like the native, well-behaved switch cane we had growing over yonder behind the shed, which has stayed pretty well put for going on 8 years or more.  So, we dug up the little clump, divided it and spaced it just so in a more appropriate spot.  Or so I thought…

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Using Seed Screens to Save Better Seed

Seed Saving sorting black-eyed peas using seed screens.  Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Saving heirloom seeds is really pretty easy, even for the beginning seed saver.  Of course, you need to know a few things about how plants mate and produce seed early on, but once the seeds are harvested there are a few tricks that can help you save seeds that are much more likely to germinate quickly and grow well in the garden next spring.  Naturally, the first trick for saving seed is to harvest them at the right time.  The second trick is simply to clean and sort your seeds.  There are many ways to do this, but the fastest and easiest way to sort any kind of seed is by using a simple set of seed screens.

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Don’t Toss Those Mums!

Mums are often used to dress up seasonal displays.Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Every fall, big box stores and greenhouses everywhere display rack after rack of brightly blooming mums.  Ostensibly, the showy plants are used by homeowners and businesses to bring a little color to the ever-increasing drabness of fall and to pretty-up outdoor Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.  Most people just drop the relatively inexpensive pre-potted plants into a larger, more decorative container for display and then forget them until they are deader than door nails.  That’s shame, because mums are actually hardy perennials that if given half a chance, will survive in the garden and provide you with colorful, showy blooms year after year!

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Stair Building 101–Flanking Stones

Stair building 101 Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

When you live on the side of a hill like I do, everything is either up or down.  There’s almost no flat, straight way to get anywhere.  When we first moved here, the entire site was denuded of nearly all low-growing vegetation and the earth was eroding and sliding down the hill with each rain.  As we developed the gardens around the house, it became obvious that we were going to need some stairs to make getting up and down a little less treacherous.  Six years later, we have four nifty sets of stairs entering and leaving our garden space.  If you have ever wanted to try your hand at building stairs but were worried about the outcome, I’m here to tell you it’s lots of hard work, but also much easier than you might think.

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The Truth About Cancer Ultimate LIVE Symposium

UntitledEarlier this year, I told you about an online event organized by Ty Bollinger and the folks at The Truth About Cancer.com.  That week-long event compiled the best and most detailed information on alternative cancer treatment options I had ever seen – it just blew me away.  Now, the team is presenting another live webinar called The Truth About Cancer Ultimate LIVE Symposium and it is absolutely free to watch.  This 3-day event is jam-packed with more than 40 of the top health experts in the world presenting life-changing information on cancer, heart disease, inflammation, detoxing, and much more.  Best of all, it’s absolutely free! Click the image or link below to sign up and mark your calendar for October 14th.

I’ll be watching and I hope you will, too!  Jill

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Fall Leaves: Good for the Garden

2013 11-22 Fall MosaicBy Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

The clear, cool days of fall are perfect for wrapping up last-minute garden chores, such as winterizing perennial herbs, flowers and shrubs.  It’s also a good time to cultivate existing garden beds or create new beds for spring planting.  But there’s one chore in the fall that not everyone looks forward to – raking leaves.  Sometimes there are so many leaves that homeowners spend weeks trying to get rid of the deepening piles.  But instead of raking and burning, or bagging leaves for the garbage, consider putting your fall leaves to use in the garden as a protective, nutrient-rich mulch.

How to Clean and Crack Black Walnuts

Black walnuts on the tree. Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

The Ozarks are blessed with an abundance of wild food, including the oh-so-delectable black walnut.  Each fall, the huge green fruits come crashing down into parks, yards, and a multitude of public spaces, making them easy game for any wild or urban forager.  Indeed, why pay $5 for a 4 ounce bag of nutmeats when you’ve got black walnut trees around?  That’s just nuts!  The problem most people face isn’t acquiring enough nuts to make it worth their while, it’s the cleaning, cracking and picking that really gets them.  So, if you’ve never done it before because you’ve heard how hard they are to deal with, I hope this post will make the cleaning, cracking and picking of black walnuts just a little bit easier.

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Crafting Herbal Oils & Vinegars

Herbal Vinegars (1)Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~
for Acres USA Magazine

The summer harvest is never truly complete until I have at least a few bottles of garlic chili oil tucked away in the pantry and a handful of spicy golden vinegars gracing the windowsill. These flavorful and versatile condiments are super easy to make and add layers of flavor to your favorite dishes.

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Super Quick and Easy Fruit Jam and Filling

Quick and Easy Blackberry Jam Copyright Jill Henderson via ShowMeOz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Summer and fall are all about harvesting and storing vegetables and fruits.  Our early summer fruit favorites are the bramble fruits, which grow wild and abundantly in our neck of the woods.  Needless to say, I have spent my fair share of  hot summer days hovering over boiling kettles and canners in the effort to put gallons and gallons of fresh berries away for the long term, but not anymore.  If age is any indication of wisdom, I’ve definitely gotten smarter – at least about some things.  Now, I freeze all of our berries in quart-sized freezer bags.  Then, when I need a jar of jam or sweet fruity filling or topping for cakes or pastries, I just whip up exactly what I need in 15 minutes for a super scrumptious and versatile treat!

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Yellow Birch Hobby Farm: Self-Reliant Homesteading

Erin Blegen's KitchenJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

I love being a writer because I get to meet and learn from extraordinary people like Erin and Josh Blegen. This young couple grow, raise, hunt, and wildcraft a huge percentage of their own food on their small farmstead in the small village of Grand Marais, Minnesota.  One way the Blegens make the most of the very short growing season found around the shores of Lake Superior, is by employing the hügelkultur method of gardening.

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Shiny Beetles, Square Tomatoes and Crafty Coons

Garden late summerJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

As we near the end of August I am so very thankful for a long and productive season in the garden.  February is when we begin to dream about this day – planting seeds, rooting cuttings, planning rows.  As always, a lot of work has gone into our small patch of organic Eden. Some days were happy, some were frustrating, others were just downright back-breaking.  But in the end, lessons are learned, food is abundant, feeling thankful is prevalent and many, many a dawn has been spent simply inhaling the beauty of a garden in full swing.  And so, as the gardening season here in Oz begins to wind down, I look back on the good, the bad, and the down right weird…

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Healthful Horseradish

Young horseradish. Image via Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
Horseradish is one of those herbs that everyone knows about, but few actually grow. Perhaps that’s because it isn’t used much in today’s cooking, or perhaps because it’s hard to process. And like mint, horseradish has a nasty reputation for overstepping its boundaries in the garden. Yet, for its flaws, horseradish is a pretty perennial that is tough as nails and easy to grow. And not only is horseradish full on flavor, but it is totally jam-packed with health benefits that include fighting cancer, improving cardiovascular health, and even reducing plaque on teeth!

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Seed Saving Time: The Float Test

Tomato seed float test. Image copyright Jill Henderson Show Me Oz.wordpress.comJill HendersonShow Me Oz
Gardeners face many challenges throughout the year, but there is nothing quite as frustrating as planting seeds that don’t germinate well or at all.  You plant and wait.  And then wait some more. All the while precious weeks go by, delaying your carefully planned planting schedule and putting your future crops at risk. I have experienced this a number of times myself. That’s why I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about the causes of poor germination and a simple test to help reduce the chances of it happening to you. Continue reading

Seed Saving Time: Watermelon

Saving watermelon seeds. Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill HendersonShow Me Oz
Whether you like it seeded, juiced, sliced, cubed, or just straight off the rind, there’s almost nothing better on a hot summer day than a big ‘ol chunk of juicy-crisp, sweet-ripe, just-from-the-garden watermelon. M-mmm.  Of course, if you grew that melon in your own garden, the level of satisfaction rises even higher.  But if you really want to reach gardening nirvana, try harvesting a watermelon that you not only grew, but grew from seed you saved yourself.  And the best part? Saving your own watermelon seed is soooo dang easy!

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Parsley: More Than a Garnish

Curly parsley. Image via Wikimedia Commons No Copyright Via RanveigJill HendersonShow Me Oz
Parsley: That ambiguous and often frilly herb that many gardeners grow, but few actually use.  If you haven’t grown parsley yourself, you’ve surely bought it at least once or twice in your life to use as a garnish for dressing up platters or plates. Or, perhaps you’ve gone so far as to sprinkle it sparingly atop mashed potatoes or added a pinch here in there when making soup or stuffing.  And while many recipes call for at least a bit of fresh parsley, most people don’t go to the trouble – or worse yet, they use bland dried parsley from the grocery store.  (Egad!) If this sounds like you, I’m about to rock your kitchen and your herbal medicine chest by showing you that parsley is much more than a pretty garnish: it’s a virtual powerhouse of flavor and a game-changer for your health.  And best of all – it’s super easy to grow and use.

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Controlling Squash Bugs Organically–A Simple Solution

Squash Bug image by Katja Schulz from Washington, D. C., USA (Squash Bug) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsJill HendersonShow Me Oz
If you are like me, you love squash.  I particularly enjoy rich, meaty winter squash and every year I endeavor to have lots of them stored up for the winter larder. The only problem I have with growing squash are the dreaded squash bugs – SB’s for short.  And in last week’s article, I covered most of the traditional and non-traditional ways to control squash bugs organically, including growing the one species most resistant to the effects of squash bugs. And this week, I’m going to share with you a nifty trick that I came up with to very nearly (I don’t want to say entirely, as I am a humble gardener, after all) obliterate SB’s from my squash patch! And you can, too!

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Controlling Squash Bugs Organically

By Downtowngal - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49873322Jill HendersonShow Me Oz
Squash bugs. What a pain in the arse! Absolutely nothing in the natural world preys on them, their hard outer coverings resist even the most intense organic insecticides, the little buggers are masters at hiding their eggs, and they multiply faster than fleas. On top of that, they spread devastating squash plant diseases, have the uncanny ability to know when they are being stalked, and are eerily good at evasion.  If you do manage to get a hold of one, they emit a nasty, long-lasting stink that’s incredibly hard to entirely wash off.  But after a lifetime’s worth of battling this raunchy bug, I’ve learned how to live with them.  And this year, I came up with a new way to get the upper hand.

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Drying Herbs Fast, Easy and Free!

Freshly dried thyme the fast, easy and free way! Image copyright Jill HendersonJill HendersonShow Me Oz
As a gardener, backwoods herbalist, and foodie, I absolutely love my home-grown herbs.  They are so easy to care for and even easier to put away for the long run.  I freeze a few herbs like cilantro and basil pesto, but honestly, drying is the very best way to preserve the flavor and medicinal qualities of culinary herbs. Plus, if the electricity goes out – or you need to bug out – dried herbs are the best.  And drying homegrown herbs isn’t hard or time consuming, either.  And you don’t need to buy or build a fancy or expensive dehydrator to get the job done.  In fact, when you dry herbs my way, it’s fast, easy, and free.

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Squash and Cucumbers: All Flowers and No Fruit?

Winter squash flowering, but no fruit - yet! Copyright Jill HendersonJill Henderson Show Me Oz
It happens every year. The weather warms up, the rain comes at the right time, and the squash, cucumber and melon vines have finally taken off. At last, the small baby plants you’ve coddled all spring are literally sprawling all over the place and flowering for weeks now. Yet, not one single fruit is in sight. For years I went through the same thing – worrying and wondering what the heck I’d done wrong. Eventually, the fruit would come and I’d forget all about it.  But, it wasn’t until I started saving seed that I actually found the answer as to why I had all those flowers and no fruit.

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Itching for Summer – Dealing with Chiggers!


By Orrling and Tomer S (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commonsby Jill Henderson
Show Me Oz –Summer is a fabulous time to explore and hunt for wild edibles or to hike along a cool river, but people around these parts generally avoid venturing into overgrown and untamed places during the summer months because of the ticks and chiggers. How does one even begin to tell outsiders and visitors to our fair hills about the myriad of insects that inhabit our beloved Oz? I suppose if you’ve got a vicious sense of humor, you could just let them wade into the chest-deep grass and work it out later, because they’re not going to believe you anyway. Continue reading

The Truth About Cancer

IDC1

Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -For those of you who read my blog regularly, I want to step out of my normal role as a writer and share with all of you something that means so much to me.  This past February, I lost my oldest brother Patrick to glioblastoma brain cancer.  Right off the bat, Pat decided to do what his doctors suggested.  He had surgery, then radiation, then two separate attempts at chemo which both landed him in ICU.  He knew he couldn’t do it again and needed to find another way.  Many caring people gave suggestions as to alternative cancer treatments, but researching even just a few was extremely time consuming and confusing for everyone.   I wish I had found then what I am about to share with you now.

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Dandelions: Love Your Weeds!

By Ragesoss (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsJill HendersonShow Me Oz  – If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I enjoy tweaking people’s perceptions of the wilder parts of our world – especially those that we cannot completely control.  That’s why this week’s article is all about dandelions – those pretty little yellow flowers folks either simply love or absolutely hate.   But what is it about this non-native species that drives some people up the wall and how can we harness its potential to our advantage?  If you’re tired of battling those little yellow flowers, perhaps it’s time to embrace them and use them to your benefit.

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Seed Saving Time: Radishes

Description Raphanus sativus, Wild Radish. Date August 03, 2002 Location Glen Canyon Park - San Francisco, California Photographer Franco Folini CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=722804Jill HendersonShow Me Oz – I don’t know about you, but our spring garden is never complete without at least a few rows of crisp, spicy radishes.  We love to put them in salads, on sandwiches and, of course, for snacking on while we weed!  Common radishes are super easy to grow, have few pests and diseases and can really tolerate the cold, wet weather of the early spring months.  Radishes are also among the easiest seeds to save, provided you follow a few simple rules.  As a bonus, by saving your own radish seeds you get to enjoy an entirely new round of tasty edibles in the form of the young green seedpods, which are a taste treat in their own right.  So don’t pull all your radishes just yet…

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When the Rain Crow Calls

Mature Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus-americanus) Image via By No machine-readable author provided. Factumquintus assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia CommonsJill HendersonShow Me Oz – It’s been another cool, wet spring here in Oz.  So much so, that I am beginning to wonder if our once-robust pepper starts will grow to full size before July.  Wet springs are not uncommon in our neck of the woods, but we can never be sure what kind of weather we’re in for.  The exception being our perennial summer droughts, which can range from average to severe.  Yet, in each and every one of the 15 droughty summer’s that we have gardened here, we have always been alerted to impending rainstorms by an uncommon but very welcome recluse that most folks around here call a rain crow.

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The Homeplace: Fragments from the Past

2016 1-27 Fragments - Cast iron garden furrow tool and well-worn horseshoes. (2)Jill HendersonShow Me Oz – On the ridge behind my house is a small meadow encircled by towering trees.  A short, but well-worn path leads to a small pond clinging to the steep slope.  The pond is circled by a grotto of ancient oak trees with branches so big around they dwarf the trunks of almost every other mature tree on these 42 acres.  As I sat and stared into the massive reaches of these ancients, I wondered why this handful of trees had been spared from the saws of men when so many on the property clearly had not.  Obviously, the pond had been here a very long time – perhaps even as long as the trees themselves. And judging from their size, they had been there for about 200-250 years.  It wasn’t long after that first encounter that answers to my question began to emerge from the land itself.

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Wild Walk: Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris)

Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris) plant in bloom.  Photo copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comShow Me Oz – Sometimes the best “wild” medicine comes from plants that are decidedly not native, but rather naturalized and occasionally weedy. Plants like these are often considered to be invasive, undesirable weeds in cultivated fields and lawns across North America.  And yet, many of these non-natives are incredible edibles and natural healers that foragers and backwoods herbalists should take note of. Dandelions, dock and comfrey are all great examples of naturalized invasive herbs.  Another of these weedy invasive plants is a lesser-known little beauty with a plethora of common names, including Heal-All, Self-Heal and All-Heal among many others.  And if a name could say it all, this one definitely does.

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Wild Walk: Cream Wild Indigo

The creamy yellow pea-like flowers of Cream Wild Indigo. Photo Copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.com

Show Me Oz – Spring is in full swing here in Oz and the vast array of lovely wildflowers are blooming in quick procession.  Most of the delicate spring ephemerals like Trout Lily, Spring Beauty, and Bluets come and go so quickly that it is easy to miss them all together.  Thankfully, we have an ocean of natives to enjoy all season long.  One of my early spring favorites is the lovely Cream Wild Indigo, which blooms much longer than most spring flowers and puts on a show-stopping floral display fit for even the most refined garden.

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Navigating Before Google Maps

This directional Trail Marker Tree is located on the Fort Leonard Wood Base. It is just one of  many Trail Marker Trees still standing in that area.by Dennis Downes

For centuries, Native Americans used many different means to mark the boundaries between their tribal territories and hunting grounds, as well as to mark their trails and convey important messages. Some of these markers were upright standing stones, others were pictographs or petroglyphs, symbols were painted or carved onto trees, large earthen mounds, and even intentionally shaped trees or Trail Marker Trees were utilized. Depending on the area the Native Americans inhabited, they could also reference natural boundaries such as rivers, mountain ranges, and even the edges of dense forests or swamps.  (Photo Top: This directional Trail Marker Tree is located on the Fort Leonard Wood Base. It is just one of  many Trail Marker Trees still standing in that area.)

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Flycatchers: The Gardener’s Friend

By Peter Wilton (Eastern Phoebe  Uploaded by Magnus Manske) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsShow Me Oz – People sometimes laugh when I tell them that I always know when spring is about to dawn on our Ozark homestead – even if it’s freezing outside.  It’s not the weather, or the slight budding of plants that clue me in.  And it’s not the warmth of the sun or my local weatherman, either.  No, the way I know that spring is on it’s way is when I hear the first shrill song of the Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).  This slim, mousy-grey flycatcher with a creamy-colored belly and a big voice has a penchant for perching on low, leafless branches and compulsively wagging its long tail up and down.  And it’s one bird that every gardener should hope for.

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Seed Saving Time: Flowers and Pollination

2014 7-1 Straight Eight Cucumbers (2)Show Me Oz – No matter where you live in the country, you are either itching to get your hands in the dirt or are already in the garden digging, planting and dreaming! If you want to save seed this year, you have come to the right place! Because today we are talking about flowers and how they achieve pollination – and what those two things have to do with saving pure quality seed. Understanding these things not only helps you reap a larger harvest of fruits and vegetables to eat, but also ensures that the seeds you harvest from those fruits will come true in next year’s garden. So, let’s get right to it!

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A New Way to Grow Sweet Potatoes Slips

Starting sweet potato slips in pots.Show Me Oz – I have been growing my own sweet potatoes for years, but I always do it the same old way and with varied results.  The most common method of starting sweet potato slips is to root a whole sweet potato in a jar of water.  The sprouted shoots are then pulled off the mother tuber and rooted in potting soil before being set in the garden. (see Start Your Own Sweet Slips). Yet, I always seem to have trouble getting the tuber to root and send up enough shoots during the cold winter months to have the slips ready by planting time.  And I never seem to get enough slips.  So, this year I tried a new and very simple method of producing an abundance of sweet potato slips with a lot less fuss and muss.

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The Terrace Project: Year Five

2015 5-6 The berm garden (5)Show Me Oz – As I was searching for something to write about this week, I came upon two articles I wrote waaay back in 2012 about the twin terraces (or twin terrors, as I used to call them) that “grace” our small backyard.  When we first moved here, the two slopes were badly eroded and washing clay and rock against the house and down into the valley. It has been quite a challenge to tame the runoff, stabilize the soil, and grow something, anything at all, on these two steep clay hills, but a lot has changed in the last four years!

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Garden Time: Common Herb Diseases

2015 5-26 Oregano (1)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Spring is prime time for buying, starting, propagating and transplanting herbs into the garden. However, should you find that one of your brand new store-bought herbs (or one you’ve just started or have been growing indoors over the winter) isn’t looking so hot,  take a moment to thoroughly inspect it for pests and diseases before introducing it to the garden.

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Garden Time: Watch Out for Early Garden Allies!

Box Turtle HatchlingShow Me Oz – Although ‘official’ spring has yet to arrive in Oz, the weather outside my door tells me it’s already here. As always, Dean and I are at it early and have already cultivated most of our garden and planted the first round of cold-hardy seeds. But while we’re hard at work cleaning up and organizing the yard and garden for the season to come, we are constantly on the lookout for sleepy, still-hibernating and just-hatching garden allies like frogs, toads, turtles, spiders, and all manner of beneficial insects and creatures that help us control insect pests in our organic garden!

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Wild Walk: Wild Blueberries

Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium stamineum) 2013 5-5 (9)Show Me Oz – The Ozarks are blessed with an abundance of wild food including delectable black walnuts, savory hickory nuts, sticky-sweet persimmons, juicy paw paws, tart wild black cherries, tart wild plums and serviceberries, nutritious black berries, wild grapes and delicate black raspberries. If you’ve spent much time here in Oz, you are almost certainly familiar with one or all of these wild foods and have probably spent your fair share of summer and fall afternoons gathering them by the bucketful. But there is one more wild Ozark delicacy that often escapes the notice (and the baskets) of many a wild forager: the wild blueberry. Continue reading

How Big Will Those ‘Maters Get?

Demystifying Tomato Sizes PosterDemystifying Tomato Sizes from the Show Me Oz archives…

Have you ever perused a seed catalog looking for the perfect tomato and been a little confused by the size descriptions? I have. And as someone who recently has had to learn a whole lot about writing short variety descriptions, I appreciate what information I do get from seed packets and catalogs. But I also don’t have time to sift through all the varied ways that tomatoes are described in terms of size. What I needed a way to compare tomato sizes at a glance: Is tomato A bigger or smaller than tomato B? So, I set out to make some sense of all the numbers, weights, measurements and obscure descriptives for comparing various sizes of tomatoes. Read the entire article and get the full-size chart here! Happy gardening! J.

A Journey of Seasons

2011-12-24 Christmas Eve frost (1).jpgI recently lost my oldest brother, Patrick, to brain cancer. His quest for life at the fullest was one thing that the cancer could not take from him. He was a beautiful soul and his passing leaves a hole in my heart that I just can’t seem to fill with words. So, I will reminisce about our talks, and walks, and profound conversations on the meaning of life with these excerpts from my book, A Journey of Seasons, on the relationship between life and death.  I think we both saw that relationship best in the beauty of nature. 

…I like to think of winter as the Great Sleep. For while the landscape appears dull and lifeless, it is anything but.  Like the circle, a sacred symbol for many ancient cultures, winter is but one part of the never-ending journey of life.  The seasons follow the sure path upon which all things move from beginning to end from birth to death to birth, over and over in an endless circle we call life.  With so many more exciting months to choose from, December seems an unlikely place to begin a journey through the seasons.  But when you think about it, winter is literally the womb of nature and the catalyst for the vivacious eruption of new and hidden life come spring.  It is said that circles never end and seasons never die.

In memory of my brother, Patrick.
I’ll bet the sunsets are amazing from heaven!

2012 11-15 Sunset (4).jpg

…There is something of an analogy between spring and death and I search for its meaning among the bursting oak buds and the dragonflies darting about in the sun.  I see it in the bright blooms and hear it in the small chirps of newly fledged birds.  I feel it in the way my heart aches, both with the beauty of this place and with the unending search for the meaning of death.  I stand in the midst of the fervent life brought on by the spring rain and think about the inevitable death of our dear, old friend.  Humans question death in the deep, secret places of their hearts.  Yet, while it is difficult to love that which is most painful, death in itself can indeed be a joyful thing.  However, this can only be so when one truly believes that life is a never-ending journey in which the body is but a temporary vehicle for the soul.  When the earthly body dies, we are at last truly and completely free.

2013 4-17 Tulips (4).JPG

…. Our hearts heavy after many days of constant grieving and long sleepless hours, we made our way back to the clearing of the house in silence.  Despite our lack of sleep, neither of us felt tired.  We took our coffee and sat facing the woods; towards the place where we had just laid our last boy to rest.  We talked for hours about living and dying and what it all means – and we laughed.  We laughed harder than I ever thought possible in this overwhelming moment of grief.  We laughed remembering Buck and Milo’s antics and the many tight spots they wrangled out of.  We laughed about their cunning manipulations of the weaker members of their pack (us).  They had always made us laugh and it only seemed appropriate to celebrate their lives and their new freedom with more laughter.

All in all, it seemed to me a fine time for dying, or for being born, depending on how you look at things.  All around us life was pulsating and breathless in its own race to eventual death.  So many things live only a short time before a new seed is planted – and beauty and marvel and mystery are all rolled together into the fabric of time.  For us, it can seem eternal, but from heaven, it is but the brush of a butterfly’s wing.

2013 5-19 North Fork Float (21)  Butterfly Lick.jpg

Nature Notes: Exploring the Great Sleep

Winter Landscape Copyright Jill Henderson-Show Me OzBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I like to refer to winter as The Great Sleep, because although life outside the window pane seems dull and lifeless, it is anything but. Yet to find that elusive bit of life, one must go in search of it. Even this self-avowed nature freak has to remind herself of this from time to time. So today, I took a stroll through the woods with my eyes – and my senses – wide open.

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Ozark History: The First Inhabitants

osageShow Me Oz – Excerpted from the Introduction to my book, A Journey of Seasons: A Year in the Ozarks High Country

The Ozark “Mountains” are an anomaly – an island in a sea of plains, a bump in an otherwise flat road. When viewed from the air the folds and contours of the Ozarks resemble a human brain; an interesting comparison, since the Ozarks also represent one of the most ancient and diverse landscapes in North America.  Among the unique and dizzying array of flora and fauna, caves, sinkholes, crystal clear springs and toe-numbing rivers is a rich and tangled history of human habitation.

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Black Cumin: The Blessed Seed

AndreHolz at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsShow Me Oz – As a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for new and interesting plants. Because my garden is relatively small, every single plant that makes it through the front gate either has to look fantastic, taste great or have useful healing properties.  One plant that fits all of my criteria is Nigella sativa – also known as the Blessed Seed.

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Seeds of Significance – OP Seed Sources

Saving-Cherokee-Pony-Peas_thumb.jpgJill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Today is one of those cold blustery winter days that give me a good reason not to go outside.  Instead, I’m cuddled up near the  wood stove  dreaming about seeds – wonderful, open-pollinated seeds devoid of genetic modification and over-hybridization.  My seed dreams consist entirely of varieties that are either tried-and-true open-pollinated heirlooms or rare and unusual varieties of open-pollinated fruits and vegetables.  Thankfully, those kinds of seeds don’t have to live only in my dreams because thousands of varieties of unique open-pollinated seeds are readily available to the home gardener – if you know where to look. Continue reading

Nature Notes: Milkweed, Monarchs and You!

Close up of Purple Milkweed flowers. Copyright Jill Henderson ShowMeOz.wordpress.comShow Me Oz

As a gardener and lover of nature, I garden with butterflies and beneficial insects in mind.  Yet, for all my efforts, the one North American butterfly that I have failed to lure to my garden is the bright and beautiful Monarch.  For years I thought the failure was mine, but the truth is that these icons of the butterfly world are in dire straights and their numbers are spiraling dangerously downward.  The good news is that there is something we can all do to help them – and all their colorful kin – to flourish once again.

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Winter Wonder: The Lenten Rose

Hellebores - copyright Jill Henderson ShowMeOz.wordpress (5)Show Me Oz

I have been gardening nearly all my adult life and have had the pleasure of knowing and growing many lovely flowering plants and shrubs.  But it was by sheer luck that I became acquainted with the hardy evergreen, Hellebores orientalis, more commonly referred to as the Lenten Rose.  These unique flowering perennials not only sport durable evergreen foliage and are easy to grow and maintain, but the softly delicate flowers appear at a the most unlikely time of the year.

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Seed Saving Time: Testing Germination Rates

 Testing seed quality and germination rates. showmeoz.wordpress.comShow Me Oz

Last week, I received my first spring seed catalog.  And while it’s a bit early for me to even think about ordering seed for next year, it is an early reminder to test some of the seed stock I currently have on hand. Checking the quality of the seed you save is just as important as saving it. After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than spending hours planting seeds that either germinates slowly, patchy, unevenly, or (gasp) not at all.  So, whether you save your own seed or lean heavily towards “accumulating” seed, you should be testing at least a portion of your stash every winter. Continue reading

Healthful Ginger for the Holidays

A spoonful of ginger.The Holiday Season is in full swing and with it comes an almost insane schedule of shopping, entertaining, special events and, of course, dining out and cooking for friends and family.  And while the holidays sure can be fun, they aren’t always so good for our health in terms of stress, lack of sleep, colds and flu and the good old-fashioned belly ache from eating way too much “good stuff”.   Luckily, the holidays are naturally festooned with some of the most potent healing herbs and spices in the world including cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger – one of my all time favorites.  Not only does ginger taste great in a dizzying array of holiday dishes, it can also make you feel better when the holidays get the best of you.

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Don’t Sweat It!: Easy & Delicious Pie Crust

crustby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Of all the holiday celebrations, Thanksgiving is by far and away my favorite.  And anyone who knows me, also knows that I love me some dessert. In fact, pies are a particular weakness of mine.  I mean, who doesn’t love a sweet, crunchy, savory plate of unimaginable yumminess wrapped in a simple, flaky crust and slathered with a delectable topping?  Of course, if you are the one tasked with bringing the pies and aren’t feeling up to the task you might just be in stress-mode. But don’t sweat it.  In this week’s Show Me Oz, I’ll show you how to make a simply delicious pie (and crust!) that you can be proud of!

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Moonshine in Missouri

IMG_4301By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Quite a few years back, on a beautiful fall day just like this one, a bit of unpleasant news filtered down through our village grapevine. Apparently, an elderly and well-known gentleman in our little community had been arrested for bootlegging moonshine.  That the man in question made and sold corn whiskey was no secret to many in the surrounding area, for he had been doing it for the better part of his life and made little secret of it. Some of the first official reports claimed that this gentleman and his immediate family made and sold up to 9,000 gallons of moonshine each year.  And while that may sound like a lot of ‘shine, it didn’t come as a surprise to me or to anyone else living within a 100 mile radius, because this fella had a reputation for making absolutely top-notch hooch and everyone who drank alcohol wanted a jar of their very own.

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Wild Walk: Coral Mushrooms

Mushroom - Coral 2012 10-7 (3)by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Fall is here and we finally got enough rain to kick off the fall mushroom season.  Among the many foragable fungi available in the fall, my favorite are coral mushrooms.  Not only are corals super easy to identify, even for the novice mushroom hunter, but they are downright beautiful and oh, so good to eat.

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Sensational Sedum: Autumn Joy

Sedum Autumn Joy flowers turn a deep maroon color as fall arrives.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Fall has finally arrived in our neck of the woods and the mild sunny days are punctuated by clear blue skies and a parade of technicolor foliage.  But for most gardeners, fall usually means that the garden is beginning to look a little rough around the edges.  Because our vegetable and herb gardens surround the house the last thing we want is to let things get too ragged looking.  Over the years we have grown various perennials around the perimeter of the garden in an attempt to screen and draw attention away from the less attractive bits.  Of the many varieties we’ve grown, our fall favorite is a lusty and beautiful sedum that is appropriately named “Autumn Joy”.

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Nature Notes: The Silent and Unseen

By Joshua Mayer (Flickr: Flying Squirrel on Roof) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commonsby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

This story happened many moons ago in a garden we used to tend.  It was a sultry late summer morning and Dean and I were meandering through the garden discussing future chores.  We were having a nice walkabout, chatting and discussing one thing or another, and I suddenly turned to him and said, “Do you feel like someone is watching us?”  His perplexed look answered my question and should have set me straight, but I just couldn’t shake the strange feeling I’d had all summer long.  Someone or something had been watching me.

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Grow Pure Seed with Blossom Bags

IMG_4007by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Seed savers know that the key to obtaining pure seed is by controlling the pollination process.  Each species is made up of many varieties.  If two – or more! – of those varieties get too close to one another during flowering their seeds will not come true.  Of course, not all gardeners have the room to grow multiple varieties spaced far apart.  Sometimes, we just don’t know that we’d like to save a certain variety of seed in early spring and so we don’t pay any attention to the spacing requirements for purity.  If this sounds like you; have no fear!  Blossom bags are here to save the day!

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Essential Herbs: Basil

Classic Genovese basil ready to harvest.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without a plethora of lusty basil plants flourishing in the garden.  In fact, I love the sight, smell, and taste of these leafy annual herbs so much that I always over-plant in the spring and by mid-summer wind up with more basil than I need – or even know what to do with.  Yet, every spring when my husband asks me if I think we might just have too many basil starts, my reply is always the same… there’s no such thing as too much basil!

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Seed Saving Time: Harvesting Dry Seeds

Freshly harvested lettuce seed ready to be cleaned.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

For gardeners, the most rewarding part of the season is when the harvest begins and all those luscious fruits and veggies really start to add up.  For seed savers, that joy is doubled when, in a few short weeks after the fresh harvest begins, the handful of fruits or plants that are purposely left on the vine to mature begin to set seed.  After a long season of planning, cultivating, monitoring and harvesting the bounty of the garden, the reward is more than bountiful!

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Buck: A Short Story (part two)

2001 - 11 - Peace Valley - Buck scenting the windThe continuation of a short story about our beloved lab, Buck, whose life was much too short.  Continued from Part One: 

He had around his neck a dirty old blue bandana that had been folded up like a collar and tied on when he was but a pup. That bandana was like an announcement that clearly said he belonged to someone. Probably one of the local Salish families here on the Rez. But whoever it was hadn’t noticed, or cared, that the puppy they’d strapped that thing to was not a puppy any more and now the damn thing was nearly choking him to death. It’s a wonder he could even swallow; that thing was so tight around there. Kinda irked me to see it, but he wasn’t yet sure of me and I thought twice about pissing off the wrong person. Continue reading

Buck: A Short Story (part one)

1993-1 - Gafield, AR - Buck see's snow for the first time! editBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I wrote this short story many years ago.  Our beloved 12 year-old lab, Buck, lay dying on a pallet in the middle of our living room as Dean and I and Buck’s best buddy, Milo, comforted him until his time came.  It was sudden and wrenchingly painful and left us with a hole that could never be filled.   But even as we mourned, we laughed.  For Buck’s life, and ours with him – and with Milo – were joyous and filled with adventure, laughter and lots and lots of love.  This is a short story about a dog whose life was too short.  From my heart; in Buck’s voice.  This hasn’t been edited thoroughly on purpose.  Buck would want it that way.  I hope you enjoy. Continue reading

Make Your Own Garlic Braids in 10 Easy Steps

2014 6-30 How to braid garlic 2 (26)by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

In my kitchen, garlic reigns supreme.  I use it for so many dishes that I like to joke that I put garlic in everything but dessert! Because we use so much fresh garlic, we always grow enough to last us all year.  The only problem with growing a ton of garlic is storing it in a way that saves space, preserves quality, and allows for quick and easy removal of bulbs that develop bad spots, bruises, or those that have begun to sprout.  To solve these problems I began braiding our garlic. With garlic braids, not only can I easily choose which bulbs need to be used first, but the long strands can be hung virtually anywhere and take up absolutely zero storage space on my shelves.  Of course, garlic braids look great and they make wonderful gifts, too.  So get your garlic on and let’s braid it in 10 easy steps!

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