It has been a long and eventful year and I would like to say “thank you” to all who have supported me as I fulfilled a crazy desire to blog about those things for which I am passionate – homesteading, nature, gardening, edible and medicinal plants and of course, the Ozarks. Since I began Show Me Oz in July of 2010, I have written and posted over 70 articles – an undertaking that has been both challenging and rewarding!
When I set out on this course, I wasn’t exactly sure what Show Me Oz would turn out to be. Of course, there were times when I doubted my ability to bring this project to fruition, but with the encouragement and support of my readers, I have seen my dream come true.
As many of you know, Dean and I embarked on a new chapter of our lives this past August with the purchase of a new home. With this move comes a much larger expanse of Ozark woodlands and a new garden that must be scraped out of the infamous Ozark clay. One of our early challenges has been learning how to live on the side of a ridge that constitutes the headwaters for a major watershed in our area. Living on slope has already given us a new and exciting perspective on water and runoff and how it affects the landscape and how we live upon it.
Another challenge has been a set of exposed clay terraces behind the house. These terraces, which are each approximately 40 feet long and 5 feet tall, were cut out of the hillside the previous owner during the construction of the house. The “dirt” (i.e. heavy clay) was used to create a level platform around the house – this is what we will be gardening in. By the time we arrived, the terraces had been badly neglected and had been eroding badly for several years.
The amount of water coming down the hillside during and after a heavy rain washed tons of sediment into the backyard and down into the small valley below. Our first job was to fill the deep gullies and redirect the water to the natural swale alongside the house. The next step will be to re-vegetate the terraces with plants – hopefully natives – that can withstand the unbelievably harsh conditions there.
With our new homestead under way, I’ll have plenty of material for articles about gardening, seed saving, canning and other issues pertaining to life on a rural homestead. I’ll also be including many new articles on the flora and fauna of the region, with a focus on wild edible and medicinal plants. One of the first things we did after arriving here was to start the herb garden. I look forward to trying out some new varieties and growing many more medicinal herbs than ever before.
Of course, we have a lot more native forest land where we are now, and along with all that ‘wilderness’ comes encounters with wild creatures, as well as an abundance of native plants and trees. I hope to share many of those experiences with you as well. In addition to my own writing, I am always on the lookout for new and interesting works by other authors. If you know of a good blog or an interesting author who’s work would fit in here at Show Me Oz, I’d love to hear about it.
Every new year brings with it new hopes and dreams. My hope for 2012 is that Show Me Oz will continue grow in scope and form. With your continued support, I know it will. Thank you again to all the wonderful people who have made this such a rewarding adventure. Your encouragement and friendship has made all the difference in the success of Show Me Oz and I hope that you will join me for the next leg of the journey. ..
All the best to you and yours!
Happy New Year!