Category Archives: Guest Posts

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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The New Nature

by Allison Vaughn – Guest Post

Recently, there has been a surge in literature throughout the conservation community highlighting the importance of native plant gardening for the sustainability of wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation writes that chickadees, for example, require 5,000 insects from native plants to successfully rear a clutch. I trust them, just as I do Doug Tallamy’s fantastic book that highlights the importance of converting landscapes from turf to native flora to benefit wildlife. These and a myriad of other articles have positively impacted many communities now embracing native plantings in urban areas; they have reinvigorated Wild Ones chapters, native plant enthusiasts, and wildlife advocates. Add to the resurgence in growing natives are the reports of impacts to non-target wildlife from the widespread broadcasting of glyphosate and other herbicides in an effort for a “weed-free” lawn, and so forth. The assault on wildlife and the natural world is pervasive with sprawling development, wanton abuse of chemicals, regular thumbing of the nose to regulatory agencies and procedures that were put into place in the 1970s during the heyday of the environmental movement.

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Seed Saving Fundamentals Course

Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz – I don’t do this very often, but I wanted to share a great educational opportunity with those of you who are serious about saving seed.  My friend Justin Huhn, master seedsman and co-founder of All Good Things Organic Seeds, will be giving an extensive 8-week online immersion course designed to teach gardeners of all levels to successfully save seed.  Justin’s passion for education and his experience as a professional seed grower makes this online course a unique and valuable opportunity for gardeners and farmers wanting to successfully save seeds.  I recently sat in on a webinar that Justin gave online and I can vouch for the fact that Justin really knows his stuff! This course would be a great way to take your seed saving sills to a higher level!   Jill Continue reading

Are You Surrounded by Green Inside?

The gardeners soul is never far from the garden and I love the way Robbie shares his love of gardening with simple words and powerful images. Sowing the future of flitting butterflies, savory scents along the herb garden path, and warm tomatoes glistening in the sun – one seed at a time.  I think Robbie’s title has a deeper meaning in terms of the gardener’s soul. – Read on and Enjoy! Jill

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Entocuisine: A Passion for Wilder Edibles

0013729e4abe0bb544562cby Paul Landkamer –
Guest Blogger – Show Me Oz

Several years back, a distinguished-looking lady came into our library with some questions. Her formal, quiet school-teacherish (which she was) manner seemed in stark contrast to her request for information on fried grasshoppers and sources of supply. When she made her request, I remembered buying chocolate-covered ants, bees, grasshoppers and caterpillars back in the early ’70s when our Golden Valley, MN Byerly’s carried ’em. Byerly’s doesn’t carry them anymore. The teacher’s request didn’t shock me like it did some. It turned out the teacher was going to serve fried grasshoppers to some of the more daring teachers for a back-to-school function or something like that –quite possibly in remembrance of the big Warrensburg grasshopper feast from my earlier post. Several librarians and I jumped on the project.

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From Monoculture Farmer to Homestead Beekeeper

James A ZittingBy James A. Zitting
Guest Blogger – Show Me Oz –

Some of my earliest desires to live sustainably on the land were fueled in my early 20’s by reading Mother Earth Magazine and books by Gene Logsdon, Masanobu Fukuoka, and others. These readings planted a desire in me to live the country life in a different way than I had been raised. Continue reading

Winter Colors: The Spirit of Place

2002 - 10 - Noblett Lake - lovely colorBy Sara Firman (Sulis)

In the world of home interiors, natural tones, are often boring neutrals.  Yet the natural world is never boring or neutral.  Even in winter, colors abound.  Continue reading

Get Back to the Garden

1988-guatemala_Dean_HendersonBy Dean HendersonLeft Hook –

Urbanization could well be the most dangerous trend on the planet. Cities are designed by the matrix, for the matrix and of the matrix.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited different countries and witnessed the misery and plight of the urban poor in sharp contrast to the lives of happiness and relative ease I’ve seen among the rural poor in those same developing nations.  It’s the same here in the Ozarks.

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Perceiving Patterns in Nature

Image Copyright 2013 Sara FirmanBy Sara FirmanDiving Deeper

“The failure to perceive order and structure in and unknown city can upset a visitor in the same way that an apparently homogeneous forest can be completely confusing to an unobservant wanderer.” – Landscape: Pattern, Perception and Process by Simon Bell Continue reading

The New Day

Sunset before new years eve 2011 - Copyright Kathleen Gresham Everett

By Kathleen Gresham Everett

As the old year slinks away into the night
I will throw my shoes at its shadow
Shaking the dusty months from my clothes,
I will wear my cap and shirt inside out
So the old minutes and seconds can’t cling
Like a bad smell
I will salt the earth where the previous days
Stretched on and on
Assuring they will not
Follow me into the new year
When the New Years Eve bonfire is burning
I will gather the bitter herbs
And walk counter clock wise into the previous moments
Casting the hated bouquet into the flame
Leaving its acrid taste behind
With the smell of its grief and sorrow

Only then will I wreath my head with four leaf clovers
Fill my pockets with new pennies
And my trunks with rabbit’s feet and horseshoes
And walk bravely into the coming year
Head held high and with cheerful optimism
I will greet the new day

© 2012 Kathleen Gresham Everett – posted with permission.

Kathleen Everett is a writer and poet living in the Missouri Ozarks.  Kathleen’s blog, The Course of Our Seasons features her eloquent poetry as well as articles and photography focused on the seasons of the Ozarks region.

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Winter Blahs? Let’s Feed the Birds!

Male Red-breasted Nuthatch By Daniel Novak

Feeding and watching birds in the summer, spring and fall can be an enjoyable family pursuit and winter should be no different. While many of the birds we often see at other times of year travel to warmer climates for the winter a few hardy souls remain. Inasmuch as feeding can attract a plethora of birds for our viewing enjoyment it can actually be integral in seeing our feathered friends through a tough time of year when other food sources may be scarce or absent. Here are a few basic winter bird feeding tips that will keep birds happy and coming back day after day.

Grow Your Own Ginger

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zingiber_officinale20090901_02.jpgBy Birgit ‘B’ Bradtke – Guest Contributor

When I began growing ginger I expected it to be difficult, but it’s not.  I’ve been growing ginger at home for years and it is a serious contender for the title of “most neglected plant” in my garden. In fact, I look at my ginger plants exactly once a year at harvest time. I harvest them, replant them and then forget about them for another year.  I easily grow a year’s supply of ginger and have plenty left over to give away. You can grow your own ginger using store-bought ginger root and you can easily grow it in pots or tubs.  On this page I tell you everything you need to know about growing ginger, so you can grow your own fresh ginger, too. Continue reading

Aiming to Transform

copyright Kelsey RumleyBy Greg Swick

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”  – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

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Winterizing Your Bees the Natural Way

By James A. Zitting

It’s that time of year to think about putting our summertime pleasures to bed. At our house, we just finished carpeting our entire front lawn with a deep mulch of spoiled hay. This is the first step to converting our lawn to food production. What do we need to do for the bees?

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New Plaintiffs Join Suit Against Monsanto GMO’s

It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement, but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement, so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients.” – Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director and Lecturer of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.

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Walking Across Boulders

File:Alvar2.JPGBy Allison Vaughn

During winter months, I take literally hundreds of photos that (upon a quick scan of each folder) all look the same: golden grass, gray trees, blue skies, dolomite boulders. I like the structure of the winter landscape, the silvery old growth chinquapin oaks, the open-grown post oaks, and the exposed geology.

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Closest to Everlastin’: Ozark Agricultural Biodiversity and Subsistence Traditions (Part Three)

Crystal Bowne, Back-to-the-Land Ozarker Gardens, Newton County, Arkansas, 2010By Brian C. Campbell
University of Central Arkansas

  Agroecological Knowledge:

Ozarkers who engage in agrobiodiverse farming have knowledge of their environment and the species within it that allow them to survive (agroecological knowledge).  They utilize both wild and domesticated species, observe their behavior and interrelationships, and apply that information to use in gastronomy and agriculture.

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Closest to Everlastin’: Ozark Agricultural Biodiversity and Subsistence Traditions (Part Two)

Brenda Smyth, Willodean's garden, Searcy County, Arkansas, July 2009.By Brian C. Campbell
University of Central Arkansas

Willodean: Ozark Subsistence Traditions in the Present

On a spring day in 2009 I visited the home of Kenneth and Willodean Smyth in Marshall, Arkansas.  They live a mere six blocks off the main highway, but their fifteen acres boasts a very large garden, fruit trees, nut trees, blackberry brambles, chicken coops, a humble,

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Farmer Wins Legal Battle with City over Raw Milk Sales

As Morningland Dairy awaits its fate over the ongoing legal battle with the FDA and the Missouri Milk Board, one Missouri couple has won their right to sell pre-ordered raw milk directly to consumers. Read this piece by Food Freedom.

Farmer Wins Legal Battle with City over Raw Milk Sales By Emily Baucum Ozarks First.com (Greene County, MO) —

It’s a big win for farmers and people who prefer to buy locally-grown food. A husband and wife who run a farm in Conway have been acquitted on charges of illegally selling raw milk inside Springfield city limits. The Bechards sell milk that’s regularly tested but not pasteurized. It’s not against the law, but Missouri requires milk sold at distribution points like grocery stores and farmers … Read More

via Food Freedom

“Closest to Everlastin'”: Ozark Agricultural Biodiversity and Subsistence Traditions (Part One)

Crystal Bowne, Back-to-the-Land Ozarker Gardens, Newton County, Arkansas, 2010.By Brian C. Campbell
University of Central Arkansas

Taking form in cultivated fields and gardens, managed hedgerows and woodlands, varieties of crop species, and livestock breeds, agricultural biodiversity refers to the human-modified components of the natural world that contribute to the sustenance of human populations.

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Oil and Gas Collection: Hydraulic Fracturing, Toxic Chemicals and the Surge of Earthquake Activity in Arkansas

Fracking the Life Out of Arkansas and Beyond
by Rady Ananda – Global Research

The last four months of 2010, nearly 500 earthquakes rattled Guy, Arkansas. [1]  The entire state experienced 38 quakes in 2009. [2]  The spike in quake frequency precedes and coincides with the 100,000 dead fish on a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River that included Roseville Township on December 30. The next night, 5,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings dropped dead out of the sky in Beebe. [3]  Hydraulic fracturing is the most likely culprit for all three events, as it causes earthquakes with a resultant release of toxins into the environment. [4]
Read the entire article here…

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Thanksgiving Food for Thought

by Dean Henderson

I like Thanksgiving.  Though its history is rightly associated with the Native American genocide at the hands of Euro-banker mercenaries, it is also a metaphor for the kindness which the “real human beings” embody.  Continue reading

Being Chosen and the Spirit of Place

Susan Minyard - www.sweetwaterpottery.bizBy Sara Firman (Sulis)

You can’t choose, it seems, without being chosen. For the place, in return had laid its claims on me and had made my life answerable to it…’ Wendell Berry in Jayber Crow.

I’ve lived in the Ozarks since the summer of 2002 when I happened to be passing through. Without meaning to, I fell in love with a piece of land; and, as love goes, jumped into its arms without much further thought.  The result was as tumultuous as you might expect. Continue reading