GROW O'ahu

Island Style Gardening and Plant-Based Living

Home Again

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“I wanna live where the green grass grows, watch my corn pop up in rows….”


For two months my kids and I watched epic sunsets while we visited Iowa. They lasted for 2 hours and always put on a show of colors, shapes and cloud formations.  I love Iowa sunsets.

IMG_1245I also love visiting my tree. It really is my tree, since I planted it as a little helicopter seed with a kitchen spoon about 30 years ago. My grandpa told me there was a tiny tree inside that little propeller that flew off our backyard maple and I didn’t believe him. He said, “Go dig a little hole, put it inside and wait. You gotta be patient though.” So I did. I even built a little fortress around it with popsicle sticks to keep my mom from running over the spot with the lawnmower. And wouldn’t  you know, he was right. There was a little tree inside, and though it has been ripped apart many times over the past 3 decades by windstorms and tornadoes, it soldiers on. 🙂

My Tree <3

My Tree ❤

…and more trees! Walnut trees that our family planted as seedlings are now a proper forrest. With so many corn fields that go on forever and heat in the Iowa sun, this little oasis was about the coolest place for miles. (I always think of that saying…”The best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago. The next best time is today.”…or something like that.)


And bunnies. Who doesn’t love chasing bunnies? We don’t have little wildlife critters like this in Hawaii…mongoose don’t count. They are a nuisance! (Of course bunnies are a nuisance too to gardeners, but darn in, they are so cute.) 😀

IMG_1367But Home is also where our organic papaya trees have started pumping out fruit! Yippy! I was so happy to come back to see these beauties.


And home is where our crown flower plant doubled in size in two months and had literally dozens of caterpillars who were on their way to making their debut as butterflies.


Home is also where dear friends share organic avocado with you and your babies and let you lounge around in their backyard for hours on Sunday doing nothing at all. ❤


Our family will always have a complex understanding of Home. I’ve come to think of it more as a state of mind than a place…your heart is happy at home. Wherever that is. And this Happy Hearted Gardener has a lot of work to do to get my plants back after a 2 month hiatus! Stay tuned for more growing news. Aloha.




Author: Carmen

Things I love: justice in all forms; flowers; locally grown food; cloth-diapering; breastfeeding; feminist theory; outdoor play; beaches; wine; Divine interventions; 4-H and coffee. Things I loathe: racism; homophobia; toxic crap; misogyny; litterbugs; the zombie apocalypse and pitbull-haters. My formal education is in sociology, gender studies, and public policy. I'm also a Lactation Educator; 4-H Youth Development coordinator a Certified Master Gardener and a graduate of a Permaculture Design Course. I've been blogging for several years on dozens of topics- everything from women's health to breed-specific legislation. But the thing I like to write about most is my gardening, food adventures and my kids. So there you have it. Please be kind. Thanks.


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