My search for a new home

I’m sitting on the floor in the sunniest corner of my house when my 6-year-old child says, “I want to find a secret passageway.” I tell him I don’t know of any, so he frets. He keeps asking how we can find one.

The cream-colored rug underneath my body is…

There is a bill that, if it becomes law, could jeopardize the freedom for Medium writers to publish their content on various digital platforms.

The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies, or EARN IT Act (S.3398), was revised and unanimously voted to proceed from the Senate Judiciary Committee…

A bill on its way to the US Senate floor is claiming to be a step forward in protecting children from exploitation online.

The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act (S.3398) was unanimously voted to proceed from the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 2, 2020…

A special person to the Home Orchard Society and beyond

“My first love was for the camellia,” writes William “Robbie” Robinson, an early member of the Home Orchard Society (HOS), in his autobiography Life of a Gardener in the City of Roses. [1]

After he joined the Oregon Camellia Society in 1944, he helped organize many camellia shows. Robinson’s interest…

Interview with Algeo “Che” Casul

Brown and black cattle on a grassy hillside.

For the last several decades, family farming has become a harder path on which to make a living.

According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, 24% of small farms in the Northwest sought bankruptcy protection in 2019. Various things have helped shape and maintain the food system in place today: farm policy…

Lingering lessons from an iconic childhood computer game

Green and black pixelated image of an ox pulling a wagon, captioned with “You have died of dysentery.”

If I say the phrase, “Johnny got dysentery, and then my oxen died,” to someone in their 30s or early 40s, then it’s likely that person will know I’m drawing a reference to The Oregon Trail, an educational computer game about American westward migration during the mid-1800s. Many people like…

Comparisons of socioeconomic conditions and monoculture practices in two different eras

Just inside a supermarket, seeing shelves of produce, packaged food, and check stands.

Not long ago, I thought gardening and local food economies were ornamental in nature, like hobbies — nice to have but not vital. They don’t really matter. After all, supermarket shopping undermines my commitment to harvest food from my less-than-romantic garden. At the grocery store I see shelves stocked high…

Interview with Sarah T. MacKechnie

Silhouette of slender flowers on grassy stalks with a dark cloudy sky background.

There are times when I have, in the past, wondered why growing food is important. In my first garden I frequently found myself frustrated and wondering why it mattered to grow anything at all. Fending off pests, weeding, watering, and finding out what would grow and what didn’t used up…

For those without knowledge — or time or tools — to follow through with a canning recipe


As a child, I always looked forward to visiting my Aunt Charlie’s house. We’d make the eight hour drive in a day to her old farmhouse outside of Kendrick, Idaho. …

How I learned about agro-biodiversity, why you should care about it, and a horticultural treasure of 4,500 kinds of apples

The term agro-biodiversity was unknown to me until recently. Since then, I’ve come to learn what it means, why it’s critical for human survival, and how integrating it into our lives will benefit humans and the environment alike.

My interest in food began with home gardening. Several years ago I…

S. Nicki Youngsma

Writer & Artist — • Parent and Human • she/her/they/them

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