From the Editor: Out of Control, Big Meats, Fassnight Creek Farm, China Jade Cucumber, Write Your Story, Jumajo Writing Company

Out of Control

We were visiting my grandparents who lived in rural Missouri, close to the Arkansas border. The small town was one in which McDonald’s caused a big stir when it staked its claim. Growing up, my grandparents were either raising cattle or renting their land for cattle. My grandfather served our country, our families, us in the Air Force during WWII. He didn’t talk about his service often (or maybe I didn’t ask the right questions), but he was proud to take part and be included when veterans were needed.   

I was almost two years old. My brother and sisters and I were in the basement. As the story goes, I was being watched by them. Loosely, perhaps. Unbeknownst to anyone, apparently, I took a swig of bleach. Somehow, my siblings were alerted, which meant my parents and all other adults sprang into action once they were notified. Due to the year and location, phoning 9-1-1 was not an option. Instead, my mom called the poison control center that gave her instructions before my parents carried me to the car and began the 30-minute drive to the closest medical facility. 

The doctor pumped my stomach and such and sent me on my way. 

Not to be dramatic, but I could have died that day. The reason I didn’t was because the Lord is sovereign, in control, all powerful, with purposes and plans. 

That is what I know. In the Bible, Job says to God, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted,” (Job 42:2). 

Brave Reader, I don’t understand the ways of our Creator. Why this or why that. What I know is you are alive in this moment because our Father in Heaven is in control, with a plan that includes a purpose for you. What I know is Jesus wouldn’t give up the the ridicule, the mockery, the death of the cross because His eyes were on us and sovereign God.

This issue of Homegrown Journal shares stories from people who are out of control, while the Lord remains steadfast and sovereign. Stay awhile.

Julie Johnson
editor in chief

COVER My mom’s ever watchful eye on me as I swam without care at Jellystone Park in Branson, Missouri. Circa August 1979, two months before my second birthday.

That Thing You Eat: Make It Local

Republic, Missouri

Big Meats provides USDA certified, local beef that has been raised, processed and packaged in southwest Missouri. Purchase beef already cut and packaged, or buy a half or whole beef. Text or call Big Meats at 417.848.2100. Like Big Meats on Facebook to learn more about specials.

Springfield, Missouri

Fassnight Creek Farm has been producing vegetables, fruit and flowers for nearly 100 years. It is family owned and operated and grows many varieties of produce and flowers. In addition, they offer additional fruit and vegetables from outside the 417 area. Call the farm at 417.866.5011. Like Fassnight Creek Farm on Facebook to stay updated about availability.

Where do you purchase *local* poultry, beef, fruit, vegetables, honey, jelly etc.? Email us at Please + thank you.

* southwest Missouri or surrounding area

PLANTED: China Jade Cucumber

This month’s PLANTED is brought to us by the letter “J” for Julie or Johnson or China Jade cucumber. It’s a new addition to my garden this year. I am also growing Muncher and Beit Alpha.  

I have eaten two China Jades, with two more waiting. I have also picked one Beit Alpha. The first two were 12-15 inches in length. I cut the second set early due to heat. Once sliced, China Jade has a yummy cucumber scent and pretty, pale green insides. Best of all, it tastes like a cucumber. And summer. And deliciousness.  

For more information or to purchase seeds for your own garden, visit Bake Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield, Missouri, or online at

What’s Your Story?

Use your experiences, stories, gifts and interests to inspire and encourage others. We continually seek contributors who will further make Homegrown Journal a place of invitation for our families, friends and neighbors. For more information, email

Tourists submit photos and captions of places they go, local or not. Bookies help us know what to read next. Storytellers lead us through shared experiences. In addition, we would like to include foster/adopt families in upcoming issues.

Homegrown Journal + Jumajo Writing Company, LLC

Homegrown Journal is on mission to encourage each of us to lead lives worthy of our calling. Every issue features writers who tell their stories with the expectant hope that shared experiences will rally us to persevere in our aspirations, empower us to move beyond the giants in our paths, to be bold in loving our neighbors. Though our focus is on southwest Missouri, we welcome readers and storytellers from all over the world.

Homegrown Journal is published by Jumajo Writing Company, LLC. Learn more about Jumajo and its writing, editing and design services at We also invite you to be part of our social community at 

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