Writing Contest

Writing Contest

The [Grow] Network Has an Amazing Non-Fiction Writing Contest with More than $2,097 in Combined Prizes


The [Grow] Network is sponsoring a public writing contest.  The purpose of the contest is to gather a collection of the most useful, simple, and effective techniques for producing, preparing, and preserving your own food and medicine.  We live in times when producing your own food and medicine is increasingly necessary for good health and food security, and we want to facilitate the sharing of information between people who are growing their own food and attempting to live sustainable lifestyles.

You can see a listing of the most recent writing contest entries here – Writing Contest Entries.


Contest entries are judged by Marjory Wildcraft and the editorial staff of the [Grow] Network.  Prizes are awarded at the end of each contest.  Several factors are taken into consideration in judging, including:

Contest entries that have useful and detailed information on practical techniques that are truly sustainable and useful during grid-down situations will be given greater consideration.

Authenticity and real ‘dirt time’ are what we value.  Post only things you have tried yourself or have actually seen others do successfully.  Avoid topics that “might work,” or “should work,” or “I heard this will work.”

Be absolutely sure that what you write is accurate.  People’s time, and lives, may be affected by what you present.

The greater community of the [Grow] Network will be encouraged to vote on the contest entries.  The collective rankings based on community voting will have an impact on judging the winners.  More importantly, rankings help our users find the most useful information on our site.

You can see a listing of entries that have won prizes in our past contests here – Writing Contest Winners.


We have awarded over $5,000 worth of prizes already, and the pot is always getting bigger.  We have several great sponsors that contribute awesome prizes, and we award these prizes to the people who submit the most helpful and useful entries.  Past prizes have included valuable and useful tools that are useful to gardeners, farmers and homesteaders such as:

⇒ Pressure Canners
⇒ Heirloom Seed Collections
⇒ Water Filtration and Purification Systems
⇒ First-Aid Kits
⇒ DVD Videos and Much, Much More

For a complete list of prizes for the current writing contest visit this page – Rules and Prizes.

Rules and Eligibility

The [Grow] Network writing contest is open to the public.  All entries must be related to producing, preparing, or preserving your own food or medicine.  All entries must be original works, including any photographs provided.

For a complete listing of rules and eligibility requirements visit this page – Rules and Prizes.

Enter the Contest

Do you know a tip or trick to share with other gardeners and homesteaders?  Do you have a touching personal story about something you learned while gardening, farming or homesteading?  If so, share it with the group!  Lots of our best entries are simple techniques and short personal stories.

After you’ve reviewed the rules and eligibility, submit your contest entry here – Enter Writing Contest.

Thanks and good luck!

Marjory Wildcraft


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43 Comments on Writing Contest

  1. marlene

    I have enjoyed reading/watching the entrees and would appreciate also knowing what temperate zone and state the entrees are coming from to help me know how to apply the suggestion to my location’s growing conditions. Thanks.

  2. The Honeybunny submission on edible and medicinal plants was just superb– thoughtful, helpful,
    useful. The healing salve recipe was particularly nice. One caution is that salves of this nature that contain comfrey should not be used on punctures or on deep cuts that have been or will be sutured. Comfrey stimulates fibroblast proliferation such that wounds more than a few mm deep are likely to heal over before the body can eliminate underlying bacteria, creating either an abscess or a wound that won’t heal. For scrapes and shallow cuts once they have been washed and cleaned these salves are super and roughly halve the time to heal. I used to work as an internist and teach at the Calif. School of Herbal Medicine. By the way Marjorie, please have your IT check out this article. There was no hyperlink for voting on my Mac (Safari, OS8.8). It would be a shame to leave Honeybunny out of the running.

  3. Eileen Bisson

    I have wanted asparagus for a long time. Many times I have tried to grow it & it never makes it long the gophers & moles always get more than I do, & it never last more than a couple of years. A few years ago a friend got me to get grow boxes which work for lots of things. I was desperate & decided to try the asparagus roots in them, I was amazed, I had figured only to over winter them in the boxes, but I got so busy I did not get them replanted. They sent up stalks some big enough to eat( only the 2nd year) I ended up leaving them in the boxes & I got a fantastic crop off of them this year, and for much longer than ones planted in the ground. I had put in 2 or 3 roots per box. 3 roots are to many but 2 work great, they did so well I planted 3 more boxes this year. I would never have figured that it would work so well, can’t wait for next year.

    • Michael F

      Hi Lynn – I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with the page, that sounds really frustrating. I looked in to it, and unfortunately there isn’t an easy way to put a “Save” option on this page.

      Can I suggest that you write the article in a text editor like Word, Notepad, or TextEdit? That way you can save the document while you work on it. Then you can copy the finished text and paste it (paste as plain text) in to the form on this page. I hope that is helpful – Michael

  4. Dear Majorie,
    A recent question in your article of 23 February 2015 concerns how one protects cattle water troughs from freezing. I have two suggestions:
    1.) If there is electricity and/or solar capabilities, place a fish-tank heater in the bottom of the tank. Remember, cattle can be destructive so burying cables or putting exposed wiring inside metal conduit tubing and anchoring to a 4″x4″ post is recommended.
    2.) Since oil will not freeze, perhaps pouring olive oil on top of the water’s surface will prevent freezing. It would be safe for the cattle.
    I have tried neither but it seems both would be practical and inexpensive.

    • Suzanne Gerard

      Water, even if covered with oil will freeze when the temperature is below freezing
      and your cattle would be left to lick oil from the ice.

  5. Alex

    Iowa cold (chuckle, chuckle),

    I know some chicken and egg producers in Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada.
    That’s 80 miles north of the 60th parallel. I will ask them what breeds they favour.

  6. David

    Hi Gang,

    It has been my experience that broody hens appear in the flock as their age progresses. However, Bantum breeds seem to have an edge on being broody sooner!

    Best of Luck, …David Whattam

  7. Hello,
    I would simply grind them all up in batches of course in a high powered blender or food processor, put some in zip lock bags and freeze for a future time. Then use the remainder in my garden to fertilize my plants, veggies, etc. Possibly used with water to cut down on fish smell!
    Thank you.

  8. Ken T

    I discovered an easy, cheap, and safe way to kill fire ant mounds while I was cleaning up after two puppies. After shampooing spots in the carpet for the millionth time with our carpet shampooer, I remembered a fire ant mound by our driveway and thought I might get a little payback for all the times they have gotten me. I poured about 1 1/2 quarts of the dirty, soapy water on the mound and was happy to see them race over the area looking for something to sting. After getting some satisfaction from this, I repeated several times on different mounds each time. Imagine my happy surprise the next day when I realized that these mounds were vacant. I thought I had just managed to move them and really expected to find new sister mounds in a few days. In the meantime, my puppies were helping create more dirty, soapy water so I struck out looking for more fire ants I could eliminate. After a few days, there were NO fire ants in my yard! I waited for them to rebuild and start over in a different location. Other than a couple of starter mounds from migrant colonies, my 3/4 acre lot was fire ant free! A little soapy wash water easily took care of them. This year, there have been some new mounds starting that were easily taken care of.

    The soapy water has not hurt nearby plants and it hasn’t had a lasting effect in the soil that I am aware of.

  9. Billy Griggs

    title:”Save your Back and/or Knees” I live in central N.C. and am 70. This is my first time of trying the no-till type of gardening.When I started planting,I was on my hands and knees poking holes in the thick mulch and paper that I had used to cover the garden.I soon discovered this was difficult and sometimes painful.I went to the shed and found an old broken shovel handle,sharpened the end.I then found a piece of 3/4 pvc pipe about 36 inches long.I used the sharpened shovel handle to poke holes in the mulch/paper layer,removed the handle from the hole,placed the pvc pipe in the hole,dropped the seeds into the pipe.I then used the handle to close the hole,(all done while standing upright)no bending or crawling.

  10. welove2go

    Marjory, here’s a question that I would like someone to write about for the next contest: What can you do about 2 different varieties of fruit trees bought to pollinate each other that bloom at different times!

    Our specific situation happens to be that, after doing some research, we bought a Methley plum to pollinate the Bruce plum that we had bought a year earlier. The Bruce plum blooms very early and has blooms before it has leaves. The Methley plum bloomed later than the Bruce the first year (none at all this year) and when it did bloom, it had leaves prior to getting blooms.

    It’s pretty frustrating to have 2 plum trees and not getting any plums!


  11. Daryle in VT

    Hi Marjory,

    “… and the copyright will become the property of GrowYourOwnGroceries.org.”

    The trouble with usurping a copyright is that you get what you pay for. Not-so-well written words lying listlessly on a page.

    There are writers who can produce crisp, well crafted, often humorous, clearly educational writing. They draw the reader willingly into the words on the pages, holding their interest until the end. That’s when the reader reflects on the fact that they fully understood the topic of the article and had fun learning it.

    The late Mickey Spillane once told me, “authors write books, writers get paid.” “Don’t write something unless someone is paying for it.”

    Then I sold him a new wood stove. 😉


  12. This is in response to the FL. lady with the dragon issue. Someone needs to tell her to contact animal control or an animal rescue group or a reptile group to try to trap the reptile because it is not native to Florida and has been dumped by someone. That is cruel to the animal and to this lady as well. I used to have a Bearded Dragon as a pet and they are pretty harmless really especially if you grab them behind their head. This animal needs as much help as this lady does.
    I hope that someone can get this answer to her.

  13. Gord

    I *may* have an answer to that “Dragon Problem.” Mist your other plants with water, then sprinkle them with some hot powder (maybe paprika, or something nastier). This has been known to work to stop pesky squirrels from eating one’s garden plants. I’m not sure how primitive your problem dragon’s taste buds might be, but if paprika won’t work, maybe try it with some Hot Sauce LOL!


  14. MG

    Until the rescue of the escaped or orphaned bearded dragon, our solution may work. We contend with the giant lizards of So. America by chicken wire fencing 3-5 ft. high – snug or implanted a couple inches at the base and loose/floppy at the top between small posts. This way the large lizards cannot stabilize to jump into the garden. However, there cannot be overhead trees, bushes or edifices they could jump from as well. Hope you find a solution!

  15. Mimi

    For the bearded dragon problem: many people keep them as pets. If you don’t want to, maybe put up an ad in your local paper…someone will come get it, I’m sure!

  16. Sherri Bohan

    You can’t eradidicate Powdery Mildew…but a spray of plain MILK will control it before it kills other Squash, melon, cukes etc. Just spray the leaves and every day if you want.

    Other sprays work great too, but milk is so easy.

    A nice thick mulch will help the most any time, to prevent many problems.

  17. Bonnie

    For white mold, mildew and blight use one tbls baking soda, 1 tbls veggie oil, 1 tbls dish soap and 1 gallon water. Spray plants early morning, top and bottoms of leaves. If rain must do again.
    Over watering tomatoes can cause all kinds of problems. If you are having lots of rain, cover tomatoes with a plastic tarp and redirect the rain water. Hard to believe, but plants can get too much water. In fact over watering is the number one killer of plants. Number two is over fertilizing.

  18. Grampa

    On the question of raccoon s in the compost. I have seen a product that keeps birds from roosting it is spread on and it burns their feet. squirrels are repelled by this as well. With some chicken wire over the compost pile it could be spread in the wire it is non toxic and I remember the ad saying it doesn’t hurt animals. It is worth a try for raccoon’s hunt by sight as well as smell and if they dont see the coyote they feel safe. If you get desperate spray it with pepper spray they have some that will repel a bear so it may work hear but then you must remember to use gloves and keep kids away.

  19. mike

    Looking for a phone number…cant find, if you have grown to this young man to handle your site….then we still need a phone interface….email is to slow….liked your joyce reiley interview 828….have some questions on your dvd coverage of fall planting experience in north central tx…have spoken with you via phone in the past during your last major promotion for the grow network….add a contact link as most other sites do, yes its a pain…but long term customer business will result failure to talk to people that want contact will maybe not grow your business, as you may want, my thought only you know your goals better thanm\ myself only looking for a phone number and cant find a contact link???????????????????????

    • Hi Tarrin – Sorry for the delay – your comment got stuck in our spam filter for one reason or another. Yes, if you’d like to submit a video for the writing contest, we will accept that. Thanks – Michael

  20. Marie

    I have more squirrills than my walnut tree can tolerate. Every year I try something new but to now avail. I have taken to trapping them and relocating because it’s illegal to kill them or they would be in the frying pan. I’ve tried putting aluminum around the tree but they just jump past it and get the nuts while they are still green. I’ve tried moth balls but the scent doesn’t bother them. I’ve tried yelling at them but they only run off & return when I’m not outside. After reading about the raccoon problem and the pee in a bottle, I thought skunk scent might work but would like to have advice from someone who has defeated those pesky rascals. They truly are cute but not stealing my organic walnuts, I barely have enough for each season. Someone please help!! Thanks Marie

    • Vicki

      A couple cats will reduce the population; try hot peppers…. really hot jalapeno’s and hotter. Wear gloves, take the seeds and crush them to make a paste or cut the pepper wear the seeds are showing and wipe all over the branches or chili powder or bay seasoning. Most critters have sensitive noses.

      • Suzanne Gerard

        If squirrels are repelled by peppermint it seems to me the most simple way to deter them would be to put a spoonful of mint flavoring in a pint of water in a spray bottle and spray the trunk of the tree. This will also get spiders to move if you give a spray of it to corners in the house where they like to put cobwebs.

  21. Ramona

    Dear Lynn, An over abundance of cherry tomatoes? Not a problem. Just freeze those little darlings. Toss them in a ziplock bag & freeze. I just made some chili 2 days ago from a bag I found in the freezer from last year. No problem!!

  22. etta

    Regarding cherry tomatoes – How about just drying them? It should take just a one cut in half (use the two plate way). Just a suggestion – Etta

  23. Brenda Young

    Something I have done is take the cherry tomatoes and freeze them in ziploc bags. You can take them out add to a smoothe or cooking soups and even to pasta dishes.

  24. Hornworm – I control them using their own bodies. When I begin to see hornworms in my tomato plants, I snip the critters in half and let their entrails drip down on the plant. Doesn’t take long (one day) and I see no more hornworms on my tomato plants. They don’t like encountering their cousins, or part of their cousins dripped down on the stalks. Works well for me in San Diego!

  25. Bonnie

    Is Old bacon grease, grease that has gone rancid?
    Bacon grease can be used for any type of frying. I have also used it in pie crust for pot pies, bread and we always used it on toast when we were kids.