I Want to Be Open to the Gifts that are Shown to Me, Organic Gardener, Marion Owen Kodiak Alaska


Marion’s Kodiak Organic Tomatos-Greenhouse grown

“Grow organic food you want to eat.”

Marion Owen lives in Kodiak Alaska where she cares for her well-established organic garden.  She grows foods she wants to eat.

“The cool climate allows the kale to be sweeter.  Green onions are huge!”

“I live in Kodiak Alaska where there’s the changing light and cooler climate.  It’s OK to put things in the compost pile. I learn from experience.”

“I grow food I want to eat but I also want to provide food for the late pollinators.  I don’t just garden for me but for other people, insects, birds.  It’s all inclusive.”

Marion saves bumble bees who get caught up in a deep freeze.  Hear how she does it on the podcast.

“Gardening is relaxing and reflective.  I worked on a tug boat.  I was getting tired of going out to sea.  I had an internal conversation years ago.  What do I want to do?  Well two things came to my mind.  Photography and gardening.”

“When I moved to Alaska and started my garden there was no dirt.  Well I can’t have dirt delivered so I had to make my own.  The traditional way of composting would take too many years.  I researched it.  Hot composting was how I made dirt.”

“I add the green stuff and brown stuff and in a few days it heats up.  I turned it and it would cool down, then heat up again.  In a few weeks, not years, I had dirt!”

“Sharing what I do is important.  I’ve written for Alaska Magazine and I’ve also submitted photographs.  I’ve been a keynote speaker at garden conferences and if I can garden in Kodiak then you can do it wherever you are in the world.”

“My garden is part of the earth.  I think it’s important to know where your food comes from because it’s not all clean or healthy.  Food security.  Try supporting your local farmers’ market and talk to the growers.”

“In Kodiak I used to write a gardening column in the Kodiak Daily Mirror.  The articles are available online.”

” I also am an advocate of community outreach.  I help others to grow their garden and I also do a Veggies at Work program.  Anybody can do this.  I approach a business and ask them to purchase materials to have a raised box or bed at their work site.  I plant and harvest vegetables to take to the food bank.

“There’s more connections and more positive imprints with Veggies at Work program. Employees are responsible for the vegetables through watering and weeding.  They get to leave their desk and enjoy being outside.”


Marion’s Garden

“I love photography.  One of my favorite things is to not have an agenda for my photography.  I want to be open to the gifts that are shown to me.”

“I have a bed and breakfast.  Cliffhouse Bed and Breakfast.  When I take patrons out on the boat for a photography class I want to help people bring home the memories and the best experience with photography.  But also food.  I use what is being produced in my garden for the Galley Gourmet Dinner Cruises.”

“When I am out walking I use all of my senses.  The best writers say to use all of your senses.  We forget about sound and smell and touch.  Check in when you go for a walk. How do the trees or the grass feel?”

“Puffins are a favorite bird of mine to watch and to also photograph.  They are such interesting birds.  They spend a good seven months or longer out at sea.  They are more comfortable as a bird swimming in the water than flying.  They have to beat their wings around 400 beats per minute or they fall to the earth.”

“Their beautiful beak colors are for the dating game. They lose their colorful sheath in late August.  Kodiak has the Tufted puffin and the Horned puffin.”



“Humans think in terms of time but in nature there is no stopping or starting.  It just continues to flow.  We too are a continuous flow.  We don’t stop with living or dying.”

“I love to share.  I’m not the grower or the photographer.  I’m just the cheerleader.  I can instill the realization into others that we’re here for a short time and let the plants and sea otters talk to us and realize there is more out there happening.”

You can learn more about Marion at her websites and blog pages:


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  1. Kathie Anthony on 01/14/2019 at 5:46 PM

    Can almost smell the fragrance, hear the ocean & see the sights! Inspirational 😉

    • Catherine on 01/24/2019 at 3:16 AM

      Ms. Kathie,
      Thank you for your comment. I am so glad that you were inspired by Marion and her organic garden along Kodiak’s coastline. I will let her know. She will be thrilled. Thank you so much for your support and for listening to my podcast. Catherine Praiswater

  2. Liz on 01/22/2019 at 5:25 PM

    What a great interview! I loved her comment about just being a cheerleader. Thank you for the beautiful calendar – we will enjoy Marion’s photographs all year long.

    • Catherine on 01/24/2019 at 3:12 AM

      Thank you so much for your positive feedback! I will certainly send Marion your comment as well. She will be thrilled! Congratulations on winning the 4th calendar! Thank you for listening and supporting my podcast! Catherine

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