Dixie Gardening MoldI’ve always wanted to write an article about organic gardening. I enjoy writing about things I don’t understand. With the exodus of our former Dixie Gardening contributor, Charlotte West, I’ve taken it upon myself to talk about one of the only things I know how to grow really well. Mold!

Growing mold is quick and easy! Well, actually it takes a long time. Ok, I didn’t really think that sentence through before typing it. But it’s easy, don’t worry.

Finding the perfect home for your mold

Science says (I asked it) that mold spores are everywhere, including inside your ear. However, mold apparently cannot grow in your ear because it’s far too silly a place for it to grow.

Dixie Gardening? How to grow mold?
Turn your fridge into an organic farm! Image: Ryan Dickey

More than anything, mold thrives on neglect. This is why, of all the hospitable places in the world, its favorite place to grow is on forgotten food in the back of a refrigerator. Studies (probably) show that mold spores are not only telepathic in this regard but often consequently wind up in unhealthy relationships.

To grow your own mold, you will need food. You will need real food. Actual food.

What I’m getting at is that you can’t use fast food. Sorry, fast “food.” For example, the substances produced by McDonald’s (often erroneously referred to as “food”) notoriously won’t rot, spoil, decompose, or do anything but kill people—and then only when ingested. An uneaten McDonald’s hamburger is actually something of a pacifist and goes totally limp when handcuffed. By 2015, everything produced by McDonald’s is actually a combination of Styrofoam, food coloring, and pink slime. Mold is offended by the mere thought of growing on such a thing.

All good things come to those who forget

Try opening a jar of marinara, immediately replacing the lid, and locating it in a strategically unmemorable place in your refrigerator. Maybe behind that bunch of kale you optimistically bought. Sure, you’re gonna eat that. Probably. Yeah, right! Of course, a time-saving shortcut is purchasing any organic produce from Smith’s, which for your convenience often comes pre-moldy.

Dixie Gardening? How to grow mold?
Organic gardening requires commitment. Image: wikipedia.org

Remember, mold will not grow unless you forget about it completely, so this would be a great time to start a career, get married, have surgery, die and come back to life, be buried alive, get kidnapped, etc.—whatever will distract you from the marinara.

By the time the police find you, the surface of your marinara should be furry. If it’s not, try to get kidnapped again.

Caring for your mold

Once your mold has formed, you will want to retrieve it. With a little dexterity and a spatula, scoop it carefully from the surface, being careful not to tear, mangle, or otherwise disturb it.

Place it gingerly on your spouse’s or child’s pillow so that he or she can feel that fuzzy tickle for a split second before the coldness and wetness smooshes against his or her cheek. This moment alone is worth the ransom your family had to pay for your release.

Dixie Gardening? How to grow mold?
The bounty of a patient and skillful organic gardener. Image:
Yun Huang Yong

Mold has several other uses. When ingested it can induce both mystical visions and vomiting. And it makes a great conversation starter at parties. “Hey, are you going to eat that marinara?” “No, it’s moldy!” “Oh, do you have a spatula?”

Diversify your sporefolio

Of course, marinara is by no means the only food you can use to grow mold. Other options include baba ganoush, cucumbers, jelly, gluten-free organic free-range non-GMO soy-free nut-free hair-free bread, and strawberries. When considering food to forget about, just ask yourself, “If I were a single-celled little dude floating around randomly, what would I want for lunch?”

On occasion, mold will grow on things other than food—but it still must be forgotten about! When I was in college, a particularly passive-aggressive roommate with a personal vendetta against domestic slavery left a sinkful of dishes “to soak.” He said that it was “to loosen debris.” I don’t remember clearly how loose the debris was by the end of the semester, but I think it was pretty loose. It smelled pretty loose. However, a certain something was born on the surface of that oily, ramen-spangled quagmire. It was blood-red underneath and green and furry on top. True story. I suspected that it was a U.S. Senator, but when I asked it about its voting record, it leapt out the window. Alas.

But just because you forget about something doesn’t mean that mold will grow on it. Here are some things that will not mold easily:

Dixie Gardening? How to grow mold?
Mold will not go anywhere near the works of Grammy Award-winner Michael Bolton. Image: wikipedia.org

-Baby teeth



-Cat poop

-Utility bills

Michael Bolton’s “Soul Provider

-That “emergency” semen sample you’ve been keeping in a jar in the back of the fridge—also hidden behind the kale—that you’ve been saving for when you’re 90 years old and panicking that you neglected to sire an heir to carry on your legacy of ejaculating into forgotten containers

Dixie Gardening could use a hand

Clearly, I have no idea what I’m talking about. If you think that you can write something more coherent than this about organic gardening once a week for our Dixie Gardening column, please contact my dark overlord—the editor of our fine publication, Paul Dail—who has demoted me to “staff doofus” for my effort.

Otherwise, please check for Dixie Gardening in the next Sunday Edition, wherein I shall offer helpful hints on how to grow more luxurious back hair. Organic back hair!



  1. Jason, once again you have demonstrated your keen powers of observation! I can attest to the propensity of mold to thrive on both strawberries and marinara sauce! Strawberries seem to be a particularly favorite host for mold! I’ve often bought strawberries only to find them pre-molded for me! Being older and having had more life experience, I must correct one point you have made. Mold can grow on cat poop! Yep, I’ve seen it. I’m embarrassed to say I ever left the litterbox unattended long enough to make this discovery. But, in the interest of science and the Truth, I’m coming clean about this issue. I don’t want your reader to be misled on this point. Aside from that one point, this was a very informative, well written and well illustrated article! Keep up the good work!

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