Why Observing Land Before Starting a Farm is So Important

Why Observing Your Land Before Starting a Farm is So Important, plus Resources for Planning a Farm - Heirloom Soul Florals

I recently moved to Buffalo, NY from Chicago, IL. Roughly 80% of my conversations with Buffalonians end with, “Oh, so you’re here from the WINDY CITY!!!” Anyone who moves from Chicago to Buffalo knows this is an extravagant statement on several levels (that means me, and maybe Jesse). Having learned from the greats (read: Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends & Influence People) I choose to not correct anyone about the Windy City thing unless they’re my close friend and I trust won’t take me for a know-it-all. I’m here to make lifelong connections, not prove people wrong. I need to clear up this Windy City thing. Chicago is...

How to Find Land for an Urban Farm

How to Find Land for an Urban Farm - Creative ideas for utilizing vacant lots in your community. Buffalo, NY - Heirloom Soul Florals

I’ve got this gushy dream of being an urban flower farmer, annoyingly shadowed by my severe lack of land I have to grow flowers on. Push being Unemployed and Utterly Broke aside: Not Having Land is currently the biggest conundrum of my life in Buffalo so far. Planning a farm (or a garden!) is one of the most exciting aspects of the work I do. I’m admittedly a lavish experimentalist (“Let’s try all of these ideas ALL AT THE SAME TIME!”), however – The keen observationalist in me knows what’s working and what isn’t. Knows what to adjust. I walk into a garden and can immediately tell if it’s happy...

Holiday Gifts for Rustic, Outdoorsy Men

My Amazon picks for the best outdoor, camping, cooking, rustic, outdoorsy gifts for men. Perfect gifts for husband, boyfriend, dad, brother, uncle, father in law, grandpa and any guy in your life!

I apologize for that title, but it makes me giggle. Men seem to be constantly portrayed these days as beard-laden, bush wacking lumberjacks who are all supposed to know how to build their own homes and start a fire from scratch using nothing but foraged twigs and dryer lint (come to think of it, I know someone that can do this…) I’ll tell you something, though: As a female, I’m into it and I don’t feel that bad for them. This holiday gift guide for your favorite rustic, outdoorsy men was curated using nothing but Amazon products that I have hand selected, because A) It’s quick & easy for everyone;...

Holiday Gifts for Ladies Who Love Plants & Drinking

My Amazon picks for the best cooking, cocktail, gardening, and home decor gifts for ladies.

I basically just described myself there. Plants, food, food that is plants, cooking it, making drinks with it, eating it.  If your lady is into any of those things like I am, you’re in luck! She’ll love this gift list! This holiday gift list for ladies was curated using nothing but Amazon products that I have hand selected, because A) It’s quick & easy for everyone; and B) If you click on a link and buy something I’ll get like 4 cents for it. As always, thank you for supporting my blog! P.S: Amazon prices are volatile, so consider mine “ballpark.” Make sure to check out: Holiday Gifts Guide for...

Our Favorite Tropical House Plant: The Schefflera

Our Favorite Tropical House Plant: The Schefflera arboricola

I’m totally obsessed with my new Schefflera arboricola plant. AKA the umbrella tree. Out of all the indoor green things I own, it’s the only house plant I haven’t murdered! (save for my aloe that will–not–stop making babies and a three year old rosemary I rescued from a winter frost — which I love adding to my Immune Boosting Golden Tea). This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on something and buy it I’ll get like 4 cents. Thanks for supporting my blog! Schefflera is lovely to look at. It’s dainty, airy leaves allow light to poke through them.  It has a voluptuous shape that fills in...

On Following My Dreams

On Following My Dreams + Starting a Farmer-Florist Business | Heirloom Soul

I can’t remember the exact moment when I decided I wanted to be a flower farmer but it happened somewhere in Downtown Chicago between the Clark/Lake Blue Line and the Wrigley Building. It was like the brightest light ever turned on in my brain and a warm blanket covered my whole body and my face got super tingly and that was it. It was just another commute through the city to my office job on a cold, wet March morning. And for the first time in a long time I felt ecstatic hope over finally figuring out what I want to do with my life. The months leading up to...

How to Set Up a Perennial Planter in a Cold Climate

How to Set Up a Perennial Planter in a Cold Climate | Heirloom Soul - Advice on container selection, the best pollinator flowers, insulating the container, and soil requirements.

A few months ago one of my landscaping clients texted me that he’s “not getting any bees” in his garden (an urban roofdeck oasis in Chicago).  He wanted me to plant flowers for him that would be long-lasting and attract tons of bees and butterflies… so I helped him source some heavy duty planters, and filled them with pollinating perennial flowers. Please note this post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link and buy something I’ll get like 4 cents for it.  No extra cost to you. Thanks for your support 🙂 People asking me to “get more bees” in their garden is not a normal request.  What...

On Letting My Vegetables Flower

“It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for awhile and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship that one requires.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype The act of “bolting” in a garden happens when plants start setting seeds, usually because they’re intolerant to summer heat.  My way of putting it is, spring plants are stressed out due to extreme heat and are preparing for their deaths, and in doing so shoot up into the sky, adorning themselves with blossoms that will eventually form into seeds and drop...

Epic Spring Planting Series: Tips for Transplanting

Planting season is my second-favorite time of year, trailing closely behind early to mid-summer when everything starts to bloom and thrive and produce harvest.   There is nothing more relaxing or joyful to me than nurturing all of my plants individually, inspecting them for bugs and diseases, spending quality time with each and every one of them.  Whispering encouragement and well-wishes to them.  Caressing their petals and stalks in total awe and adoration.  Weird AF, I already know.   Good Stuff to Know:  Organic Remedies for 20 Common Garden Pests: Mindfulness + Compassion Affiliate links are present in this post which means if you click on a link and buy something, I’ll get like 4 cents...

Epic Spring Planting Series: Tips for Planting with Seeds

Learn 5 of my best tips for planting with seeds - including tips for thinning and underplanting! Also available for download is a FREE eGuide for Garden Planting and Successioning for Climate Change. Learn how climate change is affecting the way we garden and a planting chart that addresses it.

Spring has finally arrived and I’ve never been more happy about it in my LIFE!  Winter of 2016 was brutal for me.  Mentally, emotionally, for a lot of reasons.  But the daffodils, tulips, mint, plantain, pineapple weed, dandelions – they’re all on their way up!  Scroll over to my Instagram as I obsessively document everyone’s arrival.   More importantly, SPRING = GARDEN PLANTING!  I realize planting can be as equally daunting as it is exciting, which is why I’ve written a big, FREE Garden Planting + Successioning Guide for Climate Change just for you. Download the planting guide for FREE Now! Email Address * Your Name * After clicking the link below, go check your email.  You’ll receive...

FREE Garden Planting + Successioning Guide for Climate Change

FREE Garden Planting and Successioning Guide for Climate Change | How to Succession Plant your garden, featuring 97 fruits, vegetables and culinary and medicinal herbs to with dates for spring, summer and succession planting! | Heirloom Soul

It’s planting season…  Where do I even begin!!?  There is so much gardening information out there; in books, blogs, YouTube, you name it.  The Information Age we’re living in is literally confusing us into not knowing where to start at all.  The internet, Pinterest in particular, totally confused me before I started urban farming.  So what do I go do?  I craft up a gardening guide full of more gardening information 🙂 It’s good stuff, though.  I wrote this thing as a part of my Epic Spring Planting Series to help you.  I want nothing more than for every person who finds nature even remotely intriguing to grow their own food.  Hang out with me...

6 Ways to Increase Food Production in Your Organic Vegetable Garden

How to Increase Food Production in Your Vegetable Garden - Use these easy permaculture practices to increase your harvest and make your garden more beautiful than ever before! Mulching, no-till gardening and fencig are just three ways. | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com

So you have a gorgeous, lush vegetable garden but you’re looking for a way to make it more productive.  Or maybe your garden isn’t everything you’d imagined – it’s just not producing much, the plants are scraggly, and you need some help brightening it up.  Here are six basic steps that can be applied to any garden – big or small, old or brand new – to improve the beauty and increase the productivity of your space.  Also, I’ve just recently written a new eGuide on Garden Planting + Successioning for Climate Change.  Getting our gardens planted at the RIGHT time obviously coincides with food production, and I have about 150 gardens...

Organic Gardening Myths We’re Officially Breaking: Or, Why You Don’t Need Raised Beds and Fertilizer

Why You Don't Need Raised Beds & Fertilizers - Organic Gardening Myths We're Officially Breaking | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com

Spoiler Alert:  This gardening thing is about to get a whole lot easier. People who garden, myself included, tend to have really strong convictions about how to garden.  For the sake of Mother Nature, I’m beginning to let go of all my opinions.  I’ll always have certain gardening “camps” I identify with:  the Permaculturists, the No-Tillers, and the Soil Food Webbies, but there’s a whole heck of a lot I’ve changed my mind about along the way.  I say with one hand over my heart: I’ve gardened in enough places with diverse soils and bugs and crops across the Midwestern board and guess what:  Mother Nature doesn’t give one damn about...

FREE eBook! – Handcrafted Plant Magic: DIY Self-Care Rituals Inspired by My Garden

Easy DIY bath & beauty product recipes that are completely natural and organic - banish toxins from your daily routine for good! - Handcrafted Plant Magic - DIY Self-Care Rituals Inspired by My Garden - Free Ebook! | Heirloomsoul.com

I am so very happy to announce that I have written my first eBook!  And you can have it all for free.  You should probably get in on this! (Download form is below).     I’m a firm believer:  If you wouldn’t eat something, you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin.  Our skin is our largest organ and anything we put on our bodies eventually ends up inside our bodies. There are thousands of toxins in our everyday bath and beauty products that cause harm to our bodies without our even knowing it – even the “all natural” ones.  I know, I felt totally duped too.  Mad, even.  But rather than brushing the disappointment...

How to Farm or Garden When You Have No Land Whatsoever

Real life steps you can take to learn how to farm or garden and gain experience by not having any land of your own! | How to Farm or Garden When You Have No Land Whatsoever | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com |

In the City of Chicago, nestled in the completely gentrified little neighborhood of Bucktown, lives me in my rental apartment.  While it’s adorable here and there’s tons of trees, my immediate setting isn’t any greener than the skinny rectangular patches of Earth that line the streets, where thousands of dogs (and the occasional 3 a.m. Wolfpack) do their business… Yup.  It’s totally true.  I don’t have a garden of my own.  In fact, I’ve never had a garden of my own, in the traditional sense of the word. So then, wait.  How have I learned everything I know about gardening?  And how do I post all my pictures of gardens I plant and food I harvest if...

Herbal Help Me Soup

Green herbal soup or smoothie recipe that is chock-full of raw green vegetables, herbs and coconut milk. Vegan, Paleo, Whole 30, Raw Foodie Friendly. | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com

Maybe I should warn you:  This is a total impulse post.  Scroll through to avoid mega drama. Nope?  Still here?  Okay, well, hold onto your butts. I haven’t been feeling myself lately.  I think it’s largely due to spending the majority of my waking time indoors, which has led to a severe lack fresh air and Vitamin D (important stuff apparently), which has caused me to spiral down into my personal hell hole where I have been wallowing for about a week, maybe longer.  It’s dark and weird down there.  Subsequently, I’ve eaten too many donuts (not my fault I have to walk by the best donut shop every. single. day....

Edible Medicinal Plants for Your Yard + How to Grow and Use Them

An amazing, informative list of edible medicinal herbs, berries, evergreens and flowering shrubs that are easy to grow. Perennial in Zones 4-6. Lists growing information, uses for plants, and WHERE TO BUY THEM! How to Grow Edible Medicinal Plants in Your Yard | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com

So, I’m turning 30 this year (wamp wamp… ok moving on) and everyone I know is settling down and buying a house!  I’m getting a lot of questions about what to plant in this sunny spot, and that shady corner, along with my favorite question of all:  What edible things can I plant in my yard? Related:  How to Start an Organic Vegetable Garden I’m obviously all about edible plants – and with amazing reason.  If you have the opportunity to plant something in your own backyard – your own special place – why not also have the opportunity to gain nourishment from it?  Why not get to know your plants on a personal level?  Why...

Healing, Immune-Boosting Golden Tea

Healthy, delicious recipe for gut healing, immunity boosting natural herbal tea - DIY and get creative with it! Features ginger, turmeric, lemon, cayenne, echinacea, rosemary and raw honey. - Healing, Immune-Boosting Golden Tea | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com

There’s nothing I love to drink more in the winter than a hot cup of tea! It soothes me on a dreary, cold day and completely comforts my body and soul.  Tea is also an easy way to stay hydrated (it’s mostly water!) while incorporating the many medicinal benefits that plants provide, into our daily diets. Totally Related:  Free eBook: Handcrafted Plant Magic – DIY Rituals Inspired by My Garden This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and buy something I’ll get like 4 cents for it.  All product recommendations are entirely my own!  Thanks for supporting my blog. I want to share with you...

Nurturing Your Whole, Happy Heart

Compassionate article about how to be happy and successful through self-awareness and self-improvement - the ultimate New Years Resolution! | Nurturing Your Whole, Happy Heart this New Year | Heirloom Soul

That’s my dear friend, Lindsey, up there.  She climbed to the 14,000 ft summit of Mt. Sneffels in 2013, and in this photo, she’s totally at peace, happy and wild and free, in her element.   As we begin another new year with open minds and hearts, it marks the perfect time to work on becoming better people.  Rather than mustering up some quick-fix resolutions on how to be happier and more successful (turns out that’s a real popular Google search), I suggest we spend the whole year on self-improvement and making room in our hearts for ourselves and the people who love and need us. Happiness and success can...

27 Books to Read This Winter That Might Just Change Your Life

I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely love winter and the possibilities it presents.  It’s a time of opportunity – of reflection – of being baked hermit crab pancakes that never leave the house because they have a zillion books to read!  *insert dancing red dress emoji*   That’s me and I’m not ashamed, not even a little bit.      “Do we know of any other so silent and sudden a change?” – Thoreau, on snowstorms (if only my Facebook feed could be this optimistic)   The thing is, this season is the perfect time for self-care and incremental self-improvement.  Winter allows so much time and opportunity for us...