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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...

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’s warming, soothing, and completely comforting for body and soul.  Indulging in tea is also an easy way to stay hydrated while incorporating the many medicinal benefits that plants provide, into our daily diets. As we enter a new week of flu season, I want to share with you my go-to immune-system-boosting herbal tea* recipe and encourage you to make it yourself.  Mostly fresh ingredients are used in this recipe, so make sure to set aside an extra 20 minutes for peeling and chopping.  More than anything, make this tea with intention – enjoy the time...

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...

Organic Remedies for Garden Bugs: The Pest Control of Mindfulness and Compassion

So there’s a ton of bugs in your garden eating holes in your beloved vegetable babies… you only know what a few of the bugs actually are… and you want to know how to get rid of them in a way that won’t harm the environment.  I have lots of experience on this subject, but let me forewarn you:  This isn’t another internet listicle on which OMRI-approved organic spray is better than the other.  I’m just not a fan of using a ton of elixirs, whether they’re store-bought, homemade, chemical-free, what have you.  I’ve been through that whole rigamarole – in fact, I even wrote an entire guide on organic pest management once – but I...

How to Start a Compost Pile Using Kitchen & Garden Scraps, Plus a Lesson on Soil Biodiversity

How to Start a Biodiverse Compost Pile in Your Yard - A Step-by-Step guide that incorporates permaculture gardening techniques and Soil Food Web education. Awesome, informative post that includes everything you need to know to start a compost pile from kitchen and garden scraps! | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com

As organic gardeners, nutritious fruits and vegetables aren’t the only thing we grow – Healthy, organic, biodiverse soil comes first!  If you’ve read my 2-Part Soil Building Series: 5 Steps to Building Healthy Soil, you know that fertile soil is born from a system of mindful practices.  The easiest practice, and one which anyone can do, is composting!  Here, we will learn just HOW to start a compost pile using scraps from your kitchen and garden.   Good Newsflash:  It is so much easier to make compost than you think!   There are a lot of misconceptions about compost that turn people off from starting a pile.  Let me encourage...

How to Cover Crop Your Vegetable Garden in 4 Steps

How to Cover Crop Your Vegetable Garden - Everything you need to know to apply cover cropping methods in your smaller backyard garden! Build Soil Fertility with this Natural Permaculture Gardening Method! Use buckwheat, crimson clover, hairy vetch, field peas and other legumes to make green manure to feed your soil food web. | Heirloomsoul.com

Image Source Cover cropping is a soil amendment system that GREATLY improves our soil’s structure and overall fertility.   And, contrary to popular belief, cover cropping is simple for the backyard gardener, despite how difficult it might seem!  Basically all we do is seed tons of plants in our beds toward autumn, let them grow and leave them completely alone all winter, then gently mix their decayed foliage and roots into the soil in the following spring as green manure.    The truth about cover cropping = the plants do most of the work! Traditionally synonymous with organic farming, cover cropping is absolutely a practice we can adopt in our own backyards, even in raised beds that are just a few feet...

5 Steps to Building Healthy Soil: Increasing the Biodiversity of Your Soil Food Web, Part 2

5 Steps to Building Healthy Soil, Increasing the Biodiversity of Your Soil Food Web | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com

“If you were a tiny organism in a forest’s soil, you would be enmeshed in a carnival of activity, with mycelium constantly moving through subterranean landscapes like cellular waves, through dancing bacteria and swimming protozoa with nematodes like whales through a microcosmic sea of life.” – Paul Stamets in Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. In Part 2 of our soil-building series (Click here for Part 1), I will discuss five steps you can take to improve and fully restore the fertility of your garden soil.  These steps come at a very low cost to you, and only require your full attention in the moment, and reflection as...

5 Steps to Building Healthy Soil: Increasing the Biodiversity of Your Soil Food Web, Part 1

5 Steps to Building Healthy Soil, Increasing the Biodiversity of Your Soil Food Web | Heirloom Soul | heirloomsoul.com

“And the scientists, no matter how much they investigate nature, no matter how far they research, they only come to realize in the end how perfect and mysterious nature really is.  To believe that by research and invention humanity can create something better than nature is an illusion.” – Masanobu Fukuoka in The One-Straw Revolution.   When we garden we revitalize an heirloom heritage that has been lost over time.. We are stewards of the earth and treading lightly and having compassion for our gardens is a necessary practice. Best part is:  The opportunity for us to restore land back to its fertile origination lies in our own lawns and gardens, and...

6 Reasons Why You Need to Start Your Organic Garden Now

All of us gardeners, aspiring and experts alike, have felt the same whirlwind of emotions at some point.  Mass confusion over how to begin or what to do next, leading to frustration when you don’t figure it out, leading then to helplessness and nearly throwing in the spade or just putting off starting your garden ‘til next weekend… again.  I have honestly felt this way – before I started gardening – and I’m sharing this somewhat embarrassing, dramatic story (personality trait?) with you because I know there’s at least one other aspiring gardener out there going through what I did.  Maybe it’s you. (Affiliate links present in this post) We...

From My Heirloom Soul to Yours

So I’ve decided to start this blog. I think many of us consider starting one at some point.  What is it that holds us back?  Illusions that my experiences, and writing about them, would be boring had plagued me for a long time – but so much more powerful were my internal affirmations that I do possess useful information, and that I can be of help and inspiration to others. These statements supported by many diverse experiences and diligent practice of my trade – organic food gardening – successes and mistakes duly recorded and reflected upon.  That’s really what it took for me to start this.  Digging through mounds of knowledge before I...