In the Barnyard: Who are Bohemian Farmgirls?

Bohemian Farmgirl is something that has evolved over years of trying to figure out how to weave all of the meaningful parts of my life together. This is what it means to me, and if it touches part of your soul then my guess is that you are a Bohemian Farmgirl too.

1. Growing a Family--First and foremost, comes family. This may be your biological or chosen family, but whomever your family includes, it's roots dig deep and provide grounding for growth above the surface of the soil.

2. Planting a Farm--Modern homesteading is a way of life for a Bohemian Farmgirl. This may include anything from a windowsill garden to acres of land, buying local and supporting small farms to growing and raising all of your food yourself, and cultivating dreams of homesteading no matter if you live in the city or country.

3. Nurturing a Creative Life--This is the heart of a Bohemian Farmgirl and what brings us all together creating a community of ideas and inspiration. Living a creative life is the wellspring of joy that provides energy to make our dreams reality, no matter what the circumstances. And we all help each other along the way.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Custom Homestead: Step 3

Step 3 of Jill Winger's Your Custom Homestead ( is to develop a mission statement for your homestead.  Drawing on all of the things you listed in Step 2, create a platform for which all of it will come to fruition. 

photo by Katrina Rodabaugh via Pinterest
I am fortunate to have an amazing supervisor at my creative arts therapy internship.  She recently sent all of the interns an email with words of encouragement from Rob Brezsny.  The message starts out, "Lately, I must admit, our work has seemed almost comically impossible.  Many of us have given in to the temptation to believe that everything is upside-down and inside-out.  Ignorance and inertia, partially camouflaged as time-honored morality, seem to surround us.  Pessimism is enshrined as a hallmark of worldliness.  Compulsive skepticism masquerades as perceptiveness.  Mean-spirited irony is chic.  Stories about treachery and degradation provide a visceral thrill in millions of people who think of themselves as reasonable and smart.  Beautiful truths are suspect and ugly truths are readily believed."   So what is a person to do with all of this pessimism poisoning our souls? Brezsny suggests, "We have to be ferociously and single-mindedly dedicated to the cause of beauty and truth and love even as we keep our imaginations wild and hungry and free....We can create safe houses to shelter everyone who's devoted to the slow-motion awakening of humanity...."  After reading this, I felt so validated.  I have often thought of giving up and giving in to the "reality" of the dreary lies that society serves up to feed hungry pessimism.  I am exhausted from the fight already.  Can I be the only one who believes that we are all beauty and truth inside and even the most corrupt human heart has an opportunity to heal?  Sometimes it feels like standing in front of a tidal wave and looking it straight in the eye.  But Brezsny's solutions of creating sanctuary to "hospice what is dying [lies] and midwife what's being born [your beauty and truth]" equally validate my mission.

As I have gained clarity in my personal vision and work for this life, I have come to embrace that my job is to create beauty and a safe place for living things to do the work that Breznsy describes.  About a year ago, frustrated and foggy-headed from not knowing how to put all the pieces of my authentic-life-puzzle together, I asked the question, "What am I supposed to do with this life?"  The answer came immediately and clearly, "Offer a cool drink of water."  I felt such relief. Finally, a clear mission.  I knew what these words meant for me and I knew that I needed to create a sanctuary that offers literal and metaphorical water for weary and thirsty creative spirits who are facing the same tidal wave every day.  And so in that moment, I midwifed the birth of Soaring Heart Acres.

To be continued....

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My Custom Homestead: Step 2

In step 2 of Your Custom Homestead Jill Winger ( urges you to consider your reasons and motivation for wanting a homestead.  This is something that I have thought about for years, and something that keeps growing as I learn more about myself.  My personal motivations and aspirations have also evolved as a result of meeting and marrying my husband, and more recently, after having a daughter.

The vision I have of our creative life on a homestead is rooted in my longing for a simple life living close to the earth.  I want to live in beauty and create beauty.  In the quiet of nature, I find peace.  I want to share that peace with my family, friends, and those who need the tonic of nature.  I want to wake up and start my day outside, breathing fresh air and wiggling my toes in soil and grass.  I want to sleep to the gentle sounds of peepers, birds, and barn animals.  I want to grow food to nourish myself and my family.  I want homegrown and handmade feasts outdoors under a big tree.  I want to rely on money less and my two hands more.  I want our daughter to develop a relationship with mother earth through direct experiences like sleeping in a meadow and scanning the sky for shooting stars until she can't keep her eyes open anymore.  I want to create beautiful useful things that will be employed in our daily lives, like clothes, candles, soap, art, and pottery and then teach others to tap into their own creative energies to bring authenticity and meaning into their own lives too.  I want to celebrate every day.  I want a home to pass down to our daughter.  I could go on and on, but one more simple reason to have a homestead is that it will be so much FUN.

Why do YOU want a homestead?  Tell me here.  Let's create a community of inspiration and encouragement.  I will cheer you on with each step you take.  "Ask not what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and do that.  Because what the world needs are people who have come alive."  Living a creative life on a homestead makes me come alive.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Custom Homestead: Step 1

Inspired by Jill Winger's eBook, Your Custom Homestead (available on,  I have begun her 21 step plan for creating my own personalized homestead.  My current homestead is small, being that it is located in a highrise apartment in New York City, but there are plenty of resources right here to support urban farming.  I am also gathering resources for my future homestead which will be much larger, complete with farm animals and a garden that will supply a year's worth of food to feed my family. 

To organize all of these resources and ideas, Jill's Step 1 is to create a homesteading binder.  She lists several sections that you may want to include in your binder.  Since I don't have any farm animals yet, my binder will not hold much in the animal paperwork  and health records section.  But I do have plenty to fill a binder for now.  My own binder is divided into sections for canning and preserving recipes, recipes for homestead essentials like my natural cleaning products and Jill's other eBook Natural Homestead, and a fantastic mini-handbook on Grow-Biointensive mini-farming techniques. (I will post more about this topic in the near future.) I also have info from Peaceful Valley's website ( that I printed out such has a winter garden checklist and a guide to vegetable families for crop rotation.  I have separate folders for cooking recipes and my collection of inspiring images. 

Now that my binder is is organized, I have officially completed this first step to my own custom homestead.  Woo-hoo!  I think I'll celebrate by baking a loaf of homemade bread. 

Peaceful Vallley Farm and Garden Supply

If you have the gardening bug, then you understand the sheer joy of opening your mailbox to find the season's new seed catalog right smack in the middle of winter.  Although I don't have a garden plot with raised beds at the moment, I do have wide sunny windowsills.  This spring I will start my indoor kitchen garden which is just one of the many ways I can cultivate my urban homestead until we have a rural homestead.

Yesterday I received one of my favorite farm and garden supply catalogs.  My joy expanded exponentially when I opened it to find a free packet of certified organic tomato seeds.  Simple pleasures like this fertilize my dreams and plans for a small farm.  Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply has an amazing website ( where you can spend hours learning about gardening and homesteading from their resources like free videos on anything from starting seeds to making cheese.