I absolutely love the New Year! A time to look at what has been and what will be....a fresh start and new beginnings.

I am excited and honored to write Soulful Prairies first newsletter and to be the individual representing all this land has to offer. This year will be filled with some of the same great events and offerings and many new experiences. Soulful Prairies is a safe and peaceful place to experiment, learn, grow and make mistakes. We absolutely love new ideas and if you want to stop by, just give us a quick call and set up a time.

I will be graduating from my Equine Gestalt Practitioners program in a few months so more on that to come....

On the coldest day of November we moved the horses into Soulful Prairies.  It was a long exhausting day but there was a huge sense of excitement in knowing our horses were home. You can read all about Charlie, PJ and Kincaid on our website.

Our latest addition is Paddington. He is a twenty eight year old Thorough Bred gelding who comes with a great story.  Although we don't have all of the specifics, Paddington started out his career as a police horse. When he was eight he was brought to Culver Academies in Indiana where he spent the next twenty years of his life as a school horse. He was ridden in four inaugural parades. Yet more impressively he was loved and ridden by hundreds of beginner and advanced students. He was known to have a generous heart with inexperienced riders and found much pride in being a teacher.

Soulful Prairies salutes Paddington for his years of service and the Petersons for the gift of retirement.  Knowing all that Paddington had given, the Petersons knew it was time for him to live his life out peacefully with lots of carrots and love. The Petersons have generously taken on the financial and emotional needs to keep him happy for the remainder of his life. He now roams the property at Soulful Prairies and makes all of us smile with his mush filled face after eating his hay cubes. We are thrilled to have him in our herd!

Find out more about Horse Retirement at Soulful Prairies.

Dan Pilguy is coming on board to lead the way at our Grow and Share Gardens. Dan graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012 with a degree in Health and Human Physiology. After graduating he and one of his buddies, T.D. began a diversified sustainable vegetable farm on T.D.'s Grandparents farm in Iowa. The produce is used for a CSA for individuals near the Iowa location and also in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. Dan's passions revolve around promoting the local food scene and educating individuals about alternative healthy growing options.

Cool things to watch for at the Grow and Share:
  • Workshops on subject matters in the areas of: natural pest control, companion planting composting, edible forests, perennial gardens and fall crops. *Ideas and suggestions are always welcome!
  • A grant from the Illinois Buffer Partnership Program to offset costs involved with a bee pollinator habitat and edible forest project.
  • Dan's organic seedling sale / 2015 CSA sign up
  • Volunteer help opportunities with edible forest and in others areas that will be rewarded with a share of CSA crops.
  • A new shed where produce can be washed, weighed and stored.
*To learn more about Dan you can go to his website at www.tdnguy.com or visit him on Facebook.

To learn more about Grow and Share and signup for a plot, click here.

A restored 1850's log cabin now stands on the property at Soulful Prairies. The cabin was carefully dismantled, restored and moved from Leopolis Wisconsin. Troy Rische headed up this project of passion.

The story goes that the original settlers were traveling with a team of oxen in search of a new homestead when the wagon axle broke. This was the location where they settled and built their new home. The logs were cut from the property and are Canadian hemlock and exceptionally large ranging from 18 inches to 22 inches across. The ages of these trees falls somewhere between 150 to 200 years old, putting the date of their germination in the mid to late 1600's.

In the 1800's families were embarrassed to live in log homes as they were seen as a "poor mans home".  Often money was saved as quickly as possible to put towards siding and a changed status. Soulful Prairies log home had been sided three times while in Wisconsin. The siding created protection from the weather over the years and kept the logs in pristine shape.

The original settlers sold the log home to the Pevonka's grandfather and the home stayed in their family until we purchased it in 2013. The Pevonka family had nine boys who were all raised in what was then a 750 square foot home. One of the sons Harry, lived his entire life in this cabin in Leopolis.

We have many other "Very Cool Things" at Soulful Prairies - take a look.

We are excited to have three clinicians joining us at Soulful Prairies this year.  Elizabeth Kotylo will be here in February. Melanie Taylor will be here in June and Anna Twinney will be back in October.

February - Registration for Grow and Share open

February 27,28,29 - Body Awareness Clinic with Jennifer Kotyol

April 18 - Woodstock Schools District Healthy Living Workshop

June 13 and 14 - Melanie Taylor Hunter Jumper Clinic

July 25th - Soul Jam

October 3 - Farm To Table

October 9-11 - Anna Twinney Horsemanship Experience

October 15-18 - Anna Twinney Animal Communication

Check our calendar at SoulfulPrairies.com  for all the information on upcoming clinics and events.

Soulful Prairies

Linda Bruce
4706 Alden Rd