Released September 19, 2017: Woodland Manitou | To be on Earth


Woodland Manitou: To Be On Earth is a collection of essays rooted in the rhythm of the natural world. Through the turn of the seasons, Heidi Barr illustrates how the cycles of the earth have informed her everyday life from community to vocation to the food that finds its way to the dinner table.  Through gardening, simple living, and prioritizing sustainability, Barr paints a picture of how remaining close to the earth provides a solid foundation even as the climate changes and the story of the world shifts.  Part stories, part wonderings, and part call to act, this collection of meditations invites reflection, encourages awareness, and inspires action.

Available now wherever books are sold! To purchase direct from the author, use the contact form on this website to make your wishes known and we’ll work something out. To order online directly from the publisher, visit Homebound Publications.

Advance praise:

“A thoughtful, lyrical collection to savor and revisit, no matter the season. Barr’s essays hum with wildness and love. Be astonished.” ~Kristin Bartley Lenz, author of The Art of Holding On and Letting Go

Woodland Manitou is a treasure for those times when we can’t go off to the woods or prairie or ocean for our own renewal. While this collection of essays doesn’t shy away from pondering some deeply disturbing questions about the place of humans on the planet, in its gentle wisdom we may hear the heartbeat of Gaia echoing in our own veins, and perhaps find some answers.” ~ Gail Collins-Ranadive, author of Light Year; A Seasonal Primer for Spiritual Focus, Chewing Sand; An Eco-Spiritual Taste of the Mojave Desert, and Nature’s Calling; the Grace of Place.

“Woodland Manitou is for seekers, dreamers, keepers of the old ways, and stewards of the land. Heidi’s tone asks us to slow down, to experience our changing landscapes, and to commit fully to our inner wildness. A gentle and heartfelt read celebrating the beauty and complexity of being alive.”   ~Sean Guinan, L.Ac., MTCM | Environmental Pediatrics Institute

“The search for life meaning is never simple but, in adopting a seasonal theme, Barr provides a context that will enliven your search. Her heartfelt perspective about the challenges of the human story bridges moments, days, and years in a beautiful and compelling way. With nature as her touchstone, the author sheds a timely light on issues and dilemmas we are destined to encounter. A dynamic and inspiring book for today’s world!” ~ D.A. Hickman, author of Always Returning: The Wisdom of Place

“A lovely combination of poetry and prose, Woodland Manitou spans the human experience addressing everything from climate change to childbirth, home repair to the fragility of life. Barr reminds us to walk gently on the earth, gazing at the moon and noticing the purple flowers. Saturated with fantastic quotes and vivid imagery, these essays capture the beauty of dying leaves and grey winter mornings, naming the light and shadow sides of life. Barr’s style is refreshingly mindful and invites the reader into her own sense of astonishment and gratitude.”  ~ Ellie Roscher, author of Play Like a Girl and How Coffee Saved My Life

“Barr guides along a trail worn with her intimate understanding of the elements of the primal domain while still facing down the challenges of modern life. She is relentless in turning the gaze of the reader away and into the wild, wherever it can be found. Her cathexis with creation is manifest. This is practice wisdom come in the form of invitation to “go out” into a deep belonging to the earth.”  ~ James Scott Smith, author of Water, Rocks and Trees

“These deeply personal, earnestly-relatable essays, are unique and precious in their ability to help us see the healing, transformative power of a daily connection with wilderness. Barr expertly transports us to her lakeside home in Northern Minnesota and invites us to learn with her, to “leave the cage behind and learn how to howl and sing, just because we can.” By providing personal tales of her own earnest, occasionally-uncertain, but always-rewarding efforts to connect with the rhythms of wilderness, Barr offers us inspiration for a simpler, more authentic life.  She reminds those of us looking for sustainable options to remain committed, to continue asking the difficult questions, and to make choices that will ultimately guide society to a new way of everyday living.”  ~Sarah Aadland, blogger for Doing Good Together

“Heidi Barr’s Woodland Manitou is a quiet, thoughtful series of meditations on what it means to be human, what it means to live in a sustainable way as an individual, as a family, and as a community in-sync with the natural rhythms of the earth. Beautifully written, these essays ponder the dilemma we find ourselves in as the climate changes around us – How can we lead an authentic life, in-tune with the earth and our values in the midst of the break-neck pace of modern life? Woodland Manitou offers one woman’s perspective which, though rooted in the St Croix River Valley, offers much to consider wherever you call home. I highly recommend it.” – Gregory Ripley, author of Tao of Sustainability: Cultivate Yourself to Heal the Earth

“There is so much that we can learn from Nature, especially if you pay attention to the seasons, which is exactly what Heidi does. In this book you will get to know Mother Nature seen through the eyes of the writer, and you will gently be guided towards everything nature has to offer.  It’s personal yet familiar, it’s raw and unedited yet poetic and soft, and there are hidden gems on every page, just like there are hidden gems around every corner in life. Woodland Manitou is a portal to the earth connection. It takes you on a journey through the seasons, a journey so real that when you turn the last page, your heart is filled with wildflowers, and your soul is ready to embrace each season with a smile on your face. This is a book about coming full circle, about truth, authenticity, vulnerability and connection.  This is a book about what it means to be on Earth.” ~Iris Suurland, Founder of Nabalo

“Woodland Manitou is a collection of short stories, poetry, and prose that draw on all of our senses.  Heidi Barr sends the message that “we need to go barefoot on earth, at least sometimes” to truly feel connected to ourselves and the natural world. Through her stories she weaves her seasonal observations of the world around her as she ponders some of life’s most difficult questions about daily life, survival, spirituality, phenology and memories.  A truly enjoyable journey of words.”  ~ Deb Nikula, creator of Nature’s Calendar


Prairie Grown: Stories and Recipes from a South Dakota Hillside




Prairie Grown is two parts recipe and one part story.  It’s a glimpse into how life unfolds on a small organic vegetable farm in eastern South Dakota over the course of a calendar year.  As the winter melts into spring, and spring blossoms into summer, and summer fades into autumn, and autumn falls asleep under winter’s blanket, it is a walk through the history, cultivation, growth, community, and preservation that comes about when we live close to the earth.

Praise for Prairie Grown:

“Like a lovingly prepared meal, Prairie Grown delights the senses on several levels. Barr’s calm and serene prose invites the reader to slow down and savor a progression through one year, beginning in January, when a garden is asleep under a snowy blanket.  The recipes interspersing this progression reinforce an awareness of the here and how: the snow, the buds, the fruit, the harvest. The illustrations at the same time please the eye and emphasize the profound beauty that lies all around in a simple garden year.” ~Sue Leaf, finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards & author of The Bullhead Queen: A Year on Pioneer Lake and Portage: A Family, A Canoe and the Search for the Good Life.  

“Heidi Barr’s Prairie Grown is a feast for the senses. This beautiful book offers us a bounty of flavorful recipes as well as some of the flavor of life on a South Dakota farm. The beautiful photographs which accompany the recipes guide us on a stroll through the seasons. Anyone who loves gardening or local, seasonal cooking is sure to enjoy this book.”  ~Gregory Ripley, author of Tao Of Sustainability: Cultivate Yourself to Heal the Earth.

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