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.

Pre-order available now from Homebound Publications.


“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


Prairie Grown: Stories and Recipes from a South Dakota Hillside

Visit the book’s website here: Prairie Grown.

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Available from Avenida Books.

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.