I’m Judi Harvin, the heart behind Soul Farm: an intimate, grassroots yoga retreat farm located about 80 miles away from Chicago.
Yoga retreats are popular, but most require lengthy travel and a large financial commitment. Soul Farm is located less than two hours from busy Chicago, perfect to offer urban yogis a place in the country to practice, learn, eat and enjoy in small retreat groups.
The property has been in my family for 50 years, and is located on a small gravel road. Soul Farm is 80 acres of fields, ponds, and woods with trails. Plans and features for this year or beyond include:
- Yoga, either in a covered space or under the big oak trees in the yard
- Themed retreats with related workshops
- Horseback riding (2020?)
- Massage and other treatment services
- Healthy midwest meals, including farm-to-table and local
I’ve been making plans to create the facilities so yogis can enjoy the natural environment, with the necessary comforts. I am seeking funding to help make this happen. Key projects are:
- Utilizing and updating a vintage barn structure for a covered place to practice yoga. We have already broken ground on this project!
- Outdoor toilet facilities and showers. We are currently breaking ground on a structure with two toilet rooms with sinks, and two showers, featuring running water.
- Bunkhouse dress-up. The current bunkhouse needs repairs and updating, including a covered front porch!
These plans are underway, but in order to do it right, I need your involvement! Support the creation of this retreat farm by contributing, or purchasing a premium from this campaign. All funds collected will be used toward creating a comfortable retreat space. I’d love you to be part of the Soul Farm family!
Mary Anne Duve
Mary Anne is a local, living on a 7 acre farmette called Rendezvous Farm, about a mile away from Soul Farm. Gardening, food and music are Mary Anne’s passion. In 2005, after moving from LaGrange, IL to the country, she was one of the founding members of the Twin City Market in Sterling, IL, an active, year around indoor farmers market. For 4 years she grew for the Gathering Ground CSA. Mary Anne has over 20 years experience in the food industry, and 15 years experience growing vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers (chemical free, of course!) in her gardens. And, for 5 years, she and her husband Jerry hosted and catered the Haybarn Rendezvous, a multi-day music festival, right at Rendezvous Farm!
Jeanie loves the sea, the forest, and wildflowers. She also loves yoga, and deepened her studies in the FocusOm teacher training program. While she was born and raised in the midwest, Jeanie spent years living in the more temperate climates of Mexico and Texas. While we are certain she misses the warmth of the south, she will be happily tending our flower beds and vegetable garden at Soul Farm, helping to grow the food and flowers that will be gracing our tables.
Soul Farm is fortunate to have Gene tending to the forests, fields and ponds. Gene is committed to maintaining and improving the habitat for forest wildlife and pond life. From 2005 through 2010, Gene was a steward of the land, participating in the Illinois Forestry Development Act’s Timber Stand Improvement Program. He has studied land management, including taking courses and participating in controlled burns. Gene loves nature, living off the land, and regenerating our ponds is his special passion this season.
Chief Grower and Produce Supplier
Ellie has been growing food for over 40 years. She lives on a farm near Franklin Grove with her husband, chickens, two adopted horses, and cats. She loves sharing her fresh produce with others; Ellie operated CSAs for four years, help start up the Twin City Farmer's Market in Sterling Illinois, and sold produce there for three years. She also loves making, drinking and talking about veer, brewing her own from hops she grows on her own farm!