Urban Farming Is Not Just A Profession – It’s A Passion

Embrace food with S.O.U.L . . . Commit today to growing and eating Seasonal. Organic. Un-refined. Local food.


Urban Farming has been viewed for ages, as solely for subsistence purposes; however the production of crops directly in the urban areas has many additional economic, social and ecological benefits.

  • Improves nutrition, as produce is fresh and less damaged when grown and distributed locally.
  • Closes the nutrient loop, as domestic organic waste can be composted and processed into the soil for added nutrients and soil structure.
  • Has the potential to alleviate two of the world’s most crucial problems: poverty and waste.
  • Has the potential to provide economic regeneration and stability to the growing population.
  • Promotes sustainable development by reducing the vulnerability of the world’s urban populations to global ecological change.
  • Reduction in crime has been noted when gardening projects are implemented in urban centers.
  • Youth and even adults acquire self-esteem, stay busy and feel useful when participating in these programs.
  • Naturally restores the human connection to nature by instilling a sense of stewardship in the farmer, creating a better appreciation of the land’s natural processes.
  • Creates a feeling of community between people, which can facilitate further collective action on issues of local importance.
  • Improves the aesthetics of the city by increasing the ‘green spaces’ in an otherwise concrete landscape while providing recreational opportunities for those who work the land.
  • Increased gardens and plants in cities improve air quality close to pollution sources.
  • On a large scale, it reduces transportation of produce; thus, less fuel is required by vehicles and less protective packaging is needed for the produce.
  • Encourages the production of rare varieties of fruits and vegetables, as urban gardeners tend to cultivate a wider variety of crops, conserving unique cultivars and enhancing agricultural diversity.


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Urban and peri-urban farms already supply food to about 700 million city dwellers — one-quarter of the world’s urban population — and nearly all of the world’s population growth between now and 2030 will be concentrated in urban areas in developing countries, so that by then almost 60% of people in developing countries will live in cities. With this rapid growth in our cities, farming in and around urban areas needs to play a bigger role in feeding city populations.

  • Involves using small plots such as vacant lots, gardens or roof tops in the city for growing crops.
  • Can take many forms, from small “microgardens” to larger operations.
  • Can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry and horticulture.
  • Is generally practiced for income-earning or food-producing activities, contributing to food security and food safety.
  • Provides an outlet for better health and nutrition, increased income, employment, food security within the household, and community social life.
  • Can be seen as a means of improving the livelihood of people living in and around cities.
  • Shows that planting increased numbers of gardens in a city environment improves air quality close to pollution sources.
  • Gardens act as refuge for wildlife such as soil organisms, wild plants, insects, birds and amphibians thus increasing the biodiversity within the city environment.
  • Can help in climate regulation through the absorption of greenhouse gases.

If you are not yet, connect with the SWIHA Urban Farming Community page on Facebook – open to all to post at will about your Urban Farming thoughts, tips, recipes, photos, etc!  We’d love to know what you love to grow…

FYI ~ Two Urban Farming Certificates of Excellence are fully accredited through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA.edu), and financial aid is available to those who are qualified!

1. Urban Farming and Conscious Living

Urban Farming and Conscious Living helps students learn how to transform their personal or community green spaces into productive gardens for personal use or community sale. Students will learn to contribute to their local food economy through increasing the amount of food available to people living in cities, and allowing fresh vegetables and fruits to be made available to urban consumers.

Households and small communities can take advantage of vacant land and contribute not only to their household food needs, but also the needs of their resident city. This certificate requires students to participate in a local externship through which they will practice what they have learned while building a small garden of their own.

More and more people in the growing urban areas love this productive hobby and healthy way of living. Here, not only are you able to use your energy wisely, but you are opening a whole new gateway to better health, for yourself and your family. The basic requirements necessary for productive growth are sun, containers, soil, plants and water. With these items, plus time and knowledge, you will be an city farmer in no time at all.

Take it to the Next Level and TEACH others how to live and eat more consciously as well…

2. Urban Farming Educator

SWIHA’s new 200 hour Urban Agriculture Educator Certificate of Excellence trains students in the means, methods, and philosophies of converting private and public urban spaces into productive farm land that will support individual families, or the economies of an entire community. Offered both on-campus and online through our fully-facilitated format, Urban Agriculture Educator teaches students raw food cooking, herbology, hydroponics, integrated pest management, and small livestock. In addition, and most importantly, students will discuss how to become an entrepreneur and learn about reaching out into their community to train others in the methods and philosophy they have adopted.

Nature of the Work: Urban Agricultural Educators are able to advise people on how to start and manage their urban farms, whether it’s on their small patio or lush backyard.  Consider combining this Urban Farming knowledge with any of our other programs such as Life Coaching or Holistic Nutrition, and learn to effectively coach and educate people to a healthy, balanced wellness on many levels.

Healing ebooks for Children

Are you seeking some helpful Ebooks for childrens’ wellness?  If so, this is a great place to start.  The website to a great author’s page is www.smashwords.com, which includes currently complimentary eBooks! “Heal Your Body, With Your Mind” – This children’s book is based on guided imagery and by changing the thoughts in the mind, it possible to change the body. This book is designed to help children with illness, pain, discomfort, hurt, sickness, and etc. Take your child on a journey of peace and healing. This is a great bedtime story and the more it is read, the better success your child will have healing themselves. This book is designed to be read to your child.

Intimacy Meditations

Lately, my meditations center around Intimacy. The frequency of which it is longingly spoken of by both genders has been sucker punching me with astounding regularity in the last few months. Love and Intimacy Fear of Intimacy How to achieve Intimacy It is everywhere in the media, obnoxious in its ubiquity.  Clients talk about lacking it, friends chat about it in various public places and everyone, in a relationship or not, wants it or to somehow improve it. As I listen deeply to the content of conversations around this most confusing of subjects, it becomes obvious that few really know what it is.  Some call manipulative jabbering intimacy, while others seem obsessed with domesticating it and yoking to a predetermined course.

Making Friends in Your Later Years

One of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts‘ wonderful life coaches,  Richard Seaman was the professional advice behind this article, written by Ashley Macha, from AZ Central.  Here is some helpful information we would like to share on behalf of Richard, who so graciously volunteered to offer his professional life coaching advice to all. How important is friendship at any age? Friendships create a unique, safe place for us to be ourselves and more importantly to have a place we can be seen, heard and know that what we have to say matters to someone else – there is a witnessing of another person’s life.

Healing Powers of Archangel Raphael

Pronounced RAH-fee-uhl, Raphael means “God heals” or “God has healed.” Raphael is the Archangel of healing. Raphael heals physical bodies as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Helps with: Eliminating or reducing addictions and crav­ings, healing on all levels, guidance and support for healers, physical and spiritual eyesight, clairvoyance, and finding lost pets. Color Vibration: Green Gemstones: Jade, Aventurine Invocation: I ask Archangel Raphael to surround me in his healing vibration of emerald-green light. I am in need of heal­ing at this time, and I ask that you infuse me with your healing energy.

The Beauty of Numerology

Numerology has been defined for thousands of years as the study of the significance of numbers and how they shape one’s destiny.  The Egyptians and Babylonians both used it over 10,000 years ago.  Pythagoras, a mathematician whose theories are still in use today, is believed to have officially organized Numerology in Greece over 2,500 years ago.  Numerology has been used in every culture throughout history to decipher the hidden meaning of a person’s life by analyzing their name and date of their birth.  After all, it is the universal language, right?   The perspective of a person’s life here on Earth as a manifestation of an aspect of the Divine is interpreted through the significance of these numbers.  A person’s life purpose, character, luck, career, and the lessons they teach and learn are all defined primarily by the date of birth and secondarily by their name given at birth.  So now you’re thinking, ‘What is my birth path number?


Your birth path number, suggesting your overall path in life and place in the world, is based on your complete birth date.  It is simple to calculate.  Add up the digits of your birth data, and keep “reducing” (explained via the example below) to a single digit.
If your birthday is April 28, 1968, for example, note it as follows:


  • Birth Month is April, which is the 4th month = 4
  • Birth Day is 28 = 28
  • Birth Year is 1968 = 1968.
  • Add up the digits of all of these numbers: 4+2+8+1+9+6+8 = 38
  • Further “reduce” this number to a single digit by adding its digits: 3+8 = 11
  • And then further reduce it, if necessary: 1+1 = 2


The final digit, 2, is the Birth Path Number!

To find out what  YOUR  BIRTH NUMBER means, visit cafeastrology.com/numerology.html and scroll down to find your number!  🙂

You can also do the same with YOUR BIRTH NAME, using this letter to number conversion chart.


Numerology is primarily a fun Self-Help Tool.  Love it or hate it, but the thought is, it allows you to gain greater insight and understanding into your true nature and inner being.  It reveals aspects of your personality and character in a way that is fresh and inspiring, changing the way you look at yourself.  After all, self-knowledge is the key to freedom and success, right?  Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can ultimately help you in every aspect of life.  Learn how to look at life in a whole new life and become passionate about your future!  If you learn to use the art of numerology wisely, you can channel the powerful vibrations that are universally emitted by the creation of numbers and can be put into a form to which you can understand.  Thus the numbers will guide you successfully through life.  Make sense?
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts’ Founder, KC Miller, is passionate about Numerology.  In a recent interview, she was more than happy to share some insights on what it does for her, and what her number is!

KC’s destiny number is 5:  7+2+4+1+9+5+4=32 or 3+2=5

5= hard work; craves work of deep impact; restless to do work of substance.

Does this number fit you KC? “Yes, absolutely, now that I realize the true meaning.  There was a time I thought it meant a life of hard work.  That sounded ‘hard’ to me.  However, now I realize that ‘hard’ should read as deep, value, mission driven work.”

How did you learn about numerology? “It seems like I have always known about it.  One book I can remember reading was Dan Millman’s, “The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose.”

KC, do you make decisions based upon numerology? “Some; for example, how to price my artwork or I might look at it if I am trying to choose a special date.  I usually use it as the ‘is.’  When I know an address, someone’s birthday, name, etc.  Addresses are fascinating.”

Jikiden Reiki

Southwest Institute of Healing Arts’, KC Miller is heading to Japan again in April 2012 to take part in Jikiden Reiki Training, and she welcomes anyone to go along!  This mission will be to explore and learn ‘Original Reiki‘ known as Jikiden Reiki.  The training will be held in the sacred city of Kyoto, taught by the son of the late Chiyoko Yamaguchi, one of the last students of Reiki Master Sensei Hayashi.  Jikiden means ‘directly taught’ or ‘orginially taught’.

Is It Your Destiny To Learn Jikiden Reiki in Japan this Nov 2012?

Could it be your destiny to discover Jikiden Reiki in Japan with SWIHA translator and crew?  This group will be traveling to the sacred city of Kyoto, Japan November 11 – 20, 2012 to learn the originally taught form of Reiki from the fourth in lineage, Tadao Yamaguchi.

Here you will explore Mikao Usui’s original vision of Reiki, which he discovered while fasting for 21 days on Mount Kurama.  On this mission you will not only discover this pure form of Reiki, focusing on how to prepare your heart and mind to use the ‘original’ symbols, but you will journey up this exact mountain to get your own divine message!

Together we will take a ‘destiny walk’ through the amazing Fushimi-Inaire Shrine while enjoying a glorious season of the famous cherry blossom!  This tour will be led by Reiki Master & Teacher, Mihoko Knight.  The training and trip will cost approximately $3,500 – $4,000.

NOVEMBER 11 – NOVEMBER 20, 2012 Itinerary

  • NOV 11/12  ~  Fly to Kyoto, Japan (Kansai International Airport).  You leave one day and get to Japan the next due to crossing the International dateline.
  • NOV 13  ~  Mount Kurama adventure!
  • NOV 14 – 17  ~  Advanced Jikiden Reiki Training taught by Mr. Yamaguchi, from the straight lineage of Reiki founder, Mikao Usui.
  • NOV 18  ~  For those returning and auditing, you have one extra class on this day.  For first timers, this is your fun, play day to explore Kyoto.
  • NOV 19  ~  Visit Shrines in Kyoto – Kurama Mt. Reiki Shrine & “destiny walk” facilitated by KC Miller.
  • NOV 20  ~  Fly home or stay to tour Japan on your own.

Approximated Budget for a ten-day Kyoto, Japan training trip = $3,500 – $4,000·

  • Round-trip airfare, depending on when the tickets are purchased, runs about $1,500.  If you book early enough it can be as low as $1,000.
  • Plan on around $100 for transportation to and from the airport/hotel.
  • Advanced Jikiden Reiki Training = $1,250 (first time) $500 (auditing)
  • $500 deposit required prior to September 1, 2012 to secure your spot.  Total $1,250 is required by October 1, 2012
  • Hotel will range about 6500 yen ($85) per person, per night
  • Food allowance should be about $40+ per day
  • Taxi and transports for the trip will run $20 per day
  • Plan some shopping money = $?

To sign up for this Jikiden Reiki Training trip OR to get more details, email Becca Briley at beccab@swiha.edu.

For Jikiden Reiki history refer to www.jikiden-reiki.com/en/index.html or  www.holistichealthandme.com/blog/holistic-health-care/reiki.  Take a look at the first group of  SWIHAGoesToJapan on YouTube.  IF YOU are ready to take an amazing journey and learn Jikiden Reiki from one of the original masters, this may be your calling; we hope you can join us for this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Reiki Classes For Children

In 2007 when I learned Reiki I knew in my heart that I had to teach it.  I thought that it could be the solution to the world’s problems.  If only everyone could learn and incorporate it into their lives, it would bring peace to the world.

Reiki is a healing energy that comes from Spirit into us, and is channeled through our hands to wherever/whomever we intend to send it.  This energy feels like being filled with waves of love, it is very gentle and relaxing and it helps to balance the body/mind and spirit, bringing that way whatever that person is ready to receive at the moment and always for the greatest and highest good.
Reiki stands for everything that is Love;it teaches allowance and trust in a Higher Intelligence, but must of all it made me feel so much peace.  It has taught me to get out of my own way and believe that Spirit knows what is really needed.

Having grown in a very conservative Catholic family, I was getting into uncharted territory, trying something that was so different.  What I learned through the process is that it really is not that different, Reiki made me feel so much closer to Spirit and so much respect for life… I learned about giving and receiving, and how it can help in our relations with everything and everyone.

At the time my children were 8 and 10 years old.  They both enjoyed receiving it.  It was for them that I organized my first “Reiki for Kids” class.  I had been teaching it to adults for a while and knew that it had to be done differently in order to keep them engaged and having fun!

I was in for an incredible experience!  The kids knew this loving energy in their hearts.  They understood it and didn’t really need so many “words” as we adults do.  They embraced it immediately!

So that summer, I created a class for 6 kids at my home, where they would learn first and second degree Reiki in a week….

During class they learned about the history of Reiki and about Dr. Usui.  We talked about the principles and each gave examples of how they apply them in their lives.  The attunements were done individually in a separate room.  They took turns while they waited doing art work.  Chakras and colors were easy for them, as we made up a game to learn them.  They finger-painted the symbols in huge rolls of paper while focusing on how they perceived each energy.  They practiced the mental/emotional healing on each other as they provided feedback to their partner.

Long distance Reiki was a lot of fun too.  They brought pictures and stuffed animals.  They also created a Reiki box as a project, where they painted, cut and pasted, and then we dedicated them, so that whenever they gave Reiki to the box, they knew they were sending Reiki to whatever o whomever they had inside the box, like pictures and names of family members and friends.
We used every opportunity throughout out class days to practice.  They gave Reiki to plants and connected with their energy fields.  They gave Reiki to my Labrador while she fell into a complete and  blissful sleep.  They chose crystals from my collection, charged them, learned what their properties are, and learned how they could be used for healing.  They also gave Reiki to their food and water to bring out the very best in them.

They learned how to give a proper session.  These were very short and there was a lot of conversation going on.  It was all about what they were experiencing in the moment and how good it was to be able to help someone else at the same time they received the energy themselves.  It made them feel empowered and connected to God.

What I loved the must was seeing them practice on each other.  Five kids around the Reiki table standing in different places and trusting their intuition and what their hands were telling them, knowing that whatever way they chose to do it would be just perfect.

In my experience as a mother and Reiki Master, Reiki is a tool that all kids could benefit from.  It empowers them, making  them confident that they can handle a stomach ache or a bandaged knee.  It teaches them how to relax so they can handle situations in a more balanced  matter.  It teaches them the power of their thoughts and their intentions so they can direct them in a positive way.

About the Guest Author: Magda Theil is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Registered Polarity Therapist and Transformational Hypnotherapist.  She gives healing sessions helping people that have back and/or neck pain that are looking to heal the root of the problem and not only their symptoms.  She also gives public presentations on Holistic Healing and back pain.  For more information on Reiki Classes for Children with Magda, or for adults, please check her website www.MagdaThiel.com or contact her atMagdaThiel@gmail.com.  Facebook: Magdalena Thiel

Reflexology For Natural Healing

Many people are wondering, “What is Reflexology?” Reflexology, also called “zone therapy” is a popular, Alternative Therapy focusing on the face, ears, hands and feet to aid in Natural Healing.  It is widely believed that there are “reflex” areas on these areas corresponding to different glands, organs, and other areas of the body. “Everything is connected… What you do to one part of the body (or the world) you do to another.” Applying pressure to these “reflex areas” can promote health in the corresponding organs through Energetic Pathways.