Old Soul, New Body: Tech At The National Heirloom Expo

Posted by Amy Storey on September 22, 2015

Old soul, new body.



The attendees of 2015's National Heirloom Expo are old souls: people who recognize and live out "old" agricultural values.

These are things like:

  • Being connected to your farmers
  • Reducing food waste
  • Being educated about the food that you eat
  • Preserving the history of American agriculture

At the Expo this year we got to speak with four influential old souls: Libby O'Connell, Linda Ly, Birke Baehr, and John Kohler.

Each one of them contributes to these values in unique ways. One outstanding characteristic of these people is that they stay open-minded about the ways to bring these values to life.

Often times, the best way to achieve Old Soul values is by giving them a new body - new tech, powered by new knowledge and potentially even new constraints.

We have a phrase that we like to use for this way of thinking: "Old soul, new body."

Watch the four interviews below to see what we mean.

Libby O'Connell

Libby O'Connell is Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility Director, and Senior Historian for the History Channel and A&E Networks, as well as the author of The American Plate: A Culinary History in a Hundred Bites.



Libby sees that people value the immediacy of local food; they love knowing how and where their food was grown. This is what is keeping local farmers alive, and it not only improves health but it brings back the pride of local food. We think that this pride is linked to the ownership that a person feels over food that was grown in their town, by their farmer.

National Heirloom Expo tweet this

In equipment like that used on the USA Pavilion's Farm Wall lies an opportunity for people to have fresh and diverse food. This type of farm gives an exciting way to have a productive farm in normally unproductive areas, like the middle of the city.

Linda Ly (AKA Garden Betty)


Linda's online presence revolves around gardening, homesteading, farm to table cooking, staying connected to food, and raising backyard chickens - she calls this the "good life." At the Expo she spoke on reducing food waste in the kitchen. Old soul values? I think so.

Linda sees people becoming aware of the current "body" of the food system, the waste and inefficiencies and the challenges of sourcing good quality produce. She sees people learning to eat in a way that supports old values but not the old body. Part of this is due to blogs like Linda's, which makes these consumption habits and education available to people and get them thinking about the best ways to accomplish old soul values.

Birke Baehr

Birke Baehr is a youth advocate for sustainable food systems.



Birke has spent years creating awareness (since he was 11!) about agriculture in order to regain our relationship with our farmers. His goal is to start up a dialogue about food, which is an integral part of our lives.

Urban gardens are one of the best ways to support these goals in cities. Newer food production systems allow people to grow in previously inaccessible places and at inaccessible times. Birke mentions remediating and regrowing our agricultural practices in a way that is responsible.

John Kohler

John Kohler runs GrowYourGreens, an information-rich YouTube channel about growing food.



John advocates increasing the quality of the food we're eating, saving space, having good food year round, and growing in practical, efficient ways.

The Farm Wall is a tool that allows you to grow in spaces that you wouldn't be able to normally while still growing a productive and healthy garden.

Are you an old soul?

Old soul values don't have to come with worn out, inefficient, and mediocre bodies. In fact, some old soul values require a new body to grow and flourish.

Check out the details on local and urban farming's new body: The ZipGrow Farm Wall.


Friday Blitz Media Altidude Wall-6 National Heirloom Expo

If you want a Farm Wall for your own home, office, or even restaurant, you can get one here.

Free Download:

The Farm Wall Buyer's Guide

Learn all about the unlimited things you can do with your own vertical wall garden.


Download the guide here


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