About Barefoot in Florida

Barefoot in Florida is a small business and blog run by me, Lauryn Jean. Barefoot started as an idea, more of a hobby that I’ve begun to cement over the past year. Encompassing all things green, garden, and FL life, Barefoot in Florida is a place to fall in love with the healing aspects of nature’s wealth.

A graduate from Saint Leo University, I received my B.Ed. back in 2009, and have been in the education field since. I am currently teaching at a small private school, where my daughter attends also. Small blessings in life!

Whether it’s teaching, herb gardening, recipes, intuitive messages from plants, or furthering the CBD & hemp for health & wellness cause, I am at home writing, crafting, foraging, and adventuring here in Florida.

How I came to garden

I have always held a deep connection to the earthy things in life; I was always more at home in the woods or by the ocean and mangroves than I was in any city, surrounded by people and activities, high energy and fast paces. But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter that my gift for growing things manifested itself.

It started with a clipping of pothos in water, and before I knew it, my yard had turned into a sanctuary for all manner of plants: healing herbs, Florida natives, and even some tropicals. The plants started making their way into my house, and the “garden” became “gardens”. I was entranced, and vowed to call all of them by name; I vowed to nurture them as most of them would be called to nurture us.

Eight years later I have grown accustomed to the microclimates I’ve built, and I’ve learned quite a bit–some by research and talking green with other gardeners, most by trial and error. This blog is part of that journey now. Kind of like passing on the experience.

And along the way I have learned much and gained more working with healing plants. I like to think of myself as a novice healer; there’s almost nothing I love more than making medicines from the plants. Join me on that journey! Follow along as I craft with garden-grown and wild herbs and browse my remedies and recipes and herb cabinet to learn more about the plants and medicine mixtures I work with.

How I became a believer

I was first diagnosed with manic depression when I was sixteen. At the time, it was more like a “duh!” moment, as I literally thought ‘what 16-year-old girl isn’t?’… But when I was officially given the title of bipolar at 20, I already knew that my hormones weren’t lacking for anything. No, it wasn’t just Vitamin B/iron/manganese/iodine/insert-lacking nutrient-here deficiency, it was/is straight bipolar. I am a bipolar II, my depression hits hard and I’ve been known to stay in that mode for weeks. At my worst it was nearly two years in and out of my depression, my inner voice begging for some kind of cure.

I tried all kinds of medications from the age of 20 to about 23; logically, it felt like three years wasn’t long enough for any particular medication to really help, but instinctually it felt like the medications were exacerbating everything. And during that time I started figuring out ways to hide my crazy. I was a full time college student, worked part time, and was completing a practicum in an elementary school–I had to figure out a way to hide my bipolar symptoms. It just wouldn’t do to have everyone find out that I was barely holding my shit together. So I started smoking pot.

I would smoke in the evenings, when my duties were done for the day, when dinner was made and things cleaned up. I would sit down with projects or papers and imbibe of the ‘herbal blends’. And I noticed changes.

I started sleeping better. I mean, I slept a lot during my depressive moments, but it was never a restful sleep or rejuvenating sleep–and I was plagued with horrendously vivid dreams. Once I started smoking, I didn’t experience that as much. This led me to experiment with lower THC and higher CBD content over time. Medical grade pot was hard to get one’s hands on around that time and in the area I lived, but it was around. My anxiety was eased and I spent less time in depressive states.

Then I discovered edibles. I favored those at times, as I could eat a dose after dinner and not think twice about whether apparatuses and stash were put away. Pot was/is illegal in FL after all. But throughout my little experiences, I’ve come to believe this plant is truly a wonderful medicine. Since those years and after my pregnancy and breastfeeding, I have been an advocate and now active participant in the CBD and medical marijuana movements.

I am now a Kannaway brand ambassador, but really, my initial motive for trying out this company is their high-quality products. I’ve not been with them long, but have already fallen in love with some of their products, and use them on a daily basis. If you’d like to read more about my journey with CBD/hemp oil and Kannway, head over to Kannaway Life.

How it all fits together

I hope to educate and inform, inspire and impassion through Barefoot in Florida, to help the public become aware of the healing and nourishment available to us all through Nature’s bounty. Through gardening, writing, medicine making and introducing the Kannway line, I hope to impart at the very least a renewed love of natural health & wellness, and the simplicity of green and growing things.

Barefoot will also operate with the intent to impart a love for the bits of wild Florida that still exist outside of developers’ boundaries, as well as provide inspiration to those who would like to join in the fight to protect the unique environments of Florida that exist nowhere else on earth.