Each time I open the mailbox to see an issue of MaryJanesFarm, I get a little giddy. From the first issue I ever picked up, I’ve felt that this was a magazine made just for me. But the June–July 2021 issue took it to a new level. I’ve recently begun a small-scale fiber mill run out of my house, while also teaching fiber arts in my community. So imagine my excitement when I took a break from carding and spinning to check the mail and there was MaryJanesFarm with the article “From Sheep to Yarn.” As I sat down to read, I also came across your feature on Marilyn Jones passing on spinning in her community. Both Jones’ and LaVonne Stucky’s stories served to fuel my passion for spreading the appreciation of fiber processing and fiber arts. These are the type of women I look to for inspiration. They give me hope for my endeavors. Thank you, MaryJane, for always feeling like you’ve glimpsed inside my mind for content.
– Michelle, e-mail
One of your magazines was left in a room by an ER patient in Madras, Oregon, where I was working as a travel nurse. On my break, I got a chance to look through it. That was all it took, love at first look! I now have a subscription and allow myself cover-to-cover time when it arrives.
– Tina, RaisingJane.org
Wow, that’s some great service! I ordered a MaryJane’s Home quilt on Thursday, June 3, and it was supposed to be here next Tuesday, the 8th, but I got it Friday, the 4th. One-day service! Great job! And I love it. It’s been washed and is on my bed already. First time I’ve purchased from you, but I will definitely be a repeat customer! I love the magazine and have for years. Thank you.
– Barbara, e-mail
I was contacted by Hold Your Horses: Horse and Livestock Emergency Evacuation Rescue Team, and they asked me to be one of the ranches to train new volunteers in June 2021. The group came to my ranch and learned how to work with our alpacas and llamas. I invited some of the Farmgirl Sisters (FarmgirlSisterhood.org) from our local Brentwood Farmgirl Chapter, and two members were able to attend. It was a worthwhile effort to train rescue volunteers how to work with our animals in an evacuation situation, while also being able to incorporate a Merit Badge requirement in Garden Gate/Horse Dreams/Expert Level (locate a horse rescue, get involved) for our fellow Sisterhood members. Because of your team at MaryJanesFarm, we are benefitting our community. MaryJane started a ripple effect with positive outcomes in many communities; it is a real legacy she has built. Thanks for doing what you do; we appreciate you!
– Candy Hogan, e-mail
Farmgirl Sister #8283
On a whim, I subscribed to a magazine some years ago that looked promising. Little did I understand what MaryJanesFarm would come to mean to me.
The first issue arrived and I stole a quiet moment to look through its pages. Then the tears began to flow. There was a freedom, intelligence, genuine joyfulness, and celebration of the farm woman’s strength and femininity in those pages. You gave me permission to be a woman AND a farmer. I saw your smiling face and long hair and your love of cows and all things farm and felt that we were friends. See, I have long hair, too, and I refuse to go into old age with it lopped off. I’ve earned every gray highlight.
I turned 68 this year. I have raised children (3) and grandchildren (8) on this small farm (just 33 acres) with my husband of 50 years. We were city people with a dream in 1988 who jumped in with both feet and bought a Jersey cow and calf to eat the grass growing in the fields. My husband held a “city job,” so I became the farmer. I went to the library and checked out every book on farming and animal husbandry, veterinarian manuals, old cookbooks, and food preservation pamphlets, and read each one at least three times. My neighbors were patient. The feed-mill people were even more patient, and amused. (“You going to bring that cow in this winter and put Hubby in the barn?”) I learned about a special kind of knowledge farm people possess that most of the world discounts because it can’t be learned from books. It’s absorbed from the cradle by watching, listening, living. These farmers have forgotten more than I will probably ever know about this life.
When I finally composed myself after I read that first issue, fed the family and the critters lunch, put the laundry on the line, and started dinner, I took a moment to find the art box under my bed. The next day, a watercolor portrait of my Jersey materialized by hands that had not held a brush in years.
I so look forward to this lovely magazine’s every issue. Your work has made a difference in my life, and I felt it was important to tell you this.
We are both entering a new phase of existence. Our grandchildren are becoming capable people, our children are shouldering some of our responsibilities. Your magazine is reaching out to a new generation. I am teaching my grandkids the simple pleasures of blowing out eggs for Christmas ornaments and other crafts, using your magazine as inspiration. Quilling, decoupage, simple hand-stitching, and candle wicking are on our list. We are canning together, too—even the boys!
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being YOU.
– Kathleen, e-mail
Just a note to say how much I loved your “Hitting the Hay,” Oct/Nov 2021 issue. I especially loved the story about the beloved set of dishes collected by MaryJane’s mother over the years. It reminds me of my childhood, when the world was a much safer and nicer place, and when so many women carefully planned and set aside a little money to purchase sets of dishes a few at a time. My own grandmother, who lived in rural North Carolina, used to sell Stanley Home Products through “parties” and offered premiums that could be used to acquire various items that were otherwise hard to afford. I sometimes went with her to those parties, and what fun it was! My grandmother became a link to the outside world for so many lonely farm wives of the time—she gave them a reason to gather, laugh, and share refreshments. Through her, many sets of kitchenware and dishes were made available to them. I’m sure there are still many of those items being used for family gatherings, even today. Thank you for featuring a topic dear to my heart.
– Gail, e-mail
I have found so many useful things in your magazine!! I love the recipes; they give me lots of new ideas to try. And I enjoy Dr. Laura Koniver’s articles, always such good info!! The crafts. The projects. The people’s stories! What’s not to love about MaryJanesFarm???
– Vicki, RaisingJane.org