Dog Days | Aug–Sept 2021

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

Tammy's rennovated trailer

My mom and I have been getting your magazine for about five years now. Love all of it. Literally read every inch of it. During the lockdown, my husband found a 1966 Traveleze trailer shell on Offer Up. We have a retro trailer that we travel in, but with all of the camping cancellations last year, my wonderful husband decided to make me this she shed. All is recycled. Wood inside was from a friend’s fence, and another friend gave us a bed. Neighbor painted her and chairs from a garage sale, recycled dresser, etc. We call her Ruby Red. Thank you for always making me smile!

– Tammy, 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

MaryJane’s Cast Iron Kitchen book is absolutely fabulous! I find the recipes VERY easy to follow. I unearthed my mother’s 8"-deep skillet AND a Dutch oven from the deep recesses of our kitchen cupboard, which I took out, cleaned, re-seasoned, and use almost every day. I needed a cookbook for more motivation to use them, and after looking through a number of cast-iron skillet cookery books, I settled on this one, and with no regrets! I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Another feature that caught my attention is the author’s use of organic virgin coconut oil, which I use every day for health and cosmetic reasons. I’m from the Caribbean, and coconut oils are a staple in EVERYTHING!!

– Tina, RaisingJane.org

MaryJane's Cast Iron Kitchen
Hitting the Hay | Oct–Nov 2021

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

Nic holding an Outpost Pouch up in front of Mount Shuksan

Just One More Reason to Wish I Were a Girl. Dear men of the U.S. (and elsewhere): Get a grip. I’m not saying you should get jazzed about the prospect of running off to the nearest yardgoods store and picking up a bolt of gingham, but is making your RV comfortable and, dare I say, “homey” categorically criminal? I mean, even our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t shy away from a nice grass mat if one became available! In Glamping with MaryJane, Butters sketches out just enough of the basics to make RV living tantalizingly possible. (I know; my wife and I have been doing it full-time for years.) It’s fun, it’s whimsical, it’s supportive. It’s a worthy read even for the inveterate indoorswoman (and man, if he has the guts to go there)... And to the women of the U.S. (and elsewhere): Rock on! Keep being you. (Elsewise, there’ll be no one left to save the rest of us.)

– Ean, 5-Star Amazon review

I was out climbing this past weekend at Ruth Mountain in Washington, and as I sat down with one of your great dinners, I noticed something familiar about the packaging ... Mount Shuksan! Keep making great stuff!

– Nic, e-mail

Nic holding an Outpost Pouch up in front of Mount Shuksan

Giving Truth | Dec–Jan 2022

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

Inviting Solitude | Feb–Mar 2022

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

Outpost Pouch, Curry in a Hurry

Yesterday, I received my first shipment of Outpost meals from you. I immediately packed one of them into my camping kit and headed off to work my overnight shift at a big wood-fired pottery kiln, where I’m a member of the firing crew. As darkness fell and cooler air settled in around the kiln barn, I started to feel a bit hungry, so I got some water boiling and rehydrated a Curry in a Hurry pouch. Ten minutes later, I was eating something incredibly scrumptious, warming, and so satisfying. I could not be more happy with the quality of this meal, happy it was in a paper packet that I could just burn in the kiln, happy that the portion was just right for me (not too much, not too little), and happy that it tasted so yummy and felt so good in my digestive system afterward. The fact that most of your meals do not use meat, fish, or eggs is perfect for the way I choose to eat. Thank you for creating and making such truly good food.

– Alison, 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

Cast Iron Kitchen book cover

I chose a 5-star rating, as I find the recipes VERY easy to follow in your Cast Iron Kitchen book. I unearthed my mother’s 8"-deep skillet and a Dutch oven from the deep recesses of our kitchen cupboard, which I took out, cleaned, reseasoned, and use almost every day. Then, I needed a cookbook for more motivation to use them. After looking through a number of cast-iron-skillet cookery books, I settled on this one, and with no regrets. I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Another feature that caught my attention is your use of organic virgin coconut oil, which I use every day for health and cosmetic reasons. I’m from the Caribbean, and coconut oils are a staple in EVERYTHING!!

– Amazon 5-star review

I just want to say thank you, MaryJane and Ashley, for working so hard to make Wild Bread !! I have successfully grown a 100 percent whole-grain spelt mother using your method, and she is amazing! This means so much because I have tried and failed twice before making sourdough using other books. Now, every time I pull a beautiful loaf out of the oven, I think, “I need to tell them thank you!” To anyone else out there considering spelt, I usually follow the recipes for the sprouted-wheat flour and change it as needed from there. Thank you again, ladies!

– Christine, WildBread.net

Wild Bread book cover