Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain
is a certified farmgirl at heart. She’s happily married to her beach bum Yankee husband of 20 years. She went from career gal to being a creative homeschooling mom for two of her biggest blessings and hasn’t looked back since. Debbie left her lifelong home in the high desert of Northern Nevada 10 years ago and washed up on the shore of America’s hometown, Plymouth, MA, where she and her family are now firmly planted. They spend part of each summer in a tiny, off–grid beach cottage named “The Sea Horse.”
“I found a piece of my farmgirl heart when I discovered MaryJanesFarm. Suddenly, everything I loved just made more sense! I enjoy unwinding at the beach, writing, gardening, and turning yard-sale furniture into ‘Painted Ladies’ I’m passionate about living a creative life and encouraging others to ‘make each day their masterpiece.’”
Column contents © 2011– Deb Bosworth. All rights reserved.
Being a farmgirl is not
about where you live,
but how you live.
is a “MaryJane Farmgirl” who lives in a large metropolitan area. She is a lawyer who has worked in both criminal defense and prosecution. She has been a judge, a business woman and a stay-at-home mom. In addition to her law degree, she has a Masters of Theological Studies.
“Mustering up the courage to do the things you dream about,” she says, “is the essence of being a MaryJane Farmgirl.” Learning to live more organically and closer to nature is Rebekah’s current pursuit. She finds strength and encouragement through MaryJane’s writings, life, and products. And MaryJane’s Farmgirl Connection provides her a wealth of knowledge from true-blue farmgirls.
Column contents © 2007– Rebekah Teal. All rights reserved.
Keep close to Nature’s heart … and break clear away once in awhile to climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods, to wash your spirit clean.”
~ John Muir
an old-fashioned farmgirl with a pioneer spirit, lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a “lifelong learner” in the “Live-Free-or-Die” state, she fiercely values self-reliance, independence, freedom, and fresh mountain air. Married to her childhood sweetheart of 40+ years (a few of them “uphill climbs”), she’s had plenty of time to reinvent herself. From museum curator, restaurant owner, homeschool mom/conference speaker, to post-and-beam house builder and entrepreneur, she’s also a multi-media artist, with an obsession for off-grid living and alternative housing. Cathi owns and operates a 32-room mountain lodge. Her specialty has evolved to include “hermit hospitality” at her rustic cabin in the mountains, where she offers weekend workshops of special interest to women.
“Mountains speak to my soul, and farming is an important part of my heritage. I want to pass on my love of these things to others through my writing. Living in the mountains has its own particular challenges, but I delight in turning them into opportunities from which we can all learn and grow.”
Column contents © 2010– Cathi Belcher. All rights reserved.
Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”
~ Anthony J. D’Angelo
Dori Troutman is the daughter of second generation cattle ranchers in New Mexico. She grew up working and playing on the ranch that her grandparents homesteaded in 1928. That ranch, with the old adobe home, is still in the family today. Dori and her husband always yearned for a ranch of their own. That dream came true when they retired to the beautiful green rolling hills of Tennessee. Truly a cattleman’s paradise!
Dori loves all things farmgirl and actually has known no other life but that. She loves to cook, craft, garden, and help with any and all things on their cattle farm.
Column contents © Dori Troutman. All rights reserved.
Previous Ranch Farmgirl,
Oct 2009 – Nov 2013
Wyoming cattle rancher and outpost writer (rider), shares the “view from her saddle.” Shery is a leather and lace cowgirl-farmgirl who’s been horse-crazy all of her life. Her other interests include “junktiques,” arts and crafts, glamping, collecting antique china, and cultivating mirth.
is a condition
of the heart.
is a budding rural farmgirl living in Palmer, the agricultural seat of Alaska. Alex is a graduate student at Alaska Pacific University pursuing an M.S. in Outdoor and Environmental Education. She lives and works on the university’s 700 acre environmental education center, Spring Creek Farm. When Alex has time outside of school, she loves to rock climb, repurpose found objects, cross-country ski on the hay fields, travel, practice yoga, and cook with new-fangled ingredients.
Alex grew up near the Twin Cities and went to college in Madison, Wisconsin—both places where perfectly painted barns and rolling green farmland are just a short drive away. After college, she taught at a rural middle school in South Korea where she biked past verdant rice paddies and old women selling home-grown produce from sidewalk stoops. She was introduced to MaryJanesFarm after returning, and found in it what she’d been searching for—a group of incredible women living their lives in ways that benefit their families, their communities, and the greater environment. What an amazing group of farmgirls to be a part of!
Column contents © 2012– Alexandra Wilson. All rights reserved.
Previous Rural Farmgirl,
June 2010 – Jan 2012
Libbie’s a small town farmgirl who lives in the high-desert Sevier Valley of Central Utah on a 140-year-old farm with her husband and two darling little farmboys—as well as 30 ewes; 60 new little lambs; a handful of rams; a lovely milk cow, Evelynn; an old horse, Doc; two dogs; a bunch o’ chickens; and two kitties.
Previous Rural Farmgirl,
April 2009 – May 2010
René lives in Washington state’s wine country. She grew up in the dry-land wheat fields of E. Washington, where learning to drive the family truck and tractors, and “snipe hunting,” were rites of passage. She has dirt under her nails and in her veins. In true farmgirl fashion, there is no place on Earth she would rather be than on the farm.
Farmgirl spirit can take root anywhere—dirt or no dirt.
calls herself a knitter, jam-maker, and vintage enthusiast who "never met an antique sewing machine she didn't like." Born and raised in the great state of Texas, she now resides in suburban New England in picturesque Connecticut, just a stone’s throw from New York state.
Married for over twenty years to her Danish-born sweetheart, Nicole has worked in various fields and has been a world-traveler, entrepreneur, and homemaker, but considers being a mom her greatest accomplishment of all. In addition to blogging, she also teaches knitting professionally and is a Certified Master Gardener. Loving all things creative and domestic, Nicole considers her life’s motto to be “bloom where you are planted.”
Column contents © 2010– Nicole Christensen. All rights reserved.
Previous Suburban Farmgirl,
October 2009 – October 2010
Paula is a mom of four and a journalist who’s partial to writing about common sense and women’s interests. She’s lived in five great farm states (Michigan, Iowa, New York, Tennessee, and now North Carolina), though never on a farm. She’s nevertheless inordinately fond of heirloom tomatoes, fine stitching, early mornings, and making pies. And sock monkeys.
That Promise of Spring…
[Previous Suburban Farmgirl, October 2009 – October 2010]
…“The nicest thing about the promise of spring is that sooner or later, she’ll have to keep it.” That’s what I write in a card to my old pal Kathleen every year about this time, between our birthdays – well, every year I remember, but it’s the majority of the past near-thirty.
I don’t even know how our tradition got started. (It’s a quote we picked up somewhere.) But since I live in the South, it’s a promise that’s kept to me before Kathleen, who’s lived in Iowa ever since we met there in college, so I figure she can use the sentiment. I heard Iowa had snow last week!
Over here in North Carolina, this first week of spring, I’ve got daffodils, Lenten roses (below), forsythia, redbud, and flowering trees galore. But it’s my psychology, rather than my weather, that’s really ready to “break into blossom,” as another line of poetry stuck in my head goes.
Pick (or Stumble on) a “Bouquet Moment”
[Previous Suburban Farmgirl, October 2009 – October 2010]
Who isn’t cheered by a bright bouquet? I always imagine farm tables set with little jelly-jar vases of wildflowers plucked from the surrounding countryside. Lacking a countryside around my suburban house – or even a proper cutting garden – I’ve been known to crouch in the lawn to clip tiny sheaves of violets, or reach up into the branches to clip a few stems of dogwood or rhododendron, just to get that sweet charge a bunch of blossoms brings.
Then the other day, a friend brought me a bunch of carrots from the market that made me swoon as if they were roses — or even my favorite, peonies. Seriously! These weren’t just any carrots: They were a rainbow of carrots, from deepest ruby red to creamy yellow, with every shade of orange in between. They had in their favor the surprise factor (I’d never seen such carrots!) and the fact that they happened to be variations on my favorite color. Their flourish of leafy greens didn’t hurt, either. Those carrots plumb made me happy.
And those carrots got me thinking… what would happen if I opened my eyes and heart to other unexpected “bouquets” that might be waiting to be stumbled on in a given day?
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