Ten Years Ago

What kind of Farmgirl are you?

You know, I always forget how long I’ve been blogging here at MaryJanesFarm. It feels like home to me, so I don’t really think about how long I’ve lived here.

And, of course,

Time flies when you’re having fun!

But recently I noticed that list of links to my previous posts on the right side and decided to take a look back at June 2009, ten years ago.

I started reading the 2009 post and vividly remembered writing it~~ as if it were yesterday.

I also clearly remembered the reason I wrote it. I had received some negative emails and comments from some folks who considered themselves true “Farmgirls.” They took issue with me calling myself “The City Farmgirl.” They didn’t believe that one could be both “city” and a “farmgirl.” They had a problem with me wearing a suit every day and calling myself a farmgirl. I remember one person wrote after some hateful paragraphs, “You’re nothing but a yuppie.”

Ummm, yeah, so…..?

“Yuppie Farmgirl!” I kinda liked the name!

Look, I have a thick thick thick skin and was not personally bothered by any of these negative notes. Instead I was bothered for everyone who wanted to become part of this life-changing, empowering movement who might shy away because of those types of attitudes. And then, that’d be a shame


finding MaryJane Butters randomly through her magazine ROCKED MY WORLD! I wanted everyone to find this. I wanted everyone to feel included.


There is so much to learn from MaryJane and each other. There is really no room for yuckiness. In fact, I think if you’re sending rude notes, you are definitely NOT a MaryJane Farmgril.

It’s all about:

Organic. Outdoorsy. Campy. Gardening. Self-sufficiency. Empowerment. Growth. Support. Nature. Taking care of the earth. Taking care of each other. Living Simply. Doing our best. Getting out of our comfort zones. Reaching for the stars. Dreaming and acting on those dreams.

And on and on and on and on.

It’s everything good. It’s enriching your life. It’s helping us lead a life that is real and full. Living loud. Living colorful.

You want to be a Farmgirl at heart? BE ONE.

You want to be a Farmgirl in spirit? BE ONE.

You want to be a part-time Farmgirl? BE ONE.

You want to be a Farmgirl who lives on a farm? BE ONE.

We come from all backgrounds. But we are Farmgirls. And most importantly, we are nice to each other.

So here’s that post from 10 years ago. If I were to write it today, I’d probably use different words, but the sentiment would be EXACTLY the same.

~beginning of 2009 post

Who me? A Farmgirl?
I guess it’s about time we talk about this again. Head on. About me calling myself a “Farmgirl.”
Well, I am. And you can be one too. Or “Farmguy” for that matter if you’re a guy. (I try to be gender-neutral, but for ease here, I’m mainly going to be referring to “Farmgirls.” Just know I’m including “Farmguys” too.)
MaryJane Butters founded this Movement some years ago. It is an important one. And it is one that can positively impact everyone.
This movement is all encompassing. There are no requirements for membership. There is no oath or creed. It does not discriminate against those who are farm-poor. Or farm-rich. It does not discriminate if you live in the city or in the country or anywhere in between. All are invited…
The term “Farmgirl” or “Farmdude” (hey, I like that…maybe even better than “Farmguy”) no longer has only a literal meaning: as in, a girl (or guy) from/on/with a farm. It’s taken on a meaning much deeper than that. More than anything, to me it’s a philosophy. A way of thinking about things.
But let’s start with the “farm” part of the word which sets the tone for how we think about things. “Farm” is a word and concept I adore. Do you get “warm fuzzies” when you think about “farm”? I do. Big time. What images come to your mind when you hear that word?
I think first about my father’s family farm; the one that I’ve loved so much my whole life. The one where I’ve spent so many holidays with aunts and uncles and cousins. I also think about my own little vacation farm, which I love madly.
I think about typical farm out-buildings. A chicken house. A red barn. A car house with an old green pick-up truck and a tractor inside. A well house. An outhouse, with a crescent moon cut-out.
I think about an old white farmhouse, drafty but cozy. A piano in the front room. A fire in the fireplace. A crackly radio. Laughter coming from the family and friends gathered at a large rectangle table.
I think about cows standing under the ancient locust tree in the pasture.
I think about a field of corn and green beans. A meadow of sunflowers.
A swing on the front porch. Drinking sweet tea from a jar.
That’s what I think about. Thinking about them makes me feel good. It makes me feel homey. It brings to my mind a time of simplicity. It makes me smile. I become more focused on land and family and home and the environment and food. I become less focused on stuff.
And that’s what’s key. The Farmgirl/Farmguy Movement is wide open to all. I realize I’m missing the mark in making that point when I get emails that focus on the Farmgirl thing being for those with farms or those who want farms. Yes, I’m lucky to have a hobby/vacation farm, but whether I do or not wouldn’t really matter. I could live happily in an apartment in Manhattan with no farm in my future and no desire for one and still be a part of this.
And so can you. Whoever you are; wherever you live. No matter your religious leanings or political affiliations. No matter your skill set. No matter your career choice. No matter your skin-tone. No matter anything.
If you’ve hung out at this website for any length of time, you realize that preconceived moulds or notions don’t apply to this movement. Being a “Farmgirl” is not dependent on where you are or what you look like or what you have or don’t have.
It’s what’s inside.
It’s a state of mind, rather than a state of the place.
Oprah, yes…powerful, rich, fancy Oprah herself could be a Farmgirl. And I do hope one day she discovers us and joins us.
There was an article by Brain Hiatt on James Taylor in Rolling Stone a while back. When I read it, I thought, well, there you go; James could be a Farmgirl too. (I mean “Farmguy.”) He spoke of wanting to do more of his work at home to stay near his children. He spoke about a concern for the future with dwindling oil reserves. His focus, he said, was becoming more local.
And Michelle Obama with a Victory Garden. Farmgirl.
And Sheryl Crow telling us to think about how many squares of toilet paper we use. Farmgirl.
No matter who you are you can bring something to this movement and enrich it. You can also take something away from this movement and find yourself enriched.
“Being a Farmgirl is a condition of the heart,” says MaryJane.
So what is it about the condition of one’s heart that makes one a Farmgirl or Farmguy?
Here are my thoughts on it.
I say, Strength, Love, Kindness.
When I think of the Farmgirl/Farmguy Movement the first thing I think of is caring for each other. A lack of self-centeredness. A neighborly attitude that shows. A support for each other. Doing thoughtful things because you care about the other person. Carrying chicken soup to a sick friend. Stopping to speak to someone. Taking care of a hungry dog passing by.
I also think about strength and courage. Seeing what needs to be done and doing it. Even if it is out of your comfort zone. Maybe especially because it is out of your comfort zone.
Another is self-sufficiency. Being able to take care of yourself. Or learning to.
A love of the land and the earth, exhibited in a special kindness to the earth and its resources.
It might mean being more in tune with the seasons and weather. Appreciating and enjoying nature.
I also think that “family” is high on the priority list of a Farmgirl/Farmguy.
As I mentioned in my first article in the MaryJanesFarm magazine, when I discovered MaryJane Butters and this movement I knew right away that I was a Farmgirl. I then declared it to my husband. He looked at me and laughed out loud. So, believe me, I understand the confusion over the term and the movement. But, stick around…
Do you define yourself by something other than what you own? Do you like to look up at the stars? Do you care about someone other than yourself? Do you like to wiggle your toes in the grass? Do you want to get your kids out in nature? Do you have a herb plant in a pot on your terrace? Do you like to hold your grandbaby close to your heart? Do you “wear” your baby? Do you like to repurpose things? Do you read labels? Are you trying to ingest fewer chemicals from your food? Do you like fresh air? And fresh flowers? Do you carry a cloth bag to the market? Do you look for the good in others? Do you appreciate the sky? Do you have a garden? Do you like home-spun? Do you look for wildflowers? Do you seek wholeness? Do you strive to eat more organically? And more locally? Do you like old-fashioned things? Are you part of a community garden? Have you shopped or sold at a Farmer’s Market? Do you volunteer? Are you becoming more aware of the earth’s resources? Are you starting to “think” before you “do”? Do you dream and visualize a better world?
Well, any of those things might make you part of this Farmgirl Movement. Or not. I say again, there’s no creed here. You get to forge your own path, to take from this what you care to, what helps you along.
MaryJane’s writings, the Farmgirl Sisterhood, the Farmgirl Connection Forum, and these blogs are all here to, hopefully, support and inspire you.
Alrighty then. That’s my take on it. Now tell us what this movement has meant and means to you.
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah
-end of 2009 post
-back to 2019 post
Hope you enjoyed the trip back to ten years ago!
And leave us a comment: WHAT KIND OF FARMGIRL ARE YOU??
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of Love, The Yuppie, I mean City, Farmgirl, Rebekah


  1. Bonnie McKee says:

    Thank you Rebekah!
    Boy howdy! I REALLY NEEDED to read this today! Your post was a breath of fresh air and has inspired me to begin to break out of a tough place where I’ve let myself stay for too long! I can now see clearly that I need a bit of Farmgirl therapy to cheer me up.
    Hugs, Bonnie
    P.S.I’m a former country farm girl who raised all sorts of livestock; milked our cow and goats; gardened and harvested, etc. Now, I have a vegetable garden, a couple dozen chickens a few apple trees and precious cats and dogs….and I’m more of a Farm Grandma than a girl

  2. CAROL MACKEY says:

    Wonderfully stated, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Due to various situations at different times in my life I have been a farmgirl on a farm, in the city, and now in the suburbs on just a couple of acres; but all those values that make me uniquely ME remained the same. I AM a farmgirl, period.

  3. Although I had to give up true rural life for apartment living in a medium sized village, my heart is still in the country even though: 1. I was born and raised in New York City but always dreamed of living in the country; 2. I am a vegan which means I’ll take care of animals but not live off them; 3. I love solitude but need to be near things like museums and galleries. That said, I will always be a country girl at heart!

  4. Ramona Puckett says:

    Love this! I’m a farm girl, I have a garden, lots of dogs (4) and I do live in the country. I can walk to the little community church building our neighbors go to, we take care of our community! My daughters live in town, both of gardens, one has chickens! We’re all trying to take care of Mother Earth and teaching the grandsons lessons of the land. Thank you for your posts! I love them! Savor the life!

  5. Elaine Cardell says:

    Fabulous post! Loved both of them. I am a City Farmgirl as well. I spent a lot of time on “the farm” when I was growing up visiting relatives in the NE GA mtns, and even though I am in the burbs of the ATL, my heart is in the country. Simplicity. Love it.❤️

  6. Donna Kozak says:

    Well, now for sure I know I’m a Farmgirl – we left a beautiful area (West Vancouver, B.C.) because we weren’t allowed to have chickens !!, bought a lovely little acreage, have 14 chickens and beautiful gardens and have never been happier…my husband at first laughed also, but he loves the lifestyle as much as I do (it helps to have wonderful neighbours, too!)

  7. Tina E Shirk says:

    Some might say that I am also not a real farm girl because I live on a Fruit Farm. Since 1845 the generations of my family have lived on a farm nestled in the Appalachian Mnts in central PA. We grow Cherries, Peaches, Nectarine, Pears and Apples. Up until a few years ago, we also raised several thousand chickens on the farm and every now and then a few pigs for the family. At the present time we’re raising a few turkeys, chickens and ducks.
    The 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of my family currently work on the farm with the 6th generation running barefoot & free through the spring fruit blossoms as only little ones can do.
    Wether you think fruit farming makes me a farm girl or not will not hurt my feelings one way or another. My family know that the struggle of farming is real but that it also forges a family bond like no other job.

    Tina E Shirk
    Graybill’s Fruit Farm
    Richfield PA

  8. Katie says:

    I love the first comings up after planting my veggie garden. It just soothes my soul. What a magical experience….that’s my farm girl story…or one of them. How about hanging the clothes outside on a sunny morning….oh I could go on and on.

  9. Susan Daniels says:

    Yay, I never leave comments but liked this and had to comment; I have lived all my life in rural and isolated areas. My grandparents had lived through the Depression and regardless of whether they had managed to keep the ranch or had moved to town they were gardeners, keepers of milk cows and chickens and passed on frugal habits and attitudes.
    Now that I’m retired, I still live near a rural community where I garden, preserve and try to be a caretaker of family and community values as well as promoting native vegetation on our small property. I believe that whether my neighbors are from “somewhere else” or natives to this rural ranching area many are Farmgirls in that they embrace that sense of growing food, helping their neighbors and supporting their community. It is a choice to engage with nature and community that makes a Farmgirl.

  10. Teresa Gattis says:

    I love your magazine. I have been a farm girl since I was 5,and I love every minute of it.

  11. Amanda says:

    Beautifully said! My husband and I both grew up on dairy farms in central PA. Then when we got married, we rented a 13 acre farmette. Now we work on his late grandparent’s farm with some other family members. Although we live in a ranch house 1/2 mile off the farm. We considered ourselves a farm family. That was until it was pointed out that we don’t own the farm, we just work there. Oh, okay. And, by the way, our daughters are not in 4-H. It was their choice, sorry to disappoint the farming community. Even though we work the ground, milk cows, garden, and everything else that “real” farmers do, by our areas standards we’re not farmers. But, thanks to the MaryJanesFarm community we can smile and have full hearts and continue farming if you decide to call it that or not!!!

  12. Karen Dressler says:

    Even though l am 75 and have never lived on a farm,but l too consider myself a farm girl. I live in metropolitan Phoenix, but l am proud of my crop of artichokes ..la big on recycling and never go to the stores without my cloth bags. I love quilting and donate around 20 kid size quilts a year to azblankets4kids.com . I truly feel that being a farm girl is an attitude in your heart! Karen

  13. Tammi says:

    Hello! I live in the suburbs. I have always wanted to live in the country, it’s been a part of me for a very long time. But with life situations and lack of funds, it has not been a fulfilled dream. So I try to grow my garden. I fell in love with canning different things, I dehydrate, and decorate my home country style. I have a fetish for oil lamps. They are all over the house. I will always have light when the power goes off, and in the evening they make me feel like I’ve gone to the country. I have a difficult time understanding why people would even bother to extend the effort to be critical of you, Rebekah. I guess too much time on their empty hands. Thank you for your candidness, I appreciate it.

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