Farmgirl {One Word, Many Definitions}

What is the definition of Farmgirl to you?

Ever since becoming the Ranch Farmgirl for MaryJanesFarm, I’ve had that question going through my mind.


Is it eagerly awaiting the arrival of your first calf of the season – and then not being able to keep your eyes off of it once it’s born?


Is it worrying so much about a Momma Cow’s lack of milk supply that you go out in freezing cold weather and stand in muck to give her baby a bottle of calf formula in order to give it a little extra boost? (And it probably wasn’t necessary, but you were too worried to not do it.)


Is it spending time in the garden and suddenly realizing it is your favorite place in the world to be?


And then canning, freezing, and “putting up” every extra thing you have from your garden so your family has home grown food all winter?


Is it raising your own beef so that you get to cook, eat and share that amazing meat with your family and friends?


Is it fresh eggs that are not only beautifully colorful but the best eating things around?


Is it the satisfaction of home-made bread dough that rises perfectly in your vintage pyrex bowls?


How about the excitement you feel when your beautiful round bales of hay come out of the baler?


Is it watching your little grand-girls grow up in the country with chickens that are their best friends?

photo 1-001

And watching those same little grand-girls working side by side with you in the garden?


Is it appreciating your horse with four wheels almost as much as you appreciate your horse with four legs?


Is it loving John Deere so much, you have not one but two of them?


Is it cooking a huge breakfast from scratch every single morning… and then eating out on the porch with the view of the farm?


Is it the fact that you would rather watch your calves play than watch television any day?


Maybe it’s the realization that your favorite room in your new farmhouse is the kitchen?


Is it loving the lost art of embroidery? Or quilting?


Or sewing simple country dresses for the favorite little girls in your life?


Is it having a grown daughter that lives right down the road and enjoys the same Farmgirl things you do?


And, along with your Farmgirl daughter, growing heirloom cut flowers and selling them at your very own roadside flower stand?

Those are all things that I love and cherish on our Tennessee farm and the things that make me the Farmgirl that I am today.

I recently read an interview with our very favorite Farmgirl, MaryJane.  Her definition of Farmgirl is spot on perfect. What she said has stuck with me for days.

Here it is:

“I am the conduit for a language that had been archived, not erased, and not entirely forgotten, just mothballed. It’s the language of women who once knew how to speak fluent 4H (home, hearth, hogs, and handmade). The name of the language had been forgotten so I gave it a name, Farmgirl. And in true-blue farmgirl fashion, I got rid of the space between farm and girl and brought them together again, made them one. And the very minute a woman hears it, Farmgirl, she’s flooded with remembrance. Once the memory of it is triggered, it’s a language we speak easily and fluently. We get it!”

 I feel inspired as the Ranch Farmgirl to share with you all the things that make me who I am, a true Farmgirl at heart. And I hope you will continue to share with me the things that make you a Farmgirl, regardless of where you live or what you do. I think it really is what is in our heart that makes us the Farmgirls we are.

I would love to hear what being a Farmgirl means to you.

Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.


P.S. When you hear from me again in two weeks I will be in New Mexico spending some time with my parents. Get ready for some true-blue ranching stories from my sweet little cowboy Daddy and Momma. That’s them in the picture below!


  1. Brenda Phillips says:

    Thank you for that memory. Even though I don’t live on the farm anymore, my heart is still there. I always try and find ways to bring the farm back to my home, from the way that I cook to crafting and sewing and quilting. Recently, I inherited a wood cook stove that I’ll be installing on my back patio. I’m going to learn to use it! I love all things country, like the smell of fresh laundry right off the clothesline, or the smell of fresh turned garden soil, or listening to the locusts sing in the late afternoon here in scorching southwest Oklahoma.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Brenda, thank you for what you said about brining the farm back to your home. That is so perfect. And a wood cook stove on the back patio?? PERFECT!!! I would love that too! – Dori –

  2. Cindy says:

    Love this post! I am a new farmgal in Boise,Idaho! Love our garden! Hay field! We built a farmhouse on our 26acres last year! Yeeeehaw! The garden turned out perfect along with the watermelon and pumpkin patch! We have 4dogs! A cat we named Gypsy who adopted us! And three baby Nubian goats! Oliver,Popye and Rueben! The horses,barn and chickens are coming next year! Love this life and lifestyle and hubby is out plowing his first field! Love it ! Cindy God has truley blessed us! A lifelong dream come true!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Cindy, it really warmed my heart to read your comment because it reminded me of us a few years ago when we got settled on our farm. We too built a farmhouse. Isn’t it most wonderful life? We’re working on our barns and landscaping in the Spring and I’m so excited! Thanks for commenting! – Dori –

  3. Emily says:

    Hi there, Dori; You and Mary Jane said it all so eloquently. Being a Farm Girl is about God, home, family, community, and country. There is no truth in the saying, “You can’t go home again.” You can. All one needs to do is take those memories and make them live everyday wherever you are.

    Take care.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Thank you Emily. You are so right. You CAN go home again. I love how you worded it – those memories can go with us everywhere. Hugs. – Dori –

  4. Kristy says:

    One of my great grandmas was still living when I was a five-year old. She took me out to the well and showed me how to make a basket from burdocks. Mom’s mother taught me how to make dolls from hollyhocks and to float them in the dishpan with clean water. All three of my grandmother’s, Grandpa and my parents taught me about love through working with animals, cooking and sewing. It’s called quality time these days. It’s living life with things that have meaning.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Kristy, do you still know how to make the dolls from Hollyhocks? I was thinking about that recently because my grand-mother taught me the same thing. I need to find out how to re-learn that so I can teach my little grand girls. Isn’t it wonderful the things we learned from our Grand-parents? I cherish it. It is such a comfort to find others like you that cherish the same things. – Dori –

      • Kristy says:

        Yes. I think I remember because I taught a friend how to do it. Farmgirl skills have to be passed on too. You need a full bloom, with a generous fourth inch stem and a bud that is showing enough color to be a turban, but not so much that the doll will be top heavy. Dig out a hole where the stem was on the bud, the depth of the stem on the skirt, and not too big. Head should slide onto waist. We used to pull the rubber tips off our Bobbie pins to make our gouging tool. If you keep a neck on the head, and try to insert it into the skirt, the skirt may tear or get bruised. I’ll try to teach my granddaughter using a toothpick for the tool.

        • Dori Troutman says:

          Kristy, Thank you SO MUCH. I’m so excited because I’m going to teach my grand-girls how to do this next year. It just makes me smile to remember how much we loved our Holly Hock Dolls!!! Thank you again for refreshing my memory! – Dori –

  5. Deb Bosworth says:

    Dori, Wow! Loved this post from top to bottom… I too love what MaryJane wrote about being the conduit for an archived language. The NEW connections I have made ( not only with my inner farmgirl) but with new farmgirl friends far and wide since discovering her magazine have been a huge blessing on my farmgirl heart… I just have to say, your photos are just awe inspiring and I love the way you write too!
    hugs from your Beach Farmgirl Sista! Deb

  6. bonnie b says:

    Hi Dori, The picture of your Mom and Dad is wonderful. They look so happy. I’ll look forward to New Mexico farm stories!
    I don’t now nor have I ever lived on a farm, but did live in the country as a child. Loved going to the neighbors to ride on the tractor with Mr. Miller and play with his grandkids in the hay loft and barn. Great memories. And evidently something stuck with me because I have always been a “nester”, loved sewing, growing things, baking, etc. You get the picture; but for so long it was a kind of frowned upon trait to have. But I always did what I wanted and was a round peg in a square hole. LOL Now it has become cool and I couldn’t be happier for all the women who may have felt they didn’t quite fit in.
    Your pictures and definitions were right on. Terrific job!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Bonnie, my Mom and Dad would be one of the happiest couples and I think it is the hard work, country living, simple life that does it. It is what I strive for in my life and what I see in so many other lives of folks that live the same way. I love your Farm memories and love that you are most definitely a Farmgirl at heart! – Dori –

  7. CJ Armstrong says:

    Dori, thank you! I believe the definition of a “farmgirl” to be all of this . . . more if you feel it applies to your life. I grew up on a very busy farm, currently live on acreage that was part of the farm so I can still see it all! My parents are both gone and my siblings (there are six of us and four live away from here) and I decided to sell the farm. My hubby and I only do a little this ‘n’ that on our place. My farmgirl roots go deep . . very deep!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear CJ, how wonderful it is that you still get to live next to the farm you grew up on… I bet sometimes it still feels like it’s yours huh? Those roots do go very, very deep. Thankfully! – Dori –

  8. Peggy Gray says:

    I’m a former city girl who has discovered I am a farm girl at heart. For two years my husband and I have lived on a little farm in the Ozark Mountains. We raise sheep and alpacas, and also jersey cows for beef. We have a Border Collie and two massive Pyrenean Mastiffs for LGDs. We have laying hens for eggs and some Pygmy goats just for fun. We have a vegetable garden and enjoyed fresh veggies all summer. I’m so happy to have found this site and all the women who love the farm life as much as I do.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Peggy – a farm in the Ozark Mountains??? Oh. My. Word. How I would love to see the Ozarks. I bet you have a gorgeous place! And yes, MaryJanesFarm is such a great place to meet other women just like us! – Dori –

  9. Marge Hofknecht says:

    I enjoyed your post. I’m not an actual hands-on farmgirl but I do so enjoy homespun activities like bread-making, throwing together soups from a little bit of this and that leftovers, quilting and embroidery. All the things that take a little time to do, take more effort than just opening a can or buying ready-made. Your photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.

  10. My opinion of farmgirl is anything that your desires ,when it comes to soing things the old fashion way and digging in the dirt, I still like to play in the dirt and I try to keep the land as it should be.
    My farm right now (don’t laugh) is my 5, 4×8, boxes in my small back yard. I’m 70 years old and this is what I do to raise fresh veggies for my husband and I. He is 81 and not able to do much, he built these boxes for me when he was well. I really consider myself a farmgirl and I love it. I make aprons for friends and family, I can my food and bake my own bread and make jellies and can veggies. I pray the good Lord lets me live to do these things for along while, yet. I always dreamed of having a farm, but it never happened , but that’s Ok, I’m still a happy farm girl. Thanks for this blog I just love it. Juanita Massey

  11. My opinion of farmgirl is anything that your heart desires ,when it comes to doing things the old fashion way and digging in the dirt, I still like to play in the dirt and I try to keep the land as it should be.
    My farm right now (don’t laugh) is my 5, 4×8, boxes in my small back yard. I’m 70 years old and this is what I do to raise fresh veggies for my husband and I. He is 81 and not able to do much, he built these boxes for me when he was well. I really consider myself a farmgirl and I love it. I make aprons for friends and family, I can my food and bake my own bread and make jellies and can veggies. I pray the good Lord lets me live to do these things for along while, yet. I always dreamed of having a farm, but it never happened , but that’s Ok, I’m still a happy farm girl. Thanks for this blog I just love it. Juanita Massey

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Oh Juanita – I could never laugh. Your farm is PERFECT. I think our farm can be whatever works for us at the stage of life we are in. And aren’t you lucky to have what you have and be able to do all you at 70? That is incredible. Thank you for writing to me. – Dori –

  12. Debbie V says:

    I don’t know anything about leaving comments since this is the first time I’ve done it. I’ve been reading Mary Jane farms now for 3 years and love to immerse my self in all the articles. I’ve always just dreamt about trying all the exciting things there is to do. I’ve just read your post and its wonderful to hear all the exciting things you do on your farm. I don’t have a farm but I love to cook, bake, garden, canning and hanging my laundry outside. In a week I’ll be out of a job and I’m excited to try out different things including getting myself some chickens which I’ve been wanting since the first MJF magazine I read.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Debbie – I consider it a HUGE compliment that your first comment was to me! 🙂 Good luck with your chickens. They are SO MUCH FUN. You will be amazed at their personalities and what a great companion they are. Not to mention the eggs! Keep me posted on how much you love them. – Dori –

  13. Tracey H says:

    What a wonderful place you are living in! My family has always said that I should be living on a farm, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. As a child, my grandparents had a farm and we had so many good memories. Keep sharing your pictures and life. It brings a smile to my face, as well as I’m sure, to so many others.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Tracey, thank you so much for your kind words. Isn’t it wonderful to have had grandparents that had a farm and to look back on all the special memories? I’m so thankful for that in my own life. – Dori –

  14. Amy Kinser says:

    Oh Dori! You are the perfect MaryJane girl!! I love this!!!

  15. Therese says:

    What sweet parents!

    Even though I live by the ocean staring at it now from my bedroom window, I’ve always been a Farmgirl at heart.

    Thanks for reminding me that it’s a state of mind, not a place of residence.

    Going back to the basics is what I strive for, simplicity…home cooked food, farm stand vegetables and better yet, my own that I’ve grown in my own garden.
    Even if it’s only one or two zucchini (ahh, the simple pleasures of container farming), I relish those two zucchini.

    May all of us rebirth our Farmgirl tendencies to bring back was has been lost for future generations to appreciate and enjoy!!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Therese, yes my parents are so very sweet! 🙂 I can’t imagine living where you can stare at the ocean. What an incredible Farmgirl place to live. (I bet you love reading our Beach Farmgirl posts.) Going back to basics is so good for us isn’t it? And it’s always amazing to me how “basics” can be such an incredible thing. Thanks for writing! – Dori –

  16. Denise says:

    Great post, I’m a farmgirl too living OnThe east coast of Australia in suburbia. I was brought up with the waste not want not philosophy and making things by hand. Love living this way even though my present abode is on a townhouse. As you so rightly say it’s not the location but the motivation. Love your photos,especially your mum and dad.
    Living it up farm girl style

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Denise, thank you for writing from all the way in Australia! I love that we can have farmgirl friends from way across the world! – Dori –

  17. Heidi Brockman says:

    Your words speak how we feel! Especially the part about the newborn baby calf! Its what we love and its what we do! Keep spreading the stories of the good life!

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