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  • | MaryJanesFarm
    that conjure up dishes and ingredients associated with what for many of us are vacation lands MaryJane s Ideabook Cookbook Lifebook by MaryJane Butters Potter 2005 35 has a sunny straw hatted figure on the cover and the subtitle For the farmgirl in all of us Butters who runs an organic farm in Idaho and founded MaryJane magazine seems capable of doing everything Her book includes instructions in a serenely

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  • | MaryJanesFarm
    flyover country best seen sophisticates think from 39 000 feet Airline passengers might look out the window briefly to survey the vast fertile patchwork of green gold and brown below But most are only too happy to go back to their magazines and inflight movies And don t even mention the prospect of changing planes at O Hare Horrors For those coastal residents the cultural delineation is clear Things cosmopolitan are In while those with a country setting are Out Or are they Here and there signs show that country is becoming chic It s also big business capturing both dollars and hearts For proof consider a new magazine Cook s Country published in Brookline Mass just outside Boston Editor Christopher Kimball describes it as being about country folks and country food As he writes to readers It s not about fancy cooking or expensive restaurants or foods with names you can t pronounce This is honest country fare Think baked beans baking powder biscuits pot roast and molasses cookies Just like Grandma used to make Or maybe just like MaryJane Butters a kind of Martha Stewart of the prairie might consider making Her new 416 page paean to all things country MaryJane s Ideabook Cookbook Lifebook carries the subtitle For the farmgirl in all of us Being a farm girl MaryJane explains involves everything from making jam and sewing aprons to crocheting dish cloths and darning socks For city girls who barely have time to buy socks much less darn them it s a reminder of the tasks our grandmothers learned from childhood Country also remains a favorite theme on Christmas cards with snowy scenes of barns white farmhouses and horse drawn sleighs Think Currier Ives and Grandma Moses You don t have to go to Wisconsin or the

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    Gray Elsie De Wolfe even Edith Wharton In addition to photographs and essays the book includes helpful lists of do s and don ts advice that includes starting a collection layering lighting and avoiding clutter It also offers a few tips on ways to keep a room interesting such as a 1960s lamp in a room full of FFF fine French furniture Living Large in Small Spaces Personal Style in 100 to 1 000 Square Feet by Marisa Bartolucei Henry N Abrams 2003 A tour of the seriously space challenged from a fabulous 200 square foot apartment in New York s restaurant row occupied by an aspiring artist who created displays for a Manhattan department store to a downright spacious 1 000 square foot apartment in a 1937 Los Angeles apartment building designed by Richard Neutra and once inhabited by Charles and Ray Eames The Emotional House How Redesigning Your Home Can Change Your Life by Kathryn L Robyn and Dawn Ritchie New Harbinger Publications 2005 A quick but interesting look at ways to pull together a personal style including ideas on creating a homey kitchen anchoring a room with art and creating mood with color Blue acts as an appetite suppressant for example so if you re dieting the authors suggest swabbing your dining room walls with the color MaryJane s Ideabook Cookbook Lifebook by MaryJane Butters Clarkson Potter 2005 For the farm girl in all of us In fact a fetching photograph in the front of the book features a handwritten note clothespinned to a line with the quote Farm girl is a condition of the heart A book filled with beautiful lifestyle photographs of the author s Idaho farm and filled with tips on everything from flower arranging to housekeeping to apron making You may do nothing

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    For the Farmgirl in All of Us is her book s subtitle A farmgirl says Butters is someone who believes in the strong arm of community someone who takes a knitting class at the Y someone who values a homemade wool scarf someone who loves to grow herbs in the window Farmgirls want to enjoy friends and deeper connections they long for community and they love working with their hands even if cell phones takeout dinners and computers take up 10 hours of their day she said last week They also want the best for their loved ones You really do want your kids to eat healthy you want to eat healthy you don t want to live in a polluted world she said Don t call her the next Martha Stewart she s heard it a few times before and it gets to be a drag In one interview she called it an insult to Stewart and to her Butters who will visit Missoula this month grew up in a supportive Mormon family in Utah and once was a single mom raising two kids She now is living her dream on a farm in northern Idaho growing organic food overseeing more than 60 products in her line of organic goods publishing a magazine MaryJanesFarm and running a Web site www maryjanesfarm com that brings together women who share farmgirl dreams and hearts There s a reason so many farmgirl chapters are cropping up across the country she says Women get it she said Isolation eats at us We are nesters We are silly about it sometimes like when we put a basket on the table step back adjust it a little The book is part inspiration and part information imparting such tips as keeping garden dirt from under your

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  • | MaryJanesFarm
    rural rift It s keeping a lot of small farms viable said Larry Lev an agricultural marketing analyst at Oregon State University But most of all it s about taste People who care about food as something more than simple fuel hit the markets because the food is fresh and good No supermarket strawberry from Mexico can match the flavor of a fresh sweet Northwest berry What s more the variety at the best farmers markets is terrific From freshly foraged wild mushrooms to specialty pestos to rare varieties of apples peppers and tomatoes that have been bypassed by the mass food market you can find things that simply aren t available along the average supermarket aisle It might not cross your mind when you re eyeing those organic carrots or contemplating that clutch of kohlrabi at your neighborhood farmers market but this is a revolution The change has been monumental in 10 years said MaryJane Butters the 52 year old Idaho organic farmer and self proclaimed farm girl who has become a publishing world and lifestyle sensation with her smart and down home perspectives on reclaiming rural workways from the clutches of corporate agriculture This proliferation of farmers markets and women farmers and organic is just fantastic It makes my heart sing And it makes business zing Vendors at Oregon farmers markets ring up annual sales of 22 million or about the same as the state s blueberry industry according to Lev That s still small potatoes compared with the ka ching at Wal Mart the nation s biggest food retailer Oregon s farmers market sales contribute a tiny amount to the state s roughly 3 5 billion annual agricultural sales at farm level a figure that includes nurseries Oregon s biggest agricultural industry Yet it s enough for the farmers markets to make a noticeable economic wave especially if you consider them as one part of a broader and bigger fine foods movement that also includes the organic industry and specialty groceries such as New Seasons and Whole Foods Even Wal Mart to many alternative food people the emblem of all that is bad in the industrial chemical corporate coalition that dominates the world s food supplies sells some organic products Farmers markets represent a different kind of bigness a quilted coalition of small and usually family operators who think in terms of quality instead of mass markets and who are trying to keep alive a small scale localized approach to living in the face of factory farming When you do something really big it s going to get noticed said Corum the farmers market consultant The produce people at his neighborhood Safeway he said can tell when the farmers market season opens Their sales slump Portland s Saturday market at Portland State University Corum said is one of the 10 best in the United States up there with the likes of markets in Santa Fe N M Santa Monica Calif Madison Wis Seattle s University District and

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    bend lift snap and pin outside in fresh air Maybe it s the sky and wind and lack of gravity In fact I don t even own a clothes dryer Displaying my garments outside along a taut line like Tibetan prayer flags even in winter is a cleaning chore that knits me all together again unlike anything else No wonder political flags snapping in the wind can unite an entire nation For general everyday cleanup I choose from several simple full bodied aprons that have small pockets good for a hankie or the occasional biscuit bit of cheese or maybe a candy or two Without lace or rickrack semi fancy they speak utility and comfort My favorites are well worn Their patina and familiarity speak of hard work and a job well done For my mother and the women in my large extended family aprons served another practical purpose a place to practice one s dressmaking skills That s one of the reasons I collect vintage aprons The domestic apron was a symbol of pride in a woman s handiwork talents and her homemaking role Even my brooms and fly swatters have homemade aprons Fly swatters work best if you keep them handy but who wants to look at a used fly swatter hanging on the wall My fly swatter apron is designed so that the apron falls back against your hand when you lift the fly swatter into action dropping down again and hiding the used swatter as soon as it s hung back up And while a broom apron dresses up a broom when it s at rest it s an aproned broom at work that brings out the dance in me With the addition of some music while you work sweeping becomes ballet with the occasional plie or pirouette And a bit of Motown lets my backbone slip while Irish tunes get my broom and me allemanding and do se doe ing left and right and Latin music gets me doing the hip thing with some pelvic swivels Who needs a dance partner when you have a graceful ballroom dancing broom For my mother and the women in my large extended family aprons served another practical purpose a place to practice one s dressmaking skills That s one of the reasons I collect vintage aprons They come in every style of stitch and fabric imaginable The domestic apron was a symbol of pride in a woman s handiwork talents and her homemaking role But a go to town apron I consider a dress up town apron a statement that says Hey I m having fun Wearing an apron to town is the pinnacle of farmgirl style It makes people smile I m big on cherries cherry covered aprons cherry scarves even cherry earrings as big as iced tea coasters So if I m expecting company my favorite apron for entertaining is a cheery cherry print with a ruffled red kick pleat across the bottom I add panache

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    Excerpt from MaryJane s Ideabook Cookbook Lifebook featured in Family Circle June 2005 go to page 2

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  • | MaryJanesFarm
    I have done value added this and value added that and if it means writing and communication and telling my story that s just another crop I m growing I call it rural rootedness Butters said Maryjane s ideabook cookbook lifebook hit store shelves last month and Maryjane hit the road This self proclaimed homebody left the farm behind and flew to New York City Vermont Chicago Indiana and many points in between Being away from home was harder than producing the book or growing food the 20 years I ve been at my farm and being away from home and feeling I was okay with that and being in front of TV cameras Butters said It s different than just talking to the cows isn t it asked NewsChannel 7 It s different than talking to the cows Butters replied But wherever she s toured big city or small town women have stood in line to get her autograph and tell her about their stories She says that s more rewarding than any amount of book sales My message is just that farm girl is a condition of the heart that we welcome everyone who wants to participate whatever

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