Flour-sack Dresses

The height of DIY, pluckiness, sheer will, and creativity in America just may have been during the Great Depression. Case in point: flour-sack dresses.

photo, oldphotoarchive.com

No, don’t picture a “sad sack,” readers. These dresses had style!

Take a look at these two sisters, plus their matching dollies.

photo, oldphotoarchive.com

The flour companies were so impressed and inspired by the women making do with what they had, they began upgrading the designs of their sacks. Not just plain beige, oh no, they came up with all sorts of prints and patterns that would rival any aisle at today’s JoAnn Fabrics.

Scottie Dog lover? Got you covered, ma’am.

photo, oldphotoarchive.com

Some manufactures even began printing patterns for craft projects on their fabric. Kind of like how today’s cereal boxes have little cut-out projects for your kids to take some scissors to after they’ve gotten to the bottom of their breakfast favorites.

“Mommy and Me” dresses were popular, too, and can’t you just see yourself as a little girl heading out shopping, and spying a beautiful new play dress in that bag of whole wheat?

photo, oldphotoarchive.com

Times may have been tough and lean in the 1930s, but the ladies weren’t about to give up style and femininity.

No, sir.

Or more to the point, no, ma’am.

Continue reading

turkey by the numbers

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), of the 243 million turkeys raised in the U.S. this year, about 45 million of them ended up on our Thanksgiving tables.

The American Farm Bureau Federation reports that Americans paid approximately $49.87 on average for a Thanksgiving Day meal for 10 people. In 2015, the average retail price for turkey was $1.45/pound (up from $.99/pound in 1995). But in a survey about pricing this year, while 29 percent of Americans said that less than $1.50 per pound was a fair price for turkey, nearly the same percent of respondents said they would pay $5 or more per pound. Sounds like more folks are going organic for the holidays!

organicprairie.com

Find organic turkeys at OrganicPrairie.com.

Cranberries: From Bog to Table

In the spirit of the season, today’s post is all about cranberries. You know, those tasty, nutrient-dense, little red morsels … you most likely passed them (or passed them by—folks usually love ’em or hate ’em) around your Thanksgiving table last week. And maybe you’ll enjoy them again at a Christmas feast. Their bright-red hues bring a festive touch to any holiday meal.

When I think cranberries, I think New England, where many of the cranberries in the U.S. are grown and harvested. I don’t think my neighboring Washington state … until now. Turns out, Washington state is the fifth largest cranberry-producing state in the U.S. Who knew?

And cranberries are grown in a unique, almost other-worldly setting called a cranberry bog. According to Cranberries.org, “[Cranberries] can grow and survive only under a very special combination of factors. These factors include acid peat soil, an adequate fresh water supply, and a growing season that extends from April to November. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines in beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These beds are commonly known as bogs or marshes and were originally created by glacial deposits. Commercial bogs use a system of wetlands, uplands, ditches, flumes, ponds and other water bodies that provide a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life.”

This gorgeous slideshow of cranberry production in Washington state will make you appreciate these little gems even more. And here’s a holiday-inspired recipe to get your creative cranberry juices flowing!

Day-after Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwiches

 

Continue reading

Who Let the Cow In?

Ah, geez …

Wait, before I go on, let me throw out this disclaimer:

If you’re allergic to cuteness (or cows), cut your losses and get outta here while you still can.

Still there?

I knew you’d risk it.

You will be duly rewarded with smiles …

The video below chronicles what happened when Pennsylvania farm mom Billie Jo Decker discovered an unexpected house guest hanging out with her 5-year-old daughter, Breanna. Be sure to keep watching to the halfway point and beyond if you can stand the sweetness:

In a YouTube update a couple of months ago, Billie Jo admitted that Izzy the Cow has secured a pretty solid place in the family. “Izzy has turned into quite the spoiled cow. She is literally like dealing with a 2-year-old child throwing tantrums,” she said. “If she is not in the mood to share my company, well, let’s just say she MOOOOOOVES it out of the way. She is a very jealous cow and doesn’t like to share Mom’s attention.”

Izzy is a bit big for house visits now (she makes an appearance in this video). Hmmm … maybe Breanna needs a mini Jersey?

Inspirograph

You went wild over the Spirograph post a couple of months ago,

Image Kannanshanmugam,shanmugamstudio,Kollam via Wikimedia Commons

enjoying a spark of inspiration from memory lane.

So, I just had to take a moment to share this with you too …

Continue reading

Egg Science

Do you know how a hen’s egg is made … exactly?

egg-scaleMJFstudio_01078

Continue reading

WeFood

Denmark is doing it.

Photo by Witizia via Pixabay

It?

Yes, and so should we …

Continue reading

miniatures

Do you love miniature things?

There’s something childlike about miniature … or for that matter, most anything on a micro scale.

Dolls’ House of Petronella Oortman, circa 1686-1710, via Wikimedia Commons

And the latest mini marvel I’ve discovered?

Continue reading

Synchronicity

Flashback Monday! I ran across something from a few years ago and thought you might enjoy reading it again. I know I did. It’s such a magical story about synchronicity …

This just in from Carol Hill, my BFF, lead graphic designer, MaryJanesFarm magazine editor, fashionista, ukelele player, Northwest Best Laugh Contest winner …

Take it away, Carol!!!!

In our Aug/Sept 2010 issue, “Lay of the Land,” we published a story from Aimee Steiner, a MaryJanesFarm reader living—of all places—on a tiny, remote Pacific island named Rota. At the time, we were astounded that our magazine had reached such faraway places. But the story had just begun.

Not only did that article result in our readers sending over 10,000 books to rebuild Rota’s library that was lost in a typhoon (read that incredible story in our Dec/Jan 2012 issue, “Come All Ye”), but it also sparked another reader to call with this fascinating story …

Continue reading

Acorn Art

Already feeling fall on the horizon?

Photo by Unsplash via Pixabay

Here’s a simple, woodsy craft to get your autumn juices bubbling: Acorn Bead Pendants.

Continue reading