GIVEAWAY: MaryJane’s Ideabook

This copy of my first book, MaryJane’s Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook: For the Farmgirl in All of Us, was in one of our B&B wall tents and ended up with a sun-faded cover. But its insides are like new, and as every farmgirl knows, it’s never good to judge a book by its cover. Better to judge it from some of its online reviews, like this one from Laurie:

” … Having received it, now all I can say is “WOW”! I am definitely more than pleased with my purchase. While not an exhaustive report on any one subject, it is overflowing with tidbits about such a variety of topics that I am truly amazed. And I can see why it was named “Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook.” MaryJane touches on everything from her daughter’s beautiful farm wedding, to ways to easily sprout seeds, to a how-to on building your own “wall tent,” to vintage embroidery patterns for kitchen towels. There’s a primer for most of the basic stitches in sewing. There are recipes and reminiscences. Advice on cutting kindling. Vacation ideas. Breathtaking photos. And most importantly, there is inspiration. If you want to buy a few acres and start your own farm, this book gives you some ideas to explore. If you want to sell your produce, this book gives you sources for supplies. If you want the best garden hoe, the best food dehydrator, the purest jam—this book tells you where to go. And if you’re just a “farmgirl” at heart, this book feels like your best friend.”


To lay claim to this (sun-faded) copy, tell me why you’re a farmgirl. We’ll put your names in a basket and pull out one lucky winner sometime in the next week or so. Check back to see if it’s headed your way.

  1. Carolyn Rewitzer says:

    After spending years growing up visiting often with my Grandmother Katie I will model after in so many ways. From kindness, gardening, and giving to others, to sewing, crocheting, cooking, and cleaning, Lord knows I have to qualify as a farm girl at heart!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This was my first book purchase from MaryJane , and I have read it and referred back to it over and over again. And I will ditto what Laurie said, “if you are a Farmgirl at Heart, this book feels like a best friend”. If you want a go to source in one beautiful and inspiring book, this book needs to be on your shelf along with your Betty Crocker Cookbook. Between the two of them, you can easily run a household and family. Already have this book? Then make your list of a few women who would benefit from owning this book and pay it forward if you win!

  3. Genevieve says:

    Born and raised.

  4. Susan Musgrave says:

    I was raised in the city but a farm girl at heart. Every summer as a child- teenager I spent every summer with my great grandparents. They lived on a farm. I thought I was in Heaven! I helped in feeding the pigs, chickens, and turkeys. I gathered eggs, helped in the garden, picked wild strawberries and black berries. I even went to check the rabbit gum in the cold months. There are many other joys I could mention. Today my husband and I live on a small farm. We have chickens and three dogs. We plant a garden every year. I do a lot of needle work and woodcarving, especially in the winter months and in the evenings after the supper dishes are done. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m a farm girl inside and out!

  5. maria lawrence says:

    I am a farmgirl and I’m teaching my daughters to be also!! We have a small flock of chickens and two calves are being delivered tomorrow! We garden, can, sew and are getting our first tractor soon! We live on almost four acres that we have named “Windy Hill Homestead “

  6. Carrie C. says:

    I’m an urban farmgirl. I live in a small town, one block off of Main Street. We bought my great-grandmother’s 1890 house and are slowly renovating it, inside & out and the gardens (she bought it specifically to grow stuff!). We have gardens and food growing all around our house now along with plants to bring back butterflies and other wildlife, and we work hard to put that food by so that it lasts and feeds us throughout the winter. We also keep chickens, an act that started a change in our town’s laws so that everyone else could too.
    It is just about growing stuff though: we homeschool our kids, homebrew our beer, I knit (dishcloths are my Spring obsession), I bake and cook from scratch, I make our own laundry detergent, and so on. It is an all-encompassing way of life.
    I might not have a full acre, but I’m definitely a farm girl.

  7. shawna m says:

    I love the smell of spring, to learn how to do a new craft or skill, baking, cooking, canning, serving, creating, all things farmgirl!

  8. CJ Armstrong says:

    I’d love a copy to give as a gift to a farmgirl friend!

    I’m a farmgirl because I was born one . . . grew up on a farm. It’s in my blood, in my genes! It’s also literally in my jeans, under my fingernails and between my barefoot farmgirl toes!

  9. Sandy says:

    I am a farm girl at heart. We are planning to make the move within 3 years. Until then, we have fruit trees, garden and 4 hens.

  10. Ofcourse I am a farmgirl at heart ! I even have 2 of your tea towels that say it! One is out on display permanently. I live on a 2 1/2 acre farmette and I have a seed business growing out all my own plants and collecting them and selling them through my website as Amishland Heirloom Seeds. I do own a copy of this book but would love a copy to give as a gift to a welcome recipient. I have actually given 2 other copies as gifts as well. My original copy of your wonderful and evocative book is in my bedroom right on my bureau all the time for a quick look- see at bedtime. Always gives me happy dreams.

  11. Aprilla Ault says:

    I was born in northern Alabama, raised as southern as they come. I had beautiful aunties that could cook up a storm and make the best sweet tea you ever tasted. The sweetest most beautiful southern Mother that taught me grace and manners. And i was blessed with a Farm girl Grandmother..she taught me to sew on a old singer sewing machine, showed me her quilt pieces and told the stories behind them. For Christmas all in the family (which was huge by the way) received a homemade gift that Grandmother made. She made turtle pin cushions, booties for our feet, aprons,dolls and so many other things that we all cherished. It was a way of life for us till mama and my Dad moved away from Alabama and to many big cities which we would live. We changed…we were different then the family we left behind , not inside but on the outside so to speak. I was made fun of at school for the way i talked with that southern drawl, I over came most of it through speech therapy and i learned to fit into a modern lifestyle. When my Beautiful Grandmother past away back in 1982 my life was never the same! I grieved for her more than i could put into words. After that we would go home to Alabama to visit and i would find peace there with the old style comforts. I was married and continued to find my path in life all the while never forgetting where i came from. One day i picked up Mary Jane’s Book of Ideas, I couldn’t put it down! It took me back to where i came from, in a sense it took me home. It brings comfort and closeness in a modern world…something any Mother, Grandmother, Aunties and sisters need. I am a true Farm girl that left and returned back to what brings me true happiness,wholesomeness,Grace,love and Kindness and my southern accent has returned. Thank You Mary Jane for being just who you are, you are a blessing in so many ways to so many beautiful woman. God Bless

  12. Marci D says:

    Born and raised and now I have a few acres of my own. My kids love gardening and taking care of our 4 hens. Last year we canned peaches from our own peach tree.

  13. Chrissy says:

    Was born in a rural community hospital (62) years ago, was oldest of six children. My favorite room in the house was outside, in the hay loft, or the chicken house, or in the woods. I would like to say “in the garden” but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized pulling weeds was therapeutic. For the last forty years, my hands get the spring itch to dig in the dirt and my nose twitches to smell its earthy fragrance. I am bustin’ galluses proud to be a farm girl.

  14. Elizabeth Tijerina says:

    I am a farmgirl because I come from hardworking family that worked the soil. I cannot pass a field, see a tractor (preferably a Farmall) etc.. without feeling extremely satisfied. So thankful for my ancestors.

  15. Dawn Old says:

    My dad was born a farm boy and always longed to get back to the farm. I think that he gave me that farm girl spirit. I have always had a heart to be in the quiet woods or picking wildflowers along a stream. I have always loved to craft with my hands, cook or bake something yummy for my family and get giddy when I see a clothesline full of clothes or veggies that I’ve grown. I married a city boy with a farm boy spirit and we long to get back out of a city and to the land.

  16. Rise Tiller says:

    This is the only book of yours I don’t have. I love in the country and will be retiring next year. Will be expanding my garden, adding chickens, pygmy goats and begin a new career being a full time farm girl. Can’t wait.

  17. Cynthia says:

    It’s in my “jeans”!

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Well I didn’t know I was a farm girl until I picked up my first issue of maryjanesfarm magazine! Now I have every issue, I back ordered what I didn’t have. I have the Milk Cow Kitchen also. I would love to win this copy and wouldn’t it be special knowing it was in one of your wall tents!

  19. Marilyn Hartman Sullivan says:

    I am a farmgirl through what I like to think of as “ethnic memory.” My people homesteaded a farm in southern Indiana when they came from Germany in the 1840s and always farmed to some degree or another until probably the early 1950s. My dad put up hay as his first job and I was taught to can vegetables and fruits in season, make my own clothes, hang laundry on the line — no matter if we lived in town or out, we made do and learned to do without sometimes. The smell of cut hay or the musk of a cornfield on a lazy summer afternoon — mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! The drone of bees working an apple tree in springtime, or the whickety-whick of a mowing machine — those are the soundtrack of my happiest days. Living on one wooded acre now as a chronologically-enhanced lady, I still love the smell and feel of garden dirt on my hands and the sounds of the birds and little critters working away at their daily tasks. Come sit with me on the porch and have some iced tea and we’ll do our “fancy” work for a while.

  20. jaylyn m. says:

    Grew up on a farm. Left for the city life for a couple years. Then started my own little homestead when I started my own family. Now we have gardens, chickens, and the next project is goats! We love harvesting our own food, and being self-sufficient. I’m sure this book is AMAZING, as is everything that is MaryJane’s Farm!

  21. Karlyne says:

    I think I’ve always wanted to be a farmgirl, but I just found out that my great-grandfather was a farmer (I think he grew apples, among other things). Heredity is a good thing!

  22. Cathy R says:

    Born a farmgirl! Now living that life again but doing all the work and loving every minute. Thank you for the chance to win, faded cover makes it even more special! Blessings to all of you!

  23. TallulahRuby says:

    I am not a farmgirl-yet. But I just got back last night from a week long, 2500+ mile drive through all of Northern California and Oregon to find my little farm. I looked at at least 30 properties and came home more inspired, convinced and determined than ever!

  24. ️Rachel Rodriguez says:

    I’m a farmgirl because i need to feel the earth beneath my feet and the sounds of birds in the daytime and crickets at night. Oh and hardwork keeps you honest…idle hands get us in trouble.

    Farmgirl from small town Louisiana ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  25. Donna Cull says:

    I’m a farm girl because out of my almost 57 years….I have lived less than one year off of a farm!! I was born and raised on a mixed farm and I am now happily married for almost 38 years living and loving our cattle ranch….we are in the middle of calving out our 140 head of angus cattle <3 and I love your magazine, website and all that you do!!

  26. Lila Schmidt says:

    I have tried the city living and it came up wanting. Seems as the most content and peaceful years of my life were spent country living. I ache to dig my hands into fertile soil and grow something besides debts, more and more consumption and endless clutter in my mind.

  27. Alise says:

    I am a farmgirl because the scent of alfalfa and sweet clover growing in the field across the road from our house still calls to me 40 years later. I am a farmgirl because I drive 1/2 hour one way to buy raw milk so I can make butter and cheese and yogurt and other good things. I want to have chickens and maybe a goat. I love the smell of freshly baked bread. Newborn kittens are fun to have around. Those are some of the many reasons why I am a farmgirl.

  28. Lacy says:

    Because there is nothing better than dirt under your nails, the sound of your horse nickering, the chickens clucking, the dogs running around the yard. I have lived in the city and I know there is no other life for me than country life!!! Farmgirl forever!!!

  29. Deborah McKissic says:

    I read all the above farmgirls entries and am so amazed at these women! You need to write a book, MaryJane, on all of these stories..what a wonderful, inspiring read that would be! I consider myself a farmgirl…learning from my mom, a mother of 6, a gardener, beekeeper, sheep farming woman and my grandmothers, they taught me how to sew, garden, preserve food, and to love life and thank God at every meal and at every sunrise and sunset…I have a copy of this book, a gift from my dear, sweet friend, Lisa at I have it bedside, and love to look through it..always something so special to read, and inspire me…it is sitting on a tiny vanity chair, made of mahogany wood…a gift from my neighbors daughter to me when my neighbor passed away….my sweet and tiny antique chair… and, all my favorite books sit upon it, granddaughter calls it the “princess chair” as she loves to take all the books off..and, sit down for a good read! I would give the book as a gift, like I received mine as I know it would touch someone else’s life like my copy has…thanks, MaryJane, for all the inspiration you give to all of us!

  30. Karen Wilson says:

    I’m a farmgirl because I like knowing where my food comes from…I bake my own bread, nearly everything I cook is from scratch, I raise a big garden (what I don’t raise, I buy from local Amish farmers), we eat in season, and what we don’t have in season, comes from what we have canned or frozen in summer and fall. My grandfather and grandmother, who raised everything they ate, taught me so much.

  31. Betty J. says:

    I was born a farmgirl. I lived on my grandparent’s farm for a while after my father passed. While there (age 4 or so) I terrorized the chickens, helped grandpa milk the cows by hand, gathered eggs with my grandmother. Grandpa and I slopped the pigs too. Now at my advanced age of 73, I’m a farmgirl living in a housing development. However, I do plant seeds and raise my own vegetables. I pick fruit at nearby orchards and put it by for the winter. That’s my story. I wish I could have been at at longer.

  32. Deb Quaile says:

    I no longer live on a farm, but whether I can grow a little or a lot in a pot or on a plot, knit a blanket, cook jams or scent the coming snow in the sky, I will always be a farm girl at heart!

  33. Erin says:

    I was born and raised and after living in the city for a few years, I wouldn’t trade farm life for anything. I love the simplicity, the space, the view and of course the animals and garden! Being a farm girl is the best! 🙂

  34. Gretchen says:

    I spent the morning in the rain caring for my sheep flock, just collected eggs from our free-range chicken flock, and preparing to cook a dinner (from scratch) for my family on our wood cook stove. While my girlfriends are wining and dining I am mucking and gardening and couldn’t be happier.

  35. Deep in my heart is the farm girl. I have always wanted to raise chickens, have a garden, goats, cows and love the dirt I owned. It’s still on my list. I do garden, can, and preserved as much as I can each year. Organic foods top my list. I love the “can-do” attitude of being a farm girl. I mean love it!
    I already own this fantastic book. I’d love to have it to give to another farm girl in my chapter. Hope I win!

  36. Marianne Regan says:

    I am a farmgirl because it is in my blood. Born and raise by a farmer. Did my stint in the city, suburbs and found my way home…back to the farm.

  37. audra lebaron says:

    I love the old way of things. Whether gardening, making bread, hanging clothes to dry, repurposing whatever I can, or just being happy from whatever simplicity life brings.

  38. Lucille Leerhoff says:

    I was born a farm girl and for most of my adult life, have had the pleasure of living on our farm. We live long, sometimes hard working days, producing and sharing what we have. We are at the stage in our lives when the grandchildren are our delight and they love the berry picking, garden and wide open spaces. I am so grateful and blessed to be a farm girl!

  39. Ellen Pergande says:

    Ohoooo, I would love love to have this book. I have been wishing for this book for years and years. I live on a small farm and desperately need all the inspiration I can get !!!

  40. Dixie Cook says:

    I am a farmgirl. So I can grow healthy food for my family. So I can be independant and teach life skills to my children. I would love a copy of this book. I love Mary Jane. reading her magazines, makes my day…I jump for joy when I find it in the mail box.

  41. Cori says:

    I love the peace and quiet of county life and the business inside a country home.

  42. Peg Graham says:

    I’m a MJ Farm Girl, because I love everything about your site. I love to chatter w/ other Farm Girls about chickens, baking from scratch, my dream farm, knitting, canning, and more! I feel there’s a Farm Girl in all of us whether we live on a farm or in the city. Thanks for having such an incredible place to hang out!

  43. Bernadette Saliski says:

    I am a Farmgirl because it is an ingrained part of who I am and a much simpler way to be.

  44. Tamra Schmitt says:

    God created me a farm girl and for this, I am most thankful! Life on the farm taught me so many invaluable life lessons…a strong work ethic, integrity of character, and an endless bond, rooted in the love of family.

  45. Michele Conard says:

    I’m not a farm girl yet but working on it. Saving to buy land in Montana then will raise goats for milk, chickens for eggs and grow as much of our own food as we can. Sounds like this book would come in handy 🙂

  46. mostly just a little bit farm girl at heart♡. Would love to read your book.

  47. Angela Burnette says:

    I’m a farmgirl because farmgirls are the best in the world! I grew up a farmgirl, playin in the dirt and climbin trees. Gardening has always been a huge passion with me and I have passed it down to all my girls! Raised and raisin farmgirls forever!

  48. Sandra Bowersock says:

    I have been a farm girl since birth. We raised our garden, beef, chickens and ducks. The old shack we lived in is gone now. No electricity until I was 6. Wood cook stove and I’d help grandma can the whole cow! We were the homesteaders people look for today. Home made bread everyday. Washed clothes on a washboard. Bathes were in a big galvanized tub. Outside under the shade tree in the summer. Hair curlers were brown paper bags torn in strips and wound hair around and twisted on top. It worked. We were beautiful. Dad hunted. We ate squirrels, rabbit, and raccoon. We were poor but had a very memorable life. Love to see things about living in the not so convenient lifestyle . I would truly enjoy your book. I’d say I am a true country girl

  49. Kathleen Feathers says:

    I love books like this.

  50. Connie Howard says:

    I grew up in the Los Angeles area, but now live in rural in N. CA. Recently, my daughter and granddaughter moved in with us. They’re so excited about living the farm life; and have begun raising darling chicks and clearing land for crops. I just know that your book would be so useful and inspirational ! Thank you so much for this give away opportunity 🙂

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