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. Mitzi Burton says:

    I come from a long line of farmers. I grew up in the city but now live in the country. So I guess you could say I’m a country girl at heart. I love old houses, farm country and everything natural. Animals are the best part!
    I don’t admire a lot of people but I admire you Mary Jane Butters & hope one day to encourage others as you have me.
    Thank you,

  2. RoDonna Carson says:

    I grew up a farmgirl! Now I’m teaching my daughter how to be one. It’s something that I love. I’m always learning something new and always trying to grow new things.

  3. Donna Hazellief says:

    I love everything about farm life. I have a mini 5 acre farm with chicks, horses, pigs and dogs and cats. I also love all things vintage and repurposing.

  4. Diane Adams says:

    I was born and raised in a small town in Northern California and miss it everyday:( I’ve lived in Las Vegas for over 40 years and it is too much “city” for me. Your book looks lovely and I am sure that I would enjoy it 😉

  5. Jenny Binus says:

    I love the Earth. I love being outside, and when I was a kid, my favorite place to go to was my Mimi and GFR’s cabin in the woods. We built it, the whole family from the ground up. We cut the logs, my dad put on the roof, I helped find the stones for the hearth. It gave me a love of working with my hands and being outdoors. I live in a small town in Pennsylvania now, far from Western Washington, but this taught me an appreciation for the outdoors. I love making quilts for my children, teaching them to bake(both boys), I homeschool, we have a garden that we grow a good deal of our veggies in, and I am looking forward to being outside watching caveman tv (fire) near the creek this summer. I enjoy the feel of bread dough, and working with my hands. I teach art classes that focus around using recycled materials and I volunteer filling backpacks with food for kids who don’t have it over the weekend because I didn’t always have food when I was little. My sons come with me, ages 5 and 7 because I want them to learn to care about others for no other reason than it makes them feel good and it’s the right thing to do.

  6. Ellen Pergande says:

    Ohooo, I would love to have this book ♡♡♡ I have been wishing and wishing for one for years and years… I have a small farm and I need some of your inspireration. .. LOVE LOVE LOVE

  7. Virginia Meyer says:

    I am definitely a farm girl through and through. I love crafting! Doesn’t matter if it’s sewing, (sewing Renaissance clothing is my fav!), stitching Temari balls, papercrafts, fiber arts of any kind, if I see something in a craft magazine that I like, I HAVE to try it! And I love giving those crafts my own twist! (I will incorporate different media into my projects! tee-hee!) Also, when I make my new crafts, I will give them as gifts, I very rarely keep them for myself.

  8. Julia Huynh says:

    I’ve always considered myself just a country girl. Growing up, we had steers occasionally that we raised and butchered. We had chickens for eggs and dinner. We even had a small garden, usually, and the token barn cat. When I was a teen I even had my own horse. Now, I have my own family and as I look back on my life so far, I’ve realized that I am truly a farmgirl at heart. I have always been excited by making do with what we have on hand and amazed at God’s beautiful gift of nature. I am drawn to anything that involves making things from scratch rather than buying ready-made goods. A farmgirl enjoys the process of providing for her family as much as seeing her family provided for. God made me to dig in the dirt, sweat a little and bask in his gifts of love.

  9. CorreenDrake says:

    I’m an old soul, I always have been. Born and raised in Spokane, first chance I got to live in the country I took it and I’ll never go back to city life. I love the quiet, I love nature, I love every chore on my farm. I collect eggs from my hens, and veggies from my garden. I learned how to coexist with the deer and turkeys. I love being on my Kabota mowing the pastures. I love drinking coffee while listening to my horses munch hay…I quilt, knit and crochet. I’ve got a good farm dog, heck my car is a truck lol. I’ve been country before it was cool lol. I have saved all the Mary Jane Farm magazines too. Keep inspiring others as you’ve kept inspiring me. Thank you from Henry Hill Farm in Elk, Washington

  10. Chris says:

    Funny I grew up on a farm, moved to the city, Chicago, raised my kids, and now I am retired and living on a farm again. Life has come full circle for me.

  11. Debra Hume says:

    love the postings on facebook

  12. Joan H says:

    I grew up listening to my mother’s stories about her grandparents’ centennial family farm. At 57 I found myself leaving a big western city behind to live in a rural farming community in Arkansas. My chicken coop is under construction! I think I always had it in me… I’ve dreamed for years of a retro farmhouse kitchen and now I have it! Bliss! And I’m just getting started…

  13. Candy Allen says:

    I spent many days and nights on my grandparents dairy farm in northern Wisconsin when I was growing up. I always hated it when I had to go back home to the city and I would count the days till I could go back to the farm. When I got married I married a Wyoming cowboy and moved to a large ranch, where I LOVED living! I love the farm and ranch life. I like the fact that we raised our own animals for food, grew our own food, and was a great place to raise our two boys! I don’t live on a farm or ranch right now but love books about my past life. I would love to have this book, as the memories it would bring back would be wonderful! Faded cover? WHO CARES!! Thank you for the opportunity to own this book!

  14. Pamela Criswell "Chickie" says:

    Hi Everyone
    I became a Farmgirl as a Girl But have been Living Truley OFF the Grid and Farm Girl Lifestyle For the Last 7 years, We haul Water have Solar and Wind for Power, I do my own sewing, and gardening I Raise Chickens AND LOVE all My Mary Jane Books!!!!!

    Thank You Mary Jane for Opening up the Farm Girl Lifestyle for Women.


  15. Holli Woods says:

    I was not born and raised a farm girl……..but was born and raised in a small gold mining town in northern California. We truly did live the simple life though. After having been gone from CA and have traveled the world with my military husband and 3 kiddos for 30 years……I am back in northern CA, taking care of my mom who has Alzheimer’s. Flipping through the pages of your book, would take me back to the simple life!!!

  16. Sandy Williams says:

    i am a Farmgirl at heart because everything about the lifestyle appeals to my heart. Nature, peace, and the comfort of having animals, plants and living things to take care of that take care of you, back!

  17. Sarah Kessler Halsey says:

    Because I would rather be hanging out with my critters at home than anywhere else! Thanks

  18. Joyce Hein says:

    I was born and raised as a farm girl. I’m thrilled to be able to continue this venture with my husband and would love to have this book to go along side my Betty Crocker Cookbook as Winnie says 🙂

  19. Linda says:

    I’m a city girl turned farmgirl. I took to the lifestyle so easily people were amazed I wasn’t born this way. It’s been 25 years now and I’m still doing the farm thing 🙂

  20. Terri Dye says:

    I didn’t grow up a farm girl…but I certainly have become one after moving to MO 20+ years ago. I fell in love with the lifestyle that the farmers around me lived. I am no longer out on the farm, but still have my little gardens and still long for a few beehives…a pen full of chickens and a few goats….my dream is to get there again. This time, at age 52, I will be on my own and look forward to the challenge even more. Thanks for the opportunity Mary Jane, you are my inspiration.

  21. Hope Benedict says:

    My ‘farm girl’ days lay in my teenage years when my (former farmboy) dad and my (former Central & North America missionary daugher) mom moved us to Arkansas and a chicken farm where we spent 4-5 hours every day collected eggs. I spent many a summer at my grandparents, where grandma taught me to embroider and crochet. She also tried to teach me the accordion, but my aptitude was lean. At her home in Kansas, we canned preserves from her plum tree and other such stone fruits. Now, in my dottering mid-life, I have acquired a B-Class RV and plan to be on the road as much as possible. However, I am a novice–a green horn, and am in dire need of and would appreciate any and all help available–to include your book–to navigate the curves and crevices of living light.

  22. Katie says:

    I am a farm girl because its in my very soul to do so, as the women in my family before me have done. 🙂

  23. Ashley Key says:

    Why I’m a farmgirl: My love of animals combined with my love of being outdoors and working in the dirt, taking care of my animals, not being afraid to go out in public in barn clothes….
    There is nothing better than working in the dirt and fresh air and being rewarded with healthy happy animals, fresh food, and the best exercise!

  24. Kimberly Frederick says:

    Three kids three nephews, sixty cattle, eight chickens, various cats dogs and other wildlife oh and I forgot a husband and two aging parents rely on my farm skills, cooking skills, doctoring abilities, maintenance and janitorial services to thrive on a daily basis. With the lords help and good weather blessings come to us all. Thank you.

  25. Denise says:

    Grew up in the country and now after being away for 20 yrs have come back to it. Learning so many things along the way. Have gleaned much from being a part of MaryJane’s farmgirl forum. Trying my best to show a farmgirl heart to those around me.

  26. Colleen says:

    I’m a farmgirl because . . . I was blessed to grow up in the country, learned as a young girl how exciting it was to run to Grandma’s chicken coop to search for warm eggs, follow my Dad into the raspberry patches for the treasures on each branch, tiptoed down the river bank to throw the fishing line in, hoping for a sharp tug on the other end, basked in the sun as my Mother hung clothes on the line (and LOVED the scent), learned how to split kindling in the basement for my childish entertainment, celebrated when it was “harvest the garden” time, (especially when pickled beets were one of the end results), picked apples off the ground after climbing the branches to SHAKE THEM FREE, and making applesauce with Mother, etc. etc. etc. I LOVE this all!

  27. Laureen says:

    I married into the farm/ranch life. Born and raised in the city. Wouldn’t go back for anything!

  28. Sheena says:

    I am a farm girl because I believe in simplicity. Hard work always pays off , the beauty of loving your fellow man. A farm girl is a state of being not where you are but who you are.

  29. Kelly says:

    Is the giveaway still open? I’m getting ready to order Milk Cow Kitchen and am pondering this one as well.

  30. Toni H says:

    I dreamed of living on a farm even as a child. Grew up around gardens and fresh home grown produce and then as an adult started my own. When we adopted a few chickens I knew I was destined for farm life and will always be a farmgirl at heart!

  31. Martha says:

    I grew up on a farm, then moved to the city, but it was never a good fit for me. Now we are finally back on the farm! Yeah! I want my kids to experience living in the country and they are excited to try the country life. The book sounds just lovely.

  32. Nicole says:

    I was raised in between farm and city. I think I have the best of both worlds and now that I am an adult I get to choose. I choose a simple life where I can finish raising my children in a healthy happy manner. I am good at somethings and not so good at others lol. I could really use any information to make life simpler. I love to cook and I am good at it, but I trying new things like making my own bread. I have made my own yogurt 🙂 Your magazine has been great. I am actually going to make my own pickles. I am a horse girl and spend a lot of time at a ranch and being out doors. Looking to move out south back to where my love for this began.

  33. Deb Myers says:

    I was raised on a small farm in Preble County, Ohio. I now live on only 3.5 acres but in Fauquier County, VA and I am still a farm girl through and through! I am also a tent glamper!

  34. Rebecca White says:

    I grew up in Missouri. I married a city boy. But we moved to the country & now take care of 10 acres & a log home together. Getting older has slowed us down but we keep pushing to get things done together.

  35. Kimberly Frederick says:

    I am blessed to join the best family of cattle farmers. In a years time, I have learned a great deal but its only a drop in the bucket compared to what all of them know having been born into the life. My new family is adding a chicken house and chickens for me since I showed interest. I come from Pennsylvania Dutch background but passing on traditions was lost one or two back. Thinking your book of farm know-how should be required reading. Let me know if you would like to see the huge dent I put in the grain bin, or hear about the time I covered Senior with Mudd… Sincerely Kim

  36. Susanne says:

    Most of my growing up years were out in the country – feeding chickens, rabbits, milking the cow, hoeing weeds, picking fruit and berries, canning, fishing and a multitude of other farmgirl things. Although I’ve lived in town for 30 years now, =(, I still think of myself as a county girl. We aren’t allowed to have chickens or any other farm animals but I do have my herbs, berries and garden and dream of living in the country again someday.

  37. Peggy Richmond says:

    My grandfather was a farmer, my Daddy was a farmer at one time, my grandmother was a farmer’s daughter and wife and my mother was a farmer’s daughter and wife. I can remember picking field corn one late autumn, running behind a tractor my mother drove, along with my two brothers and father, racing against time to get the corn in before bad weather. We all wore gloves but still blisters and some sore backs but we got in in the barn that evening. I raised 99 red leg chickens I got from the 4-H club when I was 10 years old. (Well, actually, I helped mama raise the chickens but I got a blue ribbon anyway.) Daddy said to me, “you make a pretty good farm girl, Peg”. My husband and I live in a log house on the land of my mother’s home place in Pelham Valley, Tennessee and since my father long ago pronounced me a “pretty good farm girl”, I guess I still am.

  38. Diana P Lee says:

    me a farm girl? Why yes of course. I grew up in the quaint little town of snohomish Washington. We raised chickens. Cows. And always had the best gardens. We also went to the islands every year and fought rabbits as the sun was setting. We had an old paneled station wagon w the top cut off and a seat welded to the side of the car and as the sun was settling into its cozy little nest for the night we would hop on into our makeshift throne and hold on for dear life. And the spotlight would shine it’s beacon of light and the rabbits would be mesmerized by the lights in their eyes just long enough so my lil ol 3 ft 4 frame could stick out my net which I’m sure out weighted myself lol. Once we’ve caught our bounty it was time to go home and get all the lady’s together and the process would begin. I won’t go into those details for the faint of heart. But we would have and eat wild rabbits all winter long. Mmmm. So yes a farm girl here

  39. Bren D says:

    I’m a farmgirl….Born and raised to be self-sufficient, I find MaryJanesFarm is the closest thing to help me fulfil my needs and dreams. I love being able to live off the land and make my own necessities and prepare my own canned goods to get us through the winter months with pure goodness. Also, sharing my sewn creations and canned goods with family and friends is what it’s about too!! I’m newly retired and find great enjoyment getting up early, making a cup of coffee and sitting out on my back swing with my coffee in one hand and MaryJanesFarm in the other, swinging and enjoying the sound of the summer!! Love MaryJanesFarm magazine and I’m sure I’ll love MaryJanes Idea Book!! MaryJane is so inspiring!!!!! Thank you for all you do.

  40. Heather says:

    Even after moving to a city, I can’t suppress my farm girl roots….whether it’s gardening with pots on a patio, baking homemade treats (in the smallest kitchen I’ve ever had!), or getting crafty, I’m a farm girl through and through. Would love to leaf through these pages as I plan my dream farm back in the country. Thanks MJ for inspiring us all!

  41. Mary Jo says:

    I’m a farm girl because although I don’t live on a farm, I find my peace and serenity when I visit farms. I love to read my MJF magazines, over and over and over. My favorite books have been “touched by the sun”, so that wouldn’t bother me in the least.
    Thank you!

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