Monthly Archives: July 2013

Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Missy Durant!!!

Missy Durant (OrganiGal, #5271) has received a certificate of achievement in Going Green for earning a Beginner & Intermediate Level Going Green Merit Badge! She did this using a copy of MaryJanesFarm “Nature Knows Best” special issue, no less!

Here’s what Missy did…

“I’ve been planning on doing this for a long time and I finally did it! I went through my entire cleaning cabinet and tossed everything that contains harmful ingredients and replaced them with safer products that aren’t harmful to the environment. As for the green journal, I’ve been doing this for a while now! I clip articles and store them in a black & white journal that is home for green ideas only. It gives me a focus and is handy for when I’m lost on what to do next.

To make my own laundry soap, I used MaryJanesFarm magazine, “Nature Knows Best” special issue, page 58, titled “Carol’s Herbal Liquid Laundry Liquid.” I purchased soap nuts from a seller on Etsy and followed the directions. I also made the “Herbal Dryer Sachets” on page 60 with some dried lavender I bought at my local Farmers’ Market.

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Outpost Gadgetry

Intrepid outdoorswomen, gather ’round!

I’d like you to meet …



Photo courtesy of

That’s right, Earl is a gadget,

not a guy.

(Really—who needs a guy anyway?)

Anyway …

Earl promises to be a remarkably handy fellow to have around. I can imagine when I lived year-round, 30 miles beyond the end of a dirt road, deep in the Idaho wilderness, how handy-dandy getting to know a guy like Earl would have been.

He … okay, it … is a brand spankin’ new off-the-grid gadget that could save your life.

More rugged and durable than any smartphone (and most guys), this little machine boasts:

  • a GPS to give you precise readings of your location, direction, and elevation
  • weather sensors to accurately forecast changing conditions in the most remote locations
  • a transceiver that connects to analog and digital radio frequencies up to 20 miles away
  • a glove-friendly infrared touchscreen with 3D joypad and gyroscope
  • a laminated solar panel that provides up to 20 hours of battery and charges in 5 hours with direct sunlight
  • a water-/dust-/shock-/mud-proof design

Oh, yeah.

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You’ve Got Mail!

How cute is this invitation I received?

Dear MaryJane,

Each year, to celebrate the last day of school and the beginning of summer, my daughters and I host a “Farmgirls” party for the girls at our Christian school, the Oaks (sister school to Logos, in Moscow).

Because you inspire us, we would like to invite you! We share an afternoon of crafts (homemade potpourri) and mingle with farm animals. We have a baby pig ready to make her debut.

Thanks for being a role model for girls to get back to nature and celebrate being a girl.

-Jackie Etter
Spokane Valley, Washington



And their invitation was just over the top awesome!

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How does your county rank?

This is cool.

With a click of your mouse, you can now find out how healthy your county is.

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Program has compiled truckloads of data and distilled it into easy-to-read stats that appear when you select your state from the U.S. map on their website.

Factors that affect a county’s ranking range from the usual suspects, like smoking and obesity, to slightly more obscure variables such as drinking water safety, education levels, and recreational access.


Photo by Petar Milošević via Wikimedia Commons

The goal behind the program is to “help communities create solutions that make it easier for people to be healthy in their own communities,” explains the program’s founders. “The County Health Roadmaps show what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work, and play.”

The site offers Webinars, a Tools & Resources page, and a hands-on Action Center that counties can use to nurture their residents and boost their rankings.

I’ve always believed that small changes close to home are crucial to bettering the nation as a whole, and I do what I can to contribute to my county’s health. I was happy to see that Latah County, my little patch of paradise, is the fourth healthiest county in Idaho.

How about yours?


WINNER: Project F.A.R.M. Rocking GT Designs

And now, for the winner of our giveaway announcing the newly added seller to Project F.A.R.M., Tammy Trayer, of Rocking GT Designs!

What fun fact do both Tammy and I have in common?

Straight from her blog: “For 8 1/2 months we lived in the wall tent and built our home. It was an experience and an adventure like no other for us all and not one of us would have traded the experience for ANYTHING!”

While working as a forest ranger in the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness in the ’70s, I lived in a wall-tent year round. Also, an experience I’d never trade!

So who is our winner?


Cheryl Schuh said:

“You are both adventurous outdoor women that have both braved life in a tent in Idaho.”

Congratulations Cheryl!

Keep your eyes on your inbox for an e-mail from the farm, coming soon! 🙂



Bringing Miss Daisy

For the cow book that I’m writing, I wanted to experience the process of buying a mail-order bride cow (seriously). It involved hiring a trucker, wading through state-by-state animal regulations, vet checks, vaccines, respiratory “flu” shots, TB tests, and yes, purchasing animal transportation insurance. Phew.

I even had to learn how to text because the trucker told me that was the only way he would communicate the details of our rendezvous. Trailer talk. So, when I finally backed my trailer up to his, it was a BIG thumbs-up moment. And then …


and then …


and then …


Miss Daisy!!!


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