Monthly Archives: March 2014



Farm Voices

In the age of social media,

revolution happens in images

and stories

that grab us—sometimes in just 140 characters—and make us care enough to act.

That’s the goal of a group of young ag enthusiasts from rural Alberta, Canada, who founded the FarmOn Foundation.

“With Canada losing 60 percent of their young agricultural producers in the last 15 years, leaving only 9.1 percent of farmers under the age of 35, it was mission critical to form an organization that existed solely for the benefit of young farmers and seeing them succeed,” FarmOn declares.


Photo by Woodley Wonder Works via Wikimedia Commons

Rich in youth and vigor, this dedicated crew is out to inspire young farmers to action by equipping them with the tools, knowledge, and hands-on skills needed to increase the profitability of their agricultural businesses.

Last year, they launched a movement called #FarmVoices in conjunction with Earth Day to celebrate farmers, while giving them a chance to tell their stories and share images of the work they love.

Genius idea, right?

“Young people have been at the forefront of every important social movement in history,” the founders say. “#FarmVoices is raising the profile of farmers by sharing their stories with the world, one image at a time.”

According to FarmOn member Tom Fesnoux, Earth Day 2013 was a huge success, with over 2,000 stories and photos being shared by farmers from 23 countries around the globe. “Now we are preparing to launch and share our newest #FarmVoices video for this year’s Earth Day celebration. We would love to invite you to join the movement and consider coming on board to help support more farmers.”


Here are three simple steps you can take to become involved:

1.  Share the #FarmVoices Earth Day video:

2.  Invite other farmers or groups you know to participate in the day.

3.  Share your own story at #FarmVoices.




Words Can Hurt

Can you think of one word that is rarely used to describe boys but may change the life of a girl forever?

While you’re thinking, watch this:

The word is “bossy,”

and it has more weight behind it that you might imagine.

“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader.’ Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy.’ Words like bossy send a message: Don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood,” explains the Ban Bossy Campaign by, a nonprofit organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to empower all women to achieve their ambitions.

Here are a few other striking facts from Ban Bossy:

  • Between elementary and high school, girls’ self–esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’.
  • Girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that leadership roles will make them seem “bossy.”
  • Girls are called on less and interrupted more in classrooms.

Want to spread the word … er … the message?

Visit Share Ban Bossy to pass along your favorite facts, tips, and quotes that promote girl power with a passion.



thinking green … gardens today

This one is for my farm-hearted sisters who are still chilly, cabin-feverish, or (sigh) snowed in. While a gal can’t control the weather, she can dream green.


Portrait of a Woman by Stevens Alfred Reverie, 1880, via Wikimedia Commons

And who hasn’t already begun dreaming of spring?

So, in the spirit of the season soon-to-come, I’ve wandered about and gathered a garden-green gallery for you.

It’s true!

Come in and stay as long as you like, wandering these fragrantly blooming pathways that are painted in sunlight so brilliant you can almost feel it upon your skin …



Woman in Garden by Philip Leslie Hale, 1895, via Wikimedia Commons

I hope you brought your parasol.


Woman in the Garden at Sainte-Adresse, 1867, by Claude Monet via Wikimedia Commons

Can’t you just smell the green grass brushing past your skirts?


Femme dans un Jardin by Vincent Van Gogh, 1887, via Wikimedia Commons

Do stop and smell the flowers.


Woman in a Garden by John Leslie Breck, 1890, via Wikimedia Commons

Or maybe, just sit a spell …


Woman in the Garden by Torsten Wasastjerna, 1893, via Wikimedia Commons

until the evening shadows begin to fall.


Delicious Solitude by Frank Bramley, 1909, via Wikimedia Commons




polyphiloprogenitive what?

“All spring and summer my parents ricochet from garden to garden, mulching, watering, pulling up the polyphiloprogenitive weeds, ‘until’, my mother says, ‘I’m bent over like a coat hanger,'” writes Margaret Atwood in a book called Bluebeard’s Egg.


Photo courtesy of Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons

I feel pretty certain that you and I are both still stuck at poly

Polyphiloprogenitive, was it?

Thank goodness for a computer’s “copy” and “paste” functions (I dare not re-type that one on my own).

This term—polyphiloprogenitive (see, I pasted again!)—is one of those words whose meaning a farmgirl can glean from context,

particularly when the context involves garden weeds (think extremely prolific),

but that doesn’t make saying it any easier.

A syllabic breakdown is in order.

Join me:





Now … say it three times fast!


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth via Wikimedia Commons






Milk Cow Kitchen

My newest book, Milk Cow Kitchen, (due out June 1) is now available for pre-order from my farm’s website (

It comes autographed, kissed?, and with a free Have A Cow bumper sticker (doubles as a bookmark). With 400 pages and more than 1,000 photos, I’m still in recovery mode. Holy cow, this book kicked my dairy-air.


I hope you got the double meaning of sporting a Have A Cow bumper sticker on your vehicle. You know, HAVE A COW WHY DON’T YOU?! to that guy who rides your bumper.


And here’s the back story that goes with my book …

MaryJane Butters wants YOU to have a cow—that “pet” cow you’ve always dreamed about. You know, that gorgeous beau-vine you’ve seen grazing outside your “cow”girl kitchen window. Of course, you’ve wondered what it would feel like to bring a bucket of fresh milk into your kitchen and turn it into butter, your own yogurt, sour cream, and artisan cheeses like Manchego and Brie. MaryJane’s fifth book, Milk Cow Kitchen, is one part milk cow how-to, one part cookbook (75 fuss-free, farmstyle recipes, in addition to 15 step-by-step, super simple cheese-making recipes), and three parts play!