Glamping in Idaho
Discover Your Inner Farmer!
MaryJane Butters is something of a phenomenon. The Martha Stewart of the organic food movement, MaryJane is a passionate advocate for a sensible, back-to-the-earth lifestyle and a champion of rural womanhood. The home base for this entrepreneurial and marketing dynamo is MaryJanesFarm in the rolling wheat fields of the Palouse, an area of southeastern Washington and west-central Idaho where picturesque hills grow wheat and lentils.
From a small farmstead, MaryJane and her crew — her husband, son, and daughter (and their spouses), and 24 family-like employees — produce an extensive line of high-quality mail-order organic foods, and maintain a popular website. They also write and design the ad-free magazine-cum-catalog MaryJanesFarm, which is filled with everything from recipes, farm-related how-to articles, gardening tips, rural news clips, heart-warming testimonials to farm life, and inspirational poems.
Visit the farm and capture the MaryJane spirit. It offers B&B accommodations, which are simple, just as you might expect, but sophisticated in a way you didn't. Whether you opt for a guest hut or platform tent, you'll be welcomed by hardwood floors, a woodstove, a comfy bed, and a sense of rustic tranquility (shared outhouses and pumphouse showers are just across the way). The poetic views from your bed make your tent your castle.
If you're truly serious about rural living and organic food, consider a weeklong stint at Pay Dirt Farm School, a nonprofit educational program offering farm apprenticeships at MaryJanesFarm. The programs are generally one part culinary school and three parts training in organic gardening and farming, with a good bit of vacation in a beautiful rural setting thrown in for good measure. Getting back in touch with the land and developing hands-on skills is an inherent part of MaryJanesFarm and her vision of everyday life.
In the MaryJane world, the satisfaction of rural life isn't a dream or even nostalgia; it is real — and totally chic, in a wholesome, under-the-radar kind of way.
Where: 84 miles south of Spokane, WA; PO Box 8691; Tel 888-750-6004 or 208-882-6819; www.maryjanesfarm.org.