Dear MaryJane ...
Last year, someone sent me a copy of your magazine. I enjoyed the articles so much that I just had to send in a subscription for a year. Since then, I eagerly wait for the magazine to arrive. And of course, I read it from cover to cover—sometimes more than once.
I do not really fit into any of your categories, since I do not live on a farm, in the country, or even in a large city. I am not even from this country. I am an Indian by birth who moved to Kentucky in 1970 with my physician husband and two small children. Though I am not an American by birth, I see a lot of similarities in your magazine to how I was raised in India.
So, a big thank you for such a great magazine. In fact, I like it so much that I sent in a gift subscription today for my daughter-in-law, who does happen to live on a farm. And I renewed my subscription too!
I wonder if I’m a farmgirl? I never really thought about it until I picked up the latest issue of MaryJanesFarm and began to read about “farmgirls” (all one word!). I was raised in Arlington, Virginia, about three miles as the crow flies from the White House in DC. Certainly, my upbringing was anything BUT “farmish.”
But I married a farmer 33 years ago, and with stars in my eyes and an attitude of “I’ll follow him anywhere,” we left college in Utah and moved to a farm in Melba, Idaho. My vision of farm life was only what I had seen on TV. I imagined that you couldn’t even see your nearest neighbor—much different from city life, where we could almost reach out and touch our neighbors. But much to my surprise, I realized that I would be able to see my closest neighbor across some of the most beautiful hay, corn, beet, and alfalfa fields I could have ever imagined.
We have raised six children here in this beautiful valley on the banks of the Snake River at the foot of the Owyhee Mountains. Our children have grown up knowing how to irrigate, drive tractors, and get their hands dirty. On the other hand, I still have a lot of city in me, but I say that I can do just about anything as long as I have a pair of work gloves on. I am rather proud of my worn-looking gloves—they tell me that I have fed and watered my chickens this morning and gathered their beautiful eggs, hoed my garden, and picked raspberries so that I can make jam later today. Those who know me would likely say I am very city still, even after all these years, but today, I am feeling very much a Farmgirl (capitalized and all one word!) and very proud of it.
My daughter (who lives for dresses) just had her kindergarten “graduation” celebration last Thursday. They sang “First Grade, First Grade” to the tune of “New York, New York,” complete with top hats and canes. Friday was actually the last day of school, and she chose to wear jeans and a pink top with “New York” spelled out in pink rhinestones on it. I’m sure that was because of the graduation song ... but to top off her outfit (she called it “the finishing touch”), she tied a blue and white gingham apron with a swan embroidered on the pocket over her jeans.
Real farmgirl bling!
My friend and I went on a ski trip in Alaska, where we traversed the Juneau Icefield from Juneau to Atlin, BC. My friend was responsible for organizing the food, and lucky for us, she knew about MaryJanesFarm. What a delightful treat for my taste buds! After the bland oatmeal, 40 lbs of cheese, overcooked noodles, and under-spiced sauces that have been the norm for backcountry foods on many a long trip, the meals proved extremely flavorful and easy to prepare, certainly a bonus after a long, tiring day in the mountains! Suffice it to say we feasted like kings (and queens!) and, for a number of us, it was the first time we did NOT lose weight on a long trip.