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Maryjane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook: For the Farmgirl in All of Us

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MaryJane Butters' sense of purpose is as big as the Idaho landscape where her organic farm is nestled. She wants nothing less than to reconnect us all with the food we eat and the heritage of farming that belongs to all of us, and nothing more than to empower and encourage rural women everywhere ... she is cultivating not just a farm but a philosophy of living. " -- Body & MaryJane Butters' sense of purpose is as big as the Idaho landscape where her organic farm is nestled. She wants nothing less than to reconnect us all with the food we eat and the heritage of farming that belongs to all of us, and nothing more than to empower and encourage rural women everywhere ... she is cultivating not just a farm but a philosophy of living. " -- Body & Soul "Carpenter, waitress, janitor, upholsterer, secretary, milkmaid, wilderness ranger, environmental activist, entrepreneur-the founder of "MaryJanesFarm" has worn many hats in her day, but none more proudly than that of modern-day farmgirl. Speaking to the farmgirl in all of us, MaryJane Butters offers a captivating introduction to the organic lifestyle, resurrects forgotten domestic arts, and shares lessons gleaned from her diverse background and two decades of life as an Idaho farmer. Whether you simply need encouragement to embrace a more authentic, wholesome lifestyle or you're looking for guidance on building a greenhouse, chopping firewood, hosting a town event, caring for a flock of chickens, making your own butter, growing a winter salad, or choosing a water filter, "MaryJane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook" is both an inspiration and a practical road map for farmgirls of all stripes. " "Dreams are MaryJane Butters' business, and she has always pursued them without pausing to consult conventional wisdom. " -- House & Garden "MaryJane Butters, a natural teacher, has a gift for simplification, and makes it seem that everything she does is easy and attainable. " -- The New Yorker "


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MaryJane Butters' sense of purpose is as big as the Idaho landscape where her organic farm is nestled. She wants nothing less than to reconnect us all with the food we eat and the heritage of farming that belongs to all of us, and nothing more than to empower and encourage rural women everywhere ... she is cultivating not just a farm but a philosophy of living. " -- Body & MaryJane Butters' sense of purpose is as big as the Idaho landscape where her organic farm is nestled. She wants nothing less than to reconnect us all with the food we eat and the heritage of farming that belongs to all of us, and nothing more than to empower and encourage rural women everywhere ... she is cultivating not just a farm but a philosophy of living. " -- Body & Soul "Carpenter, waitress, janitor, upholsterer, secretary, milkmaid, wilderness ranger, environmental activist, entrepreneur-the founder of "MaryJanesFarm" has worn many hats in her day, but none more proudly than that of modern-day farmgirl. Speaking to the farmgirl in all of us, MaryJane Butters offers a captivating introduction to the organic lifestyle, resurrects forgotten domestic arts, and shares lessons gleaned from her diverse background and two decades of life as an Idaho farmer. Whether you simply need encouragement to embrace a more authentic, wholesome lifestyle or you're looking for guidance on building a greenhouse, chopping firewood, hosting a town event, caring for a flock of chickens, making your own butter, growing a winter salad, or choosing a water filter, "MaryJane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook" is both an inspiration and a practical road map for farmgirls of all stripes. " "Dreams are MaryJane Butters' business, and she has always pursued them without pausing to consult conventional wisdom. " -- House & Garden "MaryJane Butters, a natural teacher, has a gift for simplification, and makes it seem that everything she does is easy and attainable. " -- The New Yorker "

30 review for Maryjane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook: For the Farmgirl in All of Us

  1. 4 out of 5

    Didi Delighted

    This is a cute book, but it is very all over the place and doesn't settle down on as many "how to's" as I would have liked. I do not like that the book had a section on how to make "Bake Overs", but lacks the recipes for the crust mixtures. This section is geared towards getting folks to purchase pre made mixes from her, and I felt that weakened the book somehow. Likewise, the section including "chillover" recipes. Overall it is a cute and charming book, and there are many nice ideas in it. The This is a cute book, but it is very all over the place and doesn't settle down on as many "how to's" as I would have liked. I do not like that the book had a section on how to make "Bake Overs", but lacks the recipes for the crust mixtures. This section is geared towards getting folks to purchase pre made mixes from her, and I felt that weakened the book somehow. Likewise, the section including "chillover" recipes. Overall it is a cute and charming book, and there are many nice ideas in it. The book offers a sampling of how to's including: a pocketed apron, a full apron, embroidered hankies, a clothespin doll, etc. The author has a fantastic and cheerful attitude which is why I decided to give this book four stars instead of three.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Inder

    Fun fun fun. Not particularly useful, but fun. Lots of pretty pictures, a few cute ideas, and some nice looking recipes (one which I will definitely try). Lots of inspiration here, although this isn't the place to get concrete information about how to actually become a farmgirl. Don't buy it - check it out from the library like I did! Fun fun fun. Not particularly useful, but fun. Lots of pretty pictures, a few cute ideas, and some nice looking recipes (one which I will definitely try). Lots of inspiration here, although this isn't the place to get concrete information about how to actually become a farmgirl. Don't buy it - check it out from the library like I did!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Marie

    I am pretty sure I read this the day I brought it home. The whole thing. All I can say is just looking at the pictures and then reading the stories made me remember how strongly I desire to find myself on a small farm. This woman has a little bit of how to- for everything. The farmgirl in myself came out that is for sure!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I do love this book. Great pictures, and so many "old time" things that remind me of my childhood. Actually contains the directions for "tiddly winks" with buttons... and how to make those stilts with tin cans. Some recipes, great tips for farmstead parties.... and stories (short ones) about her life. I do love this book. Great pictures, and so many "old time" things that remind me of my childhood. Actually contains the directions for "tiddly winks" with buttons... and how to make those stilts with tin cans. Some recipes, great tips for farmstead parties.... and stories (short ones) about her life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Smpaetz

    One of my all time favorite books. The photography is gorgeous. This is a beautiful book to just look at but the ideas and crafts in it are also wonderful. This book really made me a MaryJane fan. I own all her books but this one is my favorite. When a book is sold with lots of photos I always rate them compared to MaryJane's books. One of my all time favorite books. The photography is gorgeous. This is a beautiful book to just look at but the ideas and crafts in it are also wonderful. This book really made me a MaryJane fan. I own all her books but this one is my favorite. When a book is sold with lots of photos I always rate them compared to MaryJane's books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I think I have read every word in this book. It's inspirational, and chock full of wonderful things to do. I think I have read every word in this book. It's inspirational, and chock full of wonderful things to do.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I loved this book! It inspired and re-energized my diy tendencies and encouraged me to get back to more of a self-sufficient mindset. I would read a little, hop up and go start something like ordering an organic sourdough starter (culturesforhealth.com), checking on my kombucha, mulching the garden, etc. and then read a little more till I got inspired to work on something else. It had much the same effect as did Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living did some 20 years ago, but this book is I loved this book! It inspired and re-energized my diy tendencies and encouraged me to get back to more of a self-sufficient mindset. I would read a little, hop up and go start something like ordering an organic sourdough starter (culturesforhealth.com), checking on my kombucha, mulching the garden, etc. and then read a little more till I got inspired to work on something else. It had much the same effect as did Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living did some 20 years ago, but this book is has much more eye candy though not as many recipes. The writing is engaging storytelling and the photography is beautiful. I kept looking to see if I recognized any locations from my visits to Moscow, Idaho, but didn't, other than the rolling Palouse wheatfields. Beautiful book, beautiful ideas.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I picked this up thinking it was going to have a great amount of how-to and self-reliance stuff in it, but it's mostly memoir and photos of cute farm things with a little bit of the rest mixed in. The book is not in a format that makes it easy to skip to the parts I was hoping to find here. I eventually gave up on it. I picked this up thinking it was going to have a great amount of how-to and self-reliance stuff in it, but it's mostly memoir and photos of cute farm things with a little bit of the rest mixed in. The book is not in a format that makes it easy to skip to the parts I was hoping to find here. I eventually gave up on it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Love Maryjane's spirit and lifestyle. As a mom trying to do a lot of the same, but on a much smaller (humbling) scale, it is inspiring to read her wisdom. I admittedly skipped the details on the sewing pages, as I have zero experience there. Love Maryjane's spirit and lifestyle. As a mom trying to do a lot of the same, but on a much smaller (humbling) scale, it is inspiring to read her wisdom. I admittedly skipped the details on the sewing pages, as I have zero experience there.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Relyn

    I love Maryjane. I wish I were this kind of person. Actually, I am perfectly happy that I'm not, but I do enjoy all the daydreaming and ruminating her books inspire. I love Maryjane. I wish I were this kind of person. Actually, I am perfectly happy that I'm not, but I do enjoy all the daydreaming and ruminating her books inspire.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I loved this book so much that I just purchased it from Amazon. This is a nice mixture of reminisce, encouragement, how-to live sustainably and great pictures. One of the things I like about this book and Mary Jane's magazine is the no-guilt, non-political approach to our environment. I enjoy repurposing and doing things to not damage the environment but I hate the media's preaching and hearing the phrase "go green". The media and government have inundated our world with catch phrases and pressu I loved this book so much that I just purchased it from Amazon. This is a nice mixture of reminisce, encouragement, how-to live sustainably and great pictures. One of the things I like about this book and Mary Jane's magazine is the no-guilt, non-political approach to our environment. I enjoy repurposing and doing things to not damage the environment but I hate the media's preaching and hearing the phrase "go green". The media and government have inundated our world with catch phrases and pressure to be green. I wonder if the response wouldn't be better if people would encourage quietly like Mary Jane and quit the preaching.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    What a delightful compendium! I enjoyed her narrative clips. I enjoyed the layout and the photographs. I enjoyed the many ideas and their presentation. There are recipe sections. There is a gardening section. There is a stitching section. There is a "make it" section for "wood", "metal" and "fiber". There is an "outpost" section including "wall tent living" and having outdoor experiences with your children in tow. There is a "cleaning up" section including laundry, home, and personal care. But that li What a delightful compendium! I enjoyed her narrative clips. I enjoyed the layout and the photographs. I enjoyed the many ideas and their presentation. There are recipe sections. There is a gardening section. There is a stitching section. There is a "make it" section for "wood", "metal" and "fiber". There is an "outpost" section including "wall tent living" and having outdoor experiences with your children in tow. There is a "cleaning up" section including laundry, home, and personal care. But that list doesn't begin to evoke all the little discoveries you'll make as you peruse and then use this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jen C.

    I just picked up a copy of her quarterly magazine yesterday. (It was next to Hobby Farm Home, which I am totally getting a subscription to.) Very country in an organic Mary Engelbreit-meets-thrift-stores sort of way. Lots of cute useful ideas and projects. The only turnoff is that this "farmgirl" movement has gone business: she has a "brand image" that includes bed linens, flour and energy bars (that I saw advertised in the magazine). Slightly unsettling- possibly the periodical equivalent of a I just picked up a copy of her quarterly magazine yesterday. (It was next to Hobby Farm Home, which I am totally getting a subscription to.) Very country in an organic Mary Engelbreit-meets-thrift-stores sort of way. Lots of cute useful ideas and projects. The only turnoff is that this "farmgirl" movement has gone business: she has a "brand image" that includes bed linens, flour and energy bars (that I saw advertised in the magazine). Slightly unsettling- possibly the periodical equivalent of a dude ranch that has hot tubs. Will investigate the website further and report back.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    B "You're reading a book "for the farmgirl in all of us?"" Trevor asked me. Yes, I live in an urban environment but have secret daydreams about running through fields of wheat and picking blueberries from my backyard and sipping fresh squeezed lemonade and eating just picked strawberries while watching a summer sunset as my sheep and goats wander my backyard. Romanticized, yes, but this book gives some great tips on how I can be as much of a farmgirl as I can -- even in an urban environment! Gea B "You're reading a book "for the farmgirl in all of us?"" Trevor asked me. Yes, I live in an urban environment but have secret daydreams about running through fields of wheat and picking blueberries from my backyard and sipping fresh squeezed lemonade and eating just picked strawberries while watching a summer sunset as my sheep and goats wander my backyard. Romanticized, yes, but this book gives some great tips on how I can be as much of a farmgirl as I can -- even in an urban environment! Geared more towards the rural gal, this book has lots of great info.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy Dance

    a fun book to look at, but it is an "idea book". I feel that she flits around too much in some areas. She owns an organic farm in northern Idaho and markets her farm, products, ideas. Kind of a "granola" Martha Stewart. I was intersted in her gardening tips--I am interested in the idea of "organic" gardening/farming. The pages about the mustard plant--a natural pesticide/herbicide were facinating. SHe uses the oil to fuel her car & the mustard meal byproduct as a fertilizer (high in nitrogen) an a fun book to look at, but it is an "idea book". I feel that she flits around too much in some areas. She owns an organic farm in northern Idaho and markets her farm, products, ideas. Kind of a "granola" Martha Stewart. I was intersted in her gardening tips--I am interested in the idea of "organic" gardening/farming. The pages about the mustard plant--a natural pesticide/herbicide were facinating. SHe uses the oil to fuel her car & the mustard meal byproduct as a fertilizer (high in nitrogen) and pesticide/herbicide. Beautiful photos, fun to read narrative.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I have paged through this book and don't know what I think of it. It's sort of a story book with pictures but there are also a scattered few recipes and crafts in the book. I paid full price for it, although I think it might be a nice gift or a thriftstore find...don't know if I should have gotten it. It was from a book club, so returning them is often more bother than just paying for them. After I read it, I might change my mind. Who is Mary Jane anyways? I have paged through this book and don't know what I think of it. It's sort of a story book with pictures but there are also a scattered few recipes and crafts in the book. I paid full price for it, although I think it might be a nice gift or a thriftstore find...don't know if I should have gotten it. It was from a book club, so returning them is often more bother than just paying for them. After I read it, I might change my mind. Who is Mary Jane anyways?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Casey McNeill

    This book is full of great stories of the past. It is filled with cooking recipes and cleaning detergent recipes. It has good embroidery and sewing patterns, tips on livestock and the outdoors and just about anything else you need to know about! Oh..it has BEAUTIFUL pictures and quotes!! I was so excited by how interesting this book was that i was able to sit down and read the first 300 pages of it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

    This book is a little bit of everything ... for the farmgirl in all of us. There are recipes, tips, and patterns. There are games and ideas for family vacations and solo trips. There is a little bit of history on women and farming, and a lot of inspiration! The photos and layout are really beautiful, and the text reads like a friendly conversation. If you've ever wanted to grow a garden or keep chickens or just make an old fashioned apron, then this book is for you! This book is a little bit of everything ... for the farmgirl in all of us. There are recipes, tips, and patterns. There are games and ideas for family vacations and solo trips. There is a little bit of history on women and farming, and a lot of inspiration! The photos and layout are really beautiful, and the text reads like a friendly conversation. If you've ever wanted to grow a garden or keep chickens or just make an old fashioned apron, then this book is for you!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathie H

    Christmas gift hint: Do yourself & your loved ones a favor & go buy about 15 of these books & give them to your female family members & close girlfriends. Country girl, city girl, it doesn't matter; everyone will adore this book. The only problem is that the MALES (young & old) in their households will swipe it to read & the ladies will have to wrangle it away from them! Christmas gift hint: Do yourself & your loved ones a favor & go buy about 15 of these books & give them to your female family members & close girlfriends. Country girl, city girl, it doesn't matter; everyone will adore this book. The only problem is that the MALES (young & old) in their households will swipe it to read & the ladies will have to wrangle it away from them!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    There is no farm girl in me, but this book makes me wish there was. The photographs are so stunning I thought I picked up a work of fiction. An amazing look at a simply beautiful lifestyle. Great recipes and ideas, my favorite is how to reuse old calendars by making them into bags. Another favorite, how to make your own hammock!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Heather the Hillbilly Banjo Queen

    I would have liked this book better if she had not aired her dirty laundry and feelings about leaving her religion behind. That's her deal, I just want to know about the crafts and farming, not how she just didn't fit in or didn't like what someone was telling her. I didn't think that was the point of this book. But I could be wrong. I would have liked this book better if she had not aired her dirty laundry and feelings about leaving her religion behind. That's her deal, I just want to know about the crafts and farming, not how she just didn't fit in or didn't like what someone was telling her. I didn't think that was the point of this book. But I could be wrong.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    I live on a farm but I my farm girl image falls short of the farm girl life described in this book. I enjoyed the book; didn't read all the prose but flipped through the photos, jotted down some recipes and projects, and returned to the library. It's a fun book, but I'd recommend giving it a test drive from the library before paying for it. I live on a farm but I my farm girl image falls short of the farm girl life described in this book. I enjoyed the book; didn't read all the prose but flipped through the photos, jotted down some recipes and projects, and returned to the library. It's a fun book, but I'd recommend giving it a test drive from the library before paying for it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    As a 'farm girl' now living in the city, I really enjoyed this book! I had to make copies of the pages that contained the sourdough starter recipe, salsa recipes, and different stitches with pictures...Wanted to copy much more! This book is going on my Wish List!! The stories were enjoyable and Maryjane Butters has a new fan! As a 'farm girl' now living in the city, I really enjoyed this book! I had to make copies of the pages that contained the sourdough starter recipe, salsa recipes, and different stitches with pictures...Wanted to copy much more! This book is going on my Wish List!! The stories were enjoyable and Maryjane Butters has a new fan!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    After thumbing through MaryJane's idea/cook/life book, reading an article here and there, I'm anxious to buy packets of ChillOver Powder to experiment new recipes and also make my first BakeOver. Basically a charming lifestyle promotion, that doesn't offend. She's lives the life, has a inspiring story, and great taste. After thumbing through MaryJane's idea/cook/life book, reading an article here and there, I'm anxious to buy packets of ChillOver Powder to experiment new recipes and also make my first BakeOver. Basically a charming lifestyle promotion, that doesn't offend. She's lives the life, has a inspiring story, and great taste.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    A gift from your mother, grandmother, and aunts. Read once, you will read again and again. You will learn the treasures of life. And, you will learn how to stay cool when there is no air conditioner in sight! Every young lady should read this book...or recieve it as a gift when she graduates from high school. A must!!!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kd

    Brought back such memories as she told how to make the clothes-pin holder for the outdoor clothes line, and the day of the weekday dish cloths. The food recipes were great also. Homemade Smores from the ground up, except for the chocolate. I never even imagined one could make marshmallows.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Kind of like Better Homes and Gardens with a smattering of LDS Enrichment meeting. It's funny how she mentions her LDS upbringing, yet declines to explain why she left the LDS church. Mormon culture is all over the place in her stories and ideas. Kind of like Better Homes and Gardens with a smattering of LDS Enrichment meeting. It's funny how she mentions her LDS upbringing, yet declines to explain why she left the LDS church. Mormon culture is all over the place in her stories and ideas.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sherron Watson

    I loved this book. I am trying so hard to eat organically, stay chemical free and keep some of the old "arts" alive and this book gave me some great recipes, ideas and an overall good feeling of trying to live simply. I loved this book. I am trying so hard to eat organically, stay chemical free and keep some of the old "arts" alive and this book gave me some great recipes, ideas and an overall good feeling of trying to live simply.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danijul29

    Mary Jane is who I want to be when I grow up. I definitely have the overwhelming desire to build a wall tent in the backyard now! She's the ultimate feminine feminist. This woman can do what men can do and more - building bridges/fences, outpost ranger position, you name it. Mary Jane is who I want to be when I grow up. I definitely have the overwhelming desire to build a wall tent in the backyard now! She's the ultimate feminine feminist. This woman can do what men can do and more - building bridges/fences, outpost ranger position, you name it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miss Kelly

    Nice book to own. Great down to earth craft ideas, cooking ideas and just great ideas about being a good neighbor and a "farmgirl" I would like to check out MaryJane Butters blog next when I get internet access. Nice book to own. Great down to earth craft ideas, cooking ideas and just great ideas about being a good neighbor and a "farmgirl" I would like to check out MaryJane Butters blog next when I get internet access.

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