MaryJanes Farm is Fabulous


Maryjane This used to be an idiosyncratic publication that you could only get through means so complicated I don't even dare try to describe them here. Now it's widely available on the newsstand — I found it in the grocery store yesterday –and through a perfectly ordinary and reasonable subscription arrangement.

MaryJane Butters is an Idaho farmer who promotes, through her magazine, website, and farm (where you can come and learn about whatever aspect of farming interests you), a form of country living that involves keeping a few chickens out back, growing and canning your own vegetables, sleeping outside on warm summer evenings, and even knowing how to sew a thing or two.

It is an unabashedly girly farming magazine. I love it. I think you should subscribe.

She also sells a lot of cool stuff through her website, from packaged organic foods to camping supplies. But the best thing is the Limited Edition Teardrop Trailer, which just holds a double bed and a tiny portable kitchen.  At $14 grand, it may be the best housing investment you ever make.

Seriously, MaryJane rocks.  Check her out.


  1. Love the mag. I’ll probably subscribe. But in these tough times, I can tell you that you can get the same exact trailer for a lot less than $14 K, if you really want one. RV dealerships are wheeling and dealing and we were out looking at them just last week.

  2. Well for little more than $21K we have a toy hauler that sleeps 6 with a bathroom and kitchen. Plus it will haul our antique jeep.

    No offence but this looks the Martha You Know Who of farm life. I don’t need a clothes pin bag for $46.50. Oh and the organic towels—site takes you to Belks to order.

  3. I looked at the magazine today when I was at the bookstore, and honestly I wasn’t particularly blown away, especially for the price of $5.99. It had a lot of interesting-sounding links to websites where one could purchase stuff, a couple of short and simple articles, some puffery about Mary Jane, plus one or two not very exciting recipes — what to do with peas you have grown in your garden, what to do with rhubarb, etc. OK stuff, but not very inspiring. But, that said, I did like the emphasis on organics and on thrifty living.

    Sometimes I think I’m too old for all this stuff — unfortunately I remember when times were really hard and people had no choice but to be thrifty (or cheap, to use a less sympathetic word). And to spend $5.99 for a magazine to tell you how to do it would have seemed outlandish.

  4. I’m with you Rosella.

    When Simplicity magazine came out at $6 an issue I laughed out loud.

    Seriously, have any of these people ever actually had to grow food to survive or ever employed the concept of simplify as an act of spiritual respect for the planet?

    That said, I’m glad there are publications to guide those who can benefit from guidance.

  5. Shades of my honeymoon – in 1972 we traveled from New Orleans to upper New York and across the transCanada to the Calgary Stampede – pulling a homemade, plywood teardrop camper! Oh how brave are the young and inexperienced!

    Magazine prices? What about those $10 gardening magazines written by folks with clean finger nails?

  6. i’d heard about mary jane’s farm, website, and publications awhile back (and agree with you about the irritating aura of elusiveness the whole operation exuded/exudes), but just discovered her magazine at barnes & noble a few days ago. not having time to peruse it in-store but being curious, i went ahead and bought it. and i have to say, i’m completely nonplussed. like the website, the articles are fluffy and the items shown are expensive, or point readers to pricey shopping sites. and it’s too obviously marketed to women who apparently have a compulsive need to make everything “girly” (“glamping”? seriously??) or “empowering” (what is this, oprah high on compost tea? or, as a previous poster commented, M.S. visits the farm?). which really turned me off. there’s plenty of beauty (not to mention empowerment, connectivity, spirituality, etc.) in life, crafts, and nature without having to cover everything with stickers and doilies. it also left an unpleasant taste of marketing-slickness in my mouth. meh.

  7. I bought the magalog once. I’m impressed by the following her marketing has created but wonder how many are let down when they realize it’s a lot of frill and fantasy. We can all buy bulk ingredients, mix and store in reusable packaging. There really isn’t need to buy prepackaged. We’re quite capable of doing this ourselves with a little effort. I found it less expensive to pick up the ingredients I want in bulk at the health food store and mix it up in the kitchen.

    Shoes,rugs and bedding from MaryJanes farm? These products aren’t made at MaryJanes. Yes, we like nice things but this is no more farm than Martha Stewart.

    It’s too fluffy and frilly for this farm woman. How about spending the $6 for more seeds or locally grown food at farmers market rather than on a glossy magazine?

  8. I first bought this magazine years ago, back when it was a ‘magalog’, with no advertising except for M.J.’s organic food line, and finally subscribed after buying it on the newstand each time I found it. I would seriously drop everything when the new issue arrived, and just sit down and read it all the way through. The early issues really appealed to me, with articles on root cellars and keeping chickens, profiles of interesting women running small-businesses or farms, articles on her very cool Pay Dirt Farm School, and some good recipes, not all of them exclusively featuring M.J.’s foodstuffs.

    I even bought her first book, MaryJanes Ideabook, and really loved reading through that as well, very inspiring.

    I hung in there when the first issue of MaryJanes Farm Magazine arrived, complete with advertising, much more fluffy content and a seriously girly bent that was the part of the whole deal that had appealed to me the least. But after a while I found that I was letting the magazine sit there for a few days on the kitchen table before I even opened it, and I flipped through it in a few minutes- articles on how to make clothes you would never, ever, farm in, let alone garden in, out of lace doilies, article on how to have a ‘farmgirl lifestyle’ living in your apartment in the city, every cute phrase now seemed to have ‘TM’ after it. I think it was the ‘glamping’ issue that finally did me in. I mean, I get it, I really do, it’s fun to fantasize about stuff like this. The teardrop trailer is super cool, and sure I would love to have 14k to just drop on an indulgence so that I could go camping in style. And I get it that there are a lot of people who don’t live in the country who want to experience it somehow, who want to think of themselves as ‘farmgirls at heart’- the explosion of her Farmgirl groups, and the website chatrooms is a testament to the deep chord she has struck with many, many women. The magazine as it is now appeals to a much broader audience.

    But I liked the magazine more, and respected it more, when it was more about REAL stuff, and less about all the silly fluffy stuff that has very little to do with farming, or gardening, or growing or making anything very useful, or simple.

    I agree with season’s post, about how it “left an upleasant taste of marketing slickness in my mouth.” It all reminds me of when I had the sad experience of working for Smith & Hawken, back when they used to be a REAL gardening store, during their transition to a store for the ‘Garden Lifestyle’. Less tools, more decorative cachepots. SO depressing, I had to quit.

    MaryJane is an amazing woman, and she has achieved a lot of wonderful things- I have a tremendous amount of admiration for her. But I don’t subscribe to the magazine any more. And the sad thing is, I actually AM a real ‘farm girl’, living on a small farm, growing herbs and flowers for farmers markets, and wanting to learn more about things like bees and chickens and root cellars. This magazine should appeal to me. I still like bits of it. But I would rather spend the money saved on the subscription on seeds, or tools, or a good pair of gloves.

  9. I’ll admit that the concept of a farming magazine for women really appealed to me, and I was even considering a free trail issue of the magazine. Then, I checked out the website…You’ve got to be kidding! It’s like Martha you-know-who on the “farm”. Way over the top. Some of the items for sale are nice, but so what? Too pricey for those of use who are just keeping our heads above water. MJ must have lots of people working for her, too. Otherwise, how would she have time to do all those things, (especially while wearing those crazy outfits!). Who dresses like that when there’s work to be done? Way too girly for me, and unrealistic. I wish her all the best, and hope she finds her audience (suburban weekend gardeners?). I’ll stick with my subscription to ‘Countryside’, thank you very much…it’s much more practical, and they aren’t trying to sell me things I don’t need.

    Blessings to all…

  10. Finally, I was starting to think that i was the only one who found MJ way over the top! And really being a true Idaho farm girl i can tell you that i find nothing appealing about all the marketing and expense that is portrayed as being a farm girl.
    This is all about the mighty dollar! How sad is that!

  11. I think you are all insane. This is a beautifully done magazine that lifts the spirit and encourages the mind, esposes people to new ideas and concepts and meets people where they are. I think people who have no idea what it means to write, produce, and publish a magazine in this economy have a lot to say about nothing. $5.99 is not too much for a magazine at Barnes and Nobel since B&N takes about 3/4th of that. (If you don’t like the price, don’t spend your money at a chain bookstore). I think the staff at MJ magazine do a great job and you are all a bunch of naysayers and complainers who are jealous you aren’t as talented or as motivated to do your own thing. Those who have talent, Do.
    Those who don’t, don’t.

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  13. Does anyone have the recipe for the no knead-two ingredients sourdough bread recipe from the Mary Janes Farm “Simply Bee’ Feb.-Mar 2009 issue? I would really appreciate it.All back copies are sold out.Thank you so very much.

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