Cut From the Same Cloth

Looking through an original magazine called The Farmers Wife, dated June 1931, it is obvious that while time marches on, some things never change. As the year winds to a close, I know well all busy with Christmas preparations, but take a break to take a quick stroll with me back in time to visit Farmgirls of yesteryear, in Cut From the Same Cloth
The Farmgirl bumper sticker on the back my pickup truck turns a lot of heads. Maybe its also the lace curtains in the back window that attracts notice, the wooden spoons hanging on the gun rack, or my Sisterhood necklace swinging from the rearview mirror. Whatever it is, I often get asked a lot of questions in parking lots. I find its a good opportunity to spread the word about MaryJanes Farm and what the Farmgirl movement is all about, and I meet some interesting people in the process. It was a new experience for my husband, however, as he was chased down the road by one of our kindred farmgirl spirits when he was leaving our towns recycling center a few weeks ago. Not that he minded being flagged down by an attractive woman! Naturally he pulled over, and had the opportunity to meet Joan, an interesting lady and farmgirl-at-heart. Whats a Certified Farmgirl? she asked him, commenting on MaryJanes bumper sticker on the back. She was soon to learn that she fit the description to a T!! A couple weeks later, Joan stopped in at the front desk of our inn, asking for The Mountain Farmgirl, and carrying a box with the most interesting contents. A fascinating person in her own right, Joan operates a B&B up in the hills above Jackson. She wanted to meet me and share one of her farmgirl treasures which she thought I would enjoy. She was certainly right about that! Opening the box I discovered a magazine called The Farmers Wife, dated June 1931, and I have been lost in its pages of articles ever since! The magazine, which bills itself as The Magazine for Farm Women, (obviously now replaced by MaryJanes Farm), is a classic. This magazine is full of colored drawings, paintings and photographs from a simpler time in our history, but many things as relevant today as they were then. There were plenty of readers in its day, as the front cover boasts More than a Million copies a Month! From advice columns for mothers and daughters to tips on the Poultry Business, short stories illustrated by pen and ink sketches written in installments, and article on Better School Teachers for the Money The Farmers Wife seems to have something for everybody. There are patterns for the latest styles for teens, a plan for a Modern Comfortable House, an article for newly married farmgirls called When the Honeymoons Over (oh-oh!), farm recipes galore, Home Emergency Tips for burns, a C with a puzzlehildrens page, How To Get 6 cents More for Your Eggs or how to get rid of lice on your chickens! But some of my favorite parts are the advertisements and photos of a bygone era. Frankly it was a trip down memory lane for me, as they reminded me of my old New York farmhouse, which was filled with working antiques such as a 1930s gas stove, an old coil refrigerator, an ice box and a wood cookstove. How I miss my everyday relics which got sold with my home when we moved to New Hampshire but how fun to see them being sold in The Farmers Wife! Heres some eye candy of some of the farmgirl bounty found within its aging pages, as I wish you all a holiday filled with Christmas Blessings and Best Wishes for the New Year. Until next time, Mounty Bounty, Mountain Blessings from Cathi The Mountain Farmgirl


By: Debbie
On: 12/23/2013 09:24:24
Merry Christmas Cathi!
I love this post.. and I can so relate. Last year I bought the book called Christmas on the Farm... It's filled with dozens of articles, recipes, handicrafts and advice from the farm all from the original Farmers Wife Magazine's! I've been re-reading it this year and I couldn't agree more that some of the information is still as practical today and it ever was. Thank goodness MaryJane is the new voice for the Farmers Wife and the rest of us " farmgirls " today!
PS. I proudly display my certified bumber sticker on my red Ford Explorer too!
Wishing you and yours a peaceful holiday... See you in 2014!
love and hugs,
By: Diana Henretty
On: 12/23/2013 13:29:00
I love to collect any kind of old cookbook written by farmer's wives.
The best recipes from generations are lovingly submitted to them and they are a treasure.
Tonite it is Country Cornbread to go along with Ham Cabbage Potato Soup,
all cooked on my old cookstove this wintry Ozark day.
Merry Christmas from Noel, Mo, Diana
By: Bonnie ellish
On: 12/23/2013 15:16:48
You found a treasure. The old farmer,s wife magazines were really full of practical information. Thanks Mary Jane for reviving the tradition in such a creative way. Farmgirl,s rock! One farm magazine was from St. Paul,minnesota in the 30's to the 60's. Inside the magazine was a whole section called the farmers wife. I wrote some articles for them early in my married life. Merry christmas to all. Bonnie
By: Joan
On: 12/25/2013 10:58:32
Oh what fun to receive such a fun box. Everywhere I go I look for the old magazines, some of which I remember having at my Grandmothers home. And some of the items you mentioned were still used when I was a girl in the 40's and so wish I had more of them today to help enjoy the memories. Christmas Blessings to you and yours. Happy New Year and God Bless.

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Cathi Belcher

Cathi Belcher,
an old-fashioned farmgirl with a pioneer spirit, lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a “lifelong learner” in the “Live-Free-or-Die” state, she fiercely values self-reliance, independence, freedom, and fresh mountain air. Married to her childhood sweetheart of 40+ years (a few of them “uphill climbs”), she’s had plenty of time to reinvent herself. From museum curator, restaurant owner, homeschool mom/conference speaker, to post-and-beam house builder and entrepreneur, she’s also a multi-media artist, with an obsession for off-grid living and alternative housing. Cathi owns and operates a 32-room mountain lodge. Her specialty has evolved to include “hermit hospitality” at her rustic cabin in the mountains, where she offers weekend workshops of special interest to women.

“Mountains speak to my soul, and farming is an important part of my heritage. I want to pass on my love of these things to others through my writing. Living in the mountains has its own particular challenges, but I delight in turning them into opportunities from which we can all learn and grow.”

Column content copyright © 2010– Cathi Belcher. All rights reserved.

Mountain Bounty

“Keep close to Nature’s heart ... and break clear away once in awhile to climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods, to wash your spirit clean.”
– John Muir

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