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MaryJane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook: For the Farmgirl in All of Us Hardcover – May 24, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st Printing edition (May 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400080479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400080472
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MaryJane Butters discovered she was a writer when, at age forty-five, she needed a mail-order catalog for her line of organic foods, produced at her Idaho farm. When her passion for good stories got out of hand, her catalog became a "storefront" magazine (MaryJanesFarm), finding its way into stores like Barnes & Noble and Wal-Mart, and eventually landing on the desk of a literary agent in New York.

MaryJane grew up in Utah in a self-sufficient family of seven, longing for fertile ground where she could raise her own flock of chickens, maybe a cow or two, and a family. Working her way north, she made her living as a carpenter, waitress, seamstress, secretary, janitor, wilderness ranger, community organizer, and milkmaid.

Rooted now on her own five acres for the past twenty years (seven of those as a single mom), MaryJane has accomplished everything she set out to achieve, including a few surprises. Twelve years ago, she married her neighbor, Nick Ogle, a third-generation farmer. Together they raised four hard-working children, plus bees, chickens, goats, cows, peas, beans, hay, wheat, and every vegetable imaginable, including a biodiesel crop to fuel MaryJane's car. She also cultivated twenty-seven future organic farmers in her apprenticeship program called Pay Dirt Farm School, bought an historic flour mill, and created the "Farmgirl Connection," a website that brings together hundreds of women sharing their farmgirl dreams and big farmgirl hearts.

From AudioFile

The Martha Stewart of the West proves that not only is she proficient at organic farming, carpentry, food preparation, and much more, but also that she can sell with the best of them. Her delivery is clear and forceful. She seems like someone you might like to have as a neighbor or as a manager running your company. Tender moments such as sewing a last-minute Christmas rag doll for her daughter share air space with the organization of a vendor sale. She happily provides Web sites of products she likes as well as her own. So what if you don't need to know how to keep an outhouse smelling fresh--this is a great listen. J.B.G. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I love Mary Jane's books and magazines.
Quin
And if you're just a "farmgirl" at heart, this book feels like your best friend.
Laurie
This book has wonderful ideas, great recipes and many helpful hints.
Lori Hinkle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Laurie on July 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I believe that I first heard of MaryJane from the Food Network's "Food Finds" show. Intrigued, I checked out her website, and ordered a few products, along with an issue of her magazine. I was pleased with what I received and ordered more of both. And when I heard that she would be coming out with a book, I put it on my wish list before it was published...but then I sort of forgot about it. Recently, I was perusing my wish list, looking for an item to fill up an order so that it would qualify for free shipping, and I spied this book. It was considerably more than I needed to spend, but for some reason, it felt right. So I ordered it, not knowing exactly what to expect -- would it just be a rehash of the magazine? How can something be an "Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook"? Having received it, now all I can say is "WOW"! I am definitely more than pleased with my purchase. While not an exhaustive report on any one subject, it is overflowing with tidbits about such a variety of topics that I am truly amazed. And I can see why it was named "Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook". MaryJane touches on everything from her daughter's beautiful farm wedding, to ways to easily sprout seeds, to a how-to on building your own "wall tent", to vintage embroidery patterns for kitchen towels. There's a primer for most of the basic stitches in sewing. There are recipes and reminiscences. Advice on cutting kindling. Vacation ideas. Breathtaking photos. And most importantly, there is inspiration. If you want to buy a few acres and start your own farm, this book gives you some ideas to explore. If you want to sell your produce, this book gives you sources for supplies. If you want the best garden hoe, the best food dehydrator, the purest jam -- this book tells you where to go.Read more ›
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lori Hinkle on April 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book was not what I expected, it was so much more!! This is a gorgeous book fit for the coffee table. After reading it, rereading it and referencing it several times, I am hard put to decide where to keep it on the shelf in the library. It could easily go with the cookbooks, gardening, farming, etc. I finally just put it by itself where it's easy to find since I refer back to it so often. This book has wonderful ideas, great recipes and many helpful hints. It is also worth the money just for the glimpse into Mary Jane's life. I can't wait for her next book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Woodland Dweller on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First I want to say of "jefffsdate's" negative review: Get a clue! I grew up in small town Texas and though there were a very few Mexican people, we generally had no "people of color". Ever been to Idaho? Not many people of color running around there either, nor are there where I live now in a rural area on the east coast. Also, duh! The magazine was made to be a product catalog which is clearly stated.

Aside from that comment, I want to say this book is lovely. I identified strongly with it. I am multiracial too. Imagine that! The photos, the ideas, the feel, everything reminded me of my country small town upbringing.

I've ordered many of MaryJane's products and she and her husband answer the phone on occassion. Nothing I've ordered from MaryJanes Farm hasn't been wonderful.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Judith E. Cowles on August 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is more than a book, which is why the title is composed of Idea,Cook and Life. It's hefty, filled with evocative, inspiring photographs, good recipes, and the encouraging story of MaryJane Butters' journey to her life today in Idaho. Along the way: working as a park ranger, farming organically, surviving as a single Mom, and establishing today's business. I had ordered this book as a 55th birthday gift for a friend, but will need to order another copy for her (this one is now "used": coffee rings and recipe notes...try hers for watermelon salsa.) And even though it's big, you CAN read it in bed!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Winnie The Pooh on August 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is not only a great resource...but it is inspiring...beautifully illustrated...took me on a journey of what is really important in life..to simplify...experience and create.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Krae on July 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! Just reading it makes me feel like I've taken a trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city! Beautiful photos, interesting information, and some great recipes to boot. This is less of a cookbook though - so if you're looking strictly for recipes more than anything else, this may not be the book for you. It is a great coffee table book and one that I will enjoy reading again.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lori Seaborg on January 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like to be sure of a few things before buying a pricey book like this one:

Is it full of useful content?
Is it pretty to look at?
Is it big?

Yes to all of those regarding this book! It is full of useful content such as recipes (my one problem with the book is that many of the recipes require an ingredient purchase from Mary Jane) and craft projects and many little reads that make my heart feel warm and fuzzy.

It is pretty to look at...no, make that breathtaking. Mary Jane's farm is in Moscow, Idaho, which is very near Gold Hill, Idaho, where my father grew up. I love to visit the family's homestead site, with the nearby one-room schoolhouse and tiny church. Mary Jane's photographs bring me back to Gold Hill each time I look at them.

And, yep, the book is big, with 416 pages of 8-1/2 by 11" paper.

I've only had the book for a few days but already I am loving it. It will make a wonderful gift for the women in my life who love the home and garden as I do.

by Lori Seaborg
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