I recently subscribed to MaryJanes Farm magazine, and love the mix of country living, quilting, crafts, cooking, collectibles, and profiles of rural businesses and lifestyles. I grew up on a series of dairy farms in Connecticut, and saw my father work very hard his entire life, not making a lot of money, but doing what he loved to do. MaryJanes Farm has a number of “Farmgirl” chapters around the country, and I proudly consider myself a farmgirl forever. Even though I no longer live on a farm, the values of hard work and a love for gardening, animals, and the outdoors are things that will always be a big part of my life.
As I was looking at the MaryJanes Farm website, I came across a section about Project F.A.R.M, and realized that this is a project near and dear to my heart- supporting rural artisans who find it difficult to sell their products in a competitive marketplace. Here is an explanation about the project from MaryJane Butters:
What’s Project F.A.R.M.™ ?
F.A.R.M. stands for First-class American Rural Made, and it’s a project that was conceived here, at my farm. As rural communities fade and farmers continue to disappear from our landscape, we decided something must be done to support those struggling to maintain their rural lifestyle. That’s where PROJECT F.A.R.M. comes in.
Rural America is full of unsung crafters — hard-working men and women, young and old, who deserve their fair share and find it hard, if not impossible, to compete in today’s marketplace. To that end, many of the products we sell on our website, or in stores “come with a face” — you can “meet” or “get to know” the person behind the product. As the concept grows and you see our PROJECT F.A.R.M. label on more and more products nationwide, you’ll know you’re supporting rural people like Miss Wilma and Friends, of Kentucky (who boasts she has burned up seven sewing machines making pillows for us), or the women of rural Idaho who sew our “Farmgirl at Heart” tote bags, or the people of Shiner, Texas who fabricate the products in our wireline.”
The criterion for being defined as a rural area was a town that has less than 40 stoplights. That was an easy one for the little town I live in- the answer is zero stoplights!
I sent in an application, along with one of my zipper pouches for review by the approval committee, waited nervously for a few days, and then got the word that I was approved. I am absolutely thrilled!
It is very exciting to be included in a group of rural artisans from all over the country who are working hard to produce high-quality, hand-crafted goods in their small communities. I truly believe it is those types of small businesses that will help get America’s economy moving in the right direction.
Please support Project F.A.R.M “First-Class American Rural Made” businesses!