While at the family gathering in Florida, I did have time to read your excellent essay on television. Your "quandary" seems to me to be a very interesting and important one, for which of course no one else can provide the definitive solution for you. But perhaps we can enter into an exchange of thoughts on the subject and see if that bears any useful fruit. No doubt you have already done some reading on the question of TV and have thought seriously about it. It occurred to me on a second reading of your essay that you are a model for what can be accomplished by people who do not watch TV. The question of whether or not to make use of TV would I suppose depend on what you want to accomplish ó what content you want to communicate. Therefore, to answer the question, I'd think it would be necessary to have a good understanding of the nature of the TV medium. Since I can't claim to possess this, any suggestions I might have would be of limited value. But based on a few books I've read and personal intuition, I think that TV, as with other media such as speech and print, by its very nature is biased toward admitting and communicating well some types of content and does not communicate other types well or at all. Furthermore, also because of the nature of the medium, TV tends to assume a certain regard for its viewers, tends to adopt a certain attitude toward its content, and, because of its popularity, is a very strong influence determining the character of public discourse in our society. A book I have read recently makes the case that TV has determined that the quintessential characteristic of that discourse today is one of (perhaps Huxleyan) entertainment, regardless of content. So, lots of interesting and thought provoking stuff here. I'll be interested in knowing your further thoughts and those of your readers on the subject. Should be good material for future magazine articles.
Read your article and feel that you hit the bull's eye on the TV issue. It's funny, reading your article, I realized that what's missing in TV for me is my inner voice of conversation. It is present in verbal communication, and it is present in books. But not TV; the visual message is overwhelming. That's why I think TV is numbing. But before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, I contend that TV does have a role.
It might not be our favorite medium, but it is the prevalent medium and it is powerful if used well. I don't believe that you will create the "numbing" programming we all decry. Instead, I think you will reach people where they "live" and show them how to live better. And who knows, you might even encourage someone to watch less TV. After reading your article, I'm going to stay away from TV more.
Got to study for the Master Gardener's examination!!!!
I was fortunate enough to run across your website about six months ago, and it instantly spoke to me. Since then, it has been constantly in the back of my mind. I happened upon your magazine a few months back and immediately snatched it up.
I was born and raised on our family farm in Montana, and have since gone away to college and am working in Wisconsin. Although Iíve been away from the farm now for almost 10 years, I still havenít gotten it out of my heart.
Iíve lived a lot of other places, but nothing has ever felt like home. It is this feeling, a yearning, that makes me think that I am not doing what I was put here to do. My fiancť and I have talked about taking over our farm from my dad in 3-5 years, which is thrilling and scary to think about all at once, especially at a time when family farms are struggling.
I just want you to know that you have awakened an inner spirit in me that I have been ignoring for some time now. Thank you for all that you have done.
Proud to be a country girl,
Iím enclosing one of my pressed flower cards, thinking you might want to do an article on this ancient, but ever popular, craft at some point in the future.†I have a booth at the Sandpoint Farmersí Market, where I have sold my pressed flower items for the last 10 years, growing all my flowers in my garden. Over the years, I have learned many ways of pressing flowers, and would be happy to share the information with your readers. You may visit www.pressed-flower.com on the Web for a sampling of my work and information about the craft.
Your website is great! Itís on my Ďfavorites,í and I visit it regularly. Keep up the excellent work!
Thank you from all of us who love the rural life.
Cheers from a fan,
I am a loyal follower of MaryJanesFarm, and you have been kind enough to mail me copies of your magazine, which I use when conducting my outdoor skills workshops for my business, Wildside Adventures for Women. I like to promote nutritious eating during my backpacking and backcountry workshops, and your products are right on the money! I am also involved as a representative for a company called Enviro Smart (www.enviro-smart.com), which encourages businesses and individuals to recycle their used printer cartridges ó ink jet, toner, fax, etc. Rather than sending them to the landfills, they can be reused, and Enviro Smart supplies postage-paid mailers and boxes for individuals and businesses to mail these cartridges back to them.
I loved your magazine and what you stand for the first time I saw it, and you continue to endear yourselves to my heart. Turning a wood shed/car repair spot into a designerís studio is definitely after my own heart. There arenít enough practical people in this world that would think to do something like that. They would find some fancy pants studio somewhere like everyone else. If Iím going to be creative, I want it to be in a place that gives me the right feeling to create in!
I look forward to the new magazine.
The first thing that made me pick up the package and look more carefully was the ď1Ĺ servings.Ē Iíve always felt stuffed after the usual ď2 servingsĒ freeze-dried meals. I think your approach of offering many different package sizes is brilliant.
After I examined the package, I was impressed with the nutritional balance. Most of the selections are low-fat and relatively low-sodium.
Neither of these factors would have mattered, however, if the food didnít taste good on the trail. Most freeze-dried stuff is too bland, particularly for taste buds that are dulled by high altitude and fatigue. In the past, Iíve had to dump spices and/or Tabasco onto my food to give it a little zest. Most of the stuff I used to eat all tastes similar. Your food is good, tasty, often zesty, and the different foods are distinguishable from each other. The portion size is perfect for me. With some soup to start and coffee/hot chocolate to finish, Iím both full and re-fueled.
Finally, I think your packaging is excellent. Itís compact, easy to use, and conserves resources.
Keep up the good work and Iíll keep buying my meals from you. Every time I hike, a few of my friends inquire about the food and I direct them to your website.
We just LOVED our sampling of your food! We are always dieting here at Lakeside Womenís Health Center, trying to practice what we preach Ö and looked forward to trying your energy bars and soups in the office.
The Lentil Soup is fantastic! Maggie, our office manager, will consider becoming a complete vegetarian if she can always eat yummy food like MaryJane offers!†I am partial to the sushi rolls [Raw Food To Go] with a cup of green tea. Keep up the good work!
I enjoyed Saraís article about her visit with her doctor.†Weíd just like you to know thatís not how we do things in Ludington! We enjoy our girl talk about our babies, husbands and lives, in addition to helping gals find a healthy way to live!
I had a wonderful time wandering through your website. What fun! You have a wonderful view and vision of things. I was so thrilled to accidentally stumble upon your magazine at our local Borders bookstore where I had been searching for books on sustainability, green design and earth friendly topics, only to find that they do not have such a section in the their store. I was amazed. This must only mean that too few people have the view that we should all be more interested and educated about health and our environment and surroundings and then be able to find the joy in it.
Well, I am living here in Provo, Utah, researching and searching for products and information that will help me to open my business as soon as possible. I have a vision of a store to help people to easily be able to help themselves and the environment through the foods they eat, purchases and choices they make, etc. Itís nice to ďmeetĒ people like you who have found the joy in such things. I love the term ďbiothinkingĒ that I have read about. It kind of sums it up for me. We all need to do more of that, it seems. Thank you for your inspiration. I would love to get a catalog and wholesale price list if you have them. The pictures of your farm do make me ache for something as wonderful. I would love to see it sometime. My parents and three brothers live in Boise. Iíll have to head north sometime. Thanks again. My business is called "The Little Pig."
Iím writing specifically to comment on Carol Hillís letter regarding the re-use of shopping bags, and the eco-bags you advocate. I am so in favor of re-using bags, and have been dreaming for years that we in the U.S. would follow the example set in Europe and UK. In Britain, most large grocery chains credit you a few cents for each bag that you re-use when making a new purchase.
In Germany, Holland and Australia, grocery stores do not give you a bag at all, and you must either purchase the bags you need or bring your own with you. (In Holland, I noticed that boxes were available for free if you wanted them to load in a car, or more likely to strap onto your bike!) The store bags are heavy plastic with sturdy handles for much re-use.
So far in the U.S., I have only encountered a few stores encouraging bag re-use. Whole Foods refunds you about 5 cents per bag packed, but sells good cloth bags for up to $8 ó ridiculous! Treasure Island in the Chicago area also credits you for bags, and sells canvas bags for about $4 ó much better value.
We should encourage all stores to begin crediting for bag re-use or charging the customers directly for the bags they need.
In the meantime, I will continue to carry my bags to the stores, trying to teach by example.
Mary Nemecek Peterson
P.S. My life is so different from yours, but from what I can see ó I want to be you! Keep up the great work.