The “Flour Sack Farmgirls”

There is a group in Naperville that works with power tools, recycles rain coats, and builds beehives.

They call themselves the “Flour Sack Farmgirls” and are made up of women that live an environmentally healthy lifestyle. With each monthly meeting the group embarks on a new project.

The group likes doing projects like cutting grocery bags and piecing the shreds together to make a biodegradable floor mat. Its projects like these the “Flour Sack Farmgirls” have been doing since they began nearly a year ago.

The group also cooks organic meals, harvests worms, and even makes their own spices.

“We are women who rock aprons,” said group founder and current leader Cheryle Duffy–Lehrer. “It’s not just about knitting and crochet. Women like us are edgier and like tools. We are also very ecologically driven.”

The “Flour Sack Farmgirls” is a local chapter of “MaryJanesFarm” an international organization, or sisterhood started by the first female forest ranger, Mary Jane Butters.

The group gets ideas from Mary Jane’s magazine, a publication filled with organic recipes, recycling tips, and home repair projects.

“We have all kinds of ladies that don all nine to five wear,” said Duffy – Lehrer. “And they come and in the evening we have our aprons. It is like two alter egos, but kind of fun.”

The group is made up of 20 women and even two men. Angel Whitt joined because she was looking for friends with similar interests.

“I have made such wonderful friends that we can get together and do all kinds of fun projects,” said Whitt. “They want to do all these odd things and make me feel normal which is really fun and makes me want to fit in.”

“We are kind of like the Amish,” said Angel’s husband Rick Whitt, who joined the group two months ago. “We enjoy the simplicities in life.”

These simple hobbies and projects are quickly growing in popularity. “MaryJanesFarm” has grown to 1,200 groups since the magazine began publication nearly a decade ago. As for the local “Flour Sack Farmgirls,” they invite anyone to join.


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