Dear Lynn and Staff;

I want to first off tell you all how much I appreciate your Journal, at times your Journal is that little piece of sanity that keeps me going in this insane world. I always look forward to it coming in the mail, it’s like four extra Christmas presents each year. I am always delighted to open the first page to see what is written. You never disappoint, even your rants Lynn, so thank you. Keep up the good work, and don’t change a thing. My folks and I wanted to tell you that we really enjoyed awhile back Mr. Richard Douglass’ article on self-sufficient living. Mom likes to re-read it ever so often for its words of encouragement. I really enjoyed the latest excerpt, “Loving the Land,” if people learned to work with the land and take care of it, instead of against it there might just be fewer headaches. That’s a big “might.”

Well the reason why I’m writing other than to tell you, “Thank you,” is that my folks thought it would be good if I would write you all, in hopes that you could put it out in the Small Farmer’s Journal universe that I am looking for a young woman to write to. The thought was that you all and your readership were probably of like mind. So it would be a good place to try. I guess I need to say a little about myself. I’m 29 years old, grew up mainly on an eleven acre farm, surrounded by animals: goats, sheep, chickens. My family would put in a garden each year and try to raise what was needed. I love being around animals and I had for awhile a Morgan mare that I would plow our gardens with. I enjoy being outside. I like to hunt, garden, cut my own firewood, and make maple syrup.

Generally, I like to work with my own hands. I currently live outside Rich Hill, MO in an old house built in the 1800s which I’m fixing up. With the house I have two acres. It’s not much, but I believe in working with what you have and making do. I hope to someday have more land to work with. On the place, I have chickens, guineas, and ducks. I’ve started working with heritage hogs on a small scale. I’m starting out with a Gloustershire Old Spot boar and Duroc cross gilts. I put in my first garden last spring. I like the idea of being or becoming self sufficient, although I do work outside the farm for an income. I’ve worked in heating and air for the past seven years.

I’m looking for a farm girl around my age who is smart, energetic, loves animals, and is or sees herself as being self-sufficient, or wants to be. And who would like to write to a single man from Rich Hill, MO. I’m looking for a girl who can do more than work her thumbs, a girl who likes using her hands. I’ve thought about using a dating website, but I don’t like the idea of it, it seems so artificial. How is it that the main way of finding love has become reliant on a box made of plastic and wires, spilling out ones and zeroes to find a match. Whatever happened to the community social and get togethers? So, that’s what I am looking for. If you could put it out there I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Again, keep up the good work.

Peter Francis
1428 SW State Rt A, Rich Hill, MO 64779

Dear Peter and all other readers of SFJ, past time for a change in policy.

Many has been the time, over our 39 years, that folks have asked us to publish letters like Peter’s (above) and we have respectfully declined concerned about getting ourselves and our readers in trouble and embarrassing situations.

Times have changed, and are continuing to change, in remarkable ways. So we are allowing tasteful, proper, decent individual efforts to ‘connect’ through the pages of this journal. That said, I personally hold to my rights as editor to decline to publish any request to communicate which is tied to or dependent on social networking via the internet. (Don’t ask; trust it, you don’t want me to go on another tirade about the moral insolvency of social networking. Talk about finding love in all the wrong places!) So long as you are willing to reach out by mailing us an old-fashioned letter and requesting that certain others ‘mail a genuine letter’ back to you, we’ll make an effort to include your correspondence. After all, Peter is right by inference; each issue of SFJ is a community social or get-together. It’s our job to allow that to expand. And the way we do that is by getting out of the way. So send us your requests for pen-pals and we’ll see how things progress.