A Letter To My Readers

(Dear Donna in Delaware, it’s me, Maria!)

Dear Reader,

Perhaps you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. 

Perhaps you haven’t.

I stopped blogging in late 2016 for a few reasons…

  1. Free content online takes work and time and I was running out of it.
  2. The business model for blogging doesn’t work. Period.
  3. I realized publishing wasn’t going to get any better and decided, along with my family, that it was time to sell the third generation publishing company we owned together.
  4. Selling a company takes time and energy.
  5. I needed a break. 

Almost three years later I am waking up on the other side of it all.

  1. We sold our company to Hearst and they sold our books to Penguin Random House.
  2. I kept my blog.
  3. The clean up of three generations of history, storage, random shit is complete.
  4. I’ve had a nice break (and actually am still taking it).
  5. I’m incredibly grateful that we got out when we did. Because publishing has only gotten worse.

Now I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. In order to keep my trademark for Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen, I have to post a blog. I’m not sure I want to keep blogging. I’m not even sure I want to keep the trademark. But my kids want me to keep it. I no longer have a “staff” to manage all my stuff. There are no copy editors, no Corporate Communications people to make sure I’m not saying anything dangerous or that could be misconstrued by employees or “the media.”  I don’t have a tech or analytics team. 

It’s just me (and my daughter who knows how to post blogs). 

Just me sitting here in my yoga clothes wondering what to do next.

Here is what I do know:

I need to write.

I love the idea of writing without a filter, without overthinking things.

I love to cook.

I still test and keep track of new recipes.

I am not interested in building a brand or a business.

I am interested in sharing ideas.

So, dear readers, by posting this blog I get to maintain my trademark. But I also get to check in with you, if there are any of you left out there, and see if you have any opinions or thoughts you want me to know about. 

What do you think?

I’m genuinely curious.

If you are here reading this, thank you. I appreciate you.



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53 Responses to A Letter To My Readers

  1. Hazelbon February 19, 2021 at 7:03 pm #

    Children should be encouraged to be independent thinkers. But as the bus made its way higher, I began to wonder. I met a girl recently.


    By the way, 26 female in North Birmingham area. I like to do a wide range of things.. So, let me know what you want and we can go from there.

  2. Marilee July 5, 2022 at 5:02 pm #

    So glad I wondered, “Whatever happened to Maria Rodale?” And thus, I found you. I don’t know how many times I have referred people to “Organic Manifesto,” and even given it as a gift a few times. I first heard the name Rodale from my father, many years ago, probably by or about your forbears. Anyway, glad to have found your blog. He grew up on a farm in Mountain Grove, PA, but moved to California in the 1930s where he continued to garden well into the 1970s. Yes, I’m an old broad and I am reduced to gardening in pots and a couple of raised bed here in Eugene, Oregon, all organically, though. Anyway, thanks for writing The Manifesto and all the magazines over the years. Looking forward to reading your blog as you see fit to publish. — Marilee, Eugene, OR. P.S., Lots of organic farmers out here.

  3. Elisabeth Winkler May 29, 2023 at 7:44 am #

    I can identify! I am trying to decide what to do with my blog. I agree, it is a lot of work for free. I like having my blog so I can look up old recipes and photos. Hey, maybe that’s its purpose. Good luck with yours, Maria, and well done for sorting things out.

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