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Real Routines Spotlight: Mary Heffernan

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Mary Heffernan and her husband had a comfortable suburban life with their big house and plenty of room to hold their 4 kids. However something was missing, and when opportunity knocked, they answered the door, and then moved in. They purchased the historic Sharps Gulch Ranch in northern California in 2013 and started an entirely new life.

Thus Five Mary's Farm was born, where they produce all natural meat and farm goods. They also host retreats! They work hard, spend most of their time outdoors, and believe in living close to the land. Get to know Mary, and definitley check out her website and Instagram

How do you explain Mother Dirt to other people?

I tell people just like your gut needs a healthy biome with good bacteria - so does your skin. And if your kids aren't playing in pig mud everyday like mine - Mother Dirt is the next best thing!


How do you interpret “less is more?”  Are there any other ways this philosophy plays into your life?

Less is more is very important in our everyday life - we moved from a big, cushy suburban house in the SF Bay Area to a 780 sq foot cabin on our ranch. For the first year our four daughters all slept in the same double bed. We moved most of our belongings into storage containers behind our house and we found we really don't need much to live a very fulfilling, happy life on our working cattle ranch.


Do you have any other “unconventional” personal care or lifestyle habits?

I keep my hair healthy by only washing it once a week. It doesn't require much care and stays soft and healthy with Mother Dirt shampoo and a conditioner.


What is a fun fact about yourself?

My husband and I have four daughters and they are all named Mary :) They are named after different grandmothers on both sides, carrying on a legacy of strong, vibrant, go-getter women.  MaryFrances is 9 years old and she goes by Francie. MaryMarjorie is 7 and we call her Maisie. MaryJane is 6 and prefers to be called JJ and MaryTeresa is pulling up the rear at 4 years old and affectionately called Tiny Tess!


Ocean or mountains person?

Mountains! I love our beautiful valley we live in nestled between the Marble Mountains and the Trinity Alps in way Northern CA. We spend our days working together as a family on our ranch - raising cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens and happy kids.


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