evelyn birkby

Long before the homemade vibes of food podcasts, there were folksy radio homemakers. These early 20th-century women offered recipes, life hacks and insights for the modern farmer’s wife. And just like podcasts today, their shows were often personal, off-the-cuff and straight from the kitchen table.

“We were just women who shared our lives,” says Evelyn Birkby. “We shared what we were doing with our families, what we were cooking, what we were eating.” Birkby began hosting Down a Country Lane out of Shenandoah, Iowa, 65 years ago on KMA radio.

Food Podcasts 1.0: These Radio Pioneers Had It Down 90 Years Ago

Photo: Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection