Farming had never been children's book writer Friend's dream; her fantasies ran more along the lines of nurturing her writing career. But when her partner, Melissa, talks her into buying a farm--and reality hits in the form of 53 worn-out acres in Minnesota--she learns how to test a ram's testicles and select a flock of 50 ewe lambs by the scientific criteria of who had the cutest face and could be caught, and she is now in the sheep business. The couple soon adds a border collie, 2 pet goats, 150 chickens, 200 grapevines, an old pickup, and an even older tractor and begin to acquire the skills needed to make a go of it. This honest look at collaboration and compromise, the pain and the joy of partnership, and the hands-on of farming will find a ready audience. Nancy BentCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Farms have fences. People have boundaries. Mine began crumbling the day I knelt behind a male sheep, reached between his legs, and squeezed his testicles....Janet, the instructor of this course on raising sheep, had indicated it was my turn. 'Grab his testicles here, around the widest part.' Right, no problem. At that very moment all my friends were attending a writing conference. They were warm, clean, and not feeling up a ram with sixteen-inch testicles....Wincing, I reached between the ram's back legs with my thumb and forefinger. 'Don't pinch him,' Janet cried."
Hit by a Farm is a hilarious recounting of Catherine's attempt to become a farmer; it is also a coming-of(middle)-age story of a woman trying to close the divide between who she wants to be, and who she really is. After helping Melissa fulfill her dream, Catherine eventually finds a way to recapture her own. By turns funny and moving, Hit by a Farm is a crash course in both living off and living with the land that will appeal to anyone hungering for a connection to rural life.
Praise for Hit by a Farm:
"A sweet and funny book in the classic Hardy Girls Go Farming genre, elegantly told, from the first two pages, which are particularly riveting for the male reader, through the astonishing revelation that chickens have belly-buttons and on to the end, which comes much too soon. It has dogs, sheep, a pickup truck, women's underwear, electric fences, the works."--Garrison Keillor
"What a funny, touching delightful, human story! Catherine is not only a farmer; she is most certainly a writer too."--Marion Dane Bauer, Newbery Honor Book author
"If you ever thought farming could be a fabulous back-to-basics adventure, if you ever wondered about the difference in raising, say, a sheep or a peacock, if you ever wanted an honest -- but jaundiced -- peek at farm living, read Catherine Friend's Hit by a Farm. You'll be hit by her candor and humor, and your thoughts about farming will never be the same."--Cindy Rogers, author, Word Magic for Writers, childhood farmer
"Tractor mommas, this is the book for you!"--Rita Mae Brown
"I simply could not put the book down. Catherine Friend is a luscious writer. She packs this memoir of two women starting a farm together in Southern Minnesota with hilarity, tenderness, grim reality and suspense. This memoir is, hands down, the best story I've read in ages."--Ellen Hart, author of 21 mystery novels, five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award