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Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn Paperback – March 28, 2006
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From the Publisher
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
Top Customer Reviews
Starting a country homestead was Catherine's partner's dream and not her own. She was supportive of Melissa through the years, but when the reality of farming duties hit her she found her ambitions as a writer sinking to the bottom of the heap. Friend is more candid than most memoirists about the anxieties and temptations to give up that she felt through the early years in the country. Many people would throw in the towel, but Catherine hung on until finding a balance between her partner's career choice and her own.
I recommend this book not only to those wishing to farm, but to anyone in a relationship where one person's ambitions take up more space than what's comfortable (for example, a career in medicine or international diplomacy). Additionally, for farmers, this is unlike any other book about agriculture out there. Friend has been able to fill a void both in literature on relationships and books on farming. I hope she publishes more of her humorous and enlightening insight.
But Melissa's dream had merit, and Catherine believed she could help the dream come true. And so, "The classic face of farming in Grant Wood's American Gothic was about to get a facelift: two thirty-something women in bib overalls holding pitchforks" (p. 6).
Devoting a great deal of time, energy, and work to their project, the two women researched farming, bought land in southern Minnesota, built a house, and settled in to raise sheep, chickens, and grapes for wine. Apparently that was the easy part. From auspicious beginnings, the road they embark upon is filled with a learning curve so steep that shoveling manure and mucking horse stalls might have been easier. While Melissa's dream ascended, the livestock, crops, and natural disasters seem to conspire to make Catherine's life miserable. Living off the land wasn't at all the romantic idyll so often put forth.
By turns hilarious and sobering, touching and surprising, Catherine Friend's memoir tells the tale of two thirty-somethings who not only have to learn to love the barn, but also to find their way back to one another after such a huge life-change nearly sideswipes them for good. It's a terrific story, very well-told, and is cram-packed full of humor, insight, and a zest for life that can't be vanquished. If you only read one memoir this year, make this be the one. I give it my highest recommendation.
Together, these 30-something city women raise sheep, chickens, goats, grapes, etc. etc.,--whatever Melissa bought next. But before they buy the first animal, they read everything they can and even attend workshops on shepherding.
Catherine Friend, published children's author, writes this memoir about her life with Melissa-and their successful juggling of the farm, their relationship and Catherine's writing.
Funny, poignant, sad--and educational. Much of the story took me back to my days as a child on a farm that raised dairy cattle, pigs, chickens and sheep. I remember the joy of spring lambs, especially the bottle lambs where human kids got to take over when the sheep mom refused to acknowledge that lamb. My sister and I named them April, May and even March (for the earliest births). When these lambs were hungry, they sought us out--such fun and responsibility for a young farm girls.
Of course, as children we didn't have to do the very hard, demanding and never-ending work Friends details as a farmer's life. But I remember the births deaths by both natural causes and by nature.
If you live on a farm, or are interested in farming, or if you love good, descriptive writing that takes you to that place, Hit by a Farm is the book. I laughed out loud numerous times, and shook my head in disbelief at some of what they experienced.
Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame wrote that it's, "A sweet and funny book in the classic 'Hardy Girls Go Farming' genre....
You'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about sheep/goat chicken sex; birthing of lambs and goat kids; darling baby chicks that grow up become someone's meat.Read more ›
After talking to a couple of people who belong to book clubs that read "Hit by a Farm," I re-read it. It was better than ever. There is a rumor that there will be a sequel. That would be great.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Such a delightful book. Had to buy additional copies, even after all these years, to share with friends.Published 28 days ago by Liz Dannenbaum
As someone who has grown up with livestock, this book is hysterical and I literally had to stop reading it in public because I would start laughing so hard I couldn't stop.Published 3 months ago by Jenni
My wife and I are currently on a "farming kick" and find this story inspiring. What is most interesting is that it is more about the authors relationship and how that... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mainiac
wonderful story, great storytellers... I'd read Sheepish first. best 1st chapter ever!Published 5 months ago by Lida Rose Winler
Funny, especially if you own or have ever lived on a sheep farm.Published 5 months ago by M. Katherine
Funny. Honest. Real. A little scary for someone who has thought about raising sheep. Really really good read. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lag Man