How a Midwestern family with no agriculture experience went from a few backyard chickens to a full-fledged farm - and discovered why local chicks are better.
When Lucie Amundsen had a rare night out with her husband, she never imagined what he'd tell her over dinner - that his dream was to quit his office job (with benefits!) and start a commercial-scale pasture-raised egg farm. His entire agricultural experience consisted of raising five backyard hens, none of whom had yet laid a single egg.
To create this pastured poultry ranch, the couple scrambles to acquire nearly 2,000 chickens - all named Lola. These hens, purchased commercially, arrive bereft of basic chicken-like instincts, such as the evening urge to roost. The newbie farmers also deal with their own shortcomings, making for a failed inspection and intense struggles to keep livestock alive (much less laying) during a brutal winter. But with a heavy dose of humor, they learn to negotiate the highly stressed no-man's-land known as middle agriculture. Amundsen sees firsthand how these midsized farms, situated between small-scale operations and mammoth factory farms, are vital to rebuilding America's local food system.
With an unexpected passion for this dubious enterprise, Amundsen shares a messy, wry, and entirely educational story of the unforeseen payoffs (and frequent pitfalls) of one couple's ag adventure - and many, many hours spent wrangling chickens.
"Narrator Kate Reading is excellent at capturing Amundsen's emotions as she deals with financial hardships, physical fatigue, and endless farm-related issues while discovering the joy in trying to create positive change. During the more technical passages, Reading slows the pace and reads with crisp enunciation, making the material easy to understand." (AudioFile)
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Took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions
Yes, because it was so entertaining. And also some good information about agribusiness is included. Anyone who eats or pays taxes should be interested in agribusiness
There were so many.
Mostly Lucie's tales of the family's tribulations.
Lucie crying at a restaurant when Jason tells her of his dream.
-The Amundsen’s mixing with cultures other than their own, like their visit to Amish farmers; and the visit from glitzy California PR to the egg farm in Minnesota.
The city of Duluth rallying around the Amundsens.
After receiving business advice from a group of mentors, Lucie "losing her cookies" in the parking ramp on her way to her car as she ponders that it is better to give than receive.
Kates' reading voice was pleasant, easy to understand and believable
I would have if I had the time it is too long for that.
It's a fun memoir packed with information about food and business.
- Naomi Yaeger
It's a great overview of the birth of the business but wish there was more business aspects in it. overall great story and would recommend it.
I really wish there was more detail about the product. there is a great story here, but just wish there was more detail about the operations.
- Ben Newman