Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Book Review: Hit by a Farm
I'm back, with another review of a great book, this time Hit by a Farm, by Catherine Friend. Friend is an author and writing teacher, who moved to Minnesota to try farming with her partner Melissa. First they move to a rural area, then they buy land to start a farm, and plan to grow grapes and raise sheep. As they learn, they add chickens, a few goats, and a llama to protect the sheep. Friend constantly struggles with wanting to support Melissa's dream of being a farmer, and feeling frustrated with the constant work of farming and wanting to get back to writing full time. The story is as much about their evolving relationship as it is about farming, and I was deeply drawn into it. These women attempt so many things that are beyond what most of us want to do, but we can see that they are real women who learn and try and make mistakes, not people brought up as farmers who already know what to do. The struggles include loving the animals they plan to eventually kill, trying to figure out if a particular endeavor is cost effective or not, and keeping their relationship going as both women want different things out of life. While I think very few of us want to move to a farm and raise sheep full time, it is a fascinating look into what that world would be like, with all of the ups and downs. My 14 year old daughter devoured this book on a long babysitting job, and I stayed up way too late reading it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, mostly for being a great read. It may not change the way you live, but it will change the way you think about small family farmers, and quite possibly, about following your dreams.