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Locally Laid

Author: Lucie B. Amundsen
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 069840405X
Size: 65.68 MB
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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 two thousand chickens—all named Lola. These hens, purchased commercially, arrive bereft of basic chicken-y 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.

Locally Laid

Author: Lucie B. Amundsen
Publisher: Avery
ISBN: 159463422X
Size: 62.16 MB
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"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. a To create this pastured poultry ranch, the couple scrambles to acquire nearly two thousand chickens-all named Lola. These hens, purchased commercially, arrive bereft of basic chicken-y 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. a 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. 'I absolutely lovedaLocally Laid! Read it in two days and enjoyed every minute. Funny and informative.'aSue Grafton, #1 bestselling author of the Kinsey Millhone series'Witty and eye-opening,aLocally Laidais a gem. I found myself rooting for this couple of lunatics who get into the egg business in the most unlikely of places, in the most unlikely of circumstances.a Lucie B. Amundsen, aka Bird, is utterly uninhibited and quite hilarious.'aNovella Carpenter, author ofaFarm City- The Education of an Urban Farmer'Lucie Amundsen'sarefreshingly honest account of starting a mid-sized farm will resonate with any business owner. She brings the perfect measure of levity to her tale, keeping the reader laughing during even the most tense moments of this true-to-life story. Locally Laid is a plucky read worthy of a place on every eater's bookshelf!'aAnastasia Cole Plakias, founding partner of Brooklyn Grange and author ofaThe Farm on the Roofaa 'As a 'remedial adult' with chickens, I heartily commend you to the words, wisdom and knowledge of Lucie B. Amundsen, an author whose voice is as earthy as a chicken run, as goofy and bright as a pasture-raised egg yolk at sunrise, and as down-to-earth as barn boots in mud. People ask me about chickens, I say, 'Read Lucie.''aMichael Perry, author ofaCoop- A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parentinga 'Locally Laid is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.a With candor, humor, and a distinctly midwestern irreverence, Lucie B. Amundsen chronicles her family's earnest effort to bring some sanity back to the food system.'aLiz Carlisle, author ofaLentil Undergrounda 'I laugh

Locally Laid

Author: Lucie B. Amundsen
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399185607
Size: 77.25 MB
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The author shares how she and her husband became egg farmers, and how, with very little experience, they learned to manage their business and why they believe farms like theirs are vital to rebuilding America's food system.

Chickens In The Road

Author: Suzanne McMinn
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062223720
Size: 74.14 MB
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Suzanne McMinn, a former romance writer and founder of the popular blog chickensintheroad.com, shares the story of her search to lead a life of ordinary splendor in Chickens in the Road, her inspiring and funny memoir. Craving a life that would connect her to the earth and her family roots, McMinn packed up her three kids, left her husband and her sterile suburban existence behind, and moved to rural West Virginia. Amid the rough landscape and beauty of this rural mountain country, she pursues a natural lifestyle filled with chickens, goats, sheep—and no pizza delivery. With her new life comes an unexpected new love—"52," a man as beguiling and enigmatic as his nickname—a turbulent romance that reminds her that peace and fulfillment can be found in the wake of heartbreak. Coping with formidable challenges, including raising a trio of teenagers, milking stubborn cows, being snowed in with no heat, and making her own butter, McMinn realizes that she’s living a forty-something’s coming-of-age story. As she dares to become self-reliant and embrace her independence, she reminds us that life is a bold adventure—if we’re willing to live it. Chickens in the Road includes more than 20 recipes, craft projects, and McMinn’s photography, and features a special two-color design.

Farm City

Author: Novella Carpenter
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101060179
Size: 28.15 MB
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Urban and rural collide in this wry, inspiring memoir of a woman who turned a vacant lot in downtown Oakland into a thriving farm Novella Carpenter loves cities-the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. Especially when she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door. She closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop. What started out as a few egg-laying chickens led to turkeys, geese, and ducks. Soon, some rabbits joined the fun, then two three-hundred-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals weren't pets; she was a farmer, not a zookeeper. Novella was raising these animals for dinner. Novella Carpenter's corner of downtown Oakland is populated by unforgettable characters. Lana (anal spelled backward, she reminds us) runs a speakeasy across the street and refuses to hurt even a fly, let alone condone raising turkeys for Thanksgiving. Bobby, the homeless man who collects cars and car parts just outside the farm, is an invaluable neighborhood concierge. The turkeys, Harold and Maude, tend to escape on a daily basis to cavort with the prostitutes hanging around just off the highway nearby. Every day on this strange and beautiful farm, urban meets rural in the most surprising ways. For anyone who has ever grown herbs on their windowsill, tomatoes on their fire escape, or obsessed over the offerings at the local farmers' market, Carpenter's story will capture your heart. And if you've ever considered leaving it all behind to become a farmer outside the city limits, or looked at the abandoned lot next door with a gleam in your eye, consider this both a cautionary tale and a full-throated call to action. Farm City is an unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmers' tips, and a great deal of heart. It is also a moving meditation on urban life versus the natural world and what we have given up to live the way we do.

Kabul Beauty School

Author: Deborah Rodriguez
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588366078
Size: 41.11 MB
Format: PDF
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Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Thus an idea was born. With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. Well meaning but sometimes brazen, Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup. Yet within the small haven of the beauty school, the line between teacher and student quickly blurred as these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year-old bride sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. Through these and other stories, Rodriguez found the strength to leave her own unhealthy marriage and allow herself to love again, Afghan style. With warmth and humor, Rodriguez details the lushness of a seemingly desolate region and reveals the magnificence behind the burqa. Kabul Beauty School is a remarkable tale of an extraordinary community of women who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom. From the Hardcover edition.

The Quarter Acre Farm

Author: Spring Warren
Publisher: Seal Press
ISBN: 1580054013
Size: 53.15 MB
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When Spring Warren told her husband and two teenage boys that she wanted to grow 75 percent of all the food they consumed for one year—and that she wanted to do it in their yard—they told her she was crazy. She did it anyway. The Quarter-Acre Farm is Warren’s account of deciding—despite all resistance—to take control of her family’s food choices, get her hands dirty, and create a garden in her suburban yard. It’s a story of bugs, worms, rot, and failure; of learning, replanting, harvesting, and eating. The road is long and riddled with mistakes, but by the end of her yearlong experiment, Warren’s sons and husband have become her biggest fans—in fact, they’re even eager to help harvest (and eat) the beautiful bounty she brings in. Full of tips and recipes to help anyone interested in growing and preparing at least a small part of their diet at home, The Quarter-Acre Farm is a warm, witty tale about family, food, and the incredible gratification that accompanies self-sufficiency.

Turn Here Sweet Corn

Author: Atina Diffley
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816677719
Size: 22.11 MB
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An organic farmer relates her family's experiences and struggles in the industry as they faced challenges ranging from inclement weather to the threat of eminent domain.

First Comes Love Then Comes Malaria

Author: Eve Brown-Waite
Publisher: Broadway
ISBN: 0767929365
Size: 26.18 MB
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In this laugh-out-loud funny memoir, a pampered city girl falls head over little-black-heels in love with a Peace Corps poster boy and follows him—literally—to the ends of the earth. Eve Brown always thought she would join the Peace Corps someday, although she secretly worried about life without sushi, frothy coffee drinks, and air conditioning. But with college diploma in hand, it was time to put up or shut up. So with some ambivalence she arrives at the Peace Corps office—sporting her best safari chic attire —to casually look into the steps one might take if one were to become a global humanitarian, à la Angelina Jolie. But when Eve meets John, her dashing young Peace Corps recruiter, all her ambivalence flies out the window. She absolutely must join the Peace Corps—and win John's heart in the process. Off to Ecuador she goes and—after a year in the jungle - back to the States she runs, vowing to stay within easy reach of a decaf cappuccino for the rest of her days. But life had other plans. Just as she's getting reacquainted with the joys of toilet paper, John gets a job with CARE, and Eve must decide if she’s up for life in another third-world outpost. Before you can say, "pass the malaria prophylaxis," the couple heads off to Uganda, and the fun really begins—if one can call having rats in your toilet fun. Fortunately, in Eve’s case one certainly can, because, to her, every experience is an adventure to be embraced, and these pages come alive with all of the alternatively poignant and uproarious details. With wit and candor, First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria chronicles Eve’s misadventures as an aspiring do-gooder. From intestinal parasites to getting caught in a civil war, culture clashes to unexpected friendships, here is an honest and laugh-out-loud funny look at the search for love and purpose–from a woman who finds both in the last place she expected to find them.

Defending Beef

Author: Nicolette Hahn Niman
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603585362
Size: 58.34 MB
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For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists that livestock--goats, sheep, and others, but especially cattle--are Public Enemy Number One. They erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization bolstered the credibility of this notion with its 2007 report that declared livestock to be the single largest contributor to human-generated climate-change emissions. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly. In her new book, Defending Beef, environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for the Earth. The impact of grazing can be either negative or positive, depending on how livestock are managed. In fact, with proper oversight livestock can actually play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by performing the same functions as the natural herbivores that once roamed and grazed there. She shows how dispersed, grass-based, smaller-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production. And while no single book could definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth's growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world's future food system looks like, livestock can and must be part of the solution.