Book Review – Hit by a Farm

Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BarnHit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn by Catherine Friend

My rating:  (5 / 5)

With our plans to create our ranch in less than a year, I’ve made up a little list of homesteading books – some how-to’s, some memoirs – and this one was the one I was most anxious to read.

It definitely didn’t disappoint!

Hit By a Farm is the story of a lesbian couple without farming experience, who decide to change their lives, move to the country, and farm. They aren’t sure what they are going to farm, but they are getting prepared by reading books (seriously, is there a question as to why I related to this one? Hah!) and the narrator, pre-farm, is a writer, teacher and reader of epic proportions (yeah, I can’t relate to that at ALL!)

Now, the farm in this book is 50+ acres, ten times the size we are hoping for, and is more of a for-profit farm than the hobby farm we intend to have, but it was both enlightening and educational. Farms and farm animals are a lot of work, and the author doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is, from the fights she had with her partner, to the nightmares when things got overwhelming, to the horror of animal deaths, to crying into the necks of birthing sheep and being put on the ground from a zap by an electric fence.

But there are good moments, too. There are baby lambs and baby ducks. There are funny roosters with fantabulous personalities and the love of sweet dogs and precocious sheep. The sad moments seem overwhelming at times, but that is the reality of life, and when the author finds a way to look for the good in farming, too, it’s touching and sweet and lovely.

Who can look at a baby lamb and still be sad?

I got some great insight on what happens to you emotionally when you jump into this kind of lifestyle. The main lesson I came away with was not losing yourself (an important lesson in any venture, one I’ve already learned the hard way!), not giving up your own dreams in support of someone else’s, and not to take on too much all at once. Learning curves are steep. Start slow.

This book was fascinating to me, and if you’re curious about what it’d be like to start a farm with zero experience, it will be to you, too. Oh man, I can’t wait.

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