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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2016 Lucie B. Amundsen (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

"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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What listeners say about Locally Laid

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Squeallypig
  • 2018-06-06

Medi-yoker

The memoir was compelling and the wordsmithing was refreshing, however, I was put off by the vulgarity and frequent innuendo. This is not a family friendly book. There are many other books out there telling a similar story with more uplifting content. This is a story of hardship and mediocre success with many pitfalls and few real gratifying achievements. Not on my top 1000 list.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Eleanor B. Hildreth
  • 2018-01-05

Big facts candy coated

I was hoping to pick up pointers on poultry but found bits of the answers to two of my BIG questions. The author mused on EVERYTHING.

One was that most sustainable farmers are tiny and support themselves with off-farm earnings. So, it's not just me. It's most of us. That is, maybe what I'm doing with my market garden is OK. That my hanging in there is OK. That I am not wasting my time, but instead doing the Right Thing.

Another gem. She summarized an interview with an economist/farmer/professor who said many or most economists don't believe in resource depletion. Specificially that neoliberalist economists believe that resources cannot be destroyed, only converted. This implies that the neoliberal economists don't believe in soil depletion, a big contributor to global warming. That in their Ivory Towers, they take soil for granted and thus abuse it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rob T Johnson
  • 2017-07-10

Great Story, Inspiring

Looking for an inspirational and informative book on the local food movement and the struggle of producers? Look no further. Great writing, great narration. You won't be disappointed. I laughed out loud many times and have a greater appreciation for what it takes to do the right thing when it comes to buying local.

2 people found this helpful

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  • karen
  • 2017-10-30

Unnatural Narration

I couldn't take it any longer. I made it about a third of the way through and was so distracted by the unnatural sound of the narrator I couldn't hear the story. Unfortunately, the story didn't seem interesting enough to suffer the narration. I had to return this one to Audible.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Harmony
  • 2020-12-17

Great and Honest Story

As a husband always seeking to do more and better, with a wife often exacerbated by me, I can relate to the story. More than two that though, it is a great telling of the challenges of entrepreneurship, farming, family, and way to share with the world more information about sustainable agriculture and farming. Keep it up!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Melissa Meyer
  • 2020-12-14

Loved it!

I've been researching eating more locally and this book was very informative. It had humor and facts, was well organized and easy to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jessi B.
  • 2020-12-12

Entertaining

Both entertaining and a great read. A real life experience of the family starting a pasture raised egg business.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Naomi Yaeger
  • 2016-03-14

Took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions

Would you listen to Locally Laid again? Why?

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

What was one of the most memorable moments of Locally Laid?

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.

What about Kate Reading’s performance did you like?

Kates' reading voice was pleasant, easy to understand and believable

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have if I had the time it is too long for that.

Any additional comments?

It's a fun memoir packed with information about food and business.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brian Bullard
  • 2021-01-09

Great listen!

A truly captivating story of a couple’s journey to start an egg-laying enterprise. Delightfully discouraging to this wannabe farmer yet simultaneously emboldening. This was a refreshing listen as a change of pace from the purely informative books on farming. While elucidating the woes of starting an agricultural business, the creatively told story was engaging beginning to end. I wouldn’t mind listening to it again!

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  • Hilary Jacks
  • 2020-12-03

So good!

Loved the story! It was funny, informative, sweet and inspiring. For me it was all of my favorites things wrapped up in one lovely story! Thank you!