CMLE Reads Across MN: Locally Laid

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and it also has many interesting books. In this series, we are sharing some of the books we like from Minnesota, or Minnesota authors.

We are mapping our literary journey around Minnesota, so you can see all the interesting places where our books are set. Follow our progress on our Google Map, accessible by clicking that link or searching for the title CMLE Reads Across Minnesota!

I am an egg fan. This is probably not a controversial stand – eggs are pretty popular foods, filled with all kinds of happy nutrition, especially when you get nice pasture-raised eggs. This past summer I was part of the Common Ground CSA at St. Ben’s (Community Supported Agriculture). We got all kinds of great veggies, local meat, and some of the most beautiful eggs I’ve ever seen! Every morning, when I made scrambled eggs they were so pretty – bright orange and yellow – that they enhanced anything else I added to them and started my day off really well!

Reading about eggs is nearly as fun as eating them – especially when it is all about the fun and foibles of some Minnesotans who decide to go all in on creating an chicken farm!

If you want to learn more about the farm, you can check out their website here! And if you see the brand Locally Laid eggs in your store – you can remember they are not only Minnesotan eggs and a family -owned business, but also have a fun book to go with them! (Yes, it’s perfectly fine to read this book while you are eating your breakfast/lunch/dinner eggs!)

Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-changing Egg Farm – from Scratch, by Lucie B. AmundsenHow 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.”

(Quick note: We include links here for your ease in finding more info, but receive no eggs or other benefit from the Locally Laid company, or Common Ground, in compensation. If you click on the book link to Amazon, and happen to buy something while you are there, we do get a small percentage of Amazon’s profits in return.)