Review: Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-changing Egg Farm – from Scratch

Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-changing Egg Farm - from Scratch
Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-changing Egg Farm – from Scratch by Lucie B. Amundsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Locally Laid
By Lucie B. Amundsen

Reviewed by Jay Gilbertson

I assure you this book review is not going to offend even the most conservative of you out there. Honestly. It’s not what you think, though the title is hilarious. It’s a scratch of the surface of this cluck-filled-adventure-memoir written with clear and open and totally refreshing humor. The chicken jokes alone are worth the read. But in the end, the main theme is to follow your dreams.
Even to Duluth.
And there are chickens, lots.
This book is packed full of so much. Author Lucie used to grace my chair when I had a salon back in Minneapolis as did her husband, Jason. There is just no easy way to review this story. It has so much wallop and truth. Right from the get-go you can see that this lady has written before, which adds a great deal to the overall tone and depth of her ‘reporting’ while her engaging voice pulls you in.
Though I do plan to someday write my memoir, I find the entire process daunting. Like, how much about your personal life do you share? Well, Lucie tossed the censor out the barn door and all bets are on!
Now, to understand the main thrust of this tale, you should learn a little about Jason who clearly wanted to make this egg-laying business happen. So he did what all wife-fearing men do when about to share a life-altering act with their main squeeze. He took her out for supper. Then he told her what his dream was and it wasn’t pretty. Think loud and sobby and very public and you’re close.
The deal was Jason wanted to create an egg-laying business that would offer the hens a better life than the standard cages often housing five to ten hens in wire crates 2.25 feet by 2.25 feet and 14 inches tall; the ‘industry’ standard. And he wanted them to go outside and enjoy a healthy diet of grass and tasty worms and well, have a life.
“Chickens that get outside, eat off the land and exercise produce eggs with: 1/3 less cholesterol, ¼ less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 4 to 6 times the vitamin D, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E & 7 times more beta carotene..”
But, of course, then you have to charge more for these eggs and finally, FINALLY, consumers are coming around to the fact that hey, farmers have to eat too!
“Fortunately, the message that cheap food is not cheap after all, and that natural resources have real value, is getting out there—slowly. It’s a tough sell, the idea that we should spend more money now for a viable growing environments in the future.”
Another way of putting their focus on literally locally laid is how passionate Lucie and Jason are about what they refer to as Middle Ag. They don’t want to be so huge and they certainly don’t want to go back to having 5 hens in the backyard.
This would totally make a great movie and could teach young people why small or Middle Ag is really the way to return back to more manageable, small scale, for-profit farming. In the meantime, suggest your public school order a case of her books and certainly your library should have a few on hand…
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