Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor

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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.

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About the author

Suzanne McMinn former romance writer turned intrepid farm girl, is the creator of the incredibly popular personal website www.chickensintheroad.com. A professional writer, teacher, and photographer, she is the author of twenty-six published novels and writes a bimonthly column for the Charleston Daily Mail. She lives in West Virginia.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Oct 8, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780062223722
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Cooking / Regional & Ethnic / American / Southern States
House & Home / Sustainable Living
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"This book is the story of the two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of my life: one with farming—that dirty, concupiscent art—and the other with a complicated and exasperating farmer."

Single, thirtysomething, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to five hundred acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season—complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn.

Kimball and her husband had a plan: to grow everything needed to feed a community. It was an ambitious idea, a bit romantic, and it worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, a hundred people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the "whole diet"—beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs, maple syrup, grains, flours, dried beans, herbs, fruits, and forty different vegetables—produced by the farm. The work is done by draft horses instead of tractors, and the fertility comes from compost. Kimball’s vivid descriptions of landscape, food, cooking—and marriage—are irresistible.

"As much as you transform the land by farming," she writes, "farming transforms you." In her old life, Kimball would stay out until four a.m., wear heels, and carry a handbag. Now she wakes up at four, wears Carhartts, and carries a pocket knife. At Essex Farm, she discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved in the form of a man, a small town, and a beautiful piece of land

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