Catherine Friend
Catherine Friend
Hit by a Farm

da capo press, 2006

Golden Crown Literary Society award

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Hit by a Farm

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn

Catherine Friend was happy being an author and writing instructor. She always wore clean clothes. She never had anything disagreeable stuck to the bottom of her shoes. That all changed the day she agreed to help her partner Melissa fulfill Melissa’s lifelong ambition to farm in Minnesota. Catherine and Melissa embark on a rural odyssey filled with sheep, goats, chicken, llamas, and a host of other natural disasters. As it turns out, farming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


awards and recognition

Golden Crown Literary Award, 2007
Judy Grahn Award finalist
Lambda Literary Award finalist

reviews and readers' comments

“A charming memoir … with magical moments.” (The New York Times Review of Books)

Hit By a Farm is heartening, sweet, earthy, funnya joy to read from start to finish.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“This honest look at collaboration and compromise, the pain and joy of partnership, and the hands-on of farming will find a ready audience.” (Booklist)

“… A thoroughly engaging romp for all, but a must-read for any city girl who’s ever whiled away an hour or two dreaming about the bucolic existence of her rural sisters.” (Bust)

“… a multi-mood, clever and unpredictable tale of what makes farm life far from mundane and sheltered … Hit By a Farm slyly educates as it entertains, heals as it humors us while wading through issues of confrontation, complications, and compromise … a treasure.” (Madison Capital Times)

“ … a revealing read that might help others see their own lives … ” (Rochester Post Bulletin)

“A well-written, fun read, but keep the tissues handy, just in case.”

Hit By a Farm goes beyond funny, through poignant, sad and angry, to redemptive: all the things that make a farm—and a relationship—successful.” (Lavender magazine)

“If you’ve ever hungered for books about day-to-day realities of long-term lesbian relationships, what makes them work, what happens in the years after your start keeping your underwear in the same drawer, this book is for you. And somehow, it’s such a wholesome, Midwestern tale that it would also be a perfect book to give to anyone who can’t quite imagine what two women do with each other.” (Books to Watch Out For)

“Alternating between humor and sad befuddlement, Hit By a Farm is going to make city folks chuckle and seasoned farmers laugh out loud. Ms. Friend isn’t afraid to poke fun at herself and her bookishness….” (The Country Today)

“I’m reading a book now that I ration out 10 pages a day because I’ll feel bereft when it’s gone: it’s a memoir of two lesbians who go into sheep farming in Minnesota and I just really like both of them. And it starts with them attending shepherd school and learning to assess the potency of a ram by holding his testicles. A book that starts with a woman reaching up between a ram’s hind legs is a book close to my heart.” (Garrison Keillor, New York Times Book Review)

Hit by a Farm is not the kind of book I’d normally pick up. While farming is central to my culinary life, the romance of living on the land hardly appeals to someone who, when forced to weed a small flower garden, screams loudly that she is NOT a pioneer! That’s why I was so surprised that I simply could not put the book down. Catherine Friend is a luscious writer. She packs this memoir of two women starting a farm together in Southern Minnesota with hilarity, tenderness, grim reality and enough suspense to get the book on the New York Times bestseller list. This memoir is, hands down, the best story I’ve read in ages.” (Ellen Hart, award-winning mystery writer)

“What a funny, touching delightful, human story! Catherine is not only a farmer; she is most certainly a writer too.” (Marion Dane Bauer, Newbery Honor Book author)

Hit by a Farm is both heartbreaking and hilarious. Catherine Friend’s clear and vivid writing in this fine, funny, unflinching book put me right on the farm, manure and all, through disasters and triumphs. Friend has taken the stuff of her life and made literature out of it.” (Phyllis Root, faculty of Vermont College MFA program)

“If you ever thought farming could be a fabulous back-to-basics adventure, if you ever wondered about the difference in raising, say, a sheep or a peacock, if you ever wanted an honest—but jaundiced—peek at farm living, read Catherine Friend’s Hit by a Farm. You’ll be hit by her candor and humor, and your thoughts about farming will never be the same.” (Cindy Rogers, author, childhood farmer)

“A city-loving woman and her outdoorsy partner buy a farm. Sheep sex ensues. Birth. Death. Frolic. Butchery. Conflict. I was so sorry when this funny, moving book ended that I returned to page one and read it again.” (Jane Resh Thomas, author, educator)