Catherine Friend
Catherine Friend

Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2011

buy the book   


Two Women, Fifty Sheep & Enough Wool to Save the Planet

It’s been fifteen years since Catherine Friend left her quiet, urban existence and became the proud (if not slightly terrified) owner of two ducks, four goats, fifty sheep, and several acres of Minnesota farmland. Now, caught in a chronic love/hate relationship with her flock, Friend reevaluates life on the farm and discovers that her sheep—and sheep around the world—may be much more important than she gave them credit for.

Told with the same warmth and charm that characterized her first memoir, Hit by a FarmSheepishTwo Women, Fifty Sheep, and Enough Wool to Save the Planet interweaves Friend’s personal anecdotes—everything from her unhealthy fascination with knitting and how she overcomes a brief passion for the Facebook game “Farmville,” to the perils of unauthorized sheep breeding and shearing day adventures—with insights into the environmental impact of sheep and everything they produce.

Discover the advantages of having sheep as the planet’s “self-propelled lawn mowers” and the scary truth behind “wrinkle free” clothing as Friend reveals what it really means to be “sheepish”—and how it might not be such a bad thing after all.

awards and recognition

Minnesota Book Award in Memoir finalist, 2012

reviews and readers' comments

“Fans of Hit by a Farm will get another dose of Catherine Friend’s signature wit and moxie with Sheepish, as she faces a rough patch on the farm, but still manages to be hilarious. In the end, Friend’s enthusiasm will make you want to raise sheep, or at least wear wool undies.” (Novella Carpenter, Farm City)

“A graceful collection of farm-life vignettes becomes a whole even greater than the sum of its lovely parts as Catherine Friend … builds the story of a partnership rich in love, humor, and perhaps most importantly, sheep.” (Rachael Herron, How to Knit a Love Song)

Sheepish is as smart and funny as its title. Catherine Friend takes us along on her quest to master the other ‘oldest profession.’ Warning: It may make you want to drop everything and go tend a flock.” (Meg Daly Olmert, Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond)

“Wry, witty, and honest, Sheepish describes a magical personal transformation—from urban to rural. Catherine Friend finds meaning in the middle of life, love and even knitting projects. Friend brings out the urge to farm in knitters, spinners, and ‘fiber freaks’ everywhere, teaching us to find joy and contentment in the small, sheepy parts of our world.” (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.” (Joanne Seiff, Fiber Gathering and Knit Green)

“Friend’s light tone does not prevent her from addressing weightier issues such as mid-life angst and heart-breaking aspects of life and death on an animal farm.” (Library Journal)

“In this follow-up to her first memoir, Hit by a Farm, Friend details the challenges of balancing a writing career with sheep farming in southeastern Minnesota…Her voice is wry and funny; she’s self-deprecating and thoughtful, and strikes a balance between teasing and kindness, whether her subject is pregnant sheep, yarn-loving “fiber freaks,” or spirituality and nature.” (Publishers Weekly)

“As provocative as her reflections are, it is Friend’s acerbic wit that keeps the reader turning pages. A perfect choice for book groups, this is a look at the road not taken with a guide who pokes as much fun at herself as she does at the world around her.” (Booklist)