On Tuesday 2/7, I had the great pleasure of attending an Author Talk at the Excelsior Library featuring Lucie Amundsen of Locally Laid. Amundsen spoke about her book Locally Laid and about the overall adventure of starting their Wrenshall, MN egg farm.
I enjoyed reading Amundsen’s book prior to the event for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s not written like a textbook, which is perhaps what many of us think of first when we think about non-fiction books. Instead, she writes in a pleasant conversational tone. Amundsen is also a great storyteller who does not hold back. She cares about the Locally Laid mission and takes every opportunity to educate consumers (including those who write angry letters…). Readers experience every obstacle and every victory alongside Lucie and Jason as they create their egg farm. We also learn a lot about the history of agriculture in the United States, discover why middle agriculture is such a difficult category to work in, and get to see how a successful local farm operates.
Attending Amundsen’s presentation was the perfect follow-up to reading her book. Some takeaways…
- Cage-free eggs are NOT the same as eggs from chickens raised outside. Pasture-raised chickens are much closer to what we picture when we hear the terms “cage-free” and “free-range.”
- Chickens who eat a varied diet of grasses, bugs, etc. produce higher-quality eggs that taste better.
- Local farms are incredibly helpful for local economies and small communities.
- Storytelling is important! As Amundsen said during her presentation, “Telling our story ended up saving us.” She also emphasized the importance of liberal arts degrees, which is always music to this English major’s ears. 🙂
It was a joy to read Amundsen’s book and speak with her at the signing afterward. I would absolutely recommend her book to anyone, not just those with an interest in chickens and agriculture. I’m eager to try Locally Laid eggs and will be looking for them at my local grocery store. 🍳