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From San Francisco To New Zealand, Book Chronicles First Year as an Artisan Farmer


In the modern day rat race of our constant and busy lives, few people actually act on the common thought of leaving the city behind and heading out in search of a simpler lifestyle.

Antonia Murphy was brave enough to actually do it. Murphy is an American whose primary experience with farm life came from an ill-fated effort to care for her father's chicken.

Nevertheless, some family circumstances and a sense of adventure landed Murphy – along with her husband and children – in a rural village in New Zealand, where they were immersed in farm life, almost the way language immersion works.

The family's early experiences make up the pages of her new book, called Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer.  Mitch Teich spoke with Murphy - and a somewhat noisy rooster via Skype in New Zealand. Murphy talks about the challenges and the differences in culture that have made the experience memorable.

"I think in the big cities we're very accomplished-oriented, certainly that's how I was raised...[in New Zealand] people are more interested in who you are as a person than what you've done or how famous you are," says Murphy.