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Hay Fever: How Chasing a Dream on a Vermont Farm Changed My Life

3.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The compelling, funny story of a high-powered professional’s life-changing journey from Manhattan big cheese to Vermont goat cheesemaker

In the tradition of food memoirs like Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence, Hay Fever tells the story of New York City literary agent Angela Miller and how looking for tranquility on a Vermont farm turned into an eye-opening, life-c
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 26th 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 157)
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Lilo
Oct 06, 2015 Lilo rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: obsessed cheese-enthusiasts
Recommended to Lilo by: Dollar Tree Store
I had a hard time rating this book. Two stars is too much, one star is too little. Well, I decided to be generous and give it two stars, but I might change my mind.

To start out with, the book's undertitle "How Chasing a Dream on a Vermont Farm Changed My Life" is rather deceiving. It makes you think this book is going to carry you into the beautiful countryside of Vermont where it will let you indulge yourself in your own dreams of homesteading, growing your own veggies, tending to a little orch
...more
Melissa
Jul 16, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
A new homesteader, I pick up anything I can find on other people's accounts of homesteading. Not only are they informative, but they give me an idea of what I"m in for. However, for this book, while I mostly enjoyed it, there were a few things that made me a bit unsettled.

Angela Miller decides that being a literary agent is not enough. She wants to have a farm, and soon that extends into running and Artisan cheese making business. This requires the hiring of several employees and cheese makers (
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Stacey
Dec 06, 2010 Stacey rated it really liked it
Can I give this one 3 1/2 stars instead of 3 or 4? 3 1/2 because it's about goat farming. May not be as great for everyone else. Not 4 because as someone who owns goats, it just seems like she's got a lot of hired help for the hard work, yet talked about how much hard work it is.... am I missing something? I know people who have as many goats and do it without much help at all. Of course, that's necessity, maybe they would hire out more help if they could bankroll the "lifestyle" like the author ...more
Mattalie Mcinerney
Feb 14, 2014 Mattalie Mcinerney rated it it was ok
At times, this book was interesting and informative. However, it was ironic that the author, a woman working in the publishing field, appeared to be oddly tone deaf when it came to her own writing(sometimes very pompous, critical, and condescending). This was especially true when she recounted her treatment of farm employees, cheese makers, and well, even her own husband. Not to mention the poor animals. If she had focused more consistently on recounting the work of the farm and cheese making an ...more
Arminzerella
Angela Miller is a literary agent who decided to take up dairy farming. She and her architect husband fell in love with an acreage in Vermont and decided to restore it to its former glory, naming it (and the cheese-making enterprise that came soon after) Consider Bardwell Farm. Both Angela and her husband decided to retain their full-time jobs and both commute back and forth from the city (New York), which made their lives extremely hectic, but the costs of running the farm (employees, animals, ...more
Lauren Csaki
Jun 29, 2015 Lauren Csaki rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I've been enjoying many others in the same genre lately, but this one just fell flat. For someone who works in the publishing business, Miller seems to be oddly unaware of what makes a book a great read. Droning on about problems with your employees is not part of that model. And I was really hoping for more tales about the day-to-day running of the farm, rather than what felt at times like a play-by-play report on her cheese business ups and downs. She needed ...more
Kelley
May 25, 2012 Kelley rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, food
It was just okay. It took me an inordinately long time to read it. In some places the book was very dull. Learning about goat farming and cheesemaking was interesting for the most part, but it tended to run on too long, getting bogged down in details about the business that made my eyes glaze over.
Tdevany
Aug 18, 2010 Tdevany rated it it was ok
starting the farm and the description of the cheese making process was ver interesting especially as it came with a sense of fiscal costs. I did not enjoy the personnel admonishments and sense of self rightousness that came through. it detracted from the cheese making tale.
Maggie
Jun 01, 2011 Maggie rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas-2010
While I learned a bunch about cheese making and goat husbandry, the author came across as distinctly unlikeable and totally full of herself.

http://www.magpiemusing.com/2011/05/f...
Robin Marie
Jan 10, 2015 Robin Marie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
You know the saying "those who can't do, teach"? This book seems to be a case of " those who can't write, publish". I really wanted to love this book. I love the subject matter, the location, and the concept. Unfortunately this book was wildly disorganized and alternated between too much detail (of what famous people the author knows) and a real lack of storytelling in the moments when it could have been truly meaningful. I enjoyed the nitty gritty about the ups and downs of business, but I feel ...more
Kristina Seleshanko
Jun 03, 2014 Kristina Seleshanko rated it liked it
At first, I wasn't sure I'd like this book. The first several chapters deal with the author's dual life as a New York City literary agent and beginning diary goat farmer. Miller and her husband are quite wealthy, and I couldn't really relate. But as the author wrote more about her actual farming and cheese making experiences, I found myself enjoying the book.(Although I must note I was astonished - in a bad way - at how much money her small farm receives in the form of taxpayer funded grants...)
Jen Bradley
Apr 27, 2016 Jen Bradley rated it it was ok
Lots of name-dropping and self-importance in this book. Most of what I thought about while reading was how difficult it would be to work for this woman. It's not surprising that she has trouble keeping employees.
Kate
Sep 19, 2014 Kate rated it it was ok
While her descriptions of goats and cheese making are great, the tone of the book is pretty whinny. Reading about her cheese had me running for the fridge.
Cathi95
Aug 31, 2013 Cathi95 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
(Nonfiction 2010) Angela Miller, a Manhattan professional, and her husband buy a country home in Vermont, to enjoy the "simple life" and relax from their busy lives in New York. From this decision comes a tale of learning to run a farm, and then to developing artisanal cheeses to sell to an increasing number of New York restaurants. She has to learn how to raise the goats, how to feed them to get the best flavor in the cheeses, how to cure cheese ... it goes on and on, as does her job in New Yor ...more
Pamela Hale
Jul 24, 2015 Pamela Hale rated it liked it
Typical city-slicker farmer: she spends 2 million to make 1 million. I love goats, though!
Gerdav
Oct 25, 2015 Gerdav rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2015
Nearly gave up when reading how the author 'dealt with her staff' a few pages in, only saved by the goats and cheese.
Julie Brown
Apr 13, 2011 Julie Brown rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, though I don't know how many others would. I heard an interview with the author on the radio and became interested in how an NYC literary agent could go to part-time gourmet goat cheese farming in Vermont and make it work. I'm happy that I bought the hard copy, because there are cheese recipes in the back. I successfully made the queso fresco and will want to refer back to it.
Lanette
Jun 09, 2013 Lanette rated it it was ok
I read this one awhile ago and could have sworn I already reviewed it, but I guess not. This is not at all the finest 'homesteading' book I've read. Instead, I remember it being a personal vendetta against all the disgruntled employees she hired/fired... probably a good read for those with goats and wanting to make cheese, but not for me.
Melissa
Mar 27, 2016 Melissa rated it it was ok
The author is also an editor and co-owner of an editing company. With that being her main occupation, I expected the book to be better written. However, it didn't keep my attention and was somewhat repetitive. I enjoyed learning about raising goats and making cheese but otherwise, it was a dud.


Not a recommendation to others from me.
Oceandreamer001
Aug 30, 2010 Oceandreamer001 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I'm loving this book. Angela and her husband have a farm where they raise goats and make cheese from the milk.

My grandfather had goats when I was a child, and I loved them. So interesting to read about this sweet creatures, and the work and money that goes into making a farm/cheesemaking business work.
Jennifer
Mar 02, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The story is a little disjointed and jumps back and forth in time. It is an eye opening look at what it takes for a city person to start a farm dairy business and just what a non-stop job farming is. Not the best non-fiction I've ever read, but I really enjoyed the subject matter.
Shannon
Mar 13, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was packed full of interesting information and very entertaining. When I finished I had to look up the farm website, now I just want to order some good cheese.
Nancy
Feb 16, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
About an urban professional who made a midlife switch to farming - goats! and making wonderful cheese!
I liked it very much and loved learning about goats! She was a very compassionate goat farmer. . . .
mbattist
Sep 06, 2014 mbattist rated it really liked it
Made me want to work on a goat farm in Vermont and make cheese - real escapist non-fiction. Can't imagine how Angela Miller held down a full time job in the city and ran the Vermont farm.
Jenn
Dec 23, 2015 Jenn rated it liked it
I enjoyed it. I learned alot about making cheese, terroir and the various artisanal cheese makers in Vermont. The writer has a breezy style, and I enjoyed reading about the sheep.
Lisa
Aug 04, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Really enjoyed the sneak peak at what goes into owning and working a goat farm and making cheese. Fun for the foodie in me.
Penny
Dec 08, 2011 Penny rated it liked it
Quick read; fairly interesting.
Timothy
Timothy marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Laura Moberg
Laura Moberg is currently reading it
Apr 10, 2016
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