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About Me


Photo by Jerry Waters.

My name is Suzanne McMinn. I live on a farm. I grew up in the suburbs of D.C. and southern California then lived everywhere from Texas to the Carolinas. Several years ago, I took my three children to a slanted little house outside a tiny town in Roane County, West Virginia. My family history here goes back over 200 years. After living in the old farmhouse for two and a half years, I moved a few miles over the hill to Stringtown and 40 hard-scrabble acres so remote you had to drive through three creeks in one direction or ford a river in the other to even get there.

After nearly four years of West Virginia “vertical farming” on one of the toughest pieces of land you can find, I moved to a farm of my own, still in Roane County, West Virginia, on 100 acres with a lot of flat land, pasture, a vintage 1930′s era farmhouse, and a big red barn.

Find out more about Sassafras Farm here.





I have goats, sheep, cows, chickens, miniature donkeys, horses, and Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs. I make cheese and candles and soap. I love to bake bread, grow my garden, and learn new old-time skills. It’s all fun. I love my life.
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You can find out more about my first farm, Stringtown Rising Farm, and the historic community that once thrived there by reading Stringtown, West Virginia: A Brief History of a Pre-World War II Rural Community. We named that farm Stringtown Rising in honor of that history. (See the “Farm Map” of Stringtown Rising here.)
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I have a slight fixation with sheep.
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I have a lot of cats.
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I also like to take pictures of outhouses. I write books, too. You can find out more about my romance novels here. My books have been translated into dozens of languages and published all over the world. In October 2013, a memoir was released about my life at Stringtown Rising, published by HarperCollins. Find out more here.
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Welcome to my journey into the simple, often vanishing, life of rural America in the country outside one tiny town in the Appalachian foothills as I find the true meaning of home–and life–beyond the noise of suburban sprawl and suburban conveniences. I post daily in my farmhouse journal chronicling my photography, (sometimes silly, sometimes serious) stories, recipes, crafts, and sentimental thoughts on the history, people, life, and beauty of rural Appalachia. Use the menu bar at the top to find the archives of experiences and lessons learned in farming, cooking, simple living, and more. This website has been featured in Living Appalachian, Antique Weekly, Roane County Times Record, Graffiti, Charleston Daily Mail, Country Woman Magazine, Elle Magazine, Oprah Magazine, National Examiner, along with numerous other newspapers across the state of West Virginia, L.A. Times, and other national publications.
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In January 2009, I started writing a column based on my blog for the Charleston Daily Mail. I’ve also written for Two Lane Livin’ and New England Cheesemaking. Chickens in the Road was a finalist for “Best-Kept Secret” in the 2009 Bloggies and for “Best Photography” in 2011.

In 2011, the CITR Retreat was launched. Held at Camp Sheppard in Roane County each fall, attendees gather for a weekend of learning old-fashioned skills and homesteading DIY crafting, cooking, and preserving. Find out more about CITR Retreats, the annual Party on the Farm (free and open to all CITR readers who can make it), and other CITR events here.
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A sampling of popular posts from the past include:
Lord Willing and If the Creek Don’t Rise
Pear Pressure
On an Early Autumn Weekend
Ruckus
Kitten’s Great Escape
A Cautionary Tale
Cheesecake Cookies
Sausage and Patty
Escaped Goat Leads Stringtown Farmer on Slow-Speed Chase
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You can go here for my interview on West Virginia Public Radio.
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Other handy links:
CITR on Twitter
CITR on Facebook
CITR on YouTube
CITR on Google+
CITR on Pinterest
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Farm Bell Recipes, a fully-featured interactive cooking community, was launched as part of Chickens in the Road in May, 2010.

I’m proud to be a single woman managing a farm. I have a daughter still in high school, a son at West Virginia University, and my oldest son is now a submariner in the U.S. Navy. I’m a farmer.

Photo by Jerry Waters

There are several ways you can sponsor or advertise on this site. You can find them here. If you aren’t interested in any of the other sponsorship opportunities but would simply like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may use the button below to make a donation. You can also send donations via the mail to P.O. Box 858, Clendenin, WV 25045. Thank you!





NOTE: You must be registered to comment on the Chickens in the Road blog or participate on the forum. If you’re not registered, you can register here. If you’re already registered but not logged in, go here to log in.

Registration for Farm Bell Recipes must be made separately. Sign up here! (You can use the same username and password, but you have to register separately. For more help with Farm Bell Recipes, see our Community Guidelines.)

Your company and your comments are appreciated. If you like, please also join in at the Chickens in the Road forum–make friends, ask questions, have fun! Feel free to email me using the contact link below, or drop a note in the blog. You can also subscribe to my newsletter–see sample newsletters here.

Love,

Suzanne McMinn


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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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