Farm Family: A Solo Mom’s Memoir of Finding Home, Happiness, and Alpacas

The story of a single mom’s pursuit of a dream to start an alpaca farm in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina.

At thirty-seven, Jane Lee Rankin receives news that upends her life: she’s pregnant. Lee is a cancer survivor eighteen months in remission. Her boyfriend won’t commit, and her father is unsupportive. When she decides to raise the baby by herself, Lee feels the scornful glances and judgmental whispers of her conservative hometown.

Armed only with a dream and a toddler, Lee marches into Banner Elk, North Carolina, a place where she knows no one, to start an alpaca farm. As a novice, first-generation farmer, Lee faces nature’s most potent setbacks, from disastrous weather events to attacks from predators. And yet, she forges on. At Apple Hill Farm, Lee trades fear for freedom. She trades disdain for dignity. She learns that her connection to animals is more vital than she knew, and with bravery and persistence, she creates a home—a farm family.


Praise for Farm Family

“Lee Rankin is a word smith of the heart. She takes us on a journey to vividly illustrate through farm life how a heart can mend through death and despair to hope and renewal. You will beg her to write the next book, so you can follow her footsteps of bravery and endurance. Her life story is captivating and engaging on all levels.”