Concordia Author Publishes New Book, “Outdoor Farm, Indoor Farm”

By Payton Tholstrup

Lindsay Metcalf published her fifth book “Outdoor Farm, Indoor Farm” on Tuesday, April 9th. It features two young pen pals who exchange letters about their respective farms: one inside and one outside. It can be purchased anywhere books are sold and is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection, meaning more children will have access to it through libraries.

When asked if she always wanted to be an author, Metcalf said she thinks so. “As a kid, I thought you had to live in New York City to be an author, so I didn’t give it much thought, but I loved reading and wanted to be a writer,” she said. She graduated from KU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, then went on to work as a writer and editor for newspapers, one of those being The Kansas City Star. It wasn’t until after leaving that job that she began to seriously consider writing books for children. “I wrote my first picture-book manuscript the day my youngest went to preschool, in 2015.”

Metcalf is always looking for agriculture-related stories to tell; she wants children to have access to a variety of accurate books beyond the Old McDonald-style texts that dominate that genre. She explained that agriculture is in a constant state of innovation.

The inspiration for the book came when she saw a video of a large vertical farm located in a New Jersey warehouse. Raised on a farm in Concordia, she grew up mainly thinking of agriculture as wheat, corn, soybeans, and milo fields; crops that are very common in Kansas. “I was fascinated by the idea that huge indoor factory farms could produce millions of pounds of green each year by growing plants under LEDS, with minimal water. That process of misting water and nutrient solution onto roots is called aeroponics.”

Metcalf will be reading her new book this Saturday, April 13th, at 10:00 a.m. at Cloud County Tourism, located at 130 E 6th Street in Concordia. There will be an activity for kids attending and cookies from Little Miss B, a new ice cream shop and bakery. Readers can purchase books at the event and have their copy signed and personalized. The event will give her the opportunity to meet young readers, which is her favorite part of being an author. “Their enthusiasm for books, and their excellent questions, drive me to keep writing.”

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