Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, And Saving The Family Farm

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9780762787258: Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, And Saving The Family Farm
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One fateful day in 1996, after discovering that five freight cars' worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard vows to save his family's farm. What ensues--through hilarious encounters with all manner of livestock and colorful local characters--is a crash course in sustainable agriculture. Pritchard's biggest ally is his renegade father, who initially questions his son's career choice and rejects organic foods for sugary mainstream fare. But just when the farm starts to turn heads at local farmers' markets, his father's health takes a turn for the worse. With poetry and humor, this inspiring memoir tugs on the heartstrings and feeds the soul long after the last page is turned.

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About the Author:

Forrest Pritchard is a professional farmer with degrees in English and Geology from William & Mary. His poems have been published in national literary magazines, and Smith Meadows has been featured on NPR and in the Washington Post. Pritchard is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities. He lives on Smith Meadows in Berryville, VA, with his family, and each weekend his farm serves dedicated customers at local farmers' markets.
 
 
 

Review:

"Pritchard's engaging memoir opens with him, new English degree in hand, deciding to take over the family farm after fall harvest profits fail to materialize. What follows is a remarkable odyssey of food from farm to table; a classic against-all-odds narrative that will have readers changing their shopping habits. Pritchard is a born storyteller with a shrewd ability to make lively everything from his father's battle with a rogue pig to simple chores like selling firewood or bailing hay. His learned-the-hard-way experiences are thoroughly entertaining and non-farmers will absorb enough about raising livestock and tending land to broaden their expertise at the farmers' market and grocery store. He also addresses the politics involved in supporting local organic meat including issues of price, health, and the environment. By the end of his wonderful book, Pritchard lies in a field pondering his own slim margin of success from slowing things down in our fast paced world; a well-deserved moment of happiness for this important new spokesperson of the future of agriculture and poet of the earth."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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