In the mid 1990’s, Forrest Pritchard’s family farm made a profit of eighteen dollars and sixteen cents.
“Our family farm was broken. I made up my mind that, somehow, we were going to fix it.”
Forrest embarks on a journey to save their family’s piece of heaven in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. From hauling firewood across the county and up 2 flights of stairs, avoiding police in a trailer with no lights, to riding in the front seat with a goat, Forrest Pritchard of Smith Meadows Farm shares his experiences of saving and making a living on the family farm.
Thousands of dollars in debt for several generations, Forrest not only overcomes the strain of family opinions, but also the lack of knowledge and many failed attempts. His story resonates deeply with struggling farmers.
“The desire to fix things – to try our best, at least – seemed to run in our family’s blood…
We rarely got it right the first time. We often didn’t get it right the second or third time, either. But we never stopped trying, never gave up on living the life we had always dreamed. We grew simple food, and honest work nourished our spirits. Ours would be a story of never-ending labor, unexpected setbacks, and daily revisions and corrections. I always loved a challenge.”
I laughed and cried with him as he shared his story through this book. His sense of humor and personality shines from cover to cover. I was hooked from the first sentence and didn’t want to put it down until the last page was turned. Are you looking for encouragement while working your own piece of earth? Or perhaps you’re still the dreamer wanting to find your place on the ground? This is the book for you.
I was honored to be sent a copy of this book and after reading it, knew that I would be committing a crime if I didn’t tell you all how much I enjoyed this story. Full of descriptive prose, subtle and not so subtle humor, and emotional highs and lows, Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm has fast become a favorite. I hope that you will take the time out of your busy farming life to sit for moment to read it!
About the Author:
Forrest Pritchard, 38, is a professional farmer, writer and public speaker. Holding degrees in English and Geology from William and Mary, Forrest studied under George Garrett with the University of Virginia’s MFA program. He has been published in national magazines (Mid American Review, New Delta Review, Acres USA, etc.), and his farm, Smith Meadows, has been featured on NPR and the Washington Post. One of the first “grass finished” farms in the country, Smith Meadows has sold at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC for fifteen years. His book Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm was named a Top Ten Book for Summer 2013 by Publishers Weekly.
And now the Giveaway!