I recently had the chance to read an amazing Book by Forrest Pritchard called “Gaining Ground”. This is Forrest’s first book and it shares his story of how he found his calling in life, saved his family’s farm, and all of the struggles he faced in the process. Forrest and his family own and operate Smith Meadows in Virginia where they raise cattle, chickens, pigs, etc. free range all year round. Their meat is organically raised and then sold direct through their store on their property and through local farmer’s markets. Forrest is an amazing writer who takes you right into his story, painting vivid pictures leaving you feeling like you are right there, the sun on your face and the meadow under foot, or your heart race at an exciting new possibility. With plenty of humorous stories and beautiful pictures, you will be thoroughly entertained!
Here’s the introduction to Gaining Ground:
Upon discovering that months of backbreaking work and five freight cars’ worth of glittering corn have reaped his family’s farm a profit of $18.16, young Pritchard, fresh out of college resolves to take matters into his own hands. What ensues-through a series of hilarious encounters with all manners 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 markets, his father’s health takes a turn for the worse.
Gaining Ground is a story for our times and of a shifting landscape-sure to resonate with anyone who has ever dreamed of a better world. With poetry and humor, this deeply inspiring memoir tugs on the heartstrings and feeds the soul long after the last page is turned.
I enjoyed Gaining Ground thoroughly! My dad spent his younger years on the farm before his father and uncles sold it and took jobs in the city. I grew up hearing my dad’s stories of fond memories on the farm. I have always loved being outdoors and my heart swelled when my parents bought 5 acres in the country. Though they are not farmers, and aren’t really even gardeners, their place still gives off that sense of peace and calm. Things seem to slow down out there. I have started gardening myself, figuring out things as I go along with the help of my husband who is just as knowledgeable (read- we have no idea what we’re doing) as I am. So I really connected with Forrest as he shared his struggles, the huge learning curve as he realized that though he had grown up on the farm, he really didn’t know the first thing about farming, and the look people give you when you say you only want to eat/raise organic produce, meats, and dairy.
What’s so wonderful is that you realize the characters in this story are real people. If I had the gas money and the unction, I could load my kids in the car and drive to Smith Meadows and meet Forrect Pritchard myself. I could take a tour of the pastures he raises his livestock on and probably pet a cow or two.
I do hope you will take the time to read Gaining Ground and support local farmers. They are the future of this country, not GMO’s. They are the ones who are going to raise the healthiest, tastiest foods you will find. They are the ones who are going to teach their children to do the same so that the art of raising food and living a sustainable life isn’t lost in the next generation or two. There is just something about being able to look in the eye the person who raises your food; something about shaking their hand and knowing that when you pay them, they are the ones getting the money, not whatever is left over when all the big conglomerates get their share. You are helping to pay for their truck to get repairs, or for their kid to be able to take swim lessons, or whatever. These kinds of farms are happening all over America, probably in a small town near you.
You can head over to amazon now and buy your own copy of “Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm” target=”_blank”>Gaining Ground“! It’s just $12.48 or $9.99 for your kindle.
*Please note that the amazon link is my affilitate link.
*I was given a copy of Gaining Ground to read and share my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.