Gaining Ground - Forrest Pritchard (Paperback)

A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm

Dispatched in 20 to 30 working days
No reviews yet.

Product Details

21 May 2013
Supply Source


Forrest Pritchard
Joel Salatin
Joel Salatin (Foreward By)
A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm
Globe Pequot Pr
Number of Pages
210 x 133 x 25mm (431g)


Chronicles the author's efforts to rescue his family's seventh-generation farm from insolvency by turning it into a sustainable, grass-fed, organic operation while also dealing with his father's declining health.


  • With humor and pathos, Forrest Pritchard recounts his ambitious and often hilarious endeavors to save his family’s seventh-generation farm in the Shenandoah Valley. Through many a trial and error, he not only saves Smith Meadows from insolvency but turns it into a leading light in the sustainable, grass-fed, organic farm-to-market community.
    There is nothing young Farmer Pritchard won’t try. Whether he’s selling firewood and straw, raising free-range chickens and hogs, or acquiring a flock of Barbados Blackbelly sheep, his learning curve is steep and always entertaining. Pritchard’s world crackles with colorful local characters—farm hands, butchers, market managers, customers, fellow vendors, pet goats, policemen—bringing the story to warm, communal life. His most important ally, however, is his renegade father, who initially questions his son's career choice and eschews organic foods for the generic kinds that wreak havoc on his health. Soon after his father’s death, the farm becomes a recognized success and Pritchard must make a vital decision: to continue serving the local community or answer the exploding demand for his wares with lucrative Internet sales and shipping deals.
    More than a charming story of honest food cultivation and farmers’ markets, Gaining Ground tugs on the heartstrings, reconnecting us to the land and the many lives that feed us.


General Subject
BISAC Subject 1
Nature / General
BISAC Subject 2
Gardening / Vegetables
BISAC Subject 3
Biography & Autobiography / Environmentalists & Naturalists
BISAC Subject 4
Nature / General
BIC Classification 1
Gardening: growing fruit & vegetables
BIC Classification 2
Biography: science, technology & medicine
BIC Classification 3
The environment
BIC Classification 4
Natural history
Library Subject 1
Farmers; Virginia; Biography.
Library Subject 2
Farmers' markets.
Library Subject 3
Local foods.
Dewey Classification

Inside Flap

One fateful day in 1996, upon discovering that five freight cars&; worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard undertakes 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 career choice and eschews 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.With poetry and humor, this timely memoir tugs on the heartstrings and feeds the soul long after the last page is turned.

Author Bio

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.