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Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets,…
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Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the…

by Forrest Pritchard

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This book was mentioned in The Soil Will Save Us, so I ordered it too. This book is quite different from other permaculture/sustainability books. It doesn't give you nuts and bolts how-to. It's more a bildungsroman, coming of age story. Pritchard had aspirations as a writer from an early age, and his skill is very evident. The story flows well, and it's been a pleasure to spend time with him and his family. He's not shy about sharing his most embarassing moments, and coming from a Ag background, I have to say there were some doozies. I just have to say "Thank God for Travis!"

I could have wished for more detail on issues like pasture recovery after the pigs, as that remains too much of a mystery. But all in all, Go Forrest! ( )
  2wonderY | Jun 17, 2015 |
To preface this review: I am from Berryville, VA and grew up in the area that Forrest Pritchard describes in this book. I've been to the farmers market every Saturday and I went to school with many children who were raised on farms and worked on farms in the area. But it wasn't my knowledge of the material or the area which made this book so wonderful. It was the beautiful descriptions and the incredible cast of characters which Pritchard seems to portray so easily. The foreword really says it all. You don't have to be a farmer, or know a farmer, or even visit farmer's markets to appreciate this book.
  SnowcatCradle | Feb 25, 2014 |
great memoir--subtitle captures the theme.
  mochap | Feb 13, 2014 |
The book is wonderful. It draws the reader into a coming-of-age tale, or maybe a conquering hero tale, or a straight up historical narrative about family farming in the USA. I am not the English major in the household. I read, I cook, I spend a lot of time bring local food into my home, and preparing it simply for the family. Gaining Ground reinforced the decisions that I make every week. But while I was reading it, I really just wanted to keep reading it, and hoped that dinner would prepare itself :)! The narrative sings, the writing is lyrical, and brings you into the story as it is lived by "Farmer Forrest" and his family. There is hardship and sadness but the story is victorious in the end, as I am sure that you all might have imagined simply by the cover!

Highly recommended! ( )
  lalbro | May 27, 2013 |
Really enjoyed this book. It's the story of how one man decided to save his seventh generation farm through a lot of labor, intelligence, and willingness to turn conventional wisdom on its ear. It's full of useful information which is presented in a dramatic theme and works. And one of the best things about this book is he doesn't preach. Many books in this genre are so driven to "dump manure" all over conventional farmers and consumers who frequent the grocery store rather than always buying organic, that they turn off the reader. Pritchard doesn't - he makes his case for a rational approach in a non-lecturing story. If you've ever been to a Farmers' Market, you will enjoy this "back stage" look on it works. And please note - he raises animals - grass-fed beef, lambs, pigs, chickens - so this is not a vegetarian credo. ( )
  NellieMc | May 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
For all of the unnecessary violence and for all Pritchard’s failure to think in consistent ethical terms about animals, it nonetheless occurred to me that, in conveying his journey, he is — in a weird way — extending a friendly hand to animal rights advocates. He’s saying — no, he’s showing — that his paradigm, although it kills sentient animals, is better than the dominant paradigm, which kills more animals under worse conditions. He’s saying that his passion for honest agriculture and his ability to sustain a meaningful vocation is a critical step in the direction of a future agricultural model that leaves room for a fuller conception of justice. Animals might not be treated with ethical consistency on Pritchard’s farm, but the minimal suffering they endure can be seen as a down payment on a future in which they don’t suffer at all.
 
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Haiku summary
Discovering the
power of dirt and soil
and what poo can do.
(2wonderY)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0762787252, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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 Forrest Pritchard, fresh out of college, resolves to take matters into his own hands. What ensues--through a series of 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 markets, his father's health takes a turn for the worse. - p. 2 of cover.… (more)

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