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Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm | [Forrest Pritchard]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 your heartstrings and feeds your soul long after you've finished.

©2013 Forrest Pritchard (P)2013 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"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

"Roger Wayne's warm, lively reading of Forrest Pritchard's memoir of saving his family's farm in the Shenandoah Valley is a hopeful and conversational experience.... integrity is heard in Wayne's performance." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (132 )
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4.6 (124 )
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4.6 (124 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sweetbay United States 01-12-14
    Sweetbay United States 01-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it! I wanted it to go on further"
    What made the experience of listening to Gaining Ground the most enjoyable?

    I listened to this book as I tended my own chickens. I could have never been so candid about my farming foibles, but I'm glad Forrest was.


    What other book might you compare Gaining Ground to and why?

    I had just finished Joel Salatin's book - This Aint Normal - and loved it. I thought at first this would be a litte like that. Some farming techniques may be similar, but Forrest's story is really funny, articulate, and humble - one to which other back to the farm types might be able to relate more readily.


    What about Roger Wayne’s performance did you like?

    Perfect. Sounded like a budding farmer might sound.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    How to survive your first job, ask for a promotion, or get the corner office when your boss is Mother Nature


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 11-12-14
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 11-12-14 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "best tasting audiobook i've listened to"

    This book was super. It was a clear, concise, nicely paced account of how Forrest Pritchard struggled and ultimately succeeded at "fixing things." To understand what I mean by fixing things, you'll have to listen to the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan STOCKPORT, OH, United States 01-21-14
    Susan STOCKPORT, OH, United States 01-21-14
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    "An inspiring glimpse at the plight of the farmer."
    What did you love best about Gaining Ground?

    Having a new understanding and desire to support our local farmers.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gaining Ground?

    I don't want to ruin any of the beautiful moments in this book, but there were many memorable moments.


    What does Roger Wayne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His performance was wonderful. He made the characters in the book come alive in my mind.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Hope for the small American farmer.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve champion fresno, CA United States 01-12-14
    steve champion fresno, CA United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Really good story!!"

    I really liked this book, I enjoyed the way Forrest kept persevering when things looked worst... The family could have taken the easy out and sold some of the property, but wanted to keep the family farm together.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Hembree North Carolina 01-05-14
    Bob Hembree North Carolina 01-05-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Surprisingly good."
    What did you love best about Gaining Ground?

    It's well written--reads like a good novel. I like Pritchard's sense of humor and how well he characterizes people.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gaining Ground?

    There story was full of memorable moments. The goat riding shotgun in the pickup was one of the funniest.


    What about Roger Wayne’s performance did you like?

    Wayne's performance was close to flawless. He gives everyone a unique voice, but doesn't go overboard.


    Any additional comments?

    Some books surprise expectations. This is one of them. This isn't a how-to-book, it's a heart warming story about a lifestyle many of us fantasize about, but probably wouldn't last day.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 12-22-14
    Wendy 12-22-14
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    3
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    Story
    "I accidentally learned a lot"
    What made the experience of listening to Gaining Ground the most enjoyable?

    It was down to earth. The writer and narrator were both engaging and spoke in terms that anyone could understand. The stories were funny, and told in a way that the listener would remember them. They were also very informative, so I accidentally learned much more than I thought I would while listening to the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Mathur Cleveland, Oh 08-01-14
    E. Mathur Cleveland, Oh 08-01-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Great insight into a locally grown/sold farm"
    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked the story about Pedro the goat. Had me laughing.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book made me think more about what I am already moving towards... eating healthier, eating local


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, the narrator was perfect for this read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KyBooks 07-14-14
    KyBooks 07-14-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Salatin in practice"
    If you could sum up Gaining Ground in three words, what would they be?

    Pritchard's book is a great narrative of saving his family farm. Current farming practices are not green, while Pritchard paints an idyllic scene with an organic brush. Not so much a how to, but a worldview shift, Pritchard shows that it is possible to profit on pasture, regaining the old ways.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Pritchard's relationship with his father, it's almost an allegory for modern farming vs pasture based slow food.


    What about Roger Wayne’s performance did you like?

    Great reader


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My wife cried when a particular farm animal died.


    Any additional comments?

    Go Tribe!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 06-28-14
    Paul LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 06-28-14 Member Since 2004
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    "A real jewel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Gaining Ground to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely! Wayne's choice as narrator was perfect. It really felt like we were listening to the author all the time. His characterizations were spot-on, i especially liked his rendition of "Travis".


    What other book might you compare Gaining Ground to and why?

    Joel Salatin's "Folks, this ain't Normal". This book is more about the romantic, even spiritual aspect of farming, but still holds a ton of great educational material for those considering this lifestyle.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    His very intimate, even confessional story of his father's passing was honest and brave.


    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to this book twice now, and I plan to hear it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Glendale, AZ, United States 05-11-14
    Frank Glendale, AZ, United States 05-11-14 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

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    "I love this book!"

    This is a extremely well written story of Forrest Pritchard following his dream in being a farmer on his family land in spite of all the failed farms around him. His own dad was against his career choice. Against all odds, perseverance, and dedicated he turned his dream into a success. The book is extremely funny, inspiring and informative on what it is like being a farmer and also a entrepreneur. I cannot remember the last time a enjoyed a book as much as I did this one. I absolutely LOVE IT!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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