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
"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)
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.
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.
Perfect. Sounded like a budding farmer might sound.
How to survive your first job, ask for a promotion, or get the corner office when your boss is Mother Nature
It's well written--reads like a good novel. I like Pritchard's sense of humor and how well he characterizes people.
There story was full of memorable moments. The goat riding shotgun in the pickup was one of the funniest.
Wayne's performance was close to flawless. He gives everyone a unique voice, but doesn't go overboard.
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.
Having a new understanding and desire to support our local farmers.
I don't want to ruin any of the beautiful moments in this book, but there were many memorable moments.
His performance was wonderful. He made the characters in the book come alive in my mind.
Hope for the small American farmer.
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.
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.
I got this with a 2 for 1 sale. I LOVED this book! Even though the premise of the book is how he made it through the beginning travails of putting the farm back on track, I think when I finished the book the thing that stayed with me the most was how it brought his whole family together and allowed everyone to pursue their own individual dreams. I am one of those farmer's market shoppers. The community feel, eating lunch, perusing the veggies, baked goods and humanely raised meat and eggs is a joy that should be much more widespread in our country. The humor and love in this book just radiates outward. The narration was spot on!
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
The story has a great amount to think about and the work seems to be hard beyond words, but I have walked away from this story with greater respect for the family farm that doesn't take government subsidies. The family farm is a place to reward for keeping our community strong and connected.
I am happy to have discovered this book. the reality of day to day farming was very well explained. the importance of local farmers markets is now much clearer.
Forrest brings to light the struggles and conquests of the new farmer. The narrator was very good and helped add some character to the story. I will be listening to this one multiple times, there is tons of good information that just needs to be gleaned from within. I will also be purchasing the paper version of this very valuable book.
I farm 52 acres in Connecticut and while listening to this book it was scary at times how close to my own story it was. I typically do not outwardly react to books but with Gaining Ground I both laughed out loud and cried more than once. This confession coming from a guy who slaughters his own animals.
This book is great and highly recommended. My only hope is that we see more like it. There are a lot of farmers out there sharing a similar story.
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