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.
Pritchard's engaging memoir opens with him, new English degree in hand, deciding to take over the family farm after fall harvest profits fail to materialize. What follows is a remarkable odyssey of food from farm to table; a classic against-all-odds narrative that will have readers changing their shopping habits. Pritchard is a born storyteller with a shrewd ability to make lively everything from his father's battle with a rogue pig to simple chores like selling firewood or bailing hay. His learned-the-hard-way experiences are thoroughly entertaining and non-farmers will absorb enough about raising livestock and tending land to broaden their expertise at the farmers' market and grocery store. He also addresses the politics involved in supporting local organic meat including issues of price, health, and the environment. 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book was / is a great inspirational book for me. I seek out books that give me others experiences and views on this type of farming. I am working on my first pasture raised pig venture, and hope to add many more animals to the farm. My goal is to retire from my "city" job, and work on my farm. This book has helped me realize what type of work I need to be doing now to prepare for the future.
I grew up on family farm in Southern Va. I remember riding with my great grandfather around the farm on his tractor. He passed when I was 5 and the farm business went with him. My grandfather and father had their own businesses and the farm was too much. This book was a great reflection into my early childhood. Next time I travel home I will take a deeper look at the old barns and rolling Virginia hills. Thanks for the insight Forrest.