Book Review: Gaining Ground by Forrest Pritchard


Several weeks ago, a young farmer named Forrest Pritchard contacted me and asked if I would be willing to review a book he had just written. He told me that he farms his family's land in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and sells meat and produce at the local farmers market.  And that he had written a book chronicling how he saved his family's farm.

I was intrigued. Being an aspiring writer myself as well as an aspiring farmer (albeit it on a very much smaller scale and never as our family's sole source of income), I happily agreed to read Forrest's book.  I mean, this guy is a real farmer.  He raises cows and pigs, chickens and crops.  And he does it full time.  As a seventh generation farmer, he was determined to make a go at organic farming to preserve an American tradition that is fast dying and nearly impossible to make profitable. All this despite the fact that he was a recent college graduate with no intention of returning to the farm initially and practically no hands-on experience.  

As you delve into his book, Gaining Ground, you will learn right alongside Forrest, as he bales hay, raises chickens and takes pigs to be butchered. He also shares the economics and feasibility of turning a profit from hours, days and weeks of hard work.

His book is at times humorous, at times heartwrenching. Bittersweet in sections, but inspiring throughout. The foreward written by Joel Salatin speaks volumes to the caliber of the book, but by the time I had finished Mr. Pritchard's own introduction I realized that this man can not only farm; he can also write. 

If you read only one book this summer, make it Gaining Ground.  The book touches heavily upon the current commercialization of food that is consumed in this country.  It celebrates a self-taught farmer determined to attain a sustainable way of life on his family farm.  Publisher's Weekly has named this book one of the Top Ten Reads of the Summer. From the Publisher's Weekly review:  “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." 

Forrest Pritchard is a professional farmer who serves customers at local farmers' markets every weekend. His poems have been published in national literary magazines, and his farm Smith Meadows, has been featured on NPR and in the Washington Post.  


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107 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great book. I can't wait to read it.
    We have chickens and sell eggs. I also have a small vegetable garden, but don't sell the produce, we eat all that we grow. We have a grove of pomegranates that we planted a couple of years ago, but they are not big enough to harvest yet.

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  3. Is there any way for someone to get to talk to Forrest .Or could you pass a message on .I have a young people that just moved in next door .His grandfather an father turned the farm over to him an his wife .Truth be told they know nothing about farming .But do have good hearts ,I feel Forrest could give them the some insite to dos an don'ts ,They want to go all natural an healthy The right way .We are in Aulander NC Not that far away

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  4. This book sounds amazing!
    We have chickens and sell eggs too! As well as heirloom pumpkins. We are expanding to strawberries and blueberries.We grow and can a lot of tomatoes:)
    Thank you!

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  5. I raise cattle and pigs and plan on selling my meat at farmers markets.

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  6. Looks like an interesting read. We have chickens and goats, and sell the goats through 4-H at the county fair. We love our little "farmette" but also appreciate REAL farming as our neighbor has a 400 acre farm with potatoes, hay, punkins, etc. A little different approach when you're doing it for fun vs. doing it for an income.

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  7. I would LOVE to read this book. We are huge Salatin fans here. My brother has a Pastured Meat Chicken business and he raises three batches of 100 broilers each year which our family helps care for and processes ourselves. We also have a flock of 40+ laying hens which we feed Organic, Soy-free feed and sell the eggs. We recently started a meat rabbit business, and have kept a few dairy goats in the past.

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

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  8. We raise chickens, turkeys, quail and just added ducks to the mix. We sell eggs, chicken and turkeys. Can't wait to read this book.

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  9. We are working to be more self sufficient and have started by raising our own chickens for eggs. We also currently have tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bush beans, crowder peas, okra, purple bell peppers, collard greens, and watermelon in our small garden (just enough to feed our family). We have just started a small herb garden as well and have rosemary, dill, cilantro, basil, sweet mint, peppermint, and lavender growing. Finally, we have been planting fruit trees instead of ornamentals and overthe last six months or so we have planted apple, peach, fig, guava, and banana trees"

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  10. We do a little farming here. We have chickens who give us eggs, a couple of Angora goats who give us mohair that we spin and sometimes sell. My husband breeds grapes and we have some fruit trees and grow various vegetables for our own table. I love hearing about family farms and younger generations trying to recapture what our culture is losing. This book looks great!

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  11. Sounds like a really good read! If I don't win it, I'll just have to buy it!

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  12. We have a chickens and have a large vegetable and herb garden. I sell some herbal items made from the herb garden, but we put up everything that comes out of the veggie garden. We give our extra eggs to the friends and family.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  13. Would love to read this book! I have a large vegetable and herb garden, grapes, strawberries, and many blueberry plants.

    I have 10 chickens.

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  14. Omgosh this book looks like I would really enjoy it. I've recently discovered Joel Salatin and am marveling at the concepts. I love his writing, his knowledge, and his books. We grow and raise a little of this and a little of that....maters, beans, peas, kale, and more. Plus some chickens and goats and such. Yay for hobby farms. I hope to expand one day and put these great concepts into practice!

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  15. Can't wait to read his book. I wish there was someone like him closer to me! I have a small garden and 6 chickens (4 that are a year old & 2 that are about 8 weeks). I sell my eggs (when I have enough)! The garden supplies my family with vegetables during the summer and this past winter we grew leaf lettuce & arugula using a homemade "greenhouse" cover! I also grow my own herbs and my husband has planted all kinds of fruit bearing trees, bushes, etc. in our back yard!

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  16. I raise 3 chickens for the eggs and grow tomatoes and pumpkins mostly with a smattering of other veggies to see how they do in my soil. Only been at this for going on the third year and would probably get much insight from the book!

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  17. Forrest's book sounds intriguing. I grow fruit and veggies and raise quail for my family. I don't sell anything, but hope to start a CSA someday.

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  18. Sounds like a must read to me! We're growing tomatoes, peppers, rhubarb, tomatillos, two winter squash varieties, garlic, carrots, cucumbers, leeks, green onions, blueberries, blackberries, pumpkins, Swiss chard, lots of different herbs and we have three columnar apple trees. We just recently added four chickens (for eggs) and are about to add two more.

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  19. I have a dream of being a farmer, but am in need of a farm. On our small quarter acre, we grow lettuce, tomatoes, calendula, echinacea, garlic, rosemary, oregano, parsley, mint, and lemon balm. We make most of our own cleaning supplies and lotion using our plants. We raise four hens for eggs, two rescued lizards, and a rescued dog that thinks she's a human. We do not sell any of our goods but we freely share our plants and eggs with family, neighbors and coworkers. We hope to eventually have a small plot of land big enough to grow enough food for our immediate family, house a couple of horses, pigs, goats, and chickens.

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  20. We have chickens. Raise tomatoes peppers potatoes okra cucumbers squash zuchinni and more

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  21. What a fascinating topic. We raise as much of our own food as possible. Last year, we harvested over 300 pounds of organically grown fruits and vegetables. We also raise organic eggs and collect milk from our small herd of dairy goats. We have just begun providing our farm raised products to local restaurants and hope to inspire other members of our local community to raise more of their own food. Great giveaway!

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  22. What a fascinating topic. We raise as much of our own food as possible. Last year, we harvested over 300 pounds of organically grown fruits and vegetables. We also raise organic eggs and collect milk from our small herd of dairy goats. We have just begun providing our farm raised products to local restaurants and hope to inspire other members of our local community to raise more of their own food. Great giveaway!

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  23. My favorite crop to grow is spinach. it's easy to do, and I love using it in all applications. My chickens and ducks also love the greens from swiss chard

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  24. We just purchased our little mini farm (just shy of 4 acres). At the moment, we have a Tamaskan dog, a cat, a pet rabbit and we just got our 8 baby chicks. We're building the chicken house and I have been busy planting lettuce, carrots, onions, squash, cucumbers, herbs, peas, beans, pumpkins and tomatoes. I'll have to see how selling anything goes, as we have just begun our little farm. We've talked a lot about other critters as well. I'm so anxious to have everything in full bloom, but, we've only been here 14 days...guess I need to work on my patience a bit ;)

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  25. I'd love to have this book! I am just now teaching myself how to garden. I grown tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, and trying some carrots and watermelon. We also have started raising chickens which I plan on selling eggs. I believe this book would be really great to read!

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  26. This sounds like a wonderful book. I would love to read his insight on farming and such. And laugh at yhe humor of everyday life.

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  27. I'd love to win this book :) Right now I grow heirloom tomatoes and am focused on only heirloom veggies. I raise goats and chickens. I make soap and sell my eggs.

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  28. I don't sell my crops .I can and feed my family, Plant tomatoes, cukes , bussel sprouts, peppers ,squashes Also have black berries and blue berries
    have 27 layer hens started with goats last year hope to breed for milk this year This is more of a hobby but I love it.

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  29. We don't sell much yet but we hope to someday. Growing veggies for our family and the wool from our sheep and goats. I will read this book even if I don't win! I want to support this brave farming soul

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  30. We grow watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and cabbage. We don't sell any of our food. We use it for our family. I would love to get fruit bearing trees and a farm eventually.

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  31. Sounds like a great book! We have 6 chickens and grow more different "crops" than I can list here. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

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  32. Sounds like a wonderful read. I grow the usual basic vegetables for my husband and myself along with a few herbs and mint. Also have fruits. I do this now with my Grandchildren 8, 10, and 11. The chickens like to help too. I put up the fruits and veggies also.

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  33. I have always had a vegetable garden with lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, eggplant, cucumbers, and whatever else I can squeeze in! I've got a ton of herbs. I also have raspberries, strawberries, apple trees, and a fig tree. I'm adding some gourds and pumpkins this year. I also am just starting with chickens! They are almost 4 weeks old. I am also hoping to get some goats later this spring, early summer and will hopefully be making some cheese by next year! I don't sell, but I do buy local. When I have extras, I give to family, neighbors, or co-workers. I took the M.G. class last fall, and have been volunteering. I read all that I can to be informed. I'd love to win a copy of this book. There is always something to learn!

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  34. 7 chickens, koi, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, gooseberries and more

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  35. This book is a must on my Amazon wish list. We raise chickens and sell the eggs, grow garlic, tomatoes, lettuce, corn and cucumbers. Love our little "farm".

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  36. I'm still in the workforce so I don't grow anything, yet. I have purchased an old house (built in 1906) on a busy road with an extra acre of land. In the next year or so, I plan to have chickens and a garden and sell eggs and produce at my own little produce stand. I would love to read Mr. Pritchard's book as I plan to grow everything organically. Thanks for the giveaway. If I don't win, I will be purchasing his book.

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  37. We grow tons of herbs and veggies, and also have our little flock of backyard hens! My co-workers buy eggs from us, but mostly we keep and devour them all ;)

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  38. I raise a small garden that I am able to can enough for my family and still give away to other family members and church members as well. I raise chickens and will soon have bees- my dad has had honeybees forever and we are acquiring them from him this week. I sell eggs locally to neighbors and will be selling honey as well. I love to read books about homesteading and this sounds like a great read.

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  39. I am still VERY new at gardening. I am also VERY lucky to have great memories of working side by side with my Grandmother and Grandfather on their 2 acre farm that came close to providing all of the food they ever needed. I have seedlings in the house of 3 varieties tomatoes, 2 varieties of sweet peppers, cucumbers, dill, parsley, basil, cilantro, celery, and squash. Have a good Wednesday.

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  40. Would love to win a copy. I have been trying to market our family's extra produce for the last couple years.... mostly tomatoes and stonefruit and any other extras we have in abundance.

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  41. I have quite a few, if not all of Joel Salatin's books. Whatever he recommends could never be a failure.
    We have a very large home, and a very small plot of land, but we hope to reverse that very soon, in order to get goats, pigs, and alpacas.
    Our yard is nothing but garden and as a homeschooling family, we incorporate seed saving yearly as well as documenting all of our heirloom varieties of grown veggies and process, into notebooks that we lend to our local library for others to enjoy and learn. We have tried to sell at our local farmer's markets, unfortunately, due to the very short growing season in northern Michigan, downstate people and their quantities cannot compare to what we can produce in a short period of time (hoping to change that too!)
    This year, we've added sterile dwarf comfrey around our fruit trees for added nutrients to our tree soil, a recommendation by Michael Phillips.
    I would just love to have this book!

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    1. Edited to add my email: srmichigan317 {at} gmail (dot) com.

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  42. Thanks for the tips, always looking for a good read! We are just starting out, but so far have 18 chicks and 3 ducklings. Not to mention the furry kids that run the house! I have planted corn, tomato's, carrots, beets, onions, kale, kolrabi, okra, lettuce, radish, several winter squash types, summer squash x2 types, beans x3 types, cucumber, sweet pea's and MANY melons!! Not to mention the flowers or the herb garden!!

    Our hope is to be able to sell or give away the extra eggs and veggies. We know several people who could benefit from our surplus. :)

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    1. Dear Jill Hi ! Here is a though for you .I have chickens an when I don't sell all my left over eggs I give them to the food bank .Because I done that I now can not keep up with the people that want eggs.Upping my chickens from 29 to 100 ???

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    2. Congratulations Jill Ray! You're the winner! Please email your mailing address to me at Fresheggsdaily@gmail.com and I'll get your signed copy out to you.

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  43. We do backyard farming. We just moved into our "new-to-us" home and have built a chicken coop/hen house with leftover wood the previous owners left behind... and now have 5 pullets. My raised beds aren't built yet, but I'm growing tomatoes, jalapenos, zucchini, squash, carrots, lettuce, basil, cilantro and mint in containers/pots.

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  44. I sure would love to read his book. It sounds very interesting. We have Chickens, Ducks, Geese and Meat Rabbits so far and hope to expand to Goats, Sheep and Pigs next year. We also have a Vegetable Garden but don't sell anything. Everything is for our own use.

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  45. We managed to grow nice gardens when we first moved here 18 years ago, but at 8000 ft and with the continuing drought, we've had to give up as we have no water rights and well levels are dropping rapidly. I still grow a few flowers and I buy eggs from my neighbor down the road. We can't have fruit trees or compost because of the bears. We do compost non-food plant material though. This book sounds wonderful. Someday, I hope to move somewhere with more favorable growing conditions.

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  46. the book sounds interesting. We have chickens for us and friends. We are going to have a veg. garden this summer too.

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  47. I have 5 chickens and lots of veggies in my garden. I'm growing tomatoes, onions, carrots, peas, spinach, lettuce, squash, strawberries, radishes, and cucumbers! And nope, don't sell it. Just eat it all or can it.

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  48. We have 14 chickens that we are going to let our girls sell the eggs when it gets going. We also plant a couple gardens, but I can and freeze a lot of that to use through the rest of the year.

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  49. The book really sounds interesting. We are just getting into this. We built the coop, run, and have 40 young pullets in it currently. They are about 2 months from starting to lay. We plan to sell the eggs and have people already interested in buying them. We also have a garden but only for our use at the moment as well as raspberries and fruit trees.

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  50. I raise chickens and have a small but productive garden despite living in the desert.

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  51. My husband and I are retirees. Two years ago we opted for a simpler, more frugal lifestyle by selling our "too big" house on 5 acres and bought a small log cabin and a barn on 8 acres. We have a flock of chickens who are pets and prolific egg producers. We have a garden in which we have planted tomatoes, cucumbers, blue hubbard squash, zucchini squash, green beans, peas, parsnips, onions, strawberries & lots of potatoes. We also have peach & apple trees & a small asparagus patch. We don't sell our produce or eggs but give them to family, friends and to our local food pantry. Of course, we keep produce & eggs for ourselves, also. We have a small root cellar which we hope to use this year. The book sounds great ~ I have started a small library of all farming books (real life experiences) and this book would certainly be an excellent addition. Thank you for the opportunity to enter the contest.

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  52. I raise chickens for the eggs, and occasionally sell a dozen here and there to friends. My parents and I also have a garden from which we get tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, peas, rhubarb, asparagus, but most of this we can, freeze, eat fresh or give to friends.

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  53. This is our first year at this home, and the previous family was not much interested in gardening. So we're still getting everything set up. So far we've had a stick farm - lots of mature trees dropping branches. This year I'm putting in the long term perennial producers - an apple tree, blueberry bushes, raspberries, red currants, a dozen grape vines, asparagus, rhubarb and hardy kiwi vines. Trying for a small garden this year with pumpkins, beans, cukes, peas, and melons. We're getting chickens in June. Sold some jam once at a local ren faire, but just once. It's more fun to give all my extra jams and jellies away at Christmas.

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  54. This book looks great. I grew up in the northern Shenandoah Valley in Virginia on a dairy farm, so I am eager to read it.

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  55. For years I have had a small garden, but truth be told, I think the deer and other wildlife benefit from it more than we do... LOL
    I have my first ever batch of baby chicks coming in the beginning of June and can't wait! I am trying to read as much as I can before they come so that I will be prepared. Thank you Lisa for such an informative website. I'm actually beginning to feel confident that I can do this!

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  56. I live in suburban SoCal with a tiny yard, but I still grow basil and tomatoes. Per the zoning laws, no farm animals allowed. I plan on trying my hand at vermicomposting this summer as well.

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  57. we grow a large variety of herbs, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, melons, lettuce, spinach, carrots, lemons and oranges, and I know there are other's I'm forgetting. We raise chickens, and we sell both eggs and produce that are extra beyond what we use or preserve.

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  58. The book sounds amazing! We have a small garden that has never done very good. We ,live at the top of a very steep hill and our yard dries out very quickly here in Georgia with our heat. This year we have started an aquaponics garden that so far is doing really well. We have chickens that are 11 weeks old. First time chicken owner but loving every day of it!

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  59. We have a flock of 30 chickens & we grow a pretty large garden of potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes, herbs, peppers, okra, Swiss chard & tons of other great plants to tide us over through the year!!

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  60. Grow - broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, all for personal consumption. Raise hens and sell eggs - in high demand where my husband works. My mom grew up on a true farm and I was raised on a suburban farm so that is what I do now with my family :)

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  61. I can't wait to get this book. I am a single mom who began homesteading about 3 years ago when I moved to a farm. Unfortunately the first year here, all was lost because I was in a car accident within 2 months of moving and unable to harvest or can anything. Now I have 2 main gardens and a number or raised beds. I plant tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, corn, herbs, beans, peas, rutabaga, onions, beets.. strawberries, raspberries and more. I also have about 20 laying hens and sell the extra eggs, a rooster, and raise meat birds. I even built my own chicken coop!!

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  62. I grow tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, watermelon, eggplant, strawberries, green beans, and corn. Most of them are in containers due to bad soil conditions here. Our herbs are in our huge kitchen window that we have. We eat most of what we grow or freeze it. If I have an overabundance I give it to neighbors and friends. Were are not allowed to have livestock where we live, but their are people that I have been hearing about finding their way around it with chickens.

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  63. I can't wait to read this. I live on a small acre that is just outside city limits so we have plenty of restrictions. However, we are able to grow vegetables,a few citrus trees, berry bushes and tend to chickens and a hive of bees.

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  64. Currently we have peas, onions, broccoli, romaine lettuce, swiss chard potatoes, cucumbers and melons. We have 17 chickens (most are chicks), and I sell eggs when we have extras. I'd love to do more, produce more and start selling more!

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  65. raise chickens and sell some eggs.as for crops we do a large garden for our use we can alot

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  66. I raise chickens and plant heirloom tomatoes, peppers, corn, okra, lettuce, rutabaga's, cucumbers, several varieties of squash and a few other things each year!

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  67. This book sounds great! I would love a copy! Here on our farm, we raise chickens and sell eggs. We also started doing raised beds this year in hopes our garden will grow better (we have A LOT of shale in our soil) and we planted tomatoes, peppers, artichoke, salad greens, cucumbers, watermelon, squashes, and some other crops. Can't wait to see the results and hopefully be able to sell some and give some away.

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  68. I want this book! We raise chickens and have a big vegetable garden-lots of kale and lettuc up now.

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  69. We just grow veggis our family will eat

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  70. I am growing root vegetables, broccoli, spinach, lettuces, celery, herbs, figs and blueberries so far in my yard in the middle of Norfolk, VA. Trying everything out and learning from mistakes. Trying to become more self sufficient as we gain knowledge to buy a small farm in central Virginia in a few years. That's the plan. We can't have chickens in Norfolk but we want to start out with chickens, bees and a dairy cow when we get started. This book sounds like it would be a big help and insightful in helping with our endeavor. I am the caregiver for my 92 year old mom and can't change anything until she no longer needs me, but I am trying to use this time to learn.

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  71. Looks like a great read. We raise chickens only at this point, but my husband will have everything from goats to alpacas if he has his way. We are harvesting eggs only but are getting set up for meat chickens come fall.
    We raise a really large garden, muscadines, grapes, and fruit trees. Once again we give away a rolling ton of food but sell nothing. Maybe we should rethink this :)

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  72. LOVE all these comments! Feels absolutely wonderful to know so many people are committed to making a difference and living a sustainable and balanced life! I have sheep and love to garden and make things from scratch. I am looking forward to owning my own farm / CSA and raising sheep for fiber. I will definitely read this book!

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  73. We grow a small garden at my house...we have tomatoes, squash, radishes. peas, carrots, green on ions, artichokes, strawberries and raspberries. We also have a few fruit trees. We have a small flock of chickens and a couple of ducklings that we are trying to keep. I would love to read this book and see what he has to say. I go to the local farmers markets that we have and really enjoy their fresh produce. I' luck here in the foothills of northern California we have a lot of people who are very concerned with their health and the freshness of their food.

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  74. I would this book as a summer read. We have raised pigs, cows, turkeys, broilers, and egg layers. We sold our meat to friends and family. Though we don't raise all the meat anymore, we still have layers and always will:) We usually grow many different veggies as well each season for our family. Would love to hear how he saves the family farm!!

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  75. We have a few raised beds with a variety of veggies. Going to plant tomatoes, peppers, cukes, beans and squash this weekend. We JUST got our first chickens for eggs. My daughter and I plan on canning or freezing most of our produce; what we have left we will give away.

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  76. We have beef cattle and chickens. We usually only sell 1/2 or 1/4 of beef when we butcher for ourselves.

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  77. Right now I have corn, tomatoes, asparagus, celery, cilantro, beans, herbs, mints, stevia, cucumbers, some lettuce, sweet potatoes, peppers and one lone eggplant growing. I've already dug my potatoes, pulled up my peas, my cabbages and my broccoli. I also have a tangerine tree, a Meyer lemon tree, two peach trees, 2 grape vines, 3 blueberry bushes, and a couple thornless blackberries growing.... All in a small space.....LOL! My dream is to find a dilapidated old farm place and bring it back to life.. I hope to have cows and a few goats in addition to my "city chickens" and quail that I have already.. I would love to win this book...

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  78. I have a small vegetable garden and I'm getting started with a few chickens. I don't sell anything, just use it for my family and give the rest away. My father used to have a family farm and grew corn and soybeans and raised cattle and pigs, all of which were sold.

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  79. We have 6 large raised garden beds with various tomatoes, yellow peppers, cukes, onions & one is devoted to herbs. We have two huge in-ground gardens for corn & melons and I'm growing soybeans, green beans, peas, jalapenos, assorted yellow & zucchini. I just got my lil' flock started with 3 Ameraucana pullets & 4 French guineas. I've never sold anything, but may have to this year!

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  80. We need to be so much more on our one acre. For the garden we do tomato and pepper plants, but wanting to expand to different veggies once we get if fenced in. Recently put in apple, pear, cherry, almond and pecan trees. Have blackberries growing and working on planting raspberries. I have two beehives with bees, but haven't harvest or sold any honey. Someday soon I want to get chickens for lawn ornaments and their eggs. Three dogs are out kids and I want to get a horse and goat or two someday, again yard ornaments. I'm not a very productive "homesteader".

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  81. I am going to have to make sure I get this book!
    Currently we are growing to sell microgreens (not successfully!), garlic,beets,radishes and pumpkins - just to name a few. We're also selling our duck and chicken eggs to a couple of local restaurants and private customers. Later in the season we'll be raising another batch of meat birds, too. We're loving this life - we're broke, but we're loving it!

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  82. We have chickens and sell eggs. We raise veggies and put up whatever we have in abundance. We are expanding our garden and may be able to sell surplus in the near future.

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  83. I have chickens :) I grow flowers for cutting and I'll be grow veggies and some fruit this year to feed my family. I do hope to someday sell excess, but for now I'll just share with my neighbors ;)

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  84. I raise veggies and would love to have chickens and maybe a milk cow someday soon!

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  85. Sounds like a great read. We just started raisig chickens for eggs this year. They should be ready to lay in a atter of weeks. We have some young fruit trees and berry bushes. This is only our second year growing a garden, but we have walking onions, onions, garlic, carrots, green beans, corn, leaf lettuce, head lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, squash, and zucchini.

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  86. I think this looks like a wonderful book. Although I currently live in a suburb of Minneapolis, I will one day inherit the last bit of forest and farmland that's been in my family for six generations. While I do what I can here, with our garden and backyard hens, I long for the day that I can begin sustaining my family on our land.

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  87. I think this looks like a wonderful book. Although I currently live in a suburb of Minneapolis, I will one day inherit the last bit of forest and farmland that's been in my family for six generations. While I do what I can here, with our garden and backyard hens, I long for the day that I can begin sustaining my family on our land.

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  88. I would love to read this book: Here at Maggie Mae Farm (www.maggiemaefarm.wordpress.com) we grow veggies I can't list them all because it almost any seed that will grow good in NH. Also we raise ducks, chicken (meat and eggs) turkeys, rabbits, pork, lamb, beef. going to try milk cow this year. we do a farm stand, csa and direct to stores. Now if we could just make some money to keep going.

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  89. Thanks for the opportunity to win this interesting book!
    I have a 133 year old folk Victorian house, right downtown in a small city, 90,000.
    I took out the lawn and am finishing out my second year of an organic, edible cottage garden. I've planted (probably too many) fruit trees; apricot, 5 apples, Santa Rosa plums, nectarines, loquats, lemons, kumquats, pineapple guava. And blackberries, blueberries, strawberries. Veggies; kale, brussel sprouts, leeks, beets, arugula, chard, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, cucumbers, and more. And herbs, as I cook a lot. Too many to list, but my favorites are English thyme and tarragon. Oh, and several mints.
    I recently ordered chickens, 5 day old chicks, for a mid-July arrival. I'm so excited, as I received the brooder set up material today.
    I make jam and sauces, which I sell. I don't sell the produce itself, but I do give a fair amount away to friends. I'll probably have a couple dozen eggs to sell each month, once the girls have grown and gotten into the swing of things.
    A real dream is to own land, have chicken and goats, a large garden, and work from home. Winning the lotto would help...
    Life has brought many great things my way.

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  90. Well we are currently living in a village so no animals for us but we have raised garden beds where we grown tomatoes, peppers, onions, peas, beans, lettuce, and squash.

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  91. We just have a suburban "homestead" right now, but plan on getting a REAL homestead in the future. (Hopefully within the next 5 years!) We currently have a smallish raised bed garden where we grow a variety of things. We currently have carrots, garlic, corn, beans (for drying, soy and green), tomatoes, herbs, onions, peppers (sweet and hot), cucumbers, celery, watermelon, pumpkin, and sunflowers. We also have strawberries, blueberries, mulberries, raspberries, pear, and apple trees. We raise chickens, ducks, will get some turkeys in June, and rabbits. We buy a lamb every year from a local who pasture raises her sheep, and are currently looking into grass raised beef locally as well. My husband is going to do some hunting this year, and my husband and our 2 children love to fish, crab, and shrimp. In the summer months there is always local crab and shrimp for very inexpensive prices.
    We do sell some of our eggs, which is usually enough to help us pay for about half the feed in a month. We will also start selling some of the rabbits once our stock becomes old enough to get our breeding program started.

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  92. I am just starting out. As for animals I only have four hens and one roo. My wife and I bought a place in August so there is still some work to be done before getting any more livestock. I have some fences to fix and will probably get a few sheep next spring, as well as more chickens. As for crops I have tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, carrots, peas, beans, okra, squash, corn, cucumbers, and a variety of herbs.

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  93. We have lots of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, carrots, peas, beans, okra, squash, corn, cucumbers, ect. Barring any drought this year. We have 8 chickens, 1 duck & 1 killer yorkie.

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  94. We may live in a big city, but have our own little bit of heaven on our urban homestead. We're raising rabbits, chickens, goats and worms. Right now we have all kinds of squash, pumpkin, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, peppers, okra, onions, herbs, beans, sunflowers and a few other things I'm sure.

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  95. As novice gardeners, my husband and I put in a small gardenbox garden in April. We've had some losses with the late frosts, but hope to eventually learn enough to live off (mostly) only what we grow. We have a box of herbs, another of potatoes and carrots, another of peas and beans, another with some sad looking tomato plants and a couple more boxes with some vine plants. We recently changed to a vegan lifestyle and are really enjoying it (especially all the wonderful benefits). I would love to read Forrest's book. Thanks for the great review of it!

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  96. We grow a market garden and sell at a farmers' market. In addition, we raise beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and eggs. I would like to read this and pass it on to our wonderful farm apprentice. Great giveaway!

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  97. I would love to read this book! I was raised in Kansas on a farm, but left there during my school years (although visited many times). Now, in my mid-50's and settled into a small city, I feel my roots calling. We have planted blueberry plants, strawberry plants, and apple trees in our yard, with tomatoes, cucumbers, and other veggies going in when the ground is no longer freezing. A small slice of farm in my backyard! I love reading your blog, and learning what I can.

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  98. How interesting. Thanks for sharing!!

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  99. I would like to read this. We raise rabbits at our house and some are for meat. Thanks for sharing at Wildcrafting Wed.
    Jennifer

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  100. So fun! Thanks for doing a giveaway! Aren't they so fun. Hope I win. :)

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  101. This looks great! Do you know if he plans to release it as an ebook?

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    1. Yes! It's available as a Kindle now...http://www.amazon.com/Gaining-Ground-Farmers-27-Markets-ebook/dp/B00C6Q2Q5S/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

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  102. I'm so glad you reviewed this book. I'm going to ask my library to purchase it. Thanks for sharing at Non Fiction Book Love.

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