Farming is a back-breaking, weather-dependent, uncertain profession that often does not turn a profit. No wonder the average farmer in the United States is 58 years old. Not many are interested in farming as a career. Why farm, they might ask themselves, when they could have a nice comfortable job in some air-conditioned office downtown?
Forrest Pritchard is a persuasive proponent of farming. He represents the soul of those who till the soil. He, and many others, are answering the call to farm. They have a heart for providing whole, healthy, nutrient-dense, organic foods for everyone and they want their farms to be places of harmony, peace, and beauty.
Forrest is a best-selling author and the farmer of Smith Meadows in the Shenandoah Valley. Prepare to be captivated by his words and vision. He most definitely puts his heart and soul into the soil.
For more on Forrest, visit his website: forrestpritchard.com.
How many of us don’t dream of a world with fertile soils, where humans and animals live in harmony and everyone has enough to eat on their plate? In a world where conventional farming results in not enough food, depleted soils and a relationship with cattle that is far from ideal, a world where people don’t appreciate the value of good food, the thought of this perfect world might sound idyllic. But is it really possible?
In today’s episode Forrest Pritchard, farmer and author of Growing Tomorrow: Behind The Scenes With 18 Sustainable Farmers Who Are Changing The Way We Eat, shares his own journey as he landed into conventional farming and moved his farm into the farming of tomorrow: the slow but rewarding process of healing our soil, reconnecting with the land and the animals and giving long term solutions to these long term problems. Forrest Pritchard is a full-time farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding degrees in English and Geology from William & Mary. His Shenandoah Valley farm, Smith Meadows, was one of the first “grass-finished” farms in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC for twenty years. As Forrest shares his techniques and passion, we gain hope and motivation to support this movement and go back to ancient traditions, not only of eating, but also of farming.
Highlights of the episode include:
- How the farmers he met while interviewing for his book not only met but exceeded his expectations.
- How living as an authentic farmer who is part of this renewal movement actually changes people’s language and energy.
- How we need to educate farmers and ourselves to live a regenerative lifestyle.
- How this process is deep and long, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes.
- How we are addicted to those quick fixes, and how the practice of “slow foods” can be meditative and healing.
- How the farmer’s connection to the soil, the connection between the Shepard and the flock, the understanding of microclimates and depletion of the soil are all ancient traditions that allow no shortcuts.
- How good quality, nutrient dense food that is grown through sustainable practices is more valuable and that reflects on it’s price, and how we need to appreciate that.
- How that good quality food will keep us from spending money in health issues that result from bad eating habits and food with poor nutritional value.
- How being a farmer is really a “profitable” (ideally) volunteer work.
- What Forrest’s story is, how he returned to farming after his grandfather had been the last farmer of the family.
- How conventional farming didn’t work for him, and how he saw that other farmer’s had lost hope at making profit on unsustainable practices.
- What he did to change practices used at his farm.
- How he noticed young generations were turning their back to conventional farming.
- What he is doing to return fertility to the soil.
- How this rehabilitation of the land is an ancient relationship between us humans and the animals.