Sunday, November 10, 2013

Farming for the Future

Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family FarmWant to keep up on all the latest green news?  Be sure to "Like" greenmomster on facebook!

Many greenmomsters are trying to change their families’ eating habits by buying more organic and locally-grown fruit, vegetables, and meats, but what goes into producing such foods?  In his book, Gaining Ground, Forrest Pritchard tells us about his life farming in Virginia.  Rather than following his classmates to more lucrative jobs in large cities, Mr. Pritchard decided to return to his family’s farm after graduating from William and Mary (Alma Mater of a Nation!).  Over the course of several years, Mr. Pritchard learns to farm using sustainable practices and selling his food locally.  This entertaining book takes the reader through the highs and lows of his adventure.  Additionally, the author answers important questions:
  • Why is organically grown food beneficial to the environment and to our health?
  • Why is food sold at farmers’ markets slightly more expensive than food sold at grocery stores?
  • What is meant by  “industrially" raised meat? How does it differ from “pasture raised”?
  • How can things go wrong with a rampaging hog?
  • Why should I try to shop for local food products?  Do local farmers really need my support?
  • How does agriculture affect the local environment – in this case, the Chesapeake Bay watershed?
  • Can I influence which products my local farmers choose to grow and produce?
Although I’m not a meat-eater (I’ll more likely buy his wife’s locally made pasta), I highly recommend this enjoyable read – you’ll be hooked after the story of the stingy old lady buying firewood.  You’ll learn a lot about food production and your purchasing choices, and as an added bonus, you’ll understand why William and Mary produces some of the best scholars in the U.S. (Alma Mater of a Nation!)

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