Forrest Pritchard–Smith Meadows

Slow Films

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Driving south along I-81, we were excited.

We were on our way to Berryville, Virginia to visit our friend Forrest Pritchard at his farm, Smith Meadows.

We had listened to him read the audio version his book, we had interviewed him over Skype, but we had never actually met him.

Forrest Pritchard is an amazing success story. He literally saved his family’s farm.

Our plan was to stay at the farm’s bed and breakfast, film a conversation with Forrest, see him in action on the farm and at the farmers’ markets he attends–in short, we were there to tell a slice of the Smith Meadows’ story.

One thing Forrest said stands out. “I say we’re a grass farm because that’s where our true sustainability comes from.”

We found a healthy farm environment, with healthy and contented sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens.

I say we’re a grass farm because that’s where our true sustainability comes from. -Forrest Pritchard

All the animals were free to roam on and have their fill of a thick carpet of lush, green grass.

The pastures have not been chemically fertilized or treated with pesticides and herbicides.

The result is a beautiful, healthy farm environment where all the animals are able to flourish, naturally.

We sat down with Forrest on a beautiful Friday afternoon and for almost an hour he regaled us with his farming knowledge, stories at the center of his farm, and how Smith Meadows has flourished in the ‘real food’ world.

After that, we walked Smith Meadows, shooting footage to support what Forrest had said during our interview.

The farm is an amazing example of true sustainability. We saw that in practice everywhere we looked.

The next day we met Forrest at the Arlington, Virginia Farmers’ Market. We were amazed at the vibrancy of this market.

Smith Meadows has its fans. Boy, do they.

Just as Forrest was putting the finishing touches on his market set-up, his first customers arrived.

But they weren’t just buyers, you could tell these were friends.

Forest Pritchard brings relationship farming to the markets he attends and his customers seemingly can’t get enough.

We spoke with some of the people shopping for Forrest’s pastured raised goods.

The enthusiasm for how delicious his food is and an understanding of why that is was the feedback we heard most.

Forrest is a local hero serving up local flavors.

And Smith Meadow’s customers are in love with the results of Forrest’s farming.

That’s a pretty good definition of sustainability.

Thank you, Kara Suzanne for the fine music and thank you, Bryan Pugh for the masterful sound design.

Photo credit: Craig McCord