Winner of the BC National Award
for Non-Fiction, and short-listed for both the Charles Taylor Prize
for Literary Non-Fiction and the 2011 Hilary Weston Writer''s Trust
A tree planter''s vivid story of a
unique subculture and the magical life of the forest.
Charlotte Gill spent twenty years
working as a tree planter in the forests of Canada. During her
million-tree career, she encountered hundreds of clearcuts, each
one a collision site between human civilization and the natural
world, a complicated landscape presenting geographic evidence of
our appetites. Charged with sowing the new forest in these
clearcuts, tree planters are a tribe caught between the stumps and
the virgin timber, between environmentalists and loggers.
In Eating Dirt, Gill offers up
a slice of tree planting life in all of its soggy, gritty
exuberance, while questioning the ability of conifer plantations to
replace original forests that evolved over millennia into complex
ecosystems. She looks at logging''s environmental impact and its
boom-and-bust history, and touches on the versatility of wood, from
which we have devised countless creations as diverse as textiles
and airplane parts.
Eating Dirt also eloquently
evokes the wonder of trees, which grow from tiny seeds into one of
the world''s largest organisms, our slowest-growing ""renewable""
resource. Most of all, the book joyously celebrates the priceless
value of forests and the ancient, ever-changing relationship
between humans and trees.
Also available in hardcover.
Published in partnership with the
David Suzuki Foundation.