Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe

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Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe

by Charlotte Gill, Charlotte Gill

GREYSTONE BOOKS LTD | September 2, 2011 | Hardcover |

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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 Award.

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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 264 Pages, 5.12 × 8.27 × 1.18 in

Published: September 2, 2011

Publisher: GREYSTONE BOOKS LTD

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1553659775

ISBN - 13: 9781553659778

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– More About This Product –

Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe

Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe

by Charlotte Gill, Charlotte Gill

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 264 Pages, 5.12 × 8.27 × 1.18 in

Published: September 2, 2011

Publisher: GREYSTONE BOOKS LTD

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1553659775

ISBN - 13: 9781553659778

Read from the Book

We fall out of bed and into our rags, still crusted with the grime of yesterday. We''re earth-stained on the thighs, the shoulders, around the waists with muddy bands, like grunge rings on the sides of a bathtub. Permadirt, we call it. Disposable clothes, too dirty for the laundry. We stand around in huddles of three and four with toothpaste at the corners of our mouths, sleep still encrusted in our eyes. We stuff our hands down into our pockets and shrug our shoulders up around our ears. We wear polypropylene and fleece and old pants that flap apart at the seams. We sport the grown-out remains of our last haircuts. A rampant facial shagginess, since mostly we are men. The sun comes up with the strength of a dingy light bulb, illuminating the landscape in a flat gray wash. The clouds are bruised and swollen. We stand in a gravel lot, a clearing hacked from the forest. Heavy logging machinery sits dormant all around, skidders and yarders like hulking metallic crabs. The rain sets in as it always does, as soon as we venture outdoors. Our coats are glossy with it. The air hisses. Already we feel the drips down the backs of our necks, the dribbles down the thighs of our pants. We''re professional tree-planters. It''s February, and our wheels have barely begun to grind. We crack dark, miserable jokes. Oh, run me over. Go get the truck. I''ll just lie down here in this puddle. If I run over your legs, then who will run over mine? We shuffle from foot to foot, feeding on breakfast b
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Table of Contents

The Last Place on Earth A Kind of Tribe Green Fluorescent Protein Beautiful Losers A Furious Way of Being The Town That Logging Made At the End of the Reach Extremophiles Sunset Exit Lines

From the Publisher

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 Award.

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.

About the Author

Charlotte Gill is the author of the story collection Ladykiller, a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and winner of the Danuta Gleed Award and the B.C. Book Prize for fiction. Her work has appeared in many Canadian magazines, Best Canadian Stories, The Journey Prize Stories, and has been broadcast on CBC Radio. Her narrative non-fiction has been nominated for Western and National Magazine Awards. She spent nearly two decades working in the forests of Canada and has planted more than a million trees. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Editorial Reviews

"A thoroughly Canadian story, Eating Dirt, is not out of place alongside other classic memoirs of the bush by Susanna Moodie or Farley Mowat." -- Quill & Quire   "Gill's story of a life spent planting seedlings for pay, mandated in Canada's clear-cut forests, is entrancing if horrifying. The dirt, physical pain, loneliness, camaraderie and primordial awe are elbowing for space in Gill's remarkable memoir of an awful job." -- Toronto Star   "The book is like a forest itself. It's very rich and the writing is lush, and full of imagery. Gill allows the reader to see the landscapes that she is travelling through. She is able to take the reader into the forest, and into the brutal tree-planting experience." -- Daily Herald-Tribune   "Gill gracefully guides us through the world of the tree planter from the beginning to the end of a season, dedicating plenty of attention to the details of bush life. And nestled among her personal experiences is her perspective on the world behind the industry: the politics, science and history of forestry around the globe. Gill's strength lies in describing the people she has met...They practically jump off the page, thanks to her beautiful prose and sensitivity to detail." -- Winnipeg Free Press   "Her prose style suits the subject: short, stabbing sentences like tree trunks or mosquito bites." -- Montreal Gazette   "Eating Dirt, will endure as a testament to the vital but often overlooked actual and symbolic role that
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