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

Paperback | August 31, 2012

byCharlotte Gill

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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.

Eating Dirt is an extended postcard from the cut blocks—a vivid portrayal of one woman's life planting trees, her insights into the forest industry and its environmental implications, and a celebration of the wonder of trees.

Charlotte Gill spent almost twenty years working as a tree planter in the forests of Canada. During her million-tree career, she encountered hundreds of clear-cuts, each one a collision site between human civilization and the natural world. Charged with sowing the new forest in these clear-cuts, tree planters are a tribe caught between the stumps and the virgin timber, between environmentalists and loggers.

Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.

Also available in paperback.

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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.Eating Dirt is an extended postcard from the cut blocks—a vivid portrayal of one woman's life planting trees, her insights into the forest industry and its environm...

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, and The Journey Prize Stories, and has been broadcast on CBC Radio. Her ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:August 31, 2012Publisher:Greystone Books Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1553657926

ISBN - 13:9781553657927

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved the book. Read it for my bookclub - everyone loved it. Very balanced between information about the forests and her first-hand experience tree planting.
Date published: 2013-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fierce! Where poetry and Biology collide. A fierce little book for anyone who cares about our forests and the colourful vibrant characters who plant trees.
Date published: 2013-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely eye-opening First and foremost, thank you to Queen's University for sending me (and every other undergraduate of the class of 2016) a personalized copy of this book. I'll admit, when I saw the subtitle of this book, I thought it was going to have a "Use less toilet paper! Stop buying books! Recycle everything!" message. But this book is not preachy in the slightest. Not once did I feel as though the author was trying to change any opinions I may have about the environment or that she was *telling* me what the 'right thing to do' is. She opened my mind just by telling me her story. And the story of trees. Recommended for absolutely everyone. Even if you laugh at the concepts of global warming and recycling, or the idea that we're running out of resources, you will not be offended by this book.
Date published: 2012-07-16

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Editorial Reviews

"Vancouver author, Charlotte Gill is a tree-planting veteran, and in "Eating Dirt" she paints a poetic picture of a sometimes gritty occupation. Without glossing over the laborious reality of tree-planting, Gill pens an elegant and beautiful ode to a job she worked and loved for 20 years." -- Shameless Magazine  "...Gill worked as a tree-planter for 20 years, and all I can say is: she should have been writing.Well, maybe not, because then we wouldn't have gotten this incredible memoir..."Eating Dirt" exposes what life is like planting trees, peels away the bark to the soft underbelly, and the result is a beautiful and brutal exploration of a unique career and the people who choose it."  -- In the Next Room "Following the seasonal work cycle of a B.C. tree planter, Gill is an alert, eagle-eyed observer. Her writing is poetic and raw, weaving a story of people, economics, the environmental scars of deforestation, human desires, up-close grizzly mom and cub encounters, turbulent boat rides in stormy seas, grimy laundry and prune-y blisters." -- Alpine Club of Canada "'Eating Dirt'...brims with striking sensation and description...Gill turns a subject that might seem narrow and confined into a lyrical essay about labor and rest, decay and growth." -- Smithsonian Magazine "Charlotte Gill writes with a dexterity and nobility that soars. This is the best book, on several fronts, that I've read in a long time." -- Elliot Bay Bookstore "[A] brilliant memoir...Gill's stories are fascinating, but she is possessed of that rarest of attributes among memoirists: an understanding of her own story as only a part of a broader picture, a willingness to broaden the focus beyond the particulars of her personal experience...This is a deeply researched, beautifully written book." -- The Millions "Gill steers clear of politics for the most part. She makes little mention of environmental policy, for example, choosing instead to focus on the ordinary people whose actions speak volumes. The trees they plant each year 'shimmy in the wind. There, we say. We did this with our hands. We didn’t make millions, and we didn’t cure AIDS. But at least a thousand new trees are breathing.' For that, she can be proud -- and it makes for a good story." -- Publishers Weekly