Saturday, April 13, 2013

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

Powell River, BC, my home town, attracts and nurtures writers, artists, musicians, film-makers, and all sorts of creative people.

I recently read Eating Dirt:Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe written by Charlotte Gill who has chosen Powell River to be her home. Before that, she was a tree planter for over two decades.  That's twenty years of back-breaking work in reforestation.  Eating Dirt follows Charlotte through her seasons in the bush. After loggers leave, tree planters follow to start a new generation of trees.  Here are a few memorable quotes from the book.

Logging road and slash overlooking
Powell Lake.
"Logging roads cross-cut the landscape like old surgical scars."

"Creamed, as we are fond of saying. The term is always the same. No matter the province, no matter the branch of the clan. Cream. An absence of impediments to the eyes, hands, and feet."

Emergency Transport Vehicle (ETV)
Chippewa Bay on Powell Lake
"We’re a hundred miles from the nearest hospital. The only ambulance is our ETV, a work-thrashed Ford F-350 with a fiberglass canopy. Our emergency room is a backpack stuffed with first aid supplies and a spine board strapped to the roof rack."

Young trees growing up in a slash.
"Forests for the Future. Forests Forever, as the slogans and the T-shirts say. Not a salve or a fix for the planet, not exactly. We gave the trees some small purchase in the world, and they gave us the same in return."

I see evidence of logging and tree planting every day I'm at home in my cabin.  I have never been a tree planter, nor could I have handled the extremely hard work required.  However, I appreciate the efforts of all the men and women who toil to make our forests a renewable resource.

Eating Dirt is available at Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. -- Margy

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