Eating Dirt

Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life With the Tree-planting Tribe

Gill, Charlotte

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Eating Dirt
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.

Publisher: Vancouver : Greystone Books, c2011.
ISBN: 9781553659778
Characteristics: 247 p. ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: David Suzuki Foundation


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May 07, 2014
  • timbert rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Vivid & convincing description of a lifestyle I had not thought of, together with informative passages on trees & forests.
The writing in itself was pure pleasure to read, finished the book wanting more.

Mar 08, 2014

Blind Date with a Book 2014 comment: 1st impression - 4; Characters - 3; Story - 5. "My husband was a tree-planter for awhile, so maybe that's why I found this book boring - I have already heard a lot of tree-planting stories. It just didn't capture my interest like my other blind date from last year."

Jan 01, 2014
  • beardreamer58 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best books I have read

Jun 04, 2013
  • BLeboe rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great book. I never thought tree planting could be written about in such a poetical way. Brought back many memories.

Apr 15, 2013
  • DeltaQueen50 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Eating Dirt sheds light on a corner of the logging industry that isn’t well known and manages to do this while walking a fine line between denouncing or glorifying the business. Entertaining, beautifully written and informative, this is a book I relished.

Mar 22, 2013

Blind Date With A Book comment: "Thank-you for helping me stumble upon a treasure I never would have encountered on my own. The writiing was as gritty as it's title."

Jan 20, 2013
  • ljis rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is a mixture of facts and fiction. It is amazing really how in each sentence Gill has created images of our planet and BC in such a sadly, beautiful way...informative, poetic and full of the natural wonders

Sep 27, 2012
  • racquetannie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

well deserved awards. Gill is a wonderful writer and mixes the mundane and the scientific effortlessly. A must read for all who care about our forests.

Jul 07, 2012

Not a bad book - provides a bit of insight into the tree planting profession. A quiflk read.

May 13, 2012
  • 21221015178251 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A wonderful book. I didn't want it to end.

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