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Autor: Charlotte Gill
ISBN-13: 9781553657934
Einband: EPUB
Seiten: 288
Sprache: Englisch
eBook Typ: Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format: EPUB
Kopierschutz: Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
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Eating Dirt

Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe
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• Winner of the BC National Award for Non-Fiction• Nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and the 2011 Hilary Weston Writer's Trust Award.During Charlotte Gill’s 20 years working as a tree planter she encountered hundreds of clear-cuts, 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 clear-cuts, 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, which evolved over millennia into intricate, complex ecosystems. Among other topics, she also touches on the boom-and-bust history of logging and the versatility of wood, from which we have devised countless creations as diverse as textiles and airplane parts. She also eloquently evokes the wonder of trees, our slowest-growing renewable” resource and joyously celebrates the priceless value of forests and the ancient, ever-changing relationship between humans and trees.
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• Winner of the BC National Award for Non-Fiction• Nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and the 2011 Hilary Weston Writer's Trust Award.During Charlotte Gill’s 20 years working as a tree planter she encountered hundreds of clear-cuts, 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 clear-cuts, 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, which evolved over millennia into intricate, complex ecosystems. Among other topics, she also touches on the boom-and-bust history of logging and the versatility of wood, from which we have devised countless creations as diverse as textiles and airplane parts. She also eloquently evokes the wonder of trees, our slowest-growing renewable” resource and joyously celebrates the priceless value of forests and the ancient, ever-changing relationship between humans and trees.
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The Last Place on EarthA Kind of TribeGreen Fluorescent ProteinBeautiful LosersA Furious Way of BeingThe Town That Logging MadeAt the End of the ReachExtremophilesSunsetExit Lines
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 buns wrapped in aluminum foil. We drink coffee from old spaghetti sauce jars. We breathe steam. Around here you can hang a towel over a clothesline in November, and it will drip until April.Adam and Brian are our sergeants. They embroil themselves in what they call a meeting of the minds,” turning topographical maps this way and that, testing the hand-held radios to ascertain which ones have run out of juice. We wait for their plan of attack as if it is an actual attack, a kind of green guerrilla warfare. They wear matching utility vests made of red canvas. They stand exactly the same height, heads bent together. Their lips barely move when they talk. Their shoulders collect the rain. At the stroke of seven, we climb up into big Ford pickup trucks with mud-chewing tires and long radio antennae. We slide across the bench seats, shoving ourselves in together. Five diesel engines roar to life.Adam sits at the wheel. He has an angular face, hair and skin turned tawny by the outdoor life, eyes the arresting color of mint mouthwash. He pulls out at the head of our small convoy. His pupils zip back and forth over the road’s unpaved surface. He drives like a man on a suicide mission. No one complains. Speed is the jet fuel that runs our business.While he drives, Adam wraps his lips around the unwashed lid of a commuter mug. He slides aluminum clipboards in and out of his bag and calls out our kilometers on the truck-to-truck radio. Logging trucks barrel down these roads, laden with bounty like land-borne super-tankers. Adam slides his maps into various forms of plastic weatherproofing. Multitasking is his only speed--as it is for all of us--too fast, too much, and all at once. We’re piece-workers, here to make money, a lot of it, in a hurry. It can feel like picking quarters off a sidewalk, and it can feel like an emergency.Logging routes are like human arteries, mainlines branching out into fine traceries. We pass from civilization to wilderness on a road with muddy ruts. Old snow decomposes along the shoulder. The land around here is jaggedly three-dimensional, fissured with gullies and brush-choked ravines. Mountains bulge from the seashore. We zoom through stands of tall Douglas-firs, conifers bearded with lichen. A green blaze, we’re driving so fast, skimming along the surface of our known world. Most of us are veterans. Crusty, we call each other, like those Special Ops who crawl from war-ravaged mountains with wild hair, matted beards and battle-mad glints in their eyes. Sean and Pierre were doing this job, they sometimes remind us, when the rest of us were in diapers. Pierre is 55. He tells us he has a resting pulse rate lower than Lance Armstrong’s. He tells us a hundred things, every day, in great detail. He shows us the display screen of his digital camera. He shows us photos of ravens and skunk cabbage. Snapshots from his civilian life--his faraway kids, his foxy lady friends.Jake, at 21, is the youngest. Jake calls Pierre Old Man.” He calls himself Elfie” in the third person.Elfie’s not digging this action, he says. Elfie thinks this is fucked up.Oakley and Jake are best pals. Jake is short and muscular, and he talks in rowdy shouts. Oakley is tall and sturdy. We always know where he’s working, because his lunchbox is a plastic tub that once contained a body-building supplement. Find the Mega Milk on the side of the road and know Oakley’s beavering away behind the rise. Oakley and Jake play Hacky Sack for hours every evening, and Pierre documents this, too, with his digicam.We spend a lot of time in trucks, and it’s here we get to know one another. The bench seats are our sofas, the crew cabs our living rooms. Nick is red-headed, like Richie Cunningham. He doesn’t drink. He says he used to. Some call him Risky,” like the business. Carmen knits. She’s a single mom. Her boys are at home with her parents. On commutes she clicks away with her needles at socks the size of kiwi fruits.Sean has more seniority than anyone, and he has an inexhaustible supply of jokes to prove it.How many tree-planters does it take to screw in a light bulb?One. But you’ll find five bulbs in the socket.What do you call a tree-planter without a girlfriend?Homeless.No one is offended. We’re unisex guys, the men of man-days. The work wears us down and lift us up, everyone together, equally. Sometimes we glance sideways at the old-timers with their chapped lips and their titanium hips. We think: Take me out before I end up old and battered and stooped like Quasimodo. But in truth we’re halfway there already. It feels to us as if we’ve been doing this job for a thousand years, and our bodies are rusted with it.I nestle in among my work comrades as I have done for nearly 20 years. The rituals and routines of planting trees are as familiar to me as boiling water or brushing my teeth. But February always shocks me. Usually, I’m unfit after a lazy, indoor winter. So is K.T. He’s my boyfriend and also my co-worker. We’ve made a life of it--city dwellers in the winter, tree-planters come spring. Now, after one week on the job, even my eyelids feel sore. My palms and heels are blistered. I still yearn for the comforts of home.

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Autor: Charlotte Gill
ISBN-13 :: 9781553657934
ISBN: 1553657934
Verlag: Greystone Books
Seiten: 288
Sprache: Englisch
Sonstiges: Ebook