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What are you reading this weekend?


What are you reading this weekend? On my bedside table is Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill. It’s a memoir about working in the tree planting industry in British Columbia. I started reading the book a few days ago and was delighted to find the author describing life, planting seedlings, at the northern tip of Vancouver Island. AbeBooks is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island in Victoria so it’s interesting to hear about what goes on elsewhere on this massive island.

The logging industry is well documented, the oddball bunch of people who plant trees are not.Here is a little background from Charlotte Gill’s website:

Tree planting is known for its heavy physical intensity. It’s unavoidably grimy, sweaty work. The task is performed with a narrow steel spade and ergonomic seedling carriers that fit around the hips. Many university students plant trees for summer employment, but some full-time planters work through spring, summer and fall. Tree planters are migrant workers. They live in motels, logging camps and, during the summer, in tent camps deep in the woods. Tree planters are also pieceworkers. They’re paid a variable price for every tree they plant, as little as a few cents per tree and as much as a dollar or more. Almost as many women as men plant trees. The average career lasts five years.

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Richard Davies

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