Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Books Campaign: Trauma Farm - A Rebel History of Rural Life - Brian Brett

"This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website."

I'm thrilled to be taking part in this Green Books Campaign. Even more thrilled that I was able to get my first book choice to review - Trauma Farm.

Brett is an noted Canadian poet and author. His latest book is both a memoir and a treatise on small mixed farming operations. Brett has lived for 18 years on a small farm on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, that he and his wife Sharon rescued from disrepair. Trauma Farm the book, is those eighteen years presented as a day's journey in the life of the farm and it's residents. The official name of the farm is Willow Pond Farm, but "we came to refer to this land as Trauma Farm, because we soon realized beauty also demands a little terror and laughter and that this story would have to follow the form of the farm and not the romantic or scientific myths we inflict upon it."

One of the few statistics used caught me short. In 1790, 90% of America lived rural lifestyles. At the end of 2000, it was estimated that only 2-4% of the population were on working farms." Farming is a profession of hope."

Brett's day begins with a middle of the night walk on his land. His words convey the peace of the dark, the uncertainty of what might be out there, and the joy of simply being there. The day progresses through to breakfast, with a marvellous discourse on the simple egg. The rest of the day includes gardens, livestock, natural habitats, creatures, climate and so much more. The trials, tribulations and gratification. Brett has chosen to embrace the small mixed farm and it's lifestyle. He questions the large agribusiness and the effect they have on our earth and ourselves. It's not preachy in any sense, but a riveting argument for the return to self sufficient farming. I live a rural lifestyle to a degree, but would happily transport myself to Brett's farm. I understand the feeling that comes from going to your garden and picking what you're going to eat in the next hour. The joy that comes with watching a seedling break through the soil. His love of his animals made me smile. We too have a lab cross 'with three brain cells - none turned on at the same time' who guards her property from raccoons. And a border collie who is more human than not most days. What struck me as well was the sense of community he has found on Salt Spring.

His ruminations are beautiful, a calm yet funny discourse on life and farming from a man who appreciates the subtleties that escape many of us. This is not a book to be consumed rapidly, rather it should be slowly savoured and each chapter enjoyed before proceeding.

Trauma Farm is a touching, humourous, candid, inspiring memoir of a man who has found symbiosis with his environment. You can read an excerpt of Trauma Farm.

What better book to read for The Green Books Campaign? Trauma Farm is published by Greystone Books, a division of D&M Publishers. It is printed on acid-free paper that is forest friendly (100% post-consumer recycled paper) and has been processed chlorine free.

Here's a great resource list for more information on green printing.



Patti V. said...

I love this idea of Green Books Campaign. And I love your description of your pups!

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a great book! As a child, I used to dream of living on a farm. Now that I know how much work it is, I realize it's not for me.

Aarti said...

This sounds REALLY good. I love the campaign, and the book sounds lovely.

Anna said...

I'm happy to be part of the campaign, too. I'm glad you enjoyed your book. I really like the cover.

Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

I love the cover of this book. gorgeous.

Hagelrat said...

what a lovely idea for a campaign. My husband loves these sort of books so I am always on the look out for good ones.