Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life

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Overview

Beginning naked in the darkness Brian Brett takes us on a journey through a summer’s day that also tells the story of his affectionately named Trauma Farm—exploring the garden, orchards, fields, the mysteries of live-stock and poultry, and the social intricacies of rural communities.

Both a memoir and a natural history of the small mixed farm, this eighteen-year-long day travels forward and backward in time, taking us all the way from Babylon to globalization and demonstrating ...

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Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life

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Overview

Beginning naked in the darkness Brian Brett takes us on a journey through a summer’s day that also tells the story of his affectionately named Trauma Farm—exploring the garden, orchards, fields, the mysteries of live-stock and poultry, and the social intricacies of rural communities.

Both a memoir and a natural history of the small mixed farm, this eighteen-year-long day travels forward and backward in time, taking us all the way from Babylon to globalization and demonstrating the importance of both tall tales and rigorous science as Brett contemplates the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil or offers a scathing critique of agribusiness and the modern slaughterhouse. Whether discussing the uses and misuses of gates, examining the energy of seeds, or bantering with his family and neighbors, Brett remains aware of the miracles of life, birth, and death and the ecological paradoxes that confront the rural world every day.

Threaded with a deep knowledge of biology and botany, Trauma Farm is an erudite, poetic, passionate, and frequently hilarious portrait of rural life and a rich and thought-provoking meditation on the modern world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A wonderful meditation on farm life and by extension life itself ...told intelligently and often humorously, by a writer with a welcome fresh sharp eye.”
—Peter Matthiessen, author of Shadow Country and the Snow Leopard

"a superb, wise, witty, and vivid weave of barnyard tales with deep insights into the fraught symbiosis of animals, plants, and man”
—Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress

"a touching and tender memoir, at once humorous and profound, filled with wonderful insights about life as a poet and accidental farmer"
—Wade Davis, National Geographic Explorer in Residence and author of One River and The Serpent and the Rainbow

"[Brett] comes with the gumboot poet’s fearless tongue to speak truth to those who would reduce the life-and-death work of farming into a pastoral idyll. ...If it’s hope you’re looking for, you’ll find it in the fortifying madness of Trauma Farm"
—James MacKinnon, author of Plenty (aka The 100-Mile Diet)

"…It is a striking, stunning book, easily one of the best of the year."—National Post

Publishers Weekly
Both a celebration and excoriation of farm life, the latest from author Brett (Uproar's Your Only Music) examines his family homestead on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, and the state of contemporary farming. With intimate knowledge, Brett speaks to the challenges faced by many independent farmers as well as the fleeting joys: "Rural living is an eccentric pursuit, in the same way that beauty is an eccentric pursuit." Raising fruits and vegetables, a small group of cows, chickens and pigs, Brett airs some strong criticism of modern agriculture-such as cattle slaughterhouses "that resemble medieval torture chambers"-tempered by lighthearted passages on topics like farm-fresh eggs: "I can tell what a chicken has been eating and how it's been raised when I break an egg on the frying pan." His account is also spiked with a grim sense of humor: "How do you make a small fortune at farming? Start with a large fortune." Brett's wit and giddy ambivalence makes this account a stretch more provocative than similar rural memoirs, and an altogether compelling read,
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553654742
  • Publisher: Greystone Books
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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