Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life
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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.
started phoning. Mike took the call as he was halfway out the door of his house. She asked him to bring his gun. Though I’ve killed many animals in my life, I knew I couldn’t shoot Jack. Then she managed to find Malcolm—the vet with “the touch.” He must have roared down the island, because he arrived a few minutes before Mike. I suppose he’d encountered enough anguished horse owners to understand the necessity for speed if a horse is dying. He gave Jack a needle to relax him before the killing
acid-free paper that is forest friendly (100% post-consumer recycled paper) and has been processed chlorine free. Distributed in the U.S. by Publishers Group West We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia through the Book Publishing Tax Credit, and the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (bpidp) for our publishing activities. The author would
Trauma Farm, I’ve seen Korean pot-bellied pigs, llamas, alpacas, ostriches, yaks, and emus. The original purchase price can range up to $50,000. I know farmers who paid $15,000 for a llama and sold it for $300. They considered themselves lucky to be able to sell it. Ostrich meat is great, and a single egg can feed a family, but the public wasn’t ready to buy ostrich meat and the eggshells ended up as ornaments on shelves. I love ostrich meat and I keep an ostrich femur on a shelf behind my desk,
lawn to the back deck to return to the roof. Danger lives with us everywhere. I lost a finger to an accidental, self-inflicted shotgun blast in my twenties, and faced logs rolling off a hillside when I earned my living as a logger and saw enough to convert me into an environmentalist for life. In White Rock, shortly before we moved to the farm, I balanced my chainsaw overhead and sawed off a chunk of rotten deck until I hit a nail. The chainsaw kicked back, striking my face. I could feel the
multiple parenting of their young—the “alarm” males standing sentry on the fence posts. Quail have a very structured society. Then one day Sharon was planting peas. She turned around and discovered a row of quail picking out the pea seeds behind her. She’d become a Pied Piper of quail. We decided to create a less quail-friendly habitat. But when you provide for nature it also provides for you. Soon after, before we could do anything, a Cooper’s hawk showed up, perched every morning on the high