Charlotte Gill's "Eating Dirt" - blog entry 

Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe

by Charlotte Gill

(Greystone Books, 2011)

In the acknowledgements of Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe, Charlotte Gill writes, “Not one word would exist [of this book] without my extended silvicultural family.” This resonates deeply because throughout, Gill captures the community of the forest in which she has planted seedlings for almost two decades. Gill eloquently threads in-depth ecological research throughout recollections of personal backbreaking experiences. 

Useful Advice: Ask Questions! 

Guest post from Wilma B of Indiana: Ask your state forester questions.  My forester answered my questions and encouraged me to attend local woodland committee meetings where I heard much helpful information. At field days and workshops, I was able to see and hear what others were doing and who they hired to do it if they couldn't do it themselves.

Read the forester re-inspection reports and discuss with consulting foresters the next steps. Pre- and Post- harvest conferences with state and consulting forester are also very helpful to hear their ideas. I'm also thankful I could take a woodland owner short course to get more in depth information about forestry.    

Do Your Homework 

Guest post by Anna D of Indiana

I had an “AHA Moment” when a lumber mill owner and his  forester personally approached me in my woods and offered me compensation for timber at that moment. They were knowledgeable about my woods and were prepared to make me an offer. They had already “visited” my woods (trespassed) to check out the timber. I was completely surprised and went on the defensive because I realized how clueless I was about the value of the timber on the land, the overall market for timber, and the attributes of the land and timber that could affect a sale. I was at a complete disadvantage because I was not prepared with information. 

Pleasant Memories and an Attachment to a Piece of Land 

Brenda Woodard, a retired U.S. Forest Service forester and a landowner in Douglas County, is the daughter of a former Lane County Extension Forester, Steve Woodard, who was the Oregon Tree Farmer of the Year in 2004. He lives on the tree farm that has been in his family since his grandfather purchased it in 1948. “His vision and passion are what inspired my husband and me to become forest  land owners,” she said.