|About the Book|
When I wasnt getting pissed this weekend, I read a book- Real Dirt. I started reading it on Friday night, and then got up at the crack of dawn to finish it on Saturday. I’ll let the blurb I stole off the internet tell you what it’s about-It took James Woodford a while to realise that the greasy pole of big-city ambition was not for him. To rediscover the environmentalist he’d aspired to be when he was young, and to get his family out of the city.But eventually they made it: to the wildly beautiful south coast of New South Wales and a sustainable, self-sufficient, solar-powered lifestyle on 120 acres. No house? They’d build one. Land grazed down and eroding into the lake? Fix it up with some love and hard work…coax it to yield home-grown vegies…plant orchards, raise chooks…a humungous worm farm…How hard could it be?from- https://www.textpublishing.com.au/book...Here’s what I liked about it, in particular.The dominant view of landscape in Australia, especially the rural landscape, is a utilitarian one. Land is a resource, for farming or housing. Land is about appropriation and modification, qualified and realised through legislation and productivity. What we lack, especially in a rural context, is an idiom for talking about the bush that transcends the taciturn half-speak of parochial Anglo Australia. Without sounding like a flakey, knit-your-own-placenta twit, that is.This book articulates an attachment to land that Australians are increasingly embracing, in a funny, accessible and compelling way. It embeds the landscape within a familiar biography of love, mortgages, kids, messy divorce and mosquitos.There’s lots of other things in it that I really liked too, but the landscape is the part that resonates most strongly with me.It’s a very engaging book. Don’t start reading it if you have other things to do.