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All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming Paperback – Feb 1 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: TouchWood; First Edition edition (Feb. 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1927129125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1927129128
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 19 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #209,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


All the Dirt is much more than just another dry, nuts-and-bolts, hands-in-the-dirt how-to. It demonstrates that farming can be done successfully, in co-operation with others, all while paying the bills. —Michael Ableman, farmer, author, and co-director of Vancouver’s SOLEfood


This timely book speaks to the next generation of farmers, and anyone interested in knowing what it takes to get a healthy dinner to the table. This is also a book about building community and restoring our relationship with nature. —Carolyn Herriot, author of The Zero-Mile Diet and A Year on the Garden Path


There is no more formidable force, nor stronger voice, for organic farming on Vancouver Island than Saanich Organics. Heather, Rachel, and Robin have proven that being good stewards of the land, mentoring an entire generation of young farmers, and running a successful business can be mutually compatible. —David Mincey, Executive Chef/Co-owner, Camille's Restaurant


The best introduction to farming I've ever seen. A fantastic book in all respects! —Dan Jason, Salt Spring Seeds


All the Dirt is literary fertilizer for the mind and a feast for the eyes . . . You'll never look at the people behind the vibrant veggies at your local farmers' market the same way after this read. Organic farmers could ask for no better ambassadors than these three courageous, hard-working, funny, thoughtful women. —Alberta Views


The really great thing about this book is that although it is a how-to book, it is told through the personal stories of the three authors, so you never feel bogged down in technical talk. —Don Genova's Blog


Part inspiration, part manifesto, and part reality check, All the Dirt goes beyond being a handbook of farming know how to passionately illustrate life on today's next-gen farm. . . . Informative, timely and well written, All the Dirt is a must-read insider's account of farming today on Vancouver Island. —Gary Hynes, EAT Magazine


All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming is the would-be organic farmer's answer book . . . A how-to book with heart and soul. —January Magazine


This timely publication will give assistance to novices, more experienced growers and budding environmentalists . . . [an] amazing hands-on book. —Winnipeg Free Press


The book offers readers an insightful and inspiring look into the lives of three organic farmers with plenty of local flavour—including sections on deer fencing, the reign of the slugs and coping with exhaustion. . . . As much as All the Dirt charts the success of three organic farms and their families, it doesn't gloss over any of the challenges faced by today's farmers. —Gulf Islands Driftwood


A remarkable documentation of the personal journey toward a successful career for each of the three young authors revealing her committed and passionate attachment to the land . . . All the Dirt is a unique book: it is extremely well written, clearly organized, peppered with beautiful (at times mouth-watering) coloured photographs. The entire design of the book is remarkable and its production is first-rate. —Canadian Organic Growers Magazine


Rich with wonderful stories about life on the farm. —Times Colonist


While All the Dirt is intended to help people who might undertake organic farming . . . it also has wider appeal. The stories are well told, informative and entertaining, with the human element always at the forefront. Each of the authors has had a different journey and approach and they offer inspiring examples of what is to be gained from trying to live with strength and determination. —Jewish Independent


More than simply a how-to book on organic micro-farming . . . All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming is a manual for change. —Fast Forward Weekly


Both an inspirational account of modern agricultural life and a cautionary tale of long hours and low pay . . . All The Dirt provides answers rooted in real-world experience, both successes and failures. The authors' exuberance for their lifestyle choice . . . comes through clearly, as does the growth in material rewards they gleaned from gaining skill, knowledge and experience. For those in love with the idea of sustainable farming, but who harbour doubts about the life it entails, All The Dirt just might tip you in the right direction. —The Vancouver Sun


All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming was named one of six must-read Canadian food books by the Globe and Mail.


About the Author

Rachel Fisher was born in Victoria, BC, and spent her childhood exploring all of the nooks and crannies of the great outdoors. She received a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the University of British Columbia, and spent several months studying plant medicine. When she isn’t working on her farm, volunteering with community and farming organizations, or mentoring new farmers, Rachel enjoys hiking, reading, and developing her cooking skills. She lives in Victoria with her partner and their two children.

Heather Stretch was born in Edmonton, Alberta. She has a BA and an MA in English Literature, with a focus on Post-Colonial and Native Literature. She has travelled extensively, visiting the UK, Israel, South America, and Central America. Her interest in social justice issues and her love of the outdoors led her to a career in organic farming. Heather enjoys cooking, hiking, yoga, and listening to audiobooks while working in the field. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and their three sons.

Robin Tunnicliffe was born in South Porcupine, Ontario, and holds an MA in Food Policy from the University of Victoria. After a family garden inspired an early interest in permaculture and three years spent planting trees convinced her that she wanted to make a living working outside, organic farming seemed the most logical career choice. Robin mentors new farmers and loves to share her farming experiences with others. She enjoys hiking with her dog, salsa dancing, and mountain biking. She lives in Victoria, BC.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Starting a new, big project can be extremely difficult and trying and sometimes you need a book that tells you "it's ok, I've been there too". This is this book and if you started organic farming or thinking about doing so, having an eye on what it is like (and how hard it sometimes is) can help you pass through the hardships of the project.

The book combines the 3 different stories of Saanich's organics 3 owners. They talk about their mistakes, their triumphs, their naiveté and their overall experiences in becoming part of the organic market. They talk about what it is to be a woman farming, farming with kids, farming with employees (or without, trying to do everything yourself), farming in different context and condition and even greenhouse farming. They have the usual chapter about why it is important to grow local food and have a good resume of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan that explains the trouble about the industrial agribusiness. Overall a good book for the farmer-to-be or someone who enjoys good farming stories.
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Format: Paperback
I've been pouring over gardening books for the last few years as my own gardens have been growing. Read through most of this book in one sitting and have found it offers just the perspective on organic farming that appeals to me:
* personal stories (including the mistakes and do-over greenhouses)
* beautiful photos (vegetables I've not been introduced to before)
* practical generous information such as my top 4 hand tools, what I look for in a plot of dirt, fence building adventures, why build a whizbangplucker
Love the stories shared by Rachel, Heather and Robin. Its the combination of caring for the land, loving all things green, appreciating friends that come along and the reality of working hard to make the business grow that shapes the chapters and invites you to join their adventure. Thanks for this hopeful book!
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Format: Paperback
This is really excellent, because as well as personal stories of the farmer's year, the authors include the many lessons they have learnt, and a spreadsheet showing the financials for their various crops. If you are starting out as a farmer growing fruits and vegetables, I really recommend this.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Witty, enchanting and down-to-earth, this book gives an excellent insight into what today's organic farm actually looks like. VERY enjoyable AND educational read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I don't even know where to begin so I best just start! A truly inspiring read and invaluable resource. Thanks ladies!
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