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A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail

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4.2  ·  Rating details ·  25 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Finalist:
High Plain Book Award, Creative Nonfiction

“This is not the story of a ready-made farm, complete with generations of history, carefully tended tools and sturdy clapboard farmhouse.” In 2006 Jenna Butler and her partner, Thomas, purchased “160 acres more or less” of rough northern bush. They knew they weren’t purchasing anything more than hard work and hope but stil
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Paperback, 142 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd
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Kait
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail is everything I wanted Jenna Woginrich’s Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One's Own to be (and it wasn’t): thoughtful, engaged, smart, compelling, and relatable. the icing on the cake is that Butler is Canadian.

Jenna Butler and her husband, Thomas, purchased 160 acres of northern bush in 2006. This book is the story of why and how. Butler goes through specific projects in the order in which they were attempted, each int
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Alexis
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Poet and teacher Jenna Butler bought a piece of land near Barrhead with her husband in 2006. Together, the two of them start their dream of growing their own food to be more self-sufficient, while maintaining jobs in the city. These essays address the things that Butler has learned in that time. The essays are poetic, thoughtful and very aware of nature and the practice of working with nature.

Recommended.

(I also realized just how much I like personal essays while reading this book)
Wendy
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Compelling and inspiring, this book reaffirms our connections with the land, water and sky and reminds us to look and to listen--not only to the exterior world around us, but, to our interior world. Highly recommended.
Laura
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it
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Write Reads Podcast: Write Reads #38 A Profession of Hope 1 3 Apr 12, 2016 12:58PM  
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23 followers
Jenna Butler is an award-winning poet and essayist whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies around the world. She is the author of three books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road (NeWest Press 2013), Wells (University of Alberta Press 2012) and Aphelion (NeWest Press 2010). Her book of essays is A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail (Wolsak and Wynn, 2015), and ...more
“If I lived anywhere else for the sheer love of it, it would only be farther and farther north, chasing the boreal up to the Yukon or the Northwest Territories. There’s something about living beside a great stretch of forest, both as participant and as witness, that is endlessly absorbing, at once enchanting and distressing. The former because there are vistas and qualities of light in the spaces of the everyday that are otherworldly, requiring an absolute halting of all activity and an undivided attention to just that light at that time. The latter because there is an incredible amount to learn to feel as though you have some small right to be here, holding fast on the patch of ground you stand on.” 0 likes
“I think I realized intellectually at that point, watching the city slowly give way to the last vestiges of parkland and then the black spruce forests of the North, that I could come back to the land deeply fearful, or I could choose to see it as a place of healing. Pain colours us; we carry it behind our eyes for a long time after it’s passed. At some point, we have to decide whether we’re willing to let it take over our lives and change them permanently, or whether we’re going to wrench ourselves open again to the world. I couldn’t make that choice in the city.” 0 likes
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