One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in southeast Queensland, Australia, which, after a century of logging, clearing, and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate.Read more...
One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in southeast Queensland, Australia, which, after a century of logging, clearing, and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate.
She didn't think for a minute that by restoring the land she was saving the world. She was in search of heart's ease. Beyond the acres of exotic pasture grass and soft weed and the impenetrable curtains of tangled lantana canes, there were macadamias dangling their strings of unripe nuts, black beans with red and yellow pea flowers growing on their branches . . . and the few remaining white beeches, stupendous trees up to 120 feet in height, logged out within forty years of the arrival of the first white settlers. To have turned down even a faint chance of bringing them back to their old haunts would have been to succumb to despair.
Once the process of rehabilitation had begun, the chance proved to be a dead certainty. When the first replanting shot up to make a forest and rare caterpillars turned up to feed on the leaves of the new young trees, she knew beyond a doubt that at least here, biodepletion could be reversed.
Greer describes herself as an old dog who succeeded in learning a load of new tricks, inspired and rejuvenated by her passionate love of Australia and of Earth, the most exuberant of small planets.
- ISBN-13: 9781620406113
- ISBN-10: 162040611X
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publish Date: July 2014
- Page Count: 370
- Dimensions: 8.75 x 5.98 x 1.21 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-03-31
- Reviewer: Staff
Greer (The Female Eunuch) has written a love letter to a rainforest, one that she just happens to own. In her middle years, Greer set out to find a property in her native Australia that she could restore to its state before white colonists imposed clear-cutting and invasive species. After a long search, she settled upon a 60-hectare dairy farm in southeastern Queensland that had suffered all the depredations of human intrusion. Greer began the painstaking process of rehabilitation and found that while the work was difficult, it wasn’t quite Sisyphean. Greer is a scrupulous scholar with a deep interest in botany, and the level of detail in her research is impressive. One of the most interesting devices in the book is her exchanges with her sister, a professional botanist, who pushes her more famous sibling to precision and clarity. There’s a fair amount of tendentious proselytizing, and even worse, Greer lets the narrative focus disappear in endless debates over the minutiae of plant classification. Still, the range of Greer’s knowledge and interests provide fascinating insight into the thoughtless transformation of a continent. (July)