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Nature Essays

A Profession of Hope

Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail

by (author) Jenna Butler

Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2015
Essays, Regional, Sustainable Agriculture
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2015
    List Price

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Winner of the Canadian Authors Association Exporting Alberta Award

Gold Medal for the Green Living category in the Living Now Book Awards

Finalist for the High Plains Book Award for 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 still they headed up every weekend to clear a spot in those woods where they could plant their first crops.

With the warm wit of Barbara Kingsolver and the stark beauty of Sharon Butala's writings on the prairie, Jenna Butler shares her journey with us. From beating a hasty retreat from the first overwhelming swarm of mosquitoes, to discussing worm poop with local farmers and becoming forever more the crazy hippie teachers, the stories of Larch Farm spill out of these pages. A Profession of Hope: Farming on the edge of the Grizzly Trail is a beguiling read, as rich and promising as freshly turned earth.

About the author

Jenna Butler was born in Norwich, England, close to the North Sea. Her family emigrated to Canada in the early eighties, initially moving to Toronto and finally settling in Alberta. The sense of belonging to, and simultaneously not quite fitting into, two places—England and Canada—has heavily influenced her work, which often focuses on the varied landscapes of these two countries. Butler holds BA of Arts and B.Ed. degrees from the University of Alberta, in addition to an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She is currently immersed in her Doctorate of Creative and Critical Writing from UEA under the supervision of contemporary British poet Denise Riley. She also runs her own poetry house, Rubicon Press, and teaches English at MacEwan University in Edmonton.

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