Steven R. Radosevich
Good Wood is a clear-eyed, finely hewed collection of personal essays on farming, forestry, and family in the Pacific Northwest. As a young man, Steve Radosevich learned to prune trees by watching his grandfather. Working in the apple orchards of the struggling family farm, he saw that "every cut was a decision, conscious and deliberate, about the health of the trees and their coming crops." In Good Wood, Radosevich examines the choices we make in life and how those choices affect the health of people and places.
Radosevich draws on his experiences on two farms-the "homeplace," a family farm in Washington's Yakima Valley, and Kla-kla-nee, his small vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Radosevich is also a professor of forestry, and his commitment to sustainable forestry informs his writings. His book seamlessly combines recollections of tending smudge pots on freezing spring nights east of the Cascades with discussions about the flooding of Native fishing grounds at Celilo Falls and clearcuts in the Oregon Coast Range. "All these losses," writes Radosevich, "have been decisions too, made consciously I think, but with less deliberation than the forethought of a farmer pruning his orchard."
As keeper of the old family orchard and tender of a new family farm, Radosevich reveals in these stories his deliberate choices and his hopes for the world of his children and grandchildren.
About the author
Steven R. Radosevich is Professor of Forest Science at Oregon State University and an adjunct faculty member in the departments of Philosophy, Crop and Soil Science, and Environmental Sciences. He lives in Corvallis, Oregon.
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"A forest ecologist, a farmer, and a father, Steve Radosevich knows in his heart that some loss is necessary, and some is needless waste. In these powerful and deeply moving stories, Radosevich grieves for the necessary losses and rages against the needless. Good Wood is exactly the kind of 'nature writing' that the world needs next: From a man who knows what he's talking about, work-hardened truths about the desperate choices we must make to live on the land with love, respect, and common decency."