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Good Wood

Growth, Loss, and Renewal

Steven R. Radosevich

6 × 9 inches. 150 pages.

2005. ISBN 978-0-87071-115-2. Paperback, $18.95.

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.

Member of AAUP