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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, June 28, 2004
    The Man Who Planted Trees

    The Man Who Planted Trees - a tiny book about a man whose story seems to connect with some of the others I've encountered of late. Jean Giono's story is about an ordinary shepherd, Elzeard Bouffier, who spent his life planting one hundred acorns a day in a desolate, barren section of Provence, France, gradually transforming the landscape from one devoid of life, with miserable, contentious inhabitants, to one filled with the scent of flowers, the songs of birds, and fresh, flowing water. And similarly affecting the human geography of the place, local people's lives brightening up as their environment changed.

    There are other individuals who embody the tree-planting spirit of Elzeard Bouffier. The folks behind Eden and the Centre for Alternative Technology among them. And David Nash, who doesn't plant them, but works with them to make new things happen in landscape. The other good thing about this book is its woodcut art, on the cover and inside. A treat.