Monday, February 22, 2016


This blog became an ebook that was published by Thought Catalog and can be found on amazon.

Also, Adam has a wikipedia page.

(pssss. You can read the full text on his home page)

Monday, May 24, 2010

planters represented in mainstream culture: douglas coupland on tree planters

"The world has many wretched jobs awaiting the young, the idealistic and the gullible."

this is from a coffee table book called "souvenirs of Canada 2"

the book is shit - I bought it for this description, and this description is shit

Also in Generation X there is a character who leaves a job in a cliche "office environment" to do all kinds of weird jobs, including planting, which he calls "cult employment".


"I also got into cult employment, the best form of which was tree planting in the interior of British Columbia one sumemr in a not unpleasant blitz of pot and crab lice and drag races in beat up spray painted old Chevelles and Biscaynes."


Generation X I liked.

It was recommended to me by ex planter John Honeyman, and also, google indicates, Rollie Pemberton aka. "Cadence Weapon". In an article from CBC:

"the people who would most relate to the experiences of these characters (those of "terminal wanderlust" and the "poverty jet set," my B.C. tree-planting friends engaged in "cult employment") are least likely to read it because of some perceived notion that it's no longer relevant"


Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused. The following list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns commonly found in cultic environments may be helpful in assessing a particular group or relationship.

Compare these patterns to the situation you were in (or in which you, a family member, or friend is currently involved). This list may help you determine if there is cause for concern. Bear in mind that this list is not meant to be a “cult scale” or a definitive checklist to determine if a specific group is a cult. This is not so much a diagnostic instrument as it is an analytical tool.

‪ The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

‪ Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

‪ Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

‪ The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

‪ The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

‪ The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

‪ The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

‪ The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

‪ The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

‪ Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

‪ The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

‪ The group is preoccupied with making money.

‪ Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

‪ Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

‪ The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

Does that sound anything like planting to you guys?

Friday, January 22, 2010

getting excited to plant trees

“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea — cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.”

- Sterling Hayden, Wanderer
Via Nick Antosca @htmlgiant

My main priority is finding work that is not in a bush camp. Something happens to people when they go and live in tents, stinking like animals for five days at a time, and not talking to people in the outside world. Some people like it (what happens).

I fear going to a town and feeling like 'town is weird'. Walking all over town to do laundry, and even after you shower you still stink and feel greasy. I want a hotel room.

A solo room is preferrable.

Worried about getting on a really experienced crew and being very low in the heirarchy, and having to roomate with the least desirable person (roomate) on the crew.

Last year my roomate had a slow cooker and early in the season he put brussel sprouts in the slow cooker. Our room smelled like feet for a long time, but we had to explain to people that it was the brussel sprouts, not feet.

Matt Bock: "what the fuck do you put brussel sprouts in the slow cooker for"

Matt Bock, last year's foreman: "not sure I want to come back from Korea for a bull shit ass season" (paraphrased)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

enigmatic half asian planter girl
heard she was like 27
she was by far the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen in a planting camp
whenever I was in camp I was aware of where she was, or was looking for her
sometimes she would walk over this hill in the evenings, mysteriously
it seemed to me
I was fired and later found out she was gay

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I found this when I was doing some research today.

Lots of them were still using Polaski like things. This was just when the D-Handle revolution was beginning.

I am coming to grips with having planted for a while now - well past college. Past an MA degree, even. Past moving to New York. I am trying to make a film about Franz Otto, who is a planting legend, and who I have spent some time with over the past month.

They Interview a guy named Pete Robson who had worked in reforestation since 1964. Are these Fitness babes?

haha above "flatulence reforestation."

"On the first planting projects I was involved in we used inmate labor, After that we hired whomever we could. we hired locals, hired off the reserves, got men off of Main and Hastings in Vancouver. We paid by the hour and few had much interest or much skill in it. Needless to say our production was low."

"By 1967 we decided to try letting a contract. We were not impressed with the results of the first one, but the next year we let a contract to two hippies - complete with beflowered volkswagen van. They camped under plastic and planted faster than we had ever seen."

'These two hippies were to revolutionize tree planting in the province.'

'They let the way for a new breed of planters, people pursuing what was once called "alternative lifestyles."'

'One big time contractor has a degree in religion. Another is a dropout nuclear energy engineer from the atomic energy commission of Canada. There are homesteaders. teachers, artists, craftspeople, lots of carpenters, and at least one potato farmer. '

'Tony Berniaz, mountaineer, world traveller and now gentleman farmer, has probably planted a million trees; he used to be a PhD chemist.'

'Holly Arntzen, a Vancouver musician, liked to wake up camp every morning with the golden sounds of Handel and Vivaldi played on her French Horn.'

'Clay Perry, legislative director of the IWA in Vancouver explains, "Because of the strategic importance of silviculture to the future of the industry, it has to [should] be organized in a rational way and give people a rational lifestyle. It is just not rational for BC to rely on 'counterculture' people for such important strategic work."'

'Dirk Brinkman, founder Brinkman reforestation, responds: "not only is it a logistical necessity to use tent camps and to move all over BC and Alberta doing short term contracts in remote places, it's also a part of our lifestyle."'

Article ends with planters finishing up a contract and drinking beer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Finished with this Job

I am done as a planter, until the fall, when I might go to the coast.

I planted 36 days and earned an average of "enough to buy a camera and travel around in my new (self appointed) role as 'nomadic documentarian' for the next month or so."

My other blog.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

This season has been pretty comfortable. I have not been in a bush camp. As a result, I feel, the planters have been less 'wild.'

What I mean: in my land the other day I was thinking "I have not seen anybody going to the bathroom nor have I seen anybody elses' penis on my crew." I attribute this to people showering and living where there is concrete.

Will hopefully never go to a bush camp again.