Dylan Tomine is the Peter Mayle of the Pacific Northwest with 'Closer to the Ground'

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Dylan Tomine is the Peter Mayle of the Pacific Northwest with 'Closer to the Ground'

Dylan Tomine’s "Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family’s Year on the Water, In the Woods and at the Table" offers a lovely image of what a sustainably life looks like. The book, which was published by popular outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia, seeks to paint a portrait of a daily rhythm where sustainable living is approached as something of interest rather than a chore, and the author’s hobbies – fishing, mushroom foraging, chopping and aging firewood – are portrayed in such vivid detail that a reader finishing the book is temped to head off to the Pacific Northwest and try it on their own.

The life portrayed in the book strikes a balance between sustainability and comfort, something that Tomine promises from the outset. He does not seek to completely escape modern convenience, but rather to become closer in any way possible to the earth and, especially, to share this closeness and love of nature with his two small children, his wife, and his likeminded friends. The result is a book that illustrates a sustainable life that we could all aspire to.

Dylan Tomine is the Peter Mayle of the Pacific Northwest with 'Closer to the Ground'

From "Closer to the Ground" by Dylan Tomine. Photo: Dylan Tomine

Through humorous and insightful anecdotes, Tomine paints a portrait of a lifestyle that is much closer to the earth than most. He paints such a vivid portrait of place entwined with seasons that comparisons to Peter Mayle for the Pacific Northwest are inescapable. The major difference -- aside from the place -- is Tomine's use of his children as “little philosophers;" he paints a picture of the world through their eyes that is refreshing and novel.

The recipes in the book are short and sweet, and they rely so heavily on the fresh ingredients that Tomine catches and forages himself – geoducks, local salmon, chanterelle mushrooms – that they hardly seem worthwhile if you can’t get your hands on the ingredients at home. But they do add to the tableau of this natural life to which we could all aspire.

Dylan Tomine is the Peter Mayle of the Pacific Northwest with 'Closer to the Ground'

From "Closer to the Ground" by Dylan Tomine. Photo: Dylan Tomine

“Closer to the Ground” is part of a real-life series of outdoor books published by Patagonia. It features illustrations by Nikki McClure and is now available in paperback.

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Top image care of Patagonia

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