Portland Oregon native Darlene K. Olesko gravitated to Lasqueti Island during the "back to the land"; movement in 1971. She co-authored and illustrated the first Lasqueti Island cookbook and contributed an article and map to Islands in the Salish Sea: A Community Atlas coordinated by Sheila Harrington and Judi Stevenson.

Lasqueti Island, home to poets, artists, physicists, fishermen, loggers and professional consultants in engineering, alternative energy and education. Statistics Canada calls it one of the most highly educated communities in BC. The "back to the land" movement of the '70s and early '80s brought a flood of exotic characters to the island's rural communes - hippies, revolutionaries, utopians - all hoping to build a simpler, better life away from mainstream society. Lasqueti Island, the least known and populated of the Gulf Islands, was the place to be.

In Accidental Eden: Hippie Days on Lasqueti Island with Douglas L. Hamilton (Caitlin $24.95) Olesko and Hamilton explore Lasqueti's rowdy, divided reputation, its eccentric days and political accomplishments - like convincing BC Hydro to re-route a power line around, rather than over the island. Today some perceive the island as a romantic fantasy of a great place to raise children and grow old, others see it as a community of "inbred hermits,"; wanting to dodge the authorities and grow their own drugs. Accidental Eden is a collection of tales representing an irreplaceable era BC history.


Accidental Eden: Hippie Days on Lasqueti Island with Douglas L. Hamilton (Caitlin Press 2014) $24.95 978-1-927575-52-9

[BCBW 2014]