Environmental Information

Helpful Books For Everyone

Books Back from the Brink

Peter Andrews

Featured on Australian Story, Peter Andrews is a racehorse breeder and farmer credited with remarkable success in converting degraded, salt-ravaged properties into fertile, drought-resistant pastures. His methods are so at odds with conventional scientific wisdom that for 30 years he has been dismissed and ridiculed as a madman. He has faced bankruptcy and family break-up. But now, on the brink of ecological disaster, leading politicians, international scientists and businessmen are beating a path to his door as they grapple with how best to alleviate the affects of drought on the Australian landscape. Described as a man who reads and understands the Australian landscape better than most scientists, supporters of Peter Andrews claim he has done what no scientist ever thought to do – he has restored streams and wetlands to the way they were before European settlement interfered with them. the startling results of his natural sequence farming are said to have been achieved very cheaply, simply and quickly.

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Dark Emu

Bruce Pascoe

Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent…[It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.’ ― Judges for 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

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Call of the Reed Warbler

Charles Massy

Call of the Reed Warbler will change the way we farm, eat and think about food. In this groundbreaking book Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health.

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Helpful Books for Home Gardeners/Urban Farmers

The Permaculture Home Garden

Linda Woodrow

Inspired by her own training in permaculture, Linda Woodrow has devised a totally integrated organic system of gardening that combines science with common sense. In The Permaculture Home Garden she draws us into a warmly welcoming household where everyone shares the planting, helps to tend the hens, and relaxes after a satisfying day’s work. Step-by-step instructions and helpful diagrams make it easy to plan and plant a garden to suit your taste and space – a garden that not only looks wonderful but also yields bountiful fruit, herbs and vegetables.

About the Author Linda Woodrow was born in Toowoomba, Queensland. She has raised goats in Western Australia and taught family planning in Guatemala. She has also spent many years studying, practising and teaching organic gardening and agriculture.

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Earth Users Guide to Permaculture

Rosemary Morrow

The principle for permaculture is simple: provide back to the earth what we take from it to create a sustainable environment. The three principle aims are: Care for people; care for the earth; and redistribute everything surplus to one’s needs. This completely revised and updated edition of Rosemary Morrow’s highly successful Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture is a straight-forward manual of practical permaculture. Fundamentally, permaculture is design science and in this new edition design is emphasized. This book will be most beneficial if you apply it to the space where you live and work. The same principles apply for becoming more sustainable and living lightly whether you live in a small city apartment with a balcony, in a house with a garden in the suburbs, or on acreage in the country.

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The Urban Farmer

Justin Calverley

The guide for anyone who dreams of living the country life in the city by growing their own healthy, sustainable fruit and veg – and more! Producing our own fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs and honey is perfectly possible in a suburban backyard. This practical guide will help urban dwellers develop a more sustainable existence.

With a deep knowledge of permaculture and organic gardening, horticultural expert Justin Calverley shows you how to establish a diverse urban farm, whether in your own backyard, a plot shared with your neighbours or even on a kerbside verge. Justin advocates observing and following nature’s cycles and patterns as the best way to a sustainable and productive garden.

As well as growing fruit and veg, Justin explains how to take up bee-keeping, mushroom growing, chook care, propagation and preserving your patch’s bounty.

So be inspired and get cracking on your own little garden of Eden!

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Resources for Farmers and Land Managers

Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture

Gabe Brown

Gabe Brown didn’t set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brown—in an effort to simply survive—began experimenting with new practices he’d learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture.

Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life—starting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time.

In Dirt to Soil Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge—restoring the soil. The Brown’s Ranch model, developed over twenty years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown’s Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only twenty years! The 5,000-acre ranch profitably produces a wide variety of cash crops and cover crops as well as grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured laying hens, broilers, and pastured pork, all marketed directly to consumers.

The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mindset was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the land—more plants, animals, and beneficial insects. “The greatest roadblock to solving a problem,” Brown says, “is the human mind.”

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For the Love of Soil

Nicole Masters

Learn a roadmap to healthy soil and revitalised food systems to powerfully address these times of challenge. This book equips producers with knowledge, skills and insights to regenerate ecosystem health and grow farm/ranch profits. Learn how to:- Triage soil health and act to fast-track soil and plant health-Build healthy resilient soil systems-Develop a deeper understanding of microbial and mineral synergies-Read what weeds and diseases are communicating about soil and plant health-Create healthy, productive and profitable landscapes.Globally recognised soil advocate and agroecologist Nicole Masters delivers the solution to rewind the clock on this increasingly critical soil crisis in her first book, For the Love of Soil. She argues we can no longer treat soil like dirt. Instead, we must take a soil-first approach to regenerate landscapes, restore natural cycles, and bring vitality back to ecosystems. This book translates the often complex and technical know-how of soil into more digestible terms through case studies from regenerative farmers, growers, and ranchers in Australasia and North America. Along with sharing key soil health principles and restoration tools, For the Love of Soil provides land managers with an action plan to kickstart their soil resource’s well-being, no matter the scale.

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