Call of the Reed Warbler by Charles Massy has to be the best book on raising food and fibre in Australian landscape. Along with Bruce Pascoe's Dark Emu the mind shift we need, in effect, to survive in this land,  is logged by two essential reads.

Although Call of the Reed Warbler  is really a farming manual its argued logic will surely change your outlook on what  you grow and how you grow food locally -- like outback.

Similarly, by changing your attitude to soil, sunshine and water --  your view on the broader issue of what needs to be done outside the confines of your own patch -- and your own mind -- will get a big shakeup.

Massy is also useful because he has researched the background to  many regenerative 'systems' for growing stuff. It may be kosher to dig you own dirt in an urban neighbourhood, but the real issue -- one that warrants your active support -- is the urgent shift in Australian agriculture overall.

The ready penchant of city folks to blame the farmer for what the market forces upon them, also warrants a wake up call.

So I urge you to read Charles Massy and to be open to what really is a life changing perspective. In similar mode, your outlook will not recover from the impact offered by Bruce Pascoe's  Dark  Emu.

Make them both your must-reads for 2021.

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  • In my personal experience, many folk who move into food growing & raising often do so via a generic 'organic' route or embrace Permaculture as a DIY.

    The challenge is much bigger than it seems in the broad scale of things.While there are many 'systems' to explore the challenge is adapting them to Australian conditions. That suggests a different prioritisation.

    Ironically, I think the Brits do a better job with Permaculture as a science than we do. But then this country's top permie teachers are second to none. However, there's more to ecology than food foresting and we need to accept that our agricultural conditions are very different from overseas.

    That's where Massy registers so strongly. He may review many systems but in doing so he hammers home what is essential  and draws out what they all might share.

    I don't see backyard kitchen gardening as turning my back on the Australian farm and farmer -- although some people do do that. I see my  outdoor habits as a means of appreciating what agriculture is about. That way my perspective on the land changes. Not in a 'moral' judgemental sense but more  with an informed opinion.

    This is why the current surge in Regenerative Agriculture is so important and warrants signing on with. Not only will you be better informed and more skilled, but you'll be less prone to supermarket spin and the shallow discourse offered by many ethics-obsessed dialogues.

    This is also why Coal Seam Gas production, international trade agreements, cut backs in customs, river health, water trading, Aboriginal  right to country  and the Coles/Woolies duopoly are so important to what you put in your mouth. I also should add, so too are rural and regional jobs and services -- as food and fibre need farmers and their families.

  • I utterly agree with your urging those who have not read these books to do so. I watched the Video when first on Australian Story and was blown over by this mans concepts. 

  • A great video detailing the man who publicised regenerative farming.  He should be hugely rewarded for his efforts, but I think he already is.  There is hope for the future.

  • Mr Pascoe changed me profoundly.  My generation was taught complete and utter lies about Aboriginal people.  I believe we would be a national profoundly better off, had we had taken the time to understand Aboriginal agriculture and land management 300 years ago.  

    I shall investigate Mr Massey quite gladly.  

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