Book Reviews

MILKWOOD: REAL SKILLS FOR DOWN-TO-EARTH LIVING

By Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar (Murdoch Books 2018)

Review by Robyn Rosenfeldt

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Milkwood have done it again. Everything they do has equal parts style and substance and this book has both in spades (excuse the pun). Rather than trying to do what a lot of gardening/ permaculture books do and try to cover everything in one book, Kirsten and Nick have chosen a few areas of expertise and explored them in-depth.

They have chapters on tomatoes, mushrooms, beekeeping, seaweed and wild food—each one is presented with clear, easy-to-read instructions and explanations, with stunning photography and illustrations.

The photography shows the authors demonstrating the practices and living the life of ‘down-to-earth’ living, painting a picture of a life of homegrown food, rustic picnics and practical self-sufficiency. If this book doesn’t inspire you to get ‘down-to-earth’, I don’t know what will.

LOW TOX LIFE: A HANDBOOK FOR A HEALTHY YOU AND A HAPPY PLANET

By Alexx Stuart (Murdoch Books 2018)

Review by Emily Stokes

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Whether you’re just starting out a low tox life or you’ve been on that journey for years, there is plenty for everyone in this book. Learn how to source low tox pillows and quilts, choose a water filter, minimise household dust and mould and make hairspray with rapadura sugar.

I loved the natural fragrance ideas, and was disturbed to discover my dental floss is covered in Teflon. Luckily Alexx Stuart mentions some great websites and apps for finding ethical alternatives when shopping online. For those starting out, the simple recipes for dry shampoo, oven cleaner, head lice treatment, toothpaste and ethical family feasts will have you detoxing your life with ease.

Take it one step at a time and work through the four sections on Body, Home, Food and Mind, knowing that every step of the way you’ll be doing a wonderful thing for the health of your family and the planet.

This book presents clear evidence that will make many of us question our current lifestyles and make changes that will improve our health in the future.

WASTE NOT

By Erin Rhoads (Hardie Grant 2018)

Review by Samantha Allemann

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More and more people are cottoning on to the fact that we need to start reducing our waste. Knowing where to start can be tricky though, as throwing things away has become so embedded in our society.

Written by popular blogger The Rogue Ginger (Erin Rhoads), Waste Not gives lots of tips on how to reduce the number of things we throw into landfill. Books like these can be overwhelming to read as you begin to realise the scale of the problem is so huge (the amount of food we throw out annually is said to be able to fill the MCG six times over!) and Rhoads doesn’t sugar-coat the facts. Yet her words of encouragement and advice make it easier to adjust your lifestyle, whether it’s using newspaper to line bins instead of plastic bags, swapping disposable items for reusables or making more of your own products.

The book also focuses on how to throw zero-waste celebrations, such as weddings, baby showers and birthday parties, which you may never have thought possible. This is the kind of book best shared, so pass it on to your nearest and dearest so they can also get onboard with reducing their waste and living more mindfully.

CAULIFLOWER IS KING

By Leanne Kitchen (Murdoch Books 2018)

Review by Robyn Rosenfeldt

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Cauliflower is making a resurgence as a highly versatile vegetable, gaining popularity as a replacement for carbs. If your experience of cauli is it being served up overcooked and soggy on your plate as part of meat and three veg, then this book will open your mind to the vast array of cauliflower culinary choices.

With over 70 recipes from around the world, including cauliflower tabbouli, tacos, batter, burgers, pizza base, even cauliflower popcorn and dark chocolate cauliflower brownies. And of course, the all-important carb-dodger, cauliflower rice.

This book has a mixture of photos and simple illustrations. The recipes range from simple recipes with few ingredients to more complex constructions with multiple parts, all made from scratch. This book will make you rethink your relationship to cauliflower.

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