Even if you think you know a lot about soil, by reading Matthew Evans’ tome on the good dirt you are guaranteed to find out more. Starting with a history of how the earth formed and created the soils we grow our food in, Soil proceeds to explain just how much we have neglected, over-ploughed, over-grazed and depleted the earth’s thin layer of topsoil that keeps us alive.Not all doom and gloom, the book also imparts plenty of positive ways we can all contribute to a healthy, functioning microbial soil life. It explains how we should use weeds as indicator of soil health, the benefits of biochar and why practices like biodynamics, holistic management and regenerative farming can make a real difference.What Matthew brings to light in his conversational manner is that every one of us should be thinking more about soils. Because what we do in our backyards, on our farms and in our food choices matters. While we can’t see what goes on in the ground, knowing what is happening in this intricate web of life is crucial for our own survival.
He had me at Ferments. Maybe Regenerative, or Mineral and Biological Extracts, and possibly Locally Sourced. It was a combination of the entire title that captured my regenerative grower’s heart. If you, too, are on a journey to grow nutrient-dense food resistant to pests and diseases which leaves your garden in a better state than when you started, then this is the book for you.Part one looks at nurturing diversity in our soil, the importance of soil biology and mineralogy, plus how to use a refractometer and take a soil test. The second part teaches us how to make the soil amendments using what we have around us such as fermented plant juice with nettle, egg or oyster shells in apple cider vinegar, how to capture and propagate the microorganisms in our soil, harness the biology of leaf mould and make lactic-acid bacteria from rice and raw milk. Once you are ready to go beyond compost and truly nurture your living soil ecosystem, then this guide to sustainable growing is a must-have resource.
A novel set in the 2030s in a future where the effects of climate change and global warming are starting to have serious effects. Set in both Melbourne and Northern NSW, this book follows the journey of one family and their communities’ experiences in a climate-changed world.Melbourne has been ravaged by heat waves and bushfires, Northern NSW has been cut off by a cyclone with swathes of beach and homes washed away, leaving the communities with food supply chains cut and with a dire shortage of basic necessities.By coming together as a family and community, by bartering, growing food and drawing on their combined skills and resources, they are able to not only survive but also thrive.Following the year we’ve experienced in 2020, it isn’t too hard to imagine the future Woodrow depicts as a realistic setting. This book, while frightening on one hand, shares the hope that regardless of what the future may hold, with community, skills and resilience we will survive. A gripping read.