Look & Listen

The books, films & podcasts inspiring you to make a difference

The books, films & podcasts inspiring you to make a difference

Books

MABU MABU

AN AUSTRALIAN KITCHEN COOKBOOK
BY NORNIE BERO (HARDIE GRANT 2022)
Review by Kel Buckley

book

This book brings to homes what Nornie Bero energetically gives to diners in her two Melbourne-based restaurants which champion Torres Strait Island flavours and Australian native produce.

Part autobiography and part cookbook, Mabu Mabu begins as the fascinating story of how a girl who grew up ‘with a spear in my hand’ in the far east Torres Strait ended up as the executive chef, CEO and founder of Mabu Mabu, a restaurant in Melbourne’s Yarraville and Big Esso, a 130-seat restaurant and bar in Federation Square.

When Nornie arrived in Melbourne as a young woman of colour in the late 1990s, it was the city’s multiculturalism that struck her. ‘And how we share culture is through food,’ she writes. ‘But, looking around Melbourne, I realised there was little understanding of Australian Indigenous food, and definitely not of Torres Strait Islander food. I knew it was time to change that.’

The first three chapters take the reader on Nornie’s journey where you get to know the woman and what drives her before the final three chapters delve into the ingredients, recipes and useful information about Australia’s native produce. It’s casual, colourful and honest, while the recipes – and there are 65 of them – are familiar yet innovative and, helped by a useful list of stockists of the ingredients, completely achievable.

Mabu Mabu means ‘help yourself’ in her traditional Meriam Mir language and is what’s announced at a special occasion before the guests dig in to a celebratory meal. And this book is a celebration of Australia’s and the Torres Strait’s native ingredients.

THE KITCHEN GARDEN

SOWING, GROWING AND COOKING FOR THE GARDEN ENTHUSIAST
BY LUCY MORA (THAMES & HUDSON 2022)

Focusing on plants destined for the dinner plate, The Kitchen Garden is an illustrated guide to growing edible plants from sowing to harvesting. Learn when to sow, what to grow and how to make your delicious harvest into a meal.

The book features 55 plant profiles ranging from the everyday to the utterly unique, from broccoli to cape gooseberries. Each profile has a hero illustration and an easy-to-comprehend table detailing the most important information: when to sow and harvest; growing time; space between plants; optimal soil pH; whether the plant will tolerate pots and frost; and each plant’s companions and dislikes.

A planting chart is also included, along with guidance for different climates and how best to start your kitchen garden. With an emphasis on the four seasons rather than months, the book is a beautiful and practical gift for every garden enthusiast.

MY FATHER AND OTHER ANIMALS

HOW I TOOK ON THE FAMILY FARM
BY SAM VINCENT (BLACK INC 2022)

My Father and Other Animals chronicles Sam’s experience as a millennial leaving his inner-city life to take over the family cattle and fruit farm an hour out of Canberra.

He tells the story of the seven years he spent working with his dad in a reluctant farming apprenticeship which, ultimately, brought him a sense of professional and spiritual satisfaction that eludes so many millennials.

Sam’s memoir explores the relationship between a father and son from two very different generations. He also shows us the importance of farming regeneratively – not just sustainably – by adopting traditional ways of farming that pre-date climate change, while respecting the cultural heritage of the country’s Indigenous owners.

Podcasts

FARM SMALL, FARM SMART

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced farmer, the show brings weekly insights for vegetable farmers and market gardeners who earn – or want to earn – a living growing vegetables profitably. Hosted by Diego Footer of Permaculture Voices, it’s said to be the longest continually running farm podcast in the world.

EAT FOR THE PLANET

Hosted by Nil Zacharias, Eat for the Planet features conversations with food industry leaders, health and sustainability experts, as well as entrepreneurs and creative minds who are redefining the future of food. Launched in 2017, it covers the people, ideas, and technologies shaping the future of food.

BIG THINGS LITTLE THINGS

Launched in 2021 and hosted by Sophie Spencer, the Big Things Little Things podcast presents listeners with inspiring stories from community leaders around Australia about the big things they’re working on, the little things that make them who they are, and visioning pathways towards a better future.

New Releases

A GUIDE TO THE CREATURES IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

BY THE URBAN FIELD NATURALIST PROJECT
(MURDOCH BOOKS 2022)

Whether it’s an afternoon of exploring or a walk to the letterbox, A Guide to the Creatures in Your Neighbourhood is your ticket to slow down and get curious about urban nature. No matter where you live, you’ll have a front-row seat.

MORE FISH, MORE VEG

SIMPLE SUSTAINABLE RECIPES AND KNOW- HOW FOR EVERYDAY DELICIOUSNESS
BY TOM WALTON
(MURDOCH BOOKS 2022)

More Fish, More Veg is a collection of go-to recipes that helps you put meals featuring sustainable seafood and seasonal veg on high rotation at your place. This book is bursting with easy-to-make recipes that celebrate the abundance of top-quality seasonal ingredients.

EARTH RESTORER’S GUIDE TO PERMACULTURE

BY ROSEMARY MORROW
(MELLIODORA 2022)

With decades of hands-on teaching experience in a wide range of settings and circumstances, Rosemary Morrow brings a lifetime of global knowledge to this completely revised and updated edition of her classic Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture text.

Author