The books, films & podcasts inspiring you to make a difference
GARDENING FOR THE SOIL, THE SOUL AND THE SUBURBS
BY COSTA GEORGIADIS (HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS 2021)
Review by Robyn Rosenfeldt
Costa’s new book has been a long time coming. This is the culmination of all the ideas and knowledge that Costa has been sharing verbally to people and communities across Australia for the last few decades.
Costa’s World challenges us to look at the world through a different lens, one that is full of awe and wonder and positivity. The big theme is community and working together to create a better world.
As the host of Gardening Australia, as well as at the many community events and workshops he’s involved in, Costa is continually sharing his knowledge. He has a way of relating to people young or old, from toddlers to teenagers and through to the elderly, and will go out of his way to make every person he meets feel special.
This book does the same, presenting information in an easy to understand, interesting and relatable way and it’s just another way for him to share his knowledge to an even wider audience. Costa’s World covers everything to do with gardens; soil, community, chooks, reducing plastic, kids, biodiversity, and seed saving. It also has a great section on permaculture, breaking it down for people in an easy to understand way.
This book reflects Costa’s unique view on things. As he says in the book, ‘the challenge is to present information in a way that is engaging, entertaining and informative.’ He takes a different approach from your usual gardening book, instead sharing knowledge through stories, personal anecdotes and practical activities that are accessible for all who may pick it up.
Costa shares his knowledge of sustainability, gardening, permaculture and biodiversity through a fun book filled with illustrations and photos taken on his journeys.
THE VEGAN BUTCHER
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANT-BASED MEAT
BY ZACCHARY BIRD (SMITH STREET BOOKS 2021)
Review by Kel Buckley
The oxymoronic title of Zacchary Bird’s book is carried throughout this cookbook as he shows you how to recreate popular meat dishes using only plant-based ingredients. Aimed at the vegan who once enjoyed meat, or the entertainer who wants to create a more inclusive dinner table, Bird shows you how to create realistic-looking vegan ‘meat’.
From well-stocked charcuterie boards and a glossy roasted turkey through to smoked salmon, pulled-pork mac ’n’ cheese and even southern-style fried chicken, the novelty value of this book is as impressive as the time which presumably went into creating the recipes. Bird is a young chef who doesn’t take himself too seriously – he’s even made a vegan version of lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress.
GARDEN LIKE A NONNO
THE ITALIAN ART OF GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD
BY JACLYN CRUPI (AFFIRM PRESS 2021)
Review by Kel Buckley
Crupi describes Italian grandfathers, or Nonnos, as ‘no-nonense, hardworking and cheeky’, and that’s the approach she’s taken to produce this book which is as fun as it is informative.
As well as passing on generations of knowledge, from building soil and saving seeds through to companion planting and seasonal plans, you can’t help but feel like she’s spilling the beans when she throws a chapter in revealing her ‘tomato-obsessed’ Nonno’s best-kept secrets. With some tongue-in-cheek mockery of their generation, as well as sheer adoration of the knowledge and passion that’s been handed down to her, Crupi’s book presents practical information in easy-to-navigate bite-sized pieces.
There’s advice on chickens, recipes to preserve produce and even some occasional Nonno-like life advice to lighten the tone and remind the reader that gardening is joyous.
HOW CONNECTION WITH NATURE CAN IMPROVE OUR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL WELLBEING
BY RUTH ALLEN (ALLEN & UNWIN 2021)
Grounded explores the concept of rewilding as an intentional way of living in the modern age. In addition to practical exercises and mindful activities, there are personal stories and thought-provoking questions that will help us understand what it means to be alive in the natural world, and in the moment.
SMALL STEPS AND BRAVE CHOICES FOR A LIFE LESS DISTRACTED
BY JODI WILSON (MURDOCH BOOKS 2022)
Jodi Wilson shines a light on the best things in life that don’t cost money and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle, whatever your circumstances. For her, the simplicity of living in a tiny home on wheels was at first terrifying but ultimately the essential answer to anxiety and overwhelm.
THE POLITICS OF PERMACULTURE
BY TERRY LEAHY (PLUTO PRESS 2021)
This book unpacks the theory and practice of permaculture. Drawing upon the rich seam of permaculture publications and online communities, as well as interviews with permaculture practitioners and organisations from around the world, Leahy explains the ways permaculture is understood and practised in different contexts.
By Ann Jones, ABC
From the presenter of Radio National’s Off Track, comes Nature track, your window to the beautiful sounds of the Australian wilderness. The podcast’s uninterrupted soundscapes are the perfect relaxing soundtrack for you work, exercise, meditation or some more sleep.
By Regen Ag Alliance & Southern Cross University
A uniquely Australian podcast series exploring real-life stories of land managers who have undertaken the transition from conventional farming to regenerative agriculture. Honest conversations to inform decisions about how to best manage your land
By Clare Press
A podcast throwing the fashion industry’s relationship with the environment into the spotlight. Each week designers, academics, fashion insiders and more discuss ethics, sustainability and the changing face of the fashion industry.