Reading List

A couple of our members, specifically Christine and Mandy, have taken the time to compile a list of reading material that are compulsory reading for any urban farmers.  Lots of interesting and informative books and blogs! 

CHRISTINE'S READING LIST

Mel Bartholomew: Square Metre Gardening: The Radical Approach to Gardening That Really Works

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

The square metre approach is more than just gardening on a square metre sized plot, it’s a specific method with its own approach and principles e.g. for preparing the soil used in the plot.

WHY I LIKE IT

A very practical, descriptive (at times a bit too restrictive) gardening guide. Note that it is written for the European growing environment, still some principles & tips would still work here.

Buy it here.

Fabian Capomolla, Mat Pember: The Little Veggie Patch Co's Guide to Backyard Farming

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

Chronologically laid out each chapter covers a month of the year with advice on what is happening in the garden at that time, and which veggies, fruit and herbs you should be planting and harvesting.

WHY I LIKE IT

Easy to follow, month-by-month advice on what is important in the garden. Plenty of tips & tricks and inspiration (e.g. recipes), too.

Buy it here.

thegeekygardener.com

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

A geeky, yet fun and easy-to-read blog by Anna Evangeli, former news editor at ABC Science and science correspondent for Gardening Australia magazine, that looks at the science behind natural phenomena in the garden and nature generally.

WHY I LIKE IT

Very informative. Aims at explaining the bigger picture of what is going on in the garden and brings a bit of science into the gardening approach.

Read it here.

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Indira Naidoo: The Edible Balcony

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

The book is mainly a recipe book - 60 of them are embedded in the story of transforming an urban balcony into a food-growing endeavour.The book charts a year in the life of Indira's balcony garden gives a season-by-season account of the triumphs and challenges she faces - and plenty of advice for the reader.

WHY I LIKE IT

“The Aussie balcony is the great unsung hero of urban life” - and this book shows in beautiful pictures how to bring it to life. Who says a small space can’t produce much?

Buy it here.

Stefan Mager: Permaculture Guide

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

Found in a quirky organic café in Melbourne this guide explains the permaculture principles in 4 illustrated pages.

WHY I LIKE IT

Perfect read over a cup of coffee. A more substantial guide would be required to actually put permaculture principles into practice, though!

Buy it here.

Jennifer Stackhouse: Garden

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

A very comprehensive book that covers the necessary essentials as well as advanced techniques of maintaining a garden. In this instance “garden” also includes outdoor areas like pools and ponds. Written by horticulturist Jennifer Stackhouse (formerly editor of ABC Gardening Australia magazine and author of many books) this is a very practical at times technique-heavy book.

WHY I LIKE IT

A beautiful book, comprehensive book that spans pretty much the entire universe of gardening - from “how to water pot plants” to advanced pruning techniques. Certainly has something for all levels of gardeners.

Buy it here.

Gardening Australia site

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

If there is one website for everything garden-related it has to be the AGC’s gardening website.

WHY I LIKE IT

Always worth a look - for detailed information or just inspiration or browsing.

Read it here.

MANDY'S READING LIST

Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting by Lyn Bagnall

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Lyn is the scholar of organic gardening in Australia. How to incorporate planting according to the phases of the moon, in a very practical and sensible way. Hard to put this book down.

Also see her blog at aussieorganicgardening.com

Buy it here.

Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis

Everything you ever wanted to know about how to get the best soils for growing plants and perhaps much you didn’t even know you wanted or needed to know! Fascinating information about the soil food web - the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms whose interactions create a nurturing environment for plants. Not bogged down by jargon or overly technical language, this is one to keep re-reading and putting the information into practice.

Buy it here.

 The best of Jacquie French by Jackie French, or anything else about gardening or cooking by her

A practical guide to everything from aphids to zucchini chocolate cake – packed with hands-on practical growing tips, hilarious anecdotes and no nonsense advice “Carrots can be frozen – but I wouldn’t bother”! Also delicious things to do with the produce you have spent so much effort growing.  Lovely to read in bed at night and dream of all the things you will do, grow and make the next day.

Buy it here.

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Composting: The Ultimate Organic Guide to Recycling Your Garden by Tim Marshall

Everything from the Basic Compost Method to anaerobic composting and green manure. How to do it and why. Basic soil chemistry. Quite complex but easy to read and follow with excellent charts, lists, drawings and colour photos.

Buy it here.