by Charles Massy
Book Review by Janine Banks
This a big book, 500 pages, and covers a lot of territory. It is easy to read, however, so the size is not so daunting as it may be with some other books. In fact, as I’m rereading a bit as I write this, I feel like it’s almost like having a yarn with Massy. He often opens chapters and sections with a personal description of his current situation.
"It is early March and the season is turning. This morning, I take the sheepdogs for a dawn walk. Below me, a long bank of fog fills the Bobundara valley, and an apricot cloud layer merges with soft azure on the eastern horizon. The air is cool on my hands and face, the grasslands netted by hundreds of thousands of cobwebs strung across grass and fence lines, and laden with dew. Capping it all, a quarter way up the sky is the thinnest sliver of a crescent moon."
Two more paragraphs describe the extensive birdlife and vegetation he experiences on his walk, before the now disused milking shed brings back memories from his childhood in the next couple of paragraphs. He does mention again that five generations of his family have lived on that farm, just like the five pairs of resident magpies, “generations holding the same territory in joined association with five generations of my family”.
So this all makes for a pleasant read about the history and progress of regenerative farming throughout the world but particularly in Australia.