News [ 88 items ]

You can change the world, Lucy Bell. 2019. Pantera Press Pty Ltd. Publishing, London.

grow Kids are on a mission to make our earth a better, safer, happier place, and you can join in! Filled with activities and ideas, and featuring children from Australia and around the world doing amazing things.

This book is for loan from the centre.

Where birds sing and wildflowers dance, Jason Tyndall. 2021. Nature Play SA

grow This guide is more than a book. It’s a renewed narrative of connecting to nature and ourselves. Drawing on art and science, it crafts a beautiful and compelling story of South Australia’s wildlife, plants, and ecosystems. It explores notions of self – such as love, belief, doubt – while entwining ecological concepts of habitats, symbiotic relationships, fire, environmental clearance, species behaviour, extinction, and recovery.

It is a bold approach to conservation education and seeks to open the pathway to recognising nature is at the centre of who we are, as people and as a collective.

In the pages, you will find a collection of poetry, photography, ideas to connect with nature and over 680 species of plants, animals, and other life forms. This guide is for the dreamers, adventurers, creative souls, and conservationists: it’s your companion to exploring and reflecting on South Australia’s wild places.

This book is available from the centre

The Art of Frugal Hedonism, Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb 2016. Melliodora Publishing

grow Let’s say you could save money, inoculate yourself against many of the ills of modern life, live more lightly on the earth, and enjoy everything more on both the sensual and profound levels. Preposterous!

Yet here is a toolkit to help you do just that. A tweak here, a twiddle there; every strategy in The Art of Frugal Hedonism has been designed to help you target the most important habits of mind and action needed for living frugally but hedonistically.

This book is available from the centre

Soil, the incredible story of what keeps the earth, and us healthy, Matthew Evans. 2021.

grow Soil is the unlikely story of our most maligned resource as swashbuckling hero. A saga of bombs, ice ages and civilisations falling. Of ancient hunger, modern sicknesses and gastronomic delight. It features poison gas, climate collapse and a mind-blowing explanation of how rain is formed.

For too long, we’ve not only neglected the land beneath us, we’ve squandered and debased it, by over-clearing, over-grazing and over-ploughing. But if we want our food to nourish us, and to ensure our planet’s long-term health, we need to understand how soil works – how it’s made, how it’s lost, and how it can be repaired.

In this ode to thin veneer of Earth that gifts us life, writer and farmer Matthew Evans shows us that what we do in our backyards and on our farms, and what we put on our dinner tables, really matters, and can be a source of hope.

Isn’t it time we stopped treating the ground beneath our feet like dirt?

This book is for loan from the centre.

Play the Forest School Way, Peter Houghton & Jane Worroll. 2016. Watkins Publishing, London.

grow The ultimate guide to woodland fun with kids!

Forest School is founded on a philosophy of nature-based play and learning that encourages children to develop confidence and self-esteem. This book will get your kids outside, making and building in the real world (instead of on a computer screen!). Whether your local woodland is a forest or a strip of trees along the edge of an urban park, these activities provide fantastic opportunities for family time and will encourage your children to fall in love with outdoor play.

This woodland adventure book shares some of the best-loved activities from Peter Houghton and Jane Worrell’s own Forest School, as well as celebrating the Forest School philosophy of encouraging confidence and social skills through engagement with nature.

Although the book is written for parents, carers and teachers, who are encouraged to take the role of the Forest School leader in guiding play, the instructions and diagrams will be easily understood by children too.

• Be a fox tracking its prey, a moth evading a bat, a rabbit fleeing a forest fire! • Make a working bow and arrow, spectacular headdresses, beautiful woodland jewellery, magic wands – all with materials gathered from the forest floor. • Learn wilderness survival skills: build a shelter, make fire, forage and cook wild food. This book is for loan from the centre.

Start with the Leaves, Robert Lawrence. 2011. Richmond Press, Richmond.

grow Start with the Leaves, a simple guide to common orchids and lilies of the Adelaide Hills. This book is for anyone interested in orchids, from the complete novice, who would like to know about plants, to landholders, and bushwalkers through to bush-carers and professionals completing biological surveys

Why start with the leaves? Generally publications on orchids deal primarily with the flowers. However, orchids are commonly encountered before or after flowering. Those involved in bushcare, biological surveys or just walking through areas of remnant vegetation will often desire to identify these orchids. For many species the leaves are quite adequate for a positive identification of the genus and, in many cases even to species level.

The book features: *50 orchids seen in the Adelaide Hills, most of them common *Lilies, bulbs and some weeds which can be confused with orchids *Eight easy to use categories of leaves indicated by a distictive icon *Coloured pages for each leaf category *Photographs in natural settings showing the variations within each species *A life-size representation of each flower

Robert Lawrence works in managing native vegetation which enables him to photograph plants in the Adelaide Hills. He is deeply concerned about the clearing of vegetation and wants to open the secret world of our native plants to the community so that they see the value of orchids.

This book is available from the centre

Our Sunburnt Country, Anika Molesworth. Pan Macmillan Australia 2021. Of her family.

grow Anika Molesworth fell in love with her family’s farm, a sheep station near Broken Hill, at an early age. She formed a bond with the land as though it were a member of her family. When the Millennium Drought hit, though, bringing with it heatwaves and dust storms, the future she’d always imagined for herself began to seem possible.

As she learned more about the causes of – and the solutions to – the extreme weather that was killing her land and her livelihood, Anika became fired up and determined to speak out. Talking to farmers and food producers all around the world, she soon realised that there was a way forward that could be both practical and sustainable – if only we can build up the courage to take it.

This book is available from the centre

Diary of a Young Naturalist, Dara McAnulty. 2020. The Text Publishing Company, Melbourne.

grow Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of Dara McAnulty’s world, from spring to summer, autumn to winter, on his home patch, at school, in the wild and in his head.

Evocative, raw and beautifully written, this very special book vividly explores the natural world from the perspective of an autistic teenager juggling homework, exams and friendships alongside his life as a conservationist and environmental activist. With a sense of awe and wonder, Dara describes in meticulous detail encounters in his garden and the wild, with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, skylarks, bats, cuckoo flowers, Irish hares and many more species. The power and warmth of his words also draw an affectionate and moving portrait of a close-knit family making their way in the world.

Dara McAnulty is a naturalist, conservationist and activist from Northern Ireland. He’s received many awards for his conservation work, including from BBC Springwatch, the Daily Mirror and Birdwatch magazine. He’s written and presented numerous natural history programs for BBC radio and television, and is an ambassador for the RSPCA, the iWill campaign and the Jane Goodall Institute.

This book is available from the centre

One Magic Square: vegetable gardening. Expanded 2nd edition. Lolo Houbein 2016. The Experiment, New York.

grow All it takes to grow your own organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs is One Magic Square. Lolo Houbein has 40 years worth of gardening wisdom to share on how to coax an abundance of organic food from a plot that is just 3 feet square!

Sustainable, cost-effective, and creative techniques: how to compost, save water, troubleshoot weeds and pests, create a plant-friendly microclimate and more. Over 40 themed plot designs, from antioxidant-rich and anti-cancer plots to salad, pizza, pasta and stir-fry plots.

Encyclopedic information about every crop in every plot Tips on drying, freezing, pickling and other ways to get more value and enjoyment from your homegrown produce.

And her irresistible gardening philosophy (“If herbs wanted to be used frugally, they would also grow frugally. But they don’t!”)

Ever encouraging, often charming and always practical, this expanded second edition of One Magic Square Vegetable Gardening will help first-time gardeners get started – and help veteran gardeners get results – on a small, easy-to-maintain plot. No actual magic is required!

Lolo Houbein lives and gardens in the Adelaide Hills. Cofounder of Trees for Life, and an environmental activist for many years.

This book is available from the centre

The Climate Cure, Solving the Climate Emergency in the Era of COVID-19, Tim Flannery. 2020. The Text Publishing Company, Melbourne.

grow Emergencies yest governments, organisations and individuals. Although Australia's prompt, science-led response to COVID-19 has not been perfect, it has saved tens of thousands of lives. But for decades, governments have ignored, ridiculed or understated the advice of scientists on the climate emergency.

Now, in the wake of the megafires of 2020, a time of reckoning has arrived. In The Climate Cure renowned climate scientist Tim Flannery takes aim at those responsible for the campaign of obfuscation and denial that has already cost so many Australian lives and held back action on climate change.

Flannery demands a new approach, based on the nation's response to COVID-19, that will lead to effective government policies. The Climate Cure is an action plan for our future. We face a fork in the road and must decide now between catastrophe and survival.

This book is available from the centre

Caterpillars, Moths and Their Plants of Southern Australia. Peter McQuillan, Jan Forrest, David Keane & Roger Grund, 2019. Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc.

grow Using the most recent information, this book draws attention to the wonderful world of moths and their caterpillars. It provides an insight into some of Australia's previously neglected fauna and highlights the importance of caterpillars in the ecosystem as plant-feeding herbivores and as a critical food source for our birds, lizards and other predators. Native and introduced plants associated with each moth species are listed, noting their importance as food for caterpillars and highlighting the need to conserve remaining native habitats and their biota.

Gardeners will be surprised at how many plants can support the local moth community, and how these help sustain urban biodiversity and maintain food supply for other native animals. Readers will gain an idea of the range of various moths from the distribution maps included.

The 208 pages include over 650 photographs from many sources, depicting life histories including eggs, caterpillars, pupae and adult moths. A total of 280 species of Southern Australian moths are illustrated and mentioned. The book describes the characteristics typical of each family group and each type of moth and caterpillar, supported by text and images.

Other highlights include the early history of moth study in South Australia, and a full index of scientific and common moth names and their food plants.

This book is available from the centre

Fleurieu Peninsula: Animals of Land, Sea & Sky. Barry Silkstone & Debbie Simmonds. 2020, Axiom Publishing, Australia.

grow The Fleurieu Peninsula is significant for exposing the natural and environmental attractions of South Australia specifically the beaches, river systems, dunes and country living.

This book is designed to help visitors to the Fleurieu Peninsula recognise and appreciate the wonderful diversity of wildlife the region has to offer. The size and style of the book should make it easy to store in the car as a quick reference guide. Contents: Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Terrestrial Invertebrates, Marine Mammals, Rays and Sharks, Bony Fish, Marine Invertebrates.

The animals covered are those which are most commonly encountered in this area. It is quite possible the reader will see wildlife not included. To cover every possible species living within the Fleurieu would require a text far larger and more cumbersome than this handbook.

The authors of this book are wildlife photographers and naturalists who have spent many hours enjoying the fascinating wildlife of the Fleurieu Peninsula. This book is designed to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for our native animals and help visitors to identify and learn more about them.

This book is available from the centre

Among the Pigeons, why our cats belong indoors. John L Read, 2019. Wakefield Press, Mile End SA

grow So, why keep cats indoors? During the last century, global domestic cat numbers rocketed past 200 million. Hundreds of thousands of diseased, injured, malnourished or simply unwanted cats are euthanised every year by despondent animal welfare workers. Misplaced sentimentality, sometimes promoted by cat food companies, has exacerbated this situation through promoting irresponsible feeding of strays.

Ecologist and author John Read has travelled the world consulting cat experts and collating the most recent science. In Among the Pigeons he balances the allure of indoor cats with the animal welfare, human health and conservation issues they create when allowed to roam. But he also presents solutions, from breeding ideal indoor pet cats to development of humane tools to control feral cats.

In striking parallel to the repercussions of human-induced climate change, warnings about the damage wrought by free-ranging cats have been largely denied or overlooked. But we ignore these issues at our peril. For our own mental health and the endangered wildlife worldwide, time is running out.

This book is available from the centre

Spirals in Time, The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells. Helen Scales, 2015. Bloomsbury Publishing

grow Seashells are the sculpted homes of a remarkable Group of animals: the molluscs. These Are some of the most ancient and successful animals on the planet, and they have fascinating tales to tell. Spirals in Time charts the course of shells through history, from the first jewellery and the oldest currencies through to their use as potent symbols of sex and death, prestige and war, not to mention a nutritious (and tasty) source of food.

In this book, Helen Scales leads us on a journey into the realm of these undersea marvels. She goes in search of everything from snails that 'fly' underwater to octopuses accused of stealing shells and giant mussels with golden beards.

Shells are also bellwethers of our impact on the natural world. The effects of overfishing and pollution are, of course, serious concerns, but perhaps more worrying is the ocean acidification, which causes shells to simply melt away. Spirals in Time urges you to ponder how seashells can reconnect us with nature, and heal the rift between ourselves and the living world.

This book is available from the centre

Fight for Planet A. Craig Reucassel. 2020, ABC Books.

grow Most Australians know that climate change is real, but many don't know what to do about it and feel powerless. In Fight for Planet A, Craig Reucassel shows it isn't as scary as we think, and we can make a difference to help protect the world for future generations.

Craig sets out solutions and practical day-to-day changes we can make to reduce our carbon footprint, as well changes governments need to make without further delay.

Find out:
- Why 'avoid, renew, reduce and offset' should be the new Insta mantra
- Why solar and Green Power can cut your carbon footprint, even if underfloor heating and hydroponics are your thing
- How the government's investment in discussion papers means we lag behind most of the world when it comes to low-emission cars
- Why electric cars have more grunt than your average muscle car
- How long we could power our homes on the emissions generated by our favourite cuts of beef
- And much more

Featuring a few shocking statistics to make you sit up and take notice, plus many more pro-active tips and strategies for everyday Australians who want to make a difference, Fight for Planet A is for anyone who has no Planet B - which is most of us.

This book is available from the centre

Australian Native Food Harvest, a guide for the passionate cook and gardener. Julie Weatherhead, 2016. Peppermint Ridge Farm, Victoria.

grow Australian Native Food Harvest is designed for gardeners, cooks and students. It provides an easy to use guide to our Australian native food plants with their amazing health benefits and ecosystem services. It contains many ideas on how to create an attractive, sustainable native food garden featuring plants that are good for you, provide garden habitat and taste great.

Australian Native Food Harvest includes comprehensive and detailed information on 31 native food plants selected for sub-tropical, temperate and cool climate areas and over 60 recipes featuring native Australian flavours for use at home.

The author: Julie Weatherhead is a native food plant specialist. She has over 20 years experience in growing and cooking with Australia's unique edible plants. Her research has focused particularly on the nutritional, environmental and culinary properties of these foods. Julie is an ecologist and environmental scientist and also a keen gardener and cook who enjoys incorporating the delicious flavours of Australia's native foods into culinary delights for the table.

Find inspiration to create your own native food kitchen garden and experience the unique culinary flavours of Australia's native food plants.

This book is available from the centre

The Biggest Estate on Earth, how Aborigines made Australia. Bill Gammage. 2012, Allan & Unwin.

grow Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we ever realised.

For over a decade, Gammage has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire and life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. We know Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and now we know how they did it.

With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, The Biggest Estate on Earth rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires we now experience. And what we think of as virgin bush in a national park is nothing of the kind.

This book is available from the centre

The Complete Encyclopedia of Herbs, Nico Vermeulen. 3rd edition reprint 2006. REBO Publishers

grow The Complete Encyclopedia of Herbs contains hundreds of different types of herbs all of which are illustrated with beautiful photographs. Each type of herb is thoroughly described, with special details about what each one was used for in the past and how they are used today. The term "herb" is constructed very broadly in this encyclopedia but, of course, all the main culinary herbs and medicinal plants have been included. In addition, The Complete Encyclopedia of Herbs gives an overview of the main spices, poisonous and narcotic herbs, plants used for cosmetic purposes. The encyclopedia also contains tropical and subtropical plants and takes you on a journey to very diverse cultures in different parts of the world. The main emphasis is, however, on herbs that we can grow ourselves. Most of these are hardy and survive the winter, the rest are annuals or have to be grown as potted plants or house plants.

The Complete Encyclopedia of Herbs is one of the most comprehensive reference books on herbs. Hundreds of herbs are presented with the aid of magnificent photographs and extensive descriptions. You can read how the herbs are used as a flavouring in cooking, as an aromatic plant or as a dye, for cosmetic or medicinal use. Instructions are also given to enable you to grow the plants yourself.
- More than 600 species and varieties
- Hundreds of beautiful photographs
- Tips on cultivation and propagation
- Extensive indexes of Latin names and common names
This book is available from the centre

A Family Guide to Waste-Free Living. Lauren & Oberon Carter, 2019. Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney

grow This handbook is a yarn. A really honest and transparent yarn for that matter. It is the story of a family and their choice to make some changes to their habits and lifestyle. It was a conscious choice. It was open-ended from the beginning and remains open at the conclusion. Hang on - doesn't a book start with an introduction and finish with a conclusion? Herein lies the beauty of this book: there is no set destination and outcome! We, the readers, get to follow the authors' footsteps all the way to a point which feels just right for us. There is nothing contained within or proposed by this book that any one of us can't have a go at. If the most difficult aspect of any change is the getting started, then all you need is the starter and the starter's pistol to be fired. Lauren and Oberon Carter have mounted the stand and fired the pistol, so dive in!

Never before in history have we had access to so much information on a daily basis. The incessant current is coming at us from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. Who do we turn to and work with when it comes to the challenges that we face? The tone and quality of our incoming information needs to be digestible and, happily, A Family Guide to Waste-Free Living is beautifully pitched and delivered. This is a family leading us on their intrepid attempt to navigate the world without the waste from the day-to-day convenience and consumption paradigm that most of us have been sold into. Costa Georgiadis.

A Family Guide to Waste-Free Living gives you all the information, advice, budget-friendly recipes and projects you'll need to start reducing waste in your life.

This book is available from the centre

Back from the Brink, How Australia's landscape can be saved. Peter Andrews, 2006. ABC Books, Harper Collins Publishers Australia. Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney

grow Like so many prophets, Peter Andrews was not initially welcomed in his own land - but it seems that many people are now asking why we didn't listen to him earlier. John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

Australia faces a catastrophe. For 200 years, our farmers have been using methods developed in European climates and landforms which, in Australia, have wreaked havoc. On the driest inhabited continent on earth, the delicate balance between the land, its climate and inhabitants has been disrupted. Where once our country was able to survive long droughts and to prevent salinity, it is now on the brink or irreparable damage. And it's not just a problem for farmers - it's starting to affect our cities.

Can we pull ourselves back from the brink?

With a lifetime's experience of working the land, Peter Andrews has seen the landscape change. He has watched and experimented with the movement of water. He has observed the importance of biodiversity - weeds included. And he's concluded that to save Australia we need to return the landscape to its original systems.

From his observations, a radical new approach has developed. Long rejected by farmers, scientists and politicians, Peter's theories and being taken more and more seriously - because his theories work.

Back from the Brink tells Peter Andrew's story and explains how we can, if we choose, save Australia from the mistakes of the past.

This book is available from the centre

Your Wild Imagination, Nature Play Activities For Kids. Brooke Davis. 2019, Your Wild Books, Hutt Street SA.

grow This book is for people of all ages; from three to one hundred and three. The beauty of nature play is that it meets you exactly where you are at that point in time. The endless variety of materials found outside can be transformed by your unique creativity, no matter how young or young at heart you are.

The images are there to inspire you; to ignite your imagination. You can apply the instructions to suit your local environment. If you don’t have a pinecone – no problem – just use what you can find. Most importantly, you must use what is within you; your wild imagination! The result doesn’t have to be perfect or elaborate; in fact, the best things usually aren’t.

The benefits of nature play and child-like learning are well documented. When you provide children with open-ended problems, they need to find unique solutions. This improves problem solving, creativity and persistence. When materials are not uniform and present elements of risk, this allows for calculated risk-taking and builds resilience. Spending time in nature of simply just looking at nature improves wellbeing and reduces anxiety. Mastering new skills improves confidence and develops a growth mindset which we need at every stage of life.

This book is available from the centre

The Hungry Honeyeater. Written and illustrated by Shane Meyer 2018.

grow ‘Harry is hungry! He’s been on a search for food from native flowers for days and has travelled far. Suddenly, there is a glimmer of hope as he spots a house with some flowers all around. Desperate, and faced with rivals, will Harry overcome adversity before it’s too late?’

This book aims to educate on the importance of providing suitable local native plants in the garden for food and shelter for some of the smaller birds that have been aggressively outcompeted, attacked and/or killed by more aggressive birds, not to mention cats and foxes.

This book is available from the centre

Milkwood, real skills for down-to-earth living. Kirsten Bradley & Nick Ritar. 2018, Murdoch Books

grow Tomatoes – Mushrooms – Beekeeping – Seaweed – Wild Food

The skills that we learn bind our lives together. Do you want to know how to grow your own food? Or how to keep bees? How to forage for edible seaweed along the shoreline, or wild greens down by the stream? Maybe you’re curious about cultivating mushrooms or how to grow the perfect tomato.

You’re invited to make these skills your own. Designed to be read with a pot of tea by your elbow and a notebook beside you, Milkwood is all you need to start living a more home-grown life. From DIY projects to wild fermented recipes, the in-depth knowledge and hands-on instruction contained in these pages will fascinate your whole family and inspire them to get growing, keeping, cooking and making.

Milkwood is the name of Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar’s first farm as well as their school, where anyone can learn skills for down-to-earth living. Kirsten, Nick and a team of educators offer courses on topics contained in this book as well as permaculture design, natural building and much more. Kirsten and Nick live on a small regenerative farm near Daylesford, where most things – from the honey on their family’s breakfast to the potato pie for dinner – are home-grown.

This book is available from the centre

RetroSuburbia, The Downshifter’s Guide To A Resilient Future. David Holmgren. 2018, Melliodora Publishing, Victoria.

grow RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future is part manual and part manifesto. It promotes the idea that Australian suburbs can be transformed to become productive and resilient into uncertain futures. It focuses on what can be done by individuals at the household level (rather than community of government levels).

Finding a source of information that can equip an individual to go out into the world and deal with the ever-changing realities around them is difficult. RetroSuburbia focuses on how we can do the day-to-day better, in our kitchens, our bathrooms, our bedrooms, our garages, our backyards, our rooftops, our gardens, our pantries, our cupboards. If keeping up with the Jones’ created decades of consumption-based culture, then RetroSuburbia is a chance to change, with proven patterns illustrating how individuals, and communities, can reinvent a way of living. Current case studies make it real, showing how people in everyday houses like yours are retrofitting their homes and redesigning their gardens in inspiring and easily achievable ways. As you recognise the glue that holds these interconnected methods of living together, your lens on the world will never be the same again.

Don’t be afraid to throw open RetroSuburbia on any page at any time and dive into the possible by recalibrating your thoughts on a particular topic and see how your gut processes it for a week or two. This book is a dance, a tango between our habits and our actions, our visions and our intentions. RetroSuburbia boldly renovates what we know for the best. The answers are in the everyday. Home is where the heart is. Let the transformation begin. Costa Georgiadis.

This book is available from the centre

Dark Emu. Bruce Pascoe 2018. Magabala Books, Broome

grow The following information is taking from Booktopia Comments

About the Author

Bruce Pascoe is a Bunurong man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria and has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. Bruce has had a varied career as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor.

‘Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent ... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.’ Judges for 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing — behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.

Bruce’s comments on his book compared to Gammage’s: “ My book is about food production, housing construction and clothing, whereas Gammage was interested in the appearance of the country at contact. [Gammage] doesn’t contest hunter gatherer labels either, whereas that is at the centre of my argument.”

Winner – Book of the Year in the 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Winner – Indigenous Writer's Prize in the 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Shortlisted – History Book Award in the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards Shortlisted – 2014 Victorian Premier's Award for Indigenous

This book is available from the centre

The Australian Beekeeping Manual. Robert Owen 2015. Exisle Publishing Pty Ltd

grow The majority of beekeeping books currently for sale are either published in the United States or in the United Kingdom where beekeeping conditions are very different to those experienced in Australia. “While there have been some excellent books previously published in Australia, I felt that the time was right for an alternative set of insights and experiences which I hoped would be of both interest and assistance to the beginner and the more experienced beekeeper…It is my hope that it will address and answer many of the questions being asked by other hobby beekeepers, particularly those who do not have access to either the combined experience of a club or an experienced mentor.” Bob Owens.

The Australian Beekeeping Manual is the most comprehensive reference for both novice and experienced beekeepers in Australia. The result is an invaluable beekeeping resource that will be referred to time and again, and which can be taken out to the hive for use as an immediate step-by-step guide or read at leisure.

Robert Owen’s passion for bees and beekeeping has, over the years, seen his hobby become his profession, with the development of his own business providing education and supplies to Australian beekeepers. Seeing a need for a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow manual for beekeepers of all levels of experience, Robert spent several years researching and preparing this unique manual that clearly explains everything the Australian beekeeper needs to know in a practical, highly illustrated format.

This book is available from the centre

The Secret Network of Nature, The Delicate Balance of All Living Things. Peter Wohlleben 2017. Penguin Random House, UK.

grow Did you know that trees can influence the rotation of the earth? Or that wolves can alter the course of a river? Or that earthworms control wild boar populations? The natural world is a web of intricate connections, many of which go unnoticed by humans. But it is these connections that maintain nature’s finely balanced equilibrium.

Drawing on the latest scientific discoveries and decades of experience as a forester and bestselling author, Peter Wohlleben shows us how different animals, plants, rivers, rocks and weather systems cooperate, and what’s at stake when these delicate systems are unbalanced.

The earth’s ecosystems are too complex for us to compartmentalise and draw up simple rules of cause and effect; but The Secret Network of Nature gives us a chance to marvel at the inner workings and unlikely partnerships of the natural world, where every entity has its own distinct purpose. And the more light that is shed on relationships between species, the more fascinating nature’s web becomes.

This book is available from the centre

The Weather Detective, Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs. Peter Wohlleben 2012. Penguin Random House, UK.

grow The moment we step out of the door and stroll through the garden or a nearby park we are surrounded by nature. Thousands of small and large processes are taking place, details that are often fascinating and beautiful. But we’ve long forgotten how to recognise them.

In the past, it was vital that everyone could recognise and interpret these signs. People were dependent on nature and intimately familiar with it. Nowadays, fully stocked supermarket shelves, constant energy supplies and measures in place to insure us against any conceivable act of nature all trick us into thinking that we no longer rely on our ancient bond with the natural world.

Peter Wohlleben, bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees, invites us to become an expert, to take a closer look and interpret the signs that clouds, wind, plants and animals convey. Chaffinches become weather prophets, bees are live thermometers, courgettes tell us the time.

The Weather Detective combines scientific research with charming anecdotes to explain the extraordinary cycles of life, death and regeneration that are evolving on our doorstep, bringing us closer to nature than ever before. A walk in the park will never be the same again.

This book is available from the centre

Sheoaks (Casuarinas), Wind Harps From Desert To The Sea. Neville Bonney 2016. Neville Bonney

grow Casuarinaceae is one of many tree families that occur in Australia. Others may be well known and have been utilised more. So why a story about this family we affectionately call Sheoaks, Bull Oaks, River Oaks and other common names? Did you know… • That the Sheoak tree is and has been a sacred tree for its many uses and beliefs in Australian Aboriginal Mythology and Culture. •The Casuarina tree was the first tree to be botanically sketched from the Australian coast 1699. •Sheoak tree seeds collected from Australia’s East Coast by Banks and Solander were the first trees grown in England from Australia, 1772, (circa). •Casuarina timber from Australia was the first timber taken from Australia to be used to make furniture in England, 1790 (circa). •The first large ship built in Sydney Cove, Australia, was from Casuarina timber 1799 (circa). •Casuarina timber, used for firewood, was voted the best in the world, according to the Academy of Sciences 1995. •Species of some Casuarina is considered to be the hardest timber on earth of those timbers tested to date according to the Janka Scale 2015.

Casuarina has been identified through pollen samples taken and are believed to have originated 66 million years ago in the time which geologists term as the Palaecene within the tertiary period, which was part of Gondwana, the great Southern land mass. Most Casuarinas remained on that piece of earth, later to become known as Australia when it separated to become an island continent.

This book is available from the centre

The Australian Native Garden, A Practical Guide. Angus Stewart & A.B. Bishop 2015. Murdoch Books.

grow What is an Australian garden? Is it a garden with only native plants, or is it a garden with a particular design aesthetic? There are probably many answers to this question… A.B. Bishop

I have spent a lifetime working with Australian plants and helping to develop a national horticultural identity. During that time, I have seen a subtle move away from exotic plants as the pinnacle of horticultural endeavour. Native plants have come of age…Angus Stewart

This essential guide presents practical advice on all aspects of growing native plants in the home garden. With expert information about the fundamentals – soil requirements, planting, cultivation techniques, pruning, fertilising and pest control – The Australian Native Garden is the definitive reference for planning and maintaining your garden. Learn how to select the right plants for your climate, incorporate native varieties into an existing garden, grow bush foods, attract wildlife and create drought-tolerant and fire-resistant gardens. Stunning natural settings where indigenous species thrive in the wild and established gardens around Australia provide design inspiration. A comprehensive listing with more than 150 cultivars features at-a-glance symbols that show growth habits, flowering characteristics and frost and salt tolerance.

Contents: Into the Wild; Elements of Design; Making a Garden; Garden Examples; Australian Plants of the World Stage and Native Plant Cultivators.

This book is available from the centre

The Secret Network of Nature, The Delicate Balance of All Living Things. Peter Wohlleben 2017. Penguin Random House, UK.


Did you know that trees can influence the rotation of the earth? Or that wolves can alter the course of a river? Or that earthworms control wild boar populations? The natural world is a web of intricate connections, many of which go unnoticed by humans. But it is these connections that maintain nature’s finely balanced equilibrium.

The earth’s ecosystems are too complex for us to compartmentalise and draw up simple rules of cause and effect; but The Secret Network of Nature gives us a chance to marvel at the inner workings and unlikely partnerships of the natural world, where every entity has its own distinct purpose. And the more light that is shed on relationships between species, the more fascinating nature’s web becomes.
This book is available from the centre

The Weather Detective, Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs. Peter Wohlleben 2012. Penguin Random House, UK.

grow The moment we step out of the door and stroll through the garden or a nearby park we are surrounded by nature. Thousands of small and large processes are taking place, details that are often fascinating and beautiful. But we’ve long forgotten how to recognise them.

In the past, it was vital that everyone could recognise and interpret these signs. People were dependent on nature and intimately familiar with it. Nowadays, fully stocked supermarket shelves, constant energy supplies and measures in place to insure us against any conceivable act of nature all trick us into thinking that we no longer rely on our ancient bond with the natural world.

Peter Wohlleben, bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees, invites us to become an expert, to take a closer look and interpret the signs that clouds, wind, plants and animals convey. Chaffinches become weather prophets, bees are live thermometers, courgettes tell us the time.

The Weather Detective combines scientific research with charming anecdotes to explain the extraordinary cycles of life, death and regeneration that are evolving on our doorstep, bringing us closer to nature than ever before. A walk in the park will never be the same again.

This book is available from the centre

Call of the Reed Warbler, a new agriculture a new earth. Charles Massy, 2017. University of Queensland Press.

grow Call of the Reed Warbler will change the way we farm, eat and think about food. In this ground-breaking book Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health.

Using his personal farming experience as a touchstone, he tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. He shows how innovative farmers are finding a new way, regenerating their land and witnessing astounding transformations. Evocatively, he captures what it truly means to live in connection with the land.

For farmer, backyard gardener, food buyer, health worker, policy maker and public leader alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a clear vision of a sustainable future for our food supply, our landscape, our health and our Earth. It offers hope and a powerful affirmation of our potential for change. Now is the time for a grassroots revolution.

‘Call of the Reed Warbler is destined to be a classic of Australian nature writing. Both meditative and instructive, this book belongs on the shelf beside Don Watson, Eric Rolls, Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe – and in the back of the ute beside the pliers, the fencing strainers and the kelpie.’ Sam Vincent, farmer and author.

This book is available from the centre

Sturt Pea, a most splendid plant. David Symon and Manfred Jusaitis 2007. Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, North terrace, Adelaide.

grow As one of the world’s most striking and recognisable flowers, Sturt pea has captured the imagination of writers and artists for centuries. And yet it has retained an intriguing aura of mystery. Surprisingly little has been written about this fascinating plant. Until now.
Eminent botanists David Symon and Manfred Jusaitis have spent several decades studying and researching Sturt pea. In this book they reveal the secrets of this ‘iconic’ Australian flower for the instruction and delight of biologists, gardeners and art lovers alike.
They share with us the astonishment of explorers who first encountered Sturt pea in the wild and the struggles of horticulturists to grow it in Europe and in its home country. There are descriptions of the species and its many colour and growth habit variations. The recent efforts by scientists to domesticate the plant for commercial use are revealed, as are hints for home gardeners aspiring to grow Sturt pea.
The striking colour and form of Sturt’s pea flower has led to its adoption as the Floral Emblem of South Australia. Its popularity has resulted in a host of uses in logos and coats of arms, on greeting cards, postcards, in designs for teal towels, clothing, ceramics and even confectionary. Sturt pea ahs featured in many landscape and still-life works of art, possibly the best known being the paintings by Margaret Preston. Authors, song-writers and poets have used Sturt pea in a variety of ways and settings, its image provoking some to a frenzy of ecstasy. The full cultural and social significance of this striking flower is revealed in this richly illustrated book.

This book is available from the centre

Growing Australian Native Plants from Seed, second edition. Murray Ralph, 2009. Murray Ralph/ Bushland Horticulture.

grow The second edition has been up-dated to incorporate recent research and other developments in seed propagation. This is a comprehensive guide on all aspects of growing native plants from seed for small and large-scale revegetation, tree planting or direct seedling projects.

Information is provided on seed germination, growing seedlings in containers and species suitable for direct seeding. Specific details are provided on propagating over one thousand native plant genera and thousands of individual species.

With increasing recognition of the consequences of widespread clearing of native vegetation, interest in growing indigenous plants has dramatically increased over the last few years. This has resulted in a much greater diversity of Australian native plants being grown, including grasses, aquatics, lilies and herbaceous species.

Murray Ralph has been collecting seed and propagating Australian native plants for over twenty years and has worked for organisations such as CSIRO, Greening Australia and The National Trust.

“The specific information provided in this book is unique and not found in other Australian gardening books” Margaret Robinson, Botanical Bookshop, Aust National Botanic Gardens, Canberra
This book is available from the centre

Quitting Plastic, easy and practical ways to cut down the plastic in your life. Clara Williams Roldan with Louise Williams. 2019. Allen & Unwin

grow Where do you start if you want to reduce the plastic in your life? Especially when most of us are wearing it, eating and drinking from it, sitting on it, walking on it, and probably even ingesting it. Anywhere you go, plastic is within easy reach-even in Antarctica and the North Pole.

We didn’t quit plastic overnight. In fact, it’s still a work in progress. But along the way, we have learnt a lot by researching the issue from the grass roots up, speaking to people, and finding out what works and what doesn’t. We answer the tricky questions, like ‘How will I wash my hair?’ ‘Do I have to give up crackers?’, ‘What about my bin liner?’, and ‘Is this going to be expensive?’.

As we continue to remove throw-away plastics from our daily lives, we’ve discovered we’re friendlier with our local communities, we’re eating healthier food, and de-cluttering happens by itself. It feels great!

Contents include: Breaking Up With Plastic; Good Plastic, Bad Plastic; Getting Started; Plastic-free Kids; The End of Single-use Plastic; What more Can I Do and more. ‘A great guide to the many things you can do to reduce your plastic footprint.’ Craig Reucassel, ABC TV’s War on Waste ‘The simple, practical tips in this inspiring guide will help you reduce plastic in your daily life and help the planet too-every little bit counts!’ Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, Plastic Free July Foundation.

This book is available from the centre

Sunlight and Seaweed, An Argument for How to Feed, Power and Clean Up the World 2017. Tim Flannery. Text Publishing Melbourne.

grow Old ways of doing things, from growing food to providing energy and manufacturing the countless things we feel we need, have proved to be so damaging to human health and the environment that within a few decades they must be no more. Entirely new methods of providing life’s essentials must be devised to take their place. And, indeed, those alternatives are beginning to take shape. But will they arrive in time? In a nutshell, that-along with the pressing need to revitalise our democracies-is our challenge.

Acclaimed scientist Tim Flannery presents a range of compelling new technologies and approaches that have the potential to address some of the biggest environmental challenges we face. • Drawing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through large-scale kelp farming. • Producing high-quality protein sustainability. • Removing toxins from soil to enable increased agricultural yields. • Concentrating sunlight for round-the-clock solar-powered electricity generation and revolutionised industry. With details from specific operations and straightforward explanations of the processes involved, Flannery walks us into a future where climate change is contained, food is sustainably produced in quantities that can feed an increasing population and where some of the worst examples of pollution are cleaned up.

This book is available from the centre

Merchants of Doubt, how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming. Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway, 2012. Bloomsbury.

grow Merchants of Doubt tells the controversial story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. The same individuals who claim the science of global warming is ‘not settled’ have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. ‘Doubt is our product’, wrote one tobacco executive. These ‘experts’ supplied it.

Over the course of more than twenty years, these men did almost no original scientific research on any of the issues on which they weighed in. Once they had been prominent researchers, but by the time they turned to and indirectly. the topics of our story, they were mostly attacking the work and the reputations of others. In fact, on every issue, they were on the wrong side of the scientific consensus. Smoking does kill-both directly and indirectly. Pollution does cause acid rain. Volcanoes are not the cause of the ozone hole. Our seas are rising and our glaciers are melting because of the mounting effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, produced by burning fossil fuels.

Why would scientists dedicated to uncovering the truth about the natural world deliberately misrepresent the work of their own colleagues? Why would they spread accusations with no basis? Why would they refuse to correct their arguments once they had been shown to be incorrect? And why did the press continue to quote them, year after year, even as their claims were shown, one after another, to be false? This is a story about a group of scientists who fought the scientific evidence and spread confusion on many of the most important issues of out time. It is a story about a pattern that continues today. A story about fighting facts, and merchandising doubt.
This book is available from the centre

Grafting and Budding for Australian Gardeners. Allen Gilbert, 2016. Hyland House Publishing Pty Ltd.

grow New, extended-season techniques. Multi-grafted varieties on a single rootstock. Reliable, true-to-type propagation. Quick growth, quicker harvests.

Contrary to people’s experience in the Northern Hemisphere and consequent ‘generally accepted’ lore and dogma, grafting in Australia is relatively easy, even for beginners – provided a few basic principles are well understood and some simple rules followed.

Traditionally grafting is done in spring, late summer and autumn, but my experiments have shown that, except in the coldest areas, in Australia most types of grafting…can be done at any time of the year.

Grafting and budding are important methods for plant reproduction because of problems with seed collection and the time it takes before seedlings flower and fruit. Though seed is viable, it does not reproduce true to type, whilst grafting and budding produces plants which are exactly the same as the plant the scion or bud was taken. Certain characteristics of the rootstock can influence the behaviour of the new plant (for example, hardiness, high yields, drought tolerance, fast growth, disease and insect resistance).

‘Any gardener can graft’, says Allen Gilbert, and in this book he shows that the air of mystery and difficulty surrounding this age-old craft is a myth…at least in Australia, where the warm weather means that, with the right techniques, you can be successful at grafting and budding nearly anywhere, anytime. Known to many as ‘Gilby the grafter’, Allen’s many years of testing different techniques and possibilities underpin this guide to successful grafting.
This book is available from the centre

Serious Straw Bale, A Home Construction Guide for All Climates, 2000. Paul Lacinski and Michel Bergeron.

grow Straw bale houses are beautiful to look at, comfortable to live in, and fun to build. Straw, a remarkable agricultural by-product, can be used in a surprising variety of climates, from the wet rainforests of the Pacific Northwest to the frigid hardscrabble of Northern New England, if you know how to handle the “serious” issues of moisture, humidity, and temperature. In Serious Straw Bale Paul Lacinski and Michel Bergeron have created a comprehensive guide to help designers, contractors, and owner/builders everywhere decide if straw bale is a viable building option for their situation. Also included is hard-to-find information on plaster materials and techniques used to finish straw bale homes.

This book is for sceptics and true believers, emphasizing careful planning and design work. The authors explain in compelling detail how moisture and temperature affect straw and other natural building materials. The versatility, flexibility, and affordability of straw bale (once thought suitable only for arid desert climates) have captured the imaginations of builders everywhere.

Although the use of straw as a building material dates back thousands of years, until recently its use was restricted to ecological building pioneers. Increasingly, building-code officials, banks, and insurance companies accept straw bale. Lacinski and Bergeron have consolidated, updated, and broadened the body of available information to show how straw bale houses can be enjoyed from coast to coast and border to border.

This book is available from the centre

Wildlife of Australia, 2009. Louise Egerton and Jiri Lochman


There is nothing to beat the extraordinary wildlife of Australia. Its colourful parrots, its venomous snakes, its abundance of hopping marsupials and the strange, egg-laying Platypus – these are just some of the players in a story that began hundreds of millions of years ago.

Many members of Australia’s wildlife live nowhere else on earth. They are unique, the result of evolution on a continent that has been geographically isolated from the rest of the world for 38 million years. Wildlife of Australia is an account of how these animals have developed in response to changing climates and habitats. It describes their day-to-day habits, where they live, how they find partners and care for their young, and how they protect themselves and seek out food and shelters.

Superbly illustrated with over 550 colour photographs by renowned wildlife photographer Jiri Lochman, the book also contains a list of scientific names, good zoos and wildlife parks, useful websites and books, and a comprehensive glossary.

Wildlife of Australia reveals the fascinating worlds of the animals that live all around us on this ancient land but remains largely unnoticed. Wildlife of Australia is a magnificent compendium of the animals that live on the Australian continent today. It includes mammals, birds, frogs, reptiles, freshwater fishes and those spineless little animals like spiders and insects.
This book is available from the centre

Stop Bushland Weeds (2nd Edition), 2005. Meg Robertson

grow In bushland we now find many plants that are not native to the area. Those that threaten native plant communities are bushland weeds or “environmental weeds”.

This book is a guide to keeping bushland free from these “weeds”, in order to conserve the diversity of native plants and animals. The problem is not that there are weeds in the bush, but that the bush is threatened by weeds. Weeding bushland with minimal disturbance can encourage natural regeneration of native plants and helps remove this threat.

To undertake effective bushland weeding you need some skills in identifying weeds, in getting rid of them without disturbing the native vegetation and in working to a plan. Use this book as a starting point to learn bush conservation through practical experience.

Weeds in this book This book covers a representative selection of bushland weeds, ranging from small, soft plants to large trees. You may find that some of your “weeds of greatest concern” Are not included in this book. Some weeds invade many different types of bushland, while others mainly threaten certain habitats. Many wees are still increasing their distribution. Scientific research aims to predict which weeds will pose the greatest threat in the future, but such predictions can never be infallible. The best approach is still to deprive plants that are new to an area of opportunities to go wild.

Weed or native plant? There are no rules that enable you to recognise weeds as a group. A weed and a native may appear similar, they may even be related. Get to know the weeds growing among the native plants in the bush. Never destroy a plant in the bush until you are sure that it is a weed.

Is this plant a bushland weed? To answer this question, you need to look at its special features. The Bushland Weed Descriptions in this book show you some major weeds of bushland in South Australia and how they differ from native plants that do belong in the bush.

This book is available for loan from the centre.

Low Carbon and Loving It. Adventures in sustainable living from the streets of India to middle class Australia 2018. Mark & Tom Delaney

grow Our world is in trouble. If our atmosphere warms more than 2 degrees C above preindustrial levels, we will face more frequent natural disasters, the extinction of thousands of species, sea level rise measured in metres, food shortages and possible climate-related wars. These changes will happen within this century unless we, as a global community, limit our carbon dioxide emissions to around 800 gigatonnes for the remainder of the century. That might sound a lot, but it averages about two tonnes per head per year for everyone on the planet. At the moment, Australians emit 23 tonnes per year. As a global community, we’ll blow our budget by 2040 if we continue at the current rate. The awful consequences of climate change will increase in intensity within our own, and even more so, within our children’s lifetimes.

This book is for those of us who are sick of passively watching this crisis unfold and are ready to do something about it. Tom and I believe that it is ordinary people like you and me who must take the initiative in the fight against climate change by leading low-carbon lives. Only then will politicians and business leaders follow by creating the solar, farms, high-speed rail networks and international agreements necessary to usher in a sustainable world.

The good news is that leading a low-carbon life is not only doable, but can be a fulfilling and fun way to live.

From living with the poor in India to life in middle class Australia, Mark and his 21-year-old son Tom weave their extraordinary journey through this climate change book-with-a-difference. They show us that living sustainable lives in the West is absolutely necessary and that it’s doable, fulfilling and even fun.

This book is available for loan from the centre.

Ecology of Plant-Derived Smoke: its use in seed germination, 2014. V Jefferson, Marcello Pennacchio, Kayri Havens. Oxford University Press

grow Ever since our early ancestors learned how to make fire, the smoke it produces has also found a number of uses. Plants that release chemical substances when burned have served as medicines, incense for magico-religious ceremonies, recreational drugs, perfumes, and for flavouring food and beverages. These and other uses have, in the past and in the present, spawned large organizations that have earned billions of dollars from the sale of smoke products. One needs look only at tobacco or the Arabian incense trade that existed at the time of Christ to realize the enormous socioeconomic importance of smoke. The earnings from these two industries alone have rivalled those of the contemporary oil industry.

Our ancestors may have used smoke as a tool for promoting seed germination and growth for centuries. Only recently has the scientific community delved into understanding the ecology of smoke as a seed dormancy-breaking mechanism in fire-prone environments. Most research to date has focused on the fire-prone Mediterranean environments of the western U.S. A., Western Australia and South Africa. These environments are among the richest floristic regions in the world, and require ecological understanding in order to be managed properly. This includes knowledge of that role that smoke plays in these ecosystems.

Ecology of Plant-Derived Smoke presents accounts of 1355 species of plants, from 120 families, whose seed have been tested for their response to aerosol smoke, smoke-water, and plant-derived smoke. Each account includes a short summary of research findings, along with any other relevant information. Ecology of Plant-Derived Smoke is a comprehensive resource for ecologists seeking to understand the properties of smoke as they relate to ecosystems.

This book is available from the centre

Fencing, A Practical Handbook, 2009. NSW Department of Primary Industries

grow Why build a fence?
Well-constructed, well positioned fencing is one of the most effective management tools you can have. But you need to identify your reason for building a fence. The first questions to consider are: Why are you building it? Where are you building it?
There are many reasons for building a fence.
Stock management, land and pasture management, crop and stock protection, human safety, legal requirements etc.
Why reasons matter.
It is important to identify the reason. The type of stock and the intensity of land use both influence the pressure on a fence. Behaviours of the animals you want to keep in, or out, determines the type of fence that suits you best. A fence is really just a bluff for animals and they need to be educated to it when they are young.
If you know how your animals, think, react and behave you can build a good fence to control them. Some livestock need stronger fences than others. Fences for cattle need higher fences than sheep; deer require expensive fencing; wool growing sheep are timid in their approach to a fence whereas cross-bred ewes are frequently aggressive in attempting to crawl through or under a fence. Cattle are more inclined to rub on fences. Bulls and stallions put tremendous pressure on a fence.

This book is available from the centre

The Secret Life of Flies. Erica McAlister, 2017. The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London.

grow Enter a hidden world of snail killers, silly names and crazy sex lives in The Secret Life of Flies. Entomologist Erica McAlister dispels many common misconceptions as she reveals how truly amazing, exotic and important these creatures really are.

In the Secret Life of Flies Erica gets under the wings of these crucial creatures as she adventures into the land of the fly. From hungry herbivores and precocious pollinators to robber flies, dance flies and the much maligned mosquito, she describes the different types of fly, their unique and often unusual characteristics, and the unpredictable nature of their daily life.

Erica travels from the drawers of wonder at the Natural History Museum, London to the mountains of Peru, via underground caves, smelly latrines and the English country garden. She discovers flies without wings, eyes on stalks, rotating genitalia and the terrible hairy fly, while pausing along the way to consider today’s key issues of conservation, taxonomy, forensic entomology and climate change.

Combining her deep knowledge and love of flies with a wonderful knack for storytelling, Erica allows us to peer – amazed and captivated – into the secret life of flies.

This book is available from the centre

Australian Insects: A Natural History. Bert Brunet, 2010. New Holland Publishers.

grow If there’s one thing that defines insects, it’s endurance. Nowhere on earth is this endurance, this capacity to survive, better illustrated than in Australia.

Today Australia has the oldest living crickets, lacewings, beetles and ants, and the only silent cicadas in the world. While these ancestral forms have disappeared from other continents, they have hung on in Australia, maintaining their close associations with the native plants and animals, enduring and adapting through the millennia.

Insects are survivors. Since their evolution in the Devonian, some 365 million years ago, they have penetrated almost every habitat on Earth. Today in Australia there are over 100,000 species crawling, flying, hopping and hurrying across the continent. Their responses to the challenges of this vast and often inhospitable land have been an array of clever adaptations. Every major insect group has found a way to live here successfully and some of the world’s oldest lineages of insects continue to survive in Australia despite their extinction elsewhere.

Australian Insects: a Natural History records the physical attributes and lifestyle developments that have made life on this continent possible for insects. It reveals worlds that we often glimpse at but rarely stop to consider.

With an authoritative text, 300 superb full-colour photographs and many detailed illustrations, Australian Insects: a Natural History turns the spotlight on the lives of these ingenious and magnificently adaptive animals.

This book is available for loan

Dig Deeper, Seasonal, sustainable Australian gardening. Meredith Kirton, 2014. Murdoch Books.

grow Dig Deeper is the definitive gardening manual for the modern gardener. Guiding you through the seasons, each chapter is divided into four parts: annuals, perennials and bulbs; grasses, groundcovers and climbers; shrubs and trees; and herbs, fruit and vegetables. Containing step-by-step projects, feature plants, and advice and information on everything from the more unusual cultivars and creating heirloom crops to using grey water and groundcovers to beat soil erosion, Dig Deeper provides answers for all your garden and plant-related queries.

Many gardening techniques are like craft skills, passed down in person from one generation to the next; sadly, that means that some skills are lost over time. Within these pages you’ll find many of these techniques, explained and illustrated clearly step by step, or broken down into easy-to-follow points.

The gardening year naturally divides into four seasons, each characterised By certain events, cycles of life and the weather. This book is likewise divided into spring, summer, autumn and winter, following nature’s pattern. Each of the four chapters begins with an overview, a synopsis of what the season has in store.

This book is available from the centre

The Compost Book, David & Yvonne Taylor, 1993. Reed New Holland.

grow Did you know that charcoal makes a great slow-release plant food? Or that yoghurt speeds up compost activity and that chamomile keeps your heap smelling sweet? In The Compost Book the authors David & Yvonne Taylor divulge the secrets of good compost-making. They have been experimenting with compost since 1985, when they began creating a city community garden on a site of builders’ fill. You’d be surprised what you can throw into a compost heap instead of into your garbage bin. But it’s not just a haphazard affair. The best composts have a balance of nitrogen to carbon, acidity/ alkalinity and temperature, some are fast, others slow, some are tossed, others cook under cover. Compost is a natural fertilizer. It will condition your soil and give you strong soil growth, bright flowers, pungent perfumes and nutritious fruits and vegetables.

The Compost Book will show you what can and cannot be composted, whether to encourage or discourage the living things hunting your heap and all about bins, boxes, tumblers, shredders and munchers. You will learn about the varying potency of certain manures and about some useful properties of herbs in the heap. You will discover how to apply compost to flowerbeds, shrubs and fruit trees and how to use it as a potting or seedling mix.

This book is available from the centre

Poisonous Plants of Australia (Revised Edition), Selwyn L. Everist, 1974. Angus & Robertson.

grow Astronomical losses have occurred from poisonous plants since white man began opening up the country with sheep and cattle. Little of the knowledge of the Aboriginals was passed on to the early settlers but gradually information was collected by landholders, veterinarians, botanists and others. This work unites that information in a single, comprehensive reference brought completely up to date in this revision.

There is no easy way to tell whether a plant is poisonous to animals or harmless, no particular characteristic of taste, smell or appearance by which to distinguish the toxic from the non-toxic with certainty; most poisonous plants produce effects which are not specific. However, if the plants consumed by affected animals can be identified, it is very often possible to make an effective diagnosis, provided the properties of the plant are known – this book makes such diagnosis possible.

It describes Australian plants (native and introduced) that are known to be capable of poisoning livestock, summarizes their distribution and poisonous properties and indicates measures which may be taken to prevent poisoning or to treat affected animals.

This book is for loan from the centre.

Plastic Free: how I kicked the Plastic Habit and how you can too (revised & updated). Beth Terry, 2015, Skyhorse Publishing Company


Publisher’s Description: Like many people, Beth Terry didn’t think an individual could have much impact on the environment. But while laid up after surgery, she read an article about the staggering amount of plastic polluting the oceans and decided then and there to kick her plastic habit. Now she wants to teach you how you can too. In her quirky and humorous style—well known to the readers of her popular blog, My Plastic-Free Life—Terry provides personal anecdotes, stats about the environmental and health problems related to plastic, and personal solutions and tips on how to limit your plastic footprint.

Terry includes handy lists and charts for easy reference, ways to get involved in larger community actions, and profiles of individuals— Plastic-Free Heroes—who have gone beyond personal solutions to create a change on a larger scale. Plastic-Free also includes chapters on letting go of eco-guilt, strategies for coping with overwhelming problems, and ways to relate to other people who aren’t as far along on the plastic-free path. Both a practical guide and the story of a personal journey from helplessness to empowerment, Plastic-Free is a must-read for anyone concerned about the ongoing health and happiness of themselves, their children, and the planet.

People who are just waking up to the problems of plastic will find the step-by-step approach useful and non-intimidating. Those who are a lot further along the path will find plenty to further challenge themselves. Everyone will be inspired by the interviews with some amazing activists and entrepreneurs who are going beyond personal changes to have an even greater impact in the world. And look for tips from community members.

This book is available from the centre

Tracks, Scats and Other Traces, a field guide to Australian Mammals. Revised Edition. Barbara Triggs, 2004, Oxford University Press

grow The tracks, scats and other traces of animal activity are not difficult to find. Look at the ground as you walk along any dusty bush track or muddy stream bank, step off the track into the forest and study the forest floor and the trunks of trees around you, leave the road anywhere in Australia’s dry inland and be amazed at the variety of marks in the sand; pause as you ski along a cross-country trail long enough to examine those patterns in the snow – in all these and many other places you will find another dimension, a new and complex mammal world.

Mammals inhabit every corner of our vast continent, yet the great majority of species are seldom seen. The only clue to their presence might be a footprint left on a muddy track, a rocky ledge, or bones scattered on a forest floor. Barbara Triggs provides all the information needed to identify mammals anywhere in Australia, using only the tracks or other signs they leave behind.

Tracks, Scats and Other Traces is organised for easy identification of the visible traces left by Australian mammals. This guide is divided into four sections: • Tracks – line drawings are matched with photographs of the same tracks in sand or mud; • Scats – the faeces of 128 species are illustrated in colour. A selection of scats and a distribution map and habitat information are given for each species; • Shelters, feeding signs and other traces – provides detailed descriptions and more than 70 colour photographs of the distinctive traces of mammals; • Bones – forty full-page plates of sculls, lower jaws, humeri and fenurs cover 38 commonly found species, and a detailed guide covers all mammal groups.
This book is available from the centre

The Bee Friendly Garden, easy ways to help the bees and make your garden grow. 2016. Doug Purdie.

austgardens “Let’s go back to that idea from right at the beginning…when you stand outside, imagine a backyard or balcony packed with flowering plants and, in the air, the chirp of crickets, the squawk of birds, and, of course the buzz of bees, just as it’s meant to be”

Bees are our most important pollinators and they are in decline the world over. They love to live in urban environments, where it’s a short flight path from one plant to the next. But conventional gardens that favour lawns and pesticides over flowers and edible plants are scaring the good bugs away.

The Bee Friendly Garden is a guide for all gardeners great and small to encouraging bees and other good bugs to your green space. Includes:
• How bees forage and why your garden needs them • A comprehensive plant guide to bee friendly plants • Simple changes anybody can make • Ideas for gardens of all sizes • Natural pest control and companion planting advice

“Increasingly, people want to know what they can do to provide forage for bees and how they can get involved in the movement to help our bees and other beneficial bugs. Hopefully, this book answers some of those questions and will help transform your backyard or balcony from an insect desert into a bug nirvana, as we save our bees one garden at a time” Doug Purdie This book is for loan from the centre.

The case against fragrance. Kate Grenville, 2017. The Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, VIC.

grow When Kate Grenville was tiny, her mother had a tiny, precious bottle of perfume on her dressing table and on special occasions she’d put a dab behind her ears. The smell of Arpege was always linked in her mind with excitement and pleasure – her Mum with her hair done, wearing her best dress and her pearls, off for a night out.

Kate had always associated perfume with elegance and beauty. Then the headaches started. On a book tour, dogged by ill heath, she started wondering: what’s in fragrance? What does it do to people?

The more she investigated, the more she felt this was a story that should be told. Fragrance isn’t made of flowers now, but synthetic chemicals. Some of them can be linked not just to headaches, but to asthma and allergies, hormone disruption and cancer. These chemicals are released onto to the market without testing. Their use is regulated by the same people who make them. And they don’t have to be listed on labels. Our world is awash with scented products containing these potentially damaging ingredients.

Based on carful research into the science of scent, yet accessible and personal, The Case Against Fragrance will make you see – and smell – the world differently. This book is available for loan from the centre.

Wildlife of Greater Adelaide, James I.D. Smith, foreward by Chris Daniels. 2016. Axiom Publishers, Stepney SA

grow The city of Adelaide and its immediate surroundings contain some truly remarkable wildlife. The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region is recognised nationally and internationally for its faunal diversity, which is, for the most part, abundant and accessible. Wildlife communities are found here that occur nowhere else on earth.

A rich collection of animal species can be seen in the region’s conservation parks and large bush blocks in the Adelaide Hills, and along watercourses to the coastal dunes and beaches. While the greatest variety exists in the natural and bushland areas, many species inhabit urban parks, golf courses, school grounds and backyards. Small numbers are even able to exploit the inner city and occupy human dwellings.

Mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fishes, insects, spiders, crustaceans, snails and worms are amongst the diverse array of wildlife described and displayed within these pages. Emphasis has been placed on the most common, well-known or potentially dangerous species recorded across the region.

The wildlife of Greater Adelaide is the most comprehensive wildlife guide to the Greater Adelaide region and is a must-have addition for anyone interested in our local wildlife. Whether you are simply looking to identify the wild neighbours with which you share your own backyard or you are a seasoned naturalist looking to further expand your knowledge, this book is the perfect companion.

This book is available from the centre

Forces of Nature, Professor Brian Cox & Andrew Cohen. 2016. HarperCollins Publishers

grow What is motion? Why is every snowflake different? Why is life symmetrical?
To answer these any many other questions, Professor Brian Cox uncovers some of the most extraordinary natural events here on Earth and in the Universe beyond.
From the immensity of the Universe and the roundness of Earth to the form of every single snowflake, the forces of nature shape everything we see. Pushed to the extremes, the results are astonishing. In seeking to understand the everyday world, the colours, structure, behaviour and history of our home, we develop the knowledge and techniques necessary to step beyond the everyday and approach the Universe beyond.
Forces of Nature takes you to the great plains of the Serengeti, the volcanoes of Indonesia and the precipitous cliffs in Nepal, to the humpback whales of the Caribbean and the northern lights of the Arctic. Brian will answer questions on Earth that will illuminate our understanding of the Universe.
This ground breaking book is a breathtaking and beautiful exploration of our planet.
This book is for loan from the centre.

Paradise is Underwater, Memoir of a marine biologist. 2016. Dr Scoresby A Shepherd AO.

grow Paradise is Underwater presents the life of a marine biologist and fisheries worker in South Australian from his earliest days in the country to the present. After a troubled youth, trapped by strict parents within a cult, he escaped just at the time when diving gear first became available in Australia. He donned an aqualung and was at once inspired for life, enthused with a sublime sense of the mysteries underwater that only increased the deeper he went.

Lovers of the sea will be enthralled by these lyrical memoirs, full of astonishing facts about the hidden and fleeting beauties of underwater life. All is woven together into a seductive blend of underwater research, travels to many parts of the world, and diving experiences in all oceans and seas, starting in Australian waters and then in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the coasts of Mexico, the Arabian Gulf and Alaskan waters.

Mingled with these reminiscences is an account of studies of a marine shellfish – the abalone – and efforts to prevent overfishing of that valuable resource.

All is written easily, poetically, with frankness and humour in a mix with history, philosophy and literature – enchanting at every level.

This book is available for loan from the centre.

The Oldest Foods on Earth, A History of Australian Native Foods with recipes, John Newton. 2016. NewSouth Publishing, Uni of NSW Press Ltd.

grow “This is a book about Australian food, the flora and fauna that nourished Aboriginal peoples for over 50,000 years. It is because European Australians have hardly touched these foods for over 200 years that I am writing it”.

We celebrate cultural and culinary diversity, yet shun the foods that grew here before white settlers arrived. We love superfoods from remote exotic locations, yet reject those that grow here. We say we revere sustainable local produce, yet ignore Australian native plants and animals that are better for the land than European ones.

In this, the most important of his books, John Newton boils down these paradoxes by arguing that if you are what you eat, we need to eat different foods – foods that will help to reconcile us with the land and its first inhabitants.

With recipes from chefs such as Peter Gilmore, Maggie Beer and Rene Redzepi’s sous chef Beau Clugston, The Oldest Foods on Earth will convince you that this is one food revolution that really matters.
This book is available from the centre

The Fleurieu & Southern Coasts. 2014. Neville Collins.

grow The Fleurieu and Southern Coasts examines various aspects of the southernmost part of the Mount Lofty Ranges extending from McLaren Vale to Cape Jervis which has become a popular tourist destination in South Australia.

Situated in close proximity to the capital of South Australia, Adelaide, and with fertile soils and reliable rainfall, it was one of the earliest areas to be settled in the state. The Fleurieu still retains a rural aspect, and this, combined with spectacular scenery, especially along the coastline, has resulted in it becoming increasingly tourist oriented and a location where many of the South Australian populace tend to retire to or have vacation residences.

The book should act as a ready reference for those exploring, residing or intending to reside in this beautiful region. The chapters on vegetation, fauna, birds and reptiles will be of particular interest to the amateur naturalist while the maps, numerous colour and historical photographs should have general appeal.

This book is available from the centre

The Bee Book, Beekeeping Basics, Harvesting Honey, Beeswax, Candles and other Bee Business. 2010. Anne Cliff. Manna Press. Melbourne.

grow Honey has been an important food for people for thousands of years. Their desire for it led to the 'domestication' of bees, through crafting artificial beehives and manipulating the bees' food sources. But quite apart from the harvests of honey and wax, the life-giving role of bees in pollinating many plants that people rely on for food, has made them the stuff of legend, mystery, worship and, nowadays, also controversy.

Although some people believe that our reliance on bees for the cultivation of food crops is much exaggerated (as some major staples like rice, wheat and even potatoes don't need them), there is no doubt that there are many crops whose very survival depends on bees. And that is why the recent, somewhat mysterious decline in bee populations around the world is so concerning to people who worry about the future of our natural environment.

Anyone interested in growing food, who wants to find out what a beehive or two will give them, even on such a small scale as the suburban backyard or the terrace-house garden, will find this book an indispensable introduction to keeping bees.

This book is available from the centre

Miniature Lives, Identifying Insects in Your Home and Garden. Michelle Gleeson. 2016. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South VIC 3169

grow “This indispensable guide to insect-watching will fill an important role in insect conservation and as a reference work, as it introduces new generations to the diverse, secretive, often beautiful and always intriguing miniature lives of insects”. Densey Clyne.

We can’t avoid insects. They scurry past us in the kitchen, pop up in our gardens, or are presented to us in jars by inquisitive children. Despite encountering them on a daily basis, most people don’t know an aphid from an antlion, and identifying an insect using field guides or internet searches can be daunting.

Miniature Lives provides a range of simple strategies that people can use to identify and learn more about the insects in their homes and gardens. Featuring a step-by-step, illustrated identification key and detailed illustrations and colour photographs, the book guides the reader through the basics of entomology (the study of insects). Simple explanations, amusing analogies and quirky facts describe where insects live, how they grow and protect themselves, the clues they leave behind and their status as friend or foe in a way that is both interesting and easy to understand.

Gardeners, nature lovers, students, teachers, and parents and grandparents of bug-crazed kids will love this comprehensive guide to the marvellous diversity of insects that surround us and the miniature lives they lead.
This book is available from the centre

Gardening Australia FLORA, the gardener’s bible. 2003. ABC Books, Ultimo NSW

grow This comprehensive, beautifully illustrated encyclopedia of plants contains information on over 20,000 plants from all around the world. Organized in an A to Z format by botanical name, the individual entries provide a detailed description of each plant and its features, notes on origin, cultivation requirements, growth habit and propagation.

With a foreword by respected author and gardener Peter Cundall, the introductory section features many of the Gardening Australia team, who provide up-to-date discussions on a wide range of issues. There are double-page spreads on each of the country’s six main climate zones, with detailed explanations of the characteristics and gardening needs of each zone and stunning photographs of typical plants accompanying each of the zones. As well, the introduction features articles relevant to today’s gardener, from topics such as landscape design basics to gardening with natives and organic gardening.

This book covers all the plant groups: trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials, bulbs, corms and tubers, cacti and succulents, lawns, ground covers, ornamental grasses, herbs, vegetables, fruit trees, other fruits, nut trees, palms and cycads, ferns, climbers and creepers, bromeliads, carnivorous plants and orchids.

Written by a team of local and international botanical and horticultural writers, this book will allow all gardeners to choose the perfect plants for their garden and expand their knowledge of the wealth of plants available.
This book is available from the centre

Making a meal of it: smart ways to buy, store and use up food. 2011. Jane Willcox and Rosemary Cadden. Wakefield Press. Kent Town, SA.

grow "Two black bananas, one sad carrot, a bunch of slimy coriander and half a loaf of stale bread. That's how this book began; with a quick list of the food about to go to waste in our homes. Talking on the phone one day about how much perfectly good food people throw away, we headed into our respective kitchens to see which of us was the worst waster. Let's just say we called it a draw. And that's when we decided to write this book."

What to do with that one sad carrot? Making a meal of it is a guide to making the most of the food we feel guilty about throwing away.

Bursting with tips, ideas and recipes, this book tells you how to buy the best, keep it fresh, and make use of every bit – and, when you forgot, how to restore and revive. The ideas are simple and flexible, from tasty solutions for last night's leftovers to easy recipes for a bulk buy or garden harvest.

Find out: • which everyday vegetable is healthier cooked than raw • what staple causes food poisoning in the home • why you shouldn't put a vase of flowers near the fruit bowl • why apes peel their bananas from the other end Tuck in and make a meal of it. You'll save time and money, and a bit of the planet too.
This book is available from the centre

The Coral Battleground. Judith Wright 1996. Angus & Robertson.

grow The story of the groundbreaking campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef, by Australia's foremost poet – Judith Wright.

Teeming with life, Australia's Great Barrier Reef region covers 350,000 square kilometres. That it still survives is a legacy of activists, such as poet Judith Wright, who in 1967 were branded as 'cranks' and 'anti-progressive visionaries'.

What began as a small group of dedicated conservationists in Queensland, battling to save the Ellison Reef from coral-limestone mining and the Swain Reefs from oil exploration, swelled to encompass scientists, trade unionists and politicians throughout Australia, and led in 1976 to the establishment of a guardian body: the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

'There are not many success stories in the attempts we make to save especially important elements of the natural world from our own greeds and needs. Here at the end of the twentieth century, we have lost or destroyed a great deal already, and we know that much more is likely to vanish. But the story of the rescue of the Great Barrier Reef still throws a light on the present and gives hope for the future', Judith Wright.
This book is available from the centre

The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food. Tanya L.K. Denckla, 2003. Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA.

grow Why choose organic gardening over conventional methods when it requires greater commitment? This book will inspire you to take on the challenge, and the result will be delicious food from a garden that is healthy for the children to play in and for the gardener to tend

The Industrial revolution brought mechanization and precise replication to the world of manufacture. The "green revolution" of the mid-twentieth century brought similar change to the world of agriculture. To tackle the daunting task of feeding the world's hungry, science and agriculture joined forces to create new crop hybrids, fertilizers, and pesticides that produced, first in the United States and then elsewhere, yields that were truly miraculous.

Since the early success of the green revolution, however, the world and our understanding of it have fundamentally changed. The information age and globalization have given rise–and credibility-to the movement for sustainability, which seeks to work in ways that ensure resources are constantly replenished and renewed, not depleted and damaged. The sustainable model is all encompassing and can be applied to agriculture, business and natural and human resources.

The Gardener's A-Z Guide to growing organic food: 765 varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruits and nuts. Formulas and techniques that control 201 pests and diseases organically. This book is available for loan from the centre.

Care-free plants. 2010. Readers Digest (Australia), Surrey Hills, NSW.

grow Who doesn't yearn for a garden filled with lush and colourful plants? And who wouldn't like their home to be surrounded by a really beautiful garden? But if you're like most of us, you'll wonder whether you can find the time and make the effort needed to create your own Eden.

Care-free Plants shows you how you can have a fantastic garden and still have time to relax and enjoy it. When you match the right care-free plant to the condition of your site, then gardening becomes easy. You'll quickly discover how you can develop a wonderful garden in your spare time without getting backache and spending a fortune.

You'll find that no matter where you live, there are plenty of suggestions for plants that will thrive in your garden. Whether you are gardening in a sunny spot, by a windy beach or a busy thoroughfare, or in a shady, boggy niche, the following pages will offer you schemes that feature the easiest to grow, most rewarding, most foolproof and most problem-free plants for your site. This book is available for loan from the centre.

Planet to plate: the Earth Hour cookbook. 2015. WWF Australia, NSW.

grow Food is the fabric of our society. Planet to Plate is a fantastic opportunity for the broader community to meet some of our wonderful Australian farmers, share the stories and start thinking about food and how they value in a different way.

Climate change is one of the top pressures facing farmers. If we let it continue, people's access to a choice of food will dwindle. People's access to affordable food will decline. This is what we have to wake up to.

Planet to Plate brings together 52 delicious recipes from Australia's top chefs in the name of celebrating and protecting our fresh produce. With mouth-watering celebrity dishes, evocative photography and firsthand stories from farmers about how rising temperatures and more extreme weather is already affecting our food, Planet to Plate will inspire you to live the spirit of Earth Hour, every hour. This book is available for loan from the centre.

Living Waters: ecology of animals in swamps, rivers, lakes and dams. Nick Romanowski 2013. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood Vic.

grow Far more that a natural history, Living Waters explains the underlying forces that drive ecological change and movement in Australian wetlands.

Wetlands are often seen as the ultimate symbol of beauty and tranquillity, the clear waters sheltering mysterious animals in a world where change is gentle and slow, from dragonflies skimming above their own reflections to the fishes glimpsed briefly below. Yet Australian wetlands are among the most varied and changeable habitats found anywhere, and the many creatures that live out their lives in and around water are superbly adapted to some of the most unpredictable ecosystems in the world.

This book follows the diverse common themes and patterns that link inland waters from Tasmania to the tropics. It shows how cycles of change, the ways that different wetland animals travel through and between wetlands, and the interactions of the animals themselves create an ever-changing ecological kaleidoscope. Drawing on what is known of the biology, ecology and even genetics of many of the most abundant, widespread and successful groups of animals, the author shows similarities to wetlands in other parts of the world, as well as some of the more extreme environments and specialised animals that are unique to this continent.This book is available for loan from the centre.

Bird Minds, cognition and behaviour of Australian native birds. Gisela Kaplan 2015. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South Vic.

grow Gisela Kaplan is a Professor at the University of New England and an Honorary Professor at the Queensland Brain Institute. She is the author of over 250 research articles and 21 books and has conducted groundbreaking research into vocal learning, communication and cognition in in birds and other vertebrates.

In her comprehensive and carefully crafted book, Gisela Kaplan demonstrates how intelligent and emotional Australian birds can be. She describes complex behaviours such as grieving, deception, problem solving and the use of tools. Many Australian birds cooperate and defend each other, and exceptional ones go fishing by throwing breadcrumbs in the water, extract poisonous parts from prey and use tools to crack open eggshells and mussels. Kaplan brings together evidence of many such cognitive abilities, suggesting plausible reasons for their appearance in Australian birds.

Bird Minds is the first attempt to shine a critical and scientific light on the cognitive behaviour of Australian land birds. In this fascinating book, the author also presents recent changes in our understanding of the avian brain and links these to life histories and longevity.This book is available for loan from the centre.

Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community and the Whole Earth.
Jessie Bloom & Dave Boehnlein, 2015. Timber Press Inc.

grow The idea behind permaculture is simple: take care of the earth and the earth will take care of you. In clear, logical steps, Practical Permaculture offers the tools you need to live a life rich in healthy food, safe housing and renewable resources.

The book covers the basic principles of permaculture, showing the entire design process from land assessment to the completed master plan, with detailed information on the plants, water, waste, energy, shelter, food, animals and structures that make up the garden. Filled with real-life examples from all over the world, this invaluable resource will help you turn your property into a sustainable ecosystem.

We are at a crossroads and need to start making changes. Many of us rely on systems that are beyond our control – the industrial food system, municipal waste and water systems, the energy grid, to name a few. But we don't have to rely on those systems – we can be more self-sufficient and take back the reins. We can remember that human life has an ecological purpose and function.

Each reader may come to this book on a different path, but we all have something in common: we're human, in this together, and we belong to the intricate web of life that Chief Seattle describes. We are all born into that connection and are hardwired to feel it, but depending on our experience of life, we may be pulled away from it. Humans are inherently always looking for a better quality of life – for health, happiness, comfort and financial stability, among other things. However, it is easy to look ahead and see that many of the choices we as a species have made in that quest are not going to sustain us.This book is available for loan from the centre.

The Jetties of South Australia – past and present Revised and Expanded Edition.
Neville Collins, 2010. Hyde Park Press Pty Ltd., Richmond S.A.

grow At one time there were over one hundred jetties around the South Australian coastline. In this revised edition of The Jetties of South Australia – past and present the author examines each of them in a readily readable format complemented with numerous photographs, together with a 16 page colour centrespread.

"The term 'jetty' has been defined in many ways…a structure built out from land, made of iron, steel, cement, timber or a combination of these and used as a working platform or for recreational needs…most of the jetties in South Australia are, today, used for recreational purposes…the attraction of the jetty for most people is that it allows them to walk out onto water without getting their feet wet"

This expanded book, like the first edition, is likely to become a reference point for students and local historians when researching the state's maritime history as well as a useful addition to the bookshelves of those interested in the past.This book is for loan from the centre.

Jewel of the Australian desert: Native Peach (Quandong).
Neville Bonney 2013. Published by Neville Bonney, Tantanoola, SA.

grow It is highly unlikely that any other edible Australian Native Plant has created as much interest as Native Peach/Quandong, Santalum acuminatum. This plant is now embedded in Australian folklore and holds nostalgic memories for many people.

This book is a major step forward in our understanding of the Quangdong or Native Peach, one of Australia's iconic wild food plants. Known by so many across its range there are numerous stories about the Quangdong and it has become part of the folklore of the regions where it grows.

This fully illustrated book follows its journey through prehistoric times, ancient Aboriginal history, botany, Australian land exploration, early settlers, arts and craft through to farming the species and its use as a popular cooking ingredient in modern Australia.This book is for loan from the centre.

A Guide to the Spiders of Australia.
Volker W. Framenau, Barbara C. Baehr and Paul Zborowski 2014. New Holland Publishers Pty Ltd, London. Sydney. Auckland.

grow Few animals rival spiders in their diversity of forms and colour, ecological abundance and complexity of behaviours and importance, and complexity of behaviours. Spiders have inspired awe amongst arachnologists and naturalists and at the same time are feared by many. The Australian continent and its offshore islands and territories harbour an estimated diversity of some 8,500 species in 850 genera and 79 families; however, only about 3,500 species in about 650 genera are currently described.

A Guide to the Spiders of Australia is the first comprehensive guide to Australian spiders to cover all 79 families that occur in this country. Almost 400 colour photos of live spiders and about 50 images of their webs are complemented by 50 microscopic shots taken in the laboratory to illustrate the very smallest of spiders. A number of scientific drawings clarify particular features of spiders.
This book is for loan from the centre.

Guide to Urban Wildlife

grow A Guide to Urban Wildlife: 250 creatures you meet on your street. Professor Christopher B. Daniels 2011. Harper Collins Publishers Australia Pty Ltd, 25 Ryde Road, Pymble, Sydney, NSW.

Have you ever wondered what that peculiar insect sitting on a leaf in your backyard is called? What about the antics of those acrobatic possums that swing along the phone lines at dusk? And the beautiful lizard that lives under a stone near the compost bin?

In every Australian suburban street there is a secret universe (seen but not really understood) of animals that live alongside us. In A Guide to Urban Wildlife, Professor Christopher B. Daniels introduces you to 250 creatures that live on your street, in your backyard, in the air, at your local beach or even in your house, and takes you on a tour of their world, a world increasingly affected by its interaction with its human neighbours.

In this fascinating book, you will learn how to recognise book, you will learn how to recognise the animals you live among, and find out about their behaviours, ways of communicating, eating habits and peculiarities.

This book is the essential guide for any nature lover, or anyone who wants to know more about the surprising lives of the creatures around us.

Creating Your Eco-Friendly Garden
Mary Horsfall 2008. CSIRO Publishing, 150 Oxford Street, Collingwood, VIC.

grow You have bought a new house, or are in the process of having one built. Maybe you have bought an old house with a minimal garden, one of those all too familiar patch-of-lawn-and- tangled-shrubs-around-the-edges jobs. Having made this major commitment, it is only natural that your thoughts will turn to how you can create a new garden that will enhance your home and complement your lifestyle.

Creating Your Eco-friendly Garden shows you how to develop an environmentally friendly garden for little cost. The book offers advice on planning your garden, choosing plants, planting times, watering options and pest management following organic principles. It explains how to assess the soil and microclimatic effects of surrounding buildings and vegetation so that you can determine the style of garden that best suits your property.

Water efficiency, biodiversity, soil conservation, use of native and biodiversity-friendly plants, organic methods, use of recycled materials and avoidance of environmental weeds are themes that feature strongly throughout the book, and will appeal to gardeners with strong environmental values.
This book is for loan from the centre.

Dung Down Under: dung beetles for Australia. Bernard Doube and Tim Marshall, 2014. Dung Beetle Solutions Australia,

wattleseed "This essential reference provides a detailed insight into the world of the dung beetle", Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery.

The introduction of domestic stock to Australia created a huge dung pollution problem because native dung beetles were unable to dispose of it. Introduced dung beetles from Europe and Southern Africa have partially solved this problem but there is much more to be done. Dung Down Under: dung beetles for Australia is the first farmer-friendly book on the ecology and management of dung beetles in Australia, possibly the world. It is an essential reference for farmers, Landcare groups and environmental organisations concerned with sustainable land management. The book examines the ecological, environmental and production benefits of dung beetles, and provides a non-technical analysis of their value and potential role in increasing soil carbon storage.
This book is for loan from the centre.

The Nestbox Book: enjoy the wonder of nesting. Compiled by Gould Group, 2008. Wilkinson Publishing Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Vic.

Although nestboxes cannot replace the millions of tree hollows that have been lost, they can greatly benefit wildlife in areas of human habitation, where hollows are extremely rare.
Nestboxes can provide an opportunity for native birds and mammals to breed that they wouldn't have otherwise.

This practical and informative book guides you through the process of selecting, constructing, installing and maintaining a selection of nestboxes for a variety of native Australian birds and mammals.

This book is available for loan from the centre.

From Seeds to Leaves: a complete guide to growing Australian shrubs and trees from seed. Doug & Robin Stewart, 2008. Schwartz Publishing Pty Ltd, Melbourne.

If you have an interest in the power of seeds to transform the earth, or in planting Australian native trees and shrubs on a small scale or large, From Seeds to Leaves is the book for you. It describes how to:
  • Collect your own fruit and nuts
  • Extract, store to germinate the seeds in the right way and in the best season
  • Use smoke to germinate seed normally difficult to grow
  • Plant out, water, mulch, protect, fertilise and prune your plants for best results.

  • As well, there are sections on botanical names and identifying plants by flower and seed, and an ABC of information about Australian species. Procedures are set out in easy table form and there are lists of plants for a variety of special purposes. This book is a must-have for anyone who is keen to preserve our native environment - Jamie Durie
    This book is for loan from the centre.

    The New Organic Gardener: the essential reference for Australian gardeners, Tim Marshall, Principal photographer Dan Schultz. ABC Books

    growOrganic gardening is much more than simply throwing a bit of mulch onto your garden beds. A true organic gardener adopts a holistic approach, starting with the most precious organic element of all: the soil. Tim Marshall's passion and love of gardening is present on every page of this book. He not only guides you through the principles of organic gardening, he explains the reasons behind these principles and why they work. Successful organic gardening, Tim fervently argues, is not just a matter of blindly following a set of rules, it is about experimenting, being creative and making discoveries about how plants best thrive and flourish in your unique garden. "Without question, this is the great informative book organic gardeners everywhere have been waiting for. It contains everything anyone wishes to know about how to grow things without the use of poisons or disruptive chemical fertilisers." Peter Cundall
    This book is available for loan from the centre.

    Native Mice and Rats, Bill Breed and Fred Ford. CSIRO Publishing, 2007, Collingwood Vic. Australian Natural History Series

    Australia's native rodents are the most ecologically diverse family of Australian mammals. There are about 60 living species - all within the subfamily Murinae - representing around 25 per cent of all species of Australian mammals.

    Native Mice and Rats describes the evolution and ecology of this much-neglected group of animals. It details the diversity of their reproductive biology, their dietary adaptations and social behaviour.

    The book also includes information on rodent parasites and diseases, and concludes by outlining the changes in distribution of the various species since the arrival of Europeans as well as current conservation programs.

    This book is available for loan from the centre.

    David Attenborough's First Life: a journey back in time by Matt Kaplan with Josh Young. Introduction by David Attenborough.
    2010, Harper Collins Publishers, London.


    The history of life is the most spectacular epic tale. Its storyline spans billions of years, from the dawn of life in Earth's ancient and hostile environment to the invasion of land by the first terrestrial organisms. The journey of life is full of bizarre, primitive creatures, from giant, bracken-like fronds to five-eyed predators with corkscrew mouths. Catastrophes as well as happy accidents pepper the rich evolutionary journey of animals.

    David Attenborough's First Life takes you on a journey back in time to the key moments in the development of life on earth. With material and images from the BBC television series.

    This book is available for loan from the Centre.

    Composting: the ultimate organic guide to recycling your garden. Tim Marshall 2008. Harper Collins Publisher, Sydney.

    growComposting is easy, rewarding and profitable: your garden will benefit and so will the environment. This book tells you what you need to know about recycling in your own backyard.

    Composting: the ultimate organic guide to recycling your garden is a comprehensive, easy to use, practical guide to soil improvement. It also recognises that time spent close to the soil expands the gardener's understanding of biodiversity and the need to make room for nature's complex processes, even in our cities and backyards - an awareness we must develop to maintain our land and water resources sustainably.

    Chapters include:
    How to build a compost heapAnaerobic composting
    Compost ingredients Solving compost problems
    Tools A guide to mulching
    Composting with worms Composting for specific purposes

    This book is for loan from the centre.

    Mistletoes of Southern Australia. David M Watson, illustrations by Robyn Hulley. 2011, CSIRO Publishing.

    grow Mistletoes are a distinctive group of native plants found throughout Australia, from Wilsons Promontory to Cape York, Byron Bay to Monkey Mia and most regions in between. In addition to forest and woodland, desert and heathland, mistletoes also abound in urban and agricultural areas, making some of the most cosmopolitan plants of the continent.
    Mistletoes are an enigmatic group of plants. Lacking roots and depending on other plants for their livelihood, they have inspired a range of beliefs throughout the world. Some people regard them as mystical plants endowed with magical properties, others as destructive weeds that devalue native habitats, and still others as beautiful native plants that support wildlife.

    With 51 specially commissioned watercolours by artist Robyn Hulley and more than 130 colour photographs, Mistletoes of Southern Australia is the definitive authority on these intriguing native plants.

    The Native Plants of Adelaide: returning the vanishing natural heritage of the Adelaide Plains to your garden, Phil Bagust & Lynda Tout-Smith. 2010. Wakefield Press.

    grow Australian native plants have been a popular option for gardeners for many years, but only rarely are the words "locally indigenous" used when selecting species.
    Locally indigenous natives are the plants that evolved to grow naturally in a particular area. In the case of the Adelaide metropolitan area, these plants remain almost unknown by the general public, largely because the unique native woodlands and wetlands of the Adelaide Plains have long since succumbed to urban development.

    This pocket-sized guide aims to bring the very beautiful -but now largely forgotten- indigenous flora of Adelaide back into the spotlight for nature enthusiasts and home gardeners alike. The Native Plants of Adelaide profiles over 100 of the most important (and formerly most common) indigenous species. Each plant is depicted by at least one photograph accompanied by information about its former distribution, uses for humans, and good tips about growing it in your own garden.
    This book is available for loan from the centre.

    Grow your Own Bushfoods

    grow Grow your Own Bushfoods: a complete guide to planting, eating and harvesting. Keith and Irene Smith, 2013. New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd.

    Most people have heard of Australian bush tucker and know it is collected from trees and plants in the wild. But the idea of growing your own bushfoods, just like ordinary fruits and vegetables, is new and fairly radical. Grow Your Own Bushfoods has been created to change all that. The five major kinds of bushfoods - leaf flavours, fruits, vegetables and tubers, seeds and nuts, and nectar - are all dealt with separately in the first five chapters and chapter six guides you through growing bushfoods.

    Austral doubah, bush tomatoes, Davidson plum, geebungs, lemon myrtle, lilly pilly, midyimberry, riberry, quandong, warrigal greens and wattleseed are all indigenous food-bearing plants which grow in the bush or the outback, but imagine going into your own garden and picking them to eat! This book tells you how to grow and harvest 150 kinds of Aussie bushfoods right in your own backyard. "We have always been organic gardeners, conscious of the fragility of our environment. Growing bushfoods is a logical step in thinking globally and acting locally

    Wattle Seed: the kitchen handbook

    wattleseed by Linda Hoffmann. 2012
    Features 35 recipes using Australian native wattle seed.
    The difficult rural and financial times in the 1990s prompted the owners of Footeside Farm, Eudunda to research ways of increasing farm resources and their business. This book shares some of the knowledge gathered by growing, harvesting, processing, storing and most importantly using wattle seed in the home kitchen. Whether it's a special occasion, dinner with friends or a cosy liaison, you can impress with the unique flavours of Australia. Featuring a range of recipes including marinades, dressings, pancakes and pasta through to desserts and drinks
    Wattle seed flavour when roasted is nutty, creamy and has tones of mocha. This versatility means it can be used in either savoury or sweet dishes. The benefits of wattle seed have not been fully explored to date. Relatively high in protein and low in the glycaemic index. Dark roasted wattle seed can be used as an alternative to coffee. To date those with gluten allergies have not had reactions to wattle seed.
    For anyone interested in learning more about making use of native foods this book is an ideal guide.
    This book is for loan from the centre.

    Australian Gardens for a Changing Climate
    Jenna Reed Burns, photography by Simon Griffiths. 2008, Penguin Books

    austgardens Gardens enhance our lives, add value to our properties and provide food and habitat for native fauna. Australian Gardens for a Changing Climate guides today's gardener through the challenges of climate change and its effect on our environment. The need for water restrictions and scarcity of water doesn't mean we have to forgo gardening altogether - simply that the style of our gardens has to change. A lot has been written about how to save water in the garden, but this book goes further - featuring twenty-five inspiring examples of dry-climate gardening in various situations around the country.

    Divided into five broad categories (City, Native, Coastal, Succulent and Country) according to location or type. Includes information on water-saving techniques, soil preparation and plant selection. Beautifully photographed, this book proves that gardening with a limited amount of water is not only possible - it can produce beautiful, vibrant gardens.
    This book is for loan from the centre.

    Oceans of Life; How Our Oceans are Changing by Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation, University of York, England.

    growAlthough we think of ourselves as the inhabitants of earth, which implies solid material beneath our feet we are in fact inhabitants of the blue planet. This was dramatically brought to our attention with the first photographs of the planet from space. The oceans cover 72% of the surface of the globe. With such coverage the significance of the oceans cannot be ignored or underestimated.

    This is an easy to read book that is both informative and comprehensive if somewhat unsettling portrayal on the state of our oceans. Far from a book of doom it is rather one of hope. It commences with a brief coverage of the birth of the oceans, the rise of its inhabitants followed by an in depth coverage of the issues currently affecting our oceans; the increased pressure from fishing, climate change and pollution.

    A detailed reference section provides an abundance of source material for the avid reader to follow up on aspects of interest. Additionally there is an appendix listing the Conservation Charities (together with their web sites) working to protect ocean life.

    The book does carry a dire warning and in Callum's own words "We are on the cusp of one of the greatest re-organizations of planetary life. Five times our world has been plunged into turmoil that ended with the extinction of huge swarths of life. Extinction rates of plants and animals now run at 100 to 1000 times the background rate seen in 'calm' intervals in the geological past."

    But far from a prophet of doom Callum outlines many potential solutions to the problems and he is quick to add ..I remain an optimist. We can change. We can turn around our impacts on the biosphere. We can live alongside wild nature.Âť

    This book is for loan from the centre.
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Empower the community to enhance the environment of the Fleurieu and to live sustainably.

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