Is it too late to regenerate the earth? Call of the Reed Warbler shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our Australian landscape and our planet.
This ground-breaking book will change the way we think of, farm and grow food. Author and radical farmer Charles Massy explores transformative and regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is a story of how a grassroots revolution – a true underground insurgency – can save the planet, help turn climate change around, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food.
Using his personal experience as a touchstone – from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health – Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. He shows – through evocative stories – how innovative farmers are finding a new way and interweaves his own local landscape, its seasons and biological richness.
At stake is not only a revolution in human health and our communities but the very survival of the planet. For farmer, backyard gardener, food buyer, health worker, policy maker and public leader alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward for the future of our food supply, our Australian landscape and our earth. It comprises a powerful and moving paean of hope.
Massy (Breaking the Sheep's Back), a veteran Australian sheep farmer, provides a thorough and illuminating exploration of the movement for sustainable and regenerative farming gaining popularity in his country. The process, he writes, eschews pesticides and other chemicals, and aims to restore carbon back to the Earth (instead of the atmosphere). Its major practices include "holistic grazing," water-cycle management to prevent erosion, and soil maintenance to enhance nutrient retention. Massy takes readers through a history of Australian agricultural developments, highlighting in particular the wisdom of Aboriginal practices and the increasingly harmful evolution of industrial farming. The regenerative system also stresses an essentially hands-off approach to wildlife and other organisms, with an overall awareness of "the complexity of interrelationships in a coevolved landscape"; it requires an overall shift in human thinking from the "Mechanical mind" (dependence on machines) to the holistic. While the subject may be relevant to everyone on Earth, Massy's account is geared to readers unintimidated by, for instance, a discussion of the microbial intricacies of soil. Massy's root message, however, that farmers should "work with, and not against, natural ecosystem function," is well articulated, and his evidence for this message is irrefutable.