Over the next few months we will be bringing you a series of posts on publications produced by Land & Water Australia over the last 20 years. We would really like to highlight some of the wonderful work undertaken and tell you about the publications which provide the detail of this work.
Richard Stirzaker’s Out of the Scientist’s Garden is a true classic and was funded through Land & Water Australia. A few months ago Richard opened his garden up to the public through the Australian Open Gardens scheme and I got to see his work first hand. I was in complete awe of his ability to provide a food supply for a whole family from an ordinary suburban block in Canberra. Also I managed to purchase an autographed copy of Richard’s book.
Out of the Scientist’s Garden is written for anyone who wants to understand food and water a little better – for those growing vegetables in a garden, food in a subsistence plot or crops on vast irrigated plains. It is also for anyone who has never grown anything before but has wondered how we will feed a growing population in a world of shrinking resources.
Although a practicing scientist in the field of water and agriculture, Richard has written, in story form accessible to a wide audience, about the drama of how the world feeds itself. The book starts in his own fruit and vegetable garden, exploring the ‘how and why’ questions about the way things grow, before moving on to stories about soil, rivers, aquifers and irrigation. The book closes with a brief history of agriculture, how the world feeds itself today and how to think through some of the big conundrums of modern food production.