Book Review: “Costa’s World” by Costa Georgiadis (@CostasGarden @ABCTV @HarperCollinsAU @EasternRegional #GardeningAustralia)

Costa’s World (HarperCollins Australia, October 2021) by Costa Georgiadis

Do you know the Eastern Regional Libraries have a Seed Library available at eight of its branch libraries?

In ERL’s words, it is “a free borrowing service aiming to cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and seed savers, while building and sharing knowledge, and fostering community resilience, self-reliance, and a culture of sharing”.

As we donate, borrow, sow and grow the seeds from our local libraries – and as the prices of fresh vegetables and fruit are likely to remain high for months – now is a good time to dig into Costa’s World by Costa Georgiadis, host of ABC TV’s Gardening Australia.

Those expecting an easy-peasy read about growing flowers, herbs and vegetables will be pleasantly surprised, as the book reflects Costa’s philosophy and expertise in sustainability to such an extent that it can be seen as a great piece of popular science writing.

And it is much more than gardening. From biodiversity to biosecurity, from foraging to farmers’ markets, from kids to communities, and from beneficial insects to chickens – it is all about living sustainably, regeneratively and harmoniously, with nature and with each other.

In his writing, Costa often mentions how his grandparents as first-generation migrants fostered his early interest in gardening and sharing, and how his parents built upon that foundation to infuse community in him.

“It was expected that we would participate in conversations and learn from everyone, no matter who they were, what they did, how old they were or what culture they came from… I see community gardens and the growing and sharing of food resonate with the same notes of inclusion and communal ethic that echoed throughout my youth.”

That resonance is prominent throughout the book, as Costa takes a holistic approach to inspiring innovation, connection and collaboration, as well as mutual understanding and respect. It applies not only to our friends and neighbours, but also to our environment and natural resources.

Costa also refers to numerous community and school projects, as well as experts and industry professionals, whose visions, insights, achievements and hard-earned knowledge and skills have helped to make our world a better place. Readers are invited to “dig deeper”, learning from these role models and applying the principles to their own gardens.

The chapter on permaculture is one of the most explicit and accessible writings that anyone would ever see. Also enjoyable are the chapters on various garden friends, as Costa’s love and passion for these creatures is so contagious, it brings a smile to your face.

Most importantly, there is an everlasting “infectious enthusiasm” in Costa that makes his writing engaging, entertaining and informative. In his own words, it is a “capacity to tell a story and create a narrative that shifts perspective and opens up new ways of thinking. looking and acting in the world”. It is every storyteller’s dream – to captivate, stimulate and excite.

As the book’s subtitle suggests, Costa’s World is all about “gardening for the soil, the soul and the suburbs”. Highly recommended.

Note: This book review was originally written under the title “Engaging, entertaining and informative writing”, and published under the title “Engaging, Informative” by Ranges Trader Star Mail on April 5, 2022, P.17.

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