Hunter Region Landcare

Book review: “Who’s Minding the Farm”

The Scoop

After a career in modelling, journalism and television Patrice Newell, along with partner Phillip Adams, tree changed well before it was trendy and bought the historic Elmswood homestead at Gundy. While much of the now 4,000 hectares is left for conservation it is a working farm producing biodynamic beef, honey, olives and garlic.

“Who’s Minding the Farm (In this Climate Emergency)” talks of life on the farm, of the people, the seasons and the inexorable progress of time, and, unfortunately, climate change on both. Patrice weaves a narrative of people and place, the ups and downs of rural life covering garlic growing, the casualisation, and ageing, of the workforce, feral animals, the tragedy of death by suicide, accident and misadventure and garlic growing.

Having been on Elmswood and having had a few good conversations on a few occasions much of the content is familiar and I have managed to avoid being named in the book. I don’t necessarily agree with everything but it’s a worthwhile read and doesn’t sugar coat the difficulties facing people on the land. I’ll give it a 4 thumbs up.

by Patrice Newell