Jour­ney from pad­docks to the pages of books

Book se­ries gives glimpse be­hind scenes of agri­cul­ture

Warwick Daily News - - BUSH TELEGRAPH - El­yse Wurm The Grower se­ries. A fruit flower in bloom at Thulim­bah. Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son (left) and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Michael McCor­mack (right) with pho­tog­ra­pher Al­ice Mabin and the books in her The Grower se­ries.

FIRES crept fright­en­ingly close to vine­yards on the South­ern Downs just be­fore pho­tog­ra­pher Al­ice Mabin vis­ited to gather ma­te­rial for two new books.

With black­ened earth not far away, vines were still green and thriv­ing as farm­ers and fire­fight­ers had worked to pro­tect the pro­duce from the flames.

It demon­strated the harsh chal­lenges farm­ers had to over­come to put fresh food on plates around the na­tion, a point Miss Mabin was aim­ing to drive home through her The Grower se­ries.

Miss Mabin worked on the pro­ject be­tween June 2017 and June 2018, gath­er­ing stun­ning pho­to­graphs of the land and those that work it for the two-book se­ries.

The Toowoomba-based pho­tog­ra­pher said many peo­ple had been re­moved from the food pro­duc­tion process in a dig­i­tal so­ci­ety.

The books, called The Grower: The Heart­beat of Aus­tralia and The Grower: The Roots of Aus­tralia, aim to demon­strate the “hard yakka” it takes to run a farm year round.

“There are so many dif­fer­ent en­ter­prises in agri­cul­ture that we’re in­volved in a coun­try that is one of the dri­est and most un­in­hab­ited parts of the world,” Miss Mabin said.

“There were really won­der­ful sto­ries of in­ge­nu­ity and re­silience.

“Ev­ery­one has their own story and it was amaz­ing.”

Miss Mabin vis­ited lo­ca­tions on the South­ern Downs for the pro­ject, in­clud­ing Pooles Pro­duce and Sir­romet Wines Seven Scenes Vine­yard near Gir­raween Na­tional Park.

She said she was im­pressed by the winer­ies, fruit-grow­ing in­dus­try and mar­ket gar­dens when she vis­ited in Au­gust and Sep­tem­ber 2017.

“If you drive through the re­gion, you don’t ac­tu­ally think there’s a lot of those guys in there,” she said.

“In amongst those trees, there’s some amaz­ing mar­ket gar­dens hid­den.”

Miss Mabin said a few of the chal­lenges she ob­served while com­pil­ing ma­te­rial for the books around Aus­tralia was ad­verse weather and fewer younger peo­ple en­ter­ing the field.

“There were peo­ple say­ing that the young peo­ple weren’t com­ing through, chil­dren were look­ing at other things like bank­ing be­cause they don’t want that hard life,” she said.

“But that’s a com­mon thread, not just specif­i­cally in the re­gion.”

Miss Mabin pre­sented the books to Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Michael McCor­mack.

She said us­ing pho­to­graphs to tell the sto­ries al­lowed read­ers to emo­tion­ally con­nect with the re­silience, beauty and hard­ship in­volved in agri­cul­ture.

“Given all the droughts and all the fires and all the floods, they ab­so­lutely chal­lenge them but they ac­tu­ally love their jobs,” she said.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit

The books are avail­able at Hynes Newsagency,

110 Palmerin St, War­wick.


FROM LIT­TLE THINGS: Pooles Pro­duce at Ba­paume is one of the lo­ca­tions shot for Al­ice Mabin’s


GROW­ING STRONG: Pho­tog­ra­pher Al­ice Mabin took pic­tures at Sir­romet Wines Seven Scenes Vine­yard, which backs onto the Gir­raween Na­tional Park and Ac­com­mo­da­tion Creek, for The Grower se­ries.

Fire was fright­en­ingly close to Sir­romet Wines Seven Scenes Vine­yard be­fore these im­ages were taken in 2017.

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