It sounds a bit corny but I have been on this ‘journey’ for a number of years now. I’m not sure exactly where it started. When I look back, it seems like it was a combination of things that set me on my path. Sure I’d always grown a few vegetables in my backyard, but nothing really substantial. I think I only grew a few plants because the adult version of me was trying to hang on to nostalgic memories of the farm house vegetable garden of my childhood.

Veg and smoked bacon broth
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My lifestyle changes really stepped up a notch at a small inner city house that I renovated. It was a tiny backyard, mostly concrete. I hired a jack hammer and went mad. My flabby sick body wobbled as the hammer smashed through the thick concrete. My body was not in good shape, nether was my mind, and my ‘spirit’ or whatever you want to call that inner voice we have, he wasn’t very happy with me either.

I had a goal. For some reason I’d become fixated on converting that little backyard into an urban food bowl. I had romantic visions of walking out my back door, picking tomatoes from the vine and making a delicious breakfast. Which is a reality for me today. My dream has been achieved.

Like I mentioned, I’ve been on a journey. A corny journey. I had no idea where this little urban garden would lead to. I just knew that I wanted to do it. Like most gardens it grew, and not just in physical size. It grew so large that the boundaries of an urban fence could no longer contain it, so it moved inside of me. It’s taken over my way of thinking. It’s taken control of everything I do. It’s made me ask questions. It’s made my view of the world completely different. It’s made me reassess everything I believed in.

No one has all the answers to our world problems. I definitely don’t. I do however know that I am privileged in that I can make a choice of lifestyle that involves growing my food, hunting off the land and harvesting what nature provides. That’s definitely not the answer for everyone, especially city dwellers. What’s needed is a fundamental shift in western consumer habits and a cap on population growth. Two things I fear will never be addressed.

Today the Doomsday clock ticked over to three minutes to midnight. It won’t have any impact though. It will not change any of the decisions our leaders of government and industry will make. The machine of human progress and growth is just far too powerful. It has unstoppable momentum now. I used to think that us end consumers could make the change our world needed, but I feel more and more that the behaviorial shift for an individual is far too confronting and intimidating for many to accept, and therefore they remain intrenched in the conventional system, and the machine continues to churn. Depressing right?

But is there hope? I often speak to people that have become ‘enlightened’. People that have become aware of the impacts of western consumer culture, people that have learnt about the impacts of western food, lifestyle. People that have taken the time to become aware. When I speak to these people, when I share a meal or a conversation with them I feel some little glimmer of hope. The enthusiasm we share with each other is often a recharge we need. It’s draining to see so much around us that we know is not positive, that we know is detrimental for our health as humans and of this earth. We need to support each other, and to continue to share.

A new year has begun, new possibilities will present themselves. I want to share as many meals and conversations with people, to encourage and support, love and nurture.

Today when I sliced through sun warmed tomatoes from my garden, chopped basil and grilled jalapeño then drizzled home made red wine vinegar over it, I stood staring at that bowl of food. If only I could somehow share this with everyone. Share the experience of propagating the seed, raising the plant, watering, feeding then finally harvesting and cooking. Then enjoying all that effort, that sense of accomplishment, and the undeniable nutritional sustenance it provides. Would sharing that experience help open doors for an individual, to make the change our world needs? Is it just a matter of us sitting, eating and sharing conversation the starting point for hope?

We sure need action. We need more people to stop simply talking about it, instead we need to implement the change in our consumer habits. We need to walk the walk.

To share ideas and good conversation over some real food is definetely a good starting point.

I hope this year is a good one.

Peace.

Ro

 

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  • January 23, 2015 - 4:57 am

    Marty Jones - Amen to that Rohan! There is no option but to be ‘enlightened’, the alternatives will simply no longer exist.

    p.s.
    That Veg and smoked bacon broth looks delicious! What’s the recipe?ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2015 - 7:28 am

    Justin - I reckon you’re right, Ro, that the machine has too much momentum, and nothing we try will stop it. I’ve been thinking about the sinking of the Titanic lately, and some of the stories attached to the night it went down. There’s the shuffling of the deck chairs etc, but the one I’m drawn to is the ship’s band. It kept playing even while the boat started to sink, lifting people’s spirits and creating something beautiful in the face of chaos. I’m convinced that this is where the hope is – creating beauty while most things around us go to hell.ReplyCancel

  • January 24, 2015 - 10:22 am

    Jessie - Justin, I like your analogy. I think though that, just like the Titanic, we are clinging to the fact that just as the Titanic was “unsinkable”, so too is our economy and our environment. Until we wake up and realise that not only is it sinkable but that it is indeed sinking and past the point of no return, people won’t make a change. Still, there are those of us who can see the writing on the wall so don’t despair Rohan.ReplyCancel

Guys, if you live in Melbourne and want to get a big box of organic veg, eggs, and free range pork and lamb you can. This is our third summer season now supplying Melbourne punters with real food and we’re excited the season is back!

So what’s in the box? Well the veg box is full of about 12-15kg of fresh picked organic veg with a little bit of fruit. The types of veg differ as the growing season progress, which will give you a true indication of whats really seasonal. The type of veg does change over the season but normally you will find, zucchini, tomato, cabbage, carrot, potato, corn, kale, chard, onion, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, chilli, pumpkin, daikon, parsnip, beetroot, basil. Later in the season some apples, pears, walnuts and chestnuts may appear depending on the harvest.

It’s no bullshit, real food. It’s mostly picked the day before delivery based on your paid order.
It’s a mixed selection of whats come from Rod’s farm.

The Eggs are from Daylesford organics, which we couldn’t get last year which disappointed a lot of people because they loved them. But they’re back!

The meat is from The Farmers Larder also in Daylesford, but this year they’ve got lambs for sale, so you can order either a lamb pack, pork pack or a mixed meat pack.

The system remains the same (see here)

You order and pay by each Thursday 9am cut off. (I will be strict this year ;-)) and we deliver on the Saturday.

We deliver at the times stated on the website, and you arrive between these times, and I’ll then pass you your food.

If you’re new to the system please read over the details for delivery to avoid not arriving and then being disappointed. Remember, if you don’t arrive you loose the box, and the payment, as we pick the veg based on your order. It’s a degradable commodity. Sorry guys.

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  • January 7, 2015 - 3:06 am

    maryanne mooney - Hi

    Do you deliver to daylesford?ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2015 - 9:45 am

    Melissa - Hello! Question, what is brunswick gf ? Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • January 19, 2015 - 9:27 am

    Michelle - Such a great incentive. Wish I lived closer! Will forward on to Melbourne friends.

    You mention a 9am Thursday cutoff on this blog post, but it says 11 am on the vegie box page. Thought you should know.ReplyCancel

Technically it’s summer, but here on the hill it feels like it’s just become spring. Last night I lit the house fire again, which isn’t unusual for this time of year. It’s the place my ‘almost father in law’ once said, has the worst weather he’s ever experienced. It is pretty challenging weather here, dare I say, at times it’s rather shithouse. But with a little perseverance mixed with patience, I still manage to grow food here.

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I watch as online friends munch on early spring broccoli, proudly devour broad beans and peas while I’m still eating eggs and kale (insert teenage style moan “boring”). But I laugh in the face of adversity. Ha Ha Ha. Look, I finally ate my broccoli! Ha Ha Ha (more adversity face laughing). In fact I’ve now been eating it for a week, and it’s bloody delicious. I never used to cook or eat broccoli in my former life. But now, every year, its a late Spring treat that sets the ball rolling for a long period of dining on mostly vegetables.

I watered my garden this morning, the warmth of the sun on my back, the chirp and buzz of busy birds and panicked insects filling the air. The pleasant aroma of basil, and tomato in the humid poly-tunnel and the chooks making their pretty noises scratching for food in the chicken pen. It’s a bid rad.

When I’m watering the plants I look over them and think about which crops will replace the current, and whether I need to plant more of one plant or harvest some of another. There is so much going on in this small space. It all happens independently yet together. It’s a beautiful system. It’s really just a micro version of how nature all over the world works. Living organisms growing, surviving and dying. One of the greatest things about being a dude that grows food, is that I can see this system, thus understand the basics of ecology. The biodiversity is right there in front of you, it’s as obvious as a bee sting.

Like a well oiled machine. The plants, the animals and the innate elements of soil, water and sunlight. It’s not magic, it’s nature. And without we’re buggered. And this is why I give a shit. This is why I left my previous lifestyle. It hasn’t meant leaving society or not contributing, it’s just meant that I’ve become reacquainted with the nature stuff that ultimately keeps us kicking.  

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  • December 9, 2014 - 9:37 pm

    Alacoque - Love it. It’s more than a bit rad. It’s all kinds of awesome. I want in.ReplyCancel

  • December 14, 2014 - 5:43 pm

    lisa | renovatingitaly - This all seems like second nature to us now, we’ve been here in Italy a year and a half. The season has ended and winter is approaching, soon we’ll have snow. Like you I am planning our orto for next year, I am slowly coming to love this space, gathering our crops with our kids and now we are eating the rabbit we raised, gathering eggs from our chooks and having a simple Christmas.

    Life is good,
    Merry Christmas to you all xx
    ciao lisa and the gangReplyCancel