My next book ‘A Year of Practiculture’ is due for release in Australia in August, just before Spring arrives. This book contains the story of a year in my life, beginning in Spring, following the efforts to prepare for the harsh central highlands winter. It’s also full of recipes of the food I cooked, stories of factual events, excellent use of witty humour, and my food philosophy snuck in as per usual.

If you would like to directly support me, then you can pre-order the book from me and I will even scribble on it for you.;-)Pre-order here

We decided to release the book in the northern hemisphere at the end of next winter, just as we have in the southern hemisphere, so that the reader can utilise all the information from the book, to prepare for the coming seasons. But if you’re USA, Canada or UK based and keen to grab a copy asap, I’m sure  there will be some online book retailers that will post OS.

Thank you everyone for your continued support. I’ve put all of my passion and love for this lifestyle into this book in the hope that you will find some practical, spiritual or culinary use from reading it.

 

Ro

IMG_2691

 

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Pin Post|Email Post|Link Post

 

Sitting alone around a camp fire while the fella’s took off, looking for rabbit. I stayed put, really didn’t have the inclination for that kind of activity. Let’s face it, I have and endless supply of white tailed beast in my backyard. On this night, I saw no need to look for rabbit, I was on a bird hunt. In any case, I had a mug of Pinot to concentrate on, and a cracking fire to keep me company.

IMG_2619

Each autumn for the least three years, I’ve meet up with Nick at a rendezvous point out on his bird hunting turf which he’s been hunting for years. For some reason he invited me to hunt with him years ago and it’s become an annual pilgrimage ever since. Hunting quail is like hunting for morel mushrooms. It’s one of the rare activities where I’m prepared to put in more energy than what’s returned in output. I can spend a day hunting deer and fill my freezer that will feed the family for months, I can spend a day on quail and get one measly meal. It’s the same for trout fishing, it’s all relative I guess. Some tasks just pay off more than others. IMG_2643

 

In some way, this is my folly. Even though the driving purpose is food acquisition, I’ll admit that it’s a lot of effort with little return. But man cannot live on Rabbits alone, or zucchini, or jalapeño. The point is that I like variety, even if sometimes more effort is required. While the boys were out hunting the evening for rabbits, I sat close to the fire, my back cold from the wind, but my legs and hands comforted by the warmth of burning logs. When the others returned they had a hare, of which the dogs feed greedily on.

IMG_2616

Nick lives coastal, and he’s a keen fisherman so dinner consisted of two fish courses, calamari followed by whiting. To remind us what we where there for, he cooked us spatchcocked quail. Everything he cooked was done over the hot coals, and everything tasted amazing. Fresh tasty food that he’d acquired himself. He knew the origin of his food, he knew what he was eating. It’s deliberate food consuming. Nick is part of a growing number of people that’ve started asking questions about the food they’re eating, and the lives they’re been told to live, tired of the commercials suggesting what they should aspire to work hard for. I guess this why we relate. We see many holes in the system.

 

Nick, Leigh and I hunted most of the following day, in fields of soft grass, over irrigation dams and in across long straight paddocks so full of quail, even the dogs got confused. The pointers pointed, they retrieved and they rand 20kms to our 1. We got some birds, a few good meals worth, but definitely not a freezer filling day. So why do I go back year after year? Well the conversation is good, the value system make sense to me, and it’s a chance to hunt some place other than my surrounding paddocks. And at the end of the hunting day we actually had some food for our families and a new set of memories. All the lands Nick hunts on are privately owned so we don’t have the anti-duck hunting protesters there, which makes the day a lot safer. But what always has me absolutely stumped, is that no one protest us hunting native quail. I can’t grasp the logic of how people are prepared to put themselves in harms way to save a duck, but not do the same for quail, or rabbit, or trout, or yabbie, or deer all of which are sentinel beings yes? What makes one animal more valued than another? It always has me thinking about the poultry factory in South Australia that process 3 million chickens each week. No one human is standing out the front, placard in hand asking why the animals are living in horrid conditions and why so many chickens are consumed in Australia. To me it has contradiction written all over it.

IMG_2611

The fact remains that there are more human raised birds forced to live in crappy conditions and killed in their millions, than there are wild birds hunted. But the media loves to focus on the duck hunting issue, the public perception of hunters becomes skewed, subsequently laws get changed, politically motivated to win over the public. There is the law of humans, and then there is the very real law of nature. Years ago, out of complete frustration seeing the flaws in the conventional food system, I picked up a gun and decided that if I was to continue to eat meat I’d have to kill it myself. An extreme reaction, to an extreme problem. I’m not alone. There is building momentum of people taking similar action, and it’s not just hunting. Let’s take Nick for example, he grows loads of food in his backyard, can be found in forests picking mushrooms, and feeds his small family with loads of fish, of which he pulls out of the water himself. Just like me, he wants to know the origin of his food, where it’s come from, how it was produced, what’s been added to it and what impact it has on his health, and the health of the natural world. It has to start somewhere. And it has. More and more I come in contact with people asking the similar questions. For now, it’s grassroots, but it’s building momentum. One day it might even be mainstream to eat organic, maybe even less processed foods. I’m not suggesting we all pick up guns and shoot our dinner, of course that would be madness. But there is always the opportunity for us to ask our food of it’s origin. It has a lot to tell us, and the food we eat tells us a lot about ourselves, what we believe in, what we value. Tonight I’ll cook my family the quail we shot yesterday. What does that say about me? Am I a murderer? Am I ethical? or do I just choose to live closer to natures way?

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Pin Post|Email Post|Link Post

By now we all know the nutritional benefits of Choo Choo Berry products. A few years ago it’s like the product never existed, but now you see it at supermarkets, health food stores and gracing the black board menus of cool restaurants and cafes. Come on, who doesn’t love a choo choo berry smoothy! And so good for you right! It’s almost too good to be true. The Choo Choo (French Polynesian – Chaux Chaux) has been independently proven to cure many aliments from heart disease, obesity, wrinkles, athletes foot and chronic gullibility.

Years ago before the choo choo berry entered our lives as the next hot nutritional super food, we had a pretty boring life. Life without choo choo berries? I can’t even remember it. I feel great empathy for my forefathers who had a very boring existence in regards to food. Poor buggers. All they had to eat was vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat that where grown close to where they lived because let’s face it, food logistics was really in it’s infancy. (might I say archaic). Back then, because people where so uneducated in the ways (and obvious benefits) of pesticide use, most people had no choice but to eat organically. No choice! That’s just not fair. We don’t know what hardship is, but our grandparents sure did. Imagine having to go 9 months out of the year without being able to buy a tomato from the supermarket? It’s just unimaginable. They where so hardy back then.

IMG_2526

This morning when I was making breakfast I couldn’t help but be #grateful for the food I was preparing. I jotted down where the ingredients were from and how they were produced. The potato and onion bread was gifted to me yesterday from a lady I took out bush to teach her about forest mushrooms. The yellow tomatoes and rocket where grown in my garden. The eggs from my hens, and the bacon from my pig loving farmer Tammi.

Because I had an open jar of my home grown pickled jalapeño on the bench, I decided that just for today I’d not have any Choo Choo berry with breakfast. I’m making a stand, a deliberate statement! I’ve been battling internally knowing that the Choo Choo only grows in the tropical island climate on the French Polynesian Island of  Moorea, and therefore has a huge carbon cost to get to my breakfast plate. I also read somewhere that the working conditions for the labourers on the Choo Choo farms is inhumane so I’m doing it for the underpriveldged Choo Choo berry pickers of the world. I figure if I choose one day of the week to go without Choo Choo berry I can make a real difference. One day less a week has to make a difference right? Anyway, even though my breakfast is now lacking in nutritional value to maintain my perceived health I’ll chew away knowing that even just for today, I’ve made a difference.

IMG_2539

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Pin Post|Email Post|Link Post