1.  I am not SELF SUFFICIENT and I’ve never claimed to be. I don’t believe anyone can truly be self sufficient. My aim in life is to remove myself as much as I possibly can from the very broken conventional food system.

2. SUSTAINABILITY is a load of rubbish. It’s a term that had good intentions but has now been used and abused just like our natural resources. Beware when you see this term used.

3. There is a lot of bullshit in the food industry and in our food system. The deeper I go the more I have to wade through the rubbish. Real food starts with real ingredients. I can no longer rely on the integrity of supermarket and conventional food so where I can, I will source my own, either by growing it, hunting it or picking it out in the bush. Beware the hip element of  ’nutritionally balanced’ food.

  • Beware the take away juice bar claiming to be a healthier take away option that is using fruit and vegetables that have been treated with pesticides and herbicides.
  • Beware the hip restaurant in Melbourne that offers you wild mushrooms that have been ‘foraged’ from a NSW forest.
  • Beware the low fat sub made from intensively farmed poultry and chemical covered salad
  • Beware the use of hip retro type face on food packaging and blackboard menus. There’s a good chance the food is the same old rubbish, it’s just been rebranded.
  • Be aware that what ever the latest nutritional super food is, be it coconuts or ChooChoo Berries that it probably doesn’t grow anywhere near your house. It may have traveled a great distance. So for weigh up the supposed health benefits with your carbon road miles legacy you’re adding to your account.
  • Anything that has ‘Artisan’ labeled on it doesn’t necessarily mean its a better product. It might be, it might not be.

4. Modern food is truly having an impact on our health. Never before have we as westerners been so well off and affluent. But we’re the sickest we’ve ever been. I was caught up in this. Because of the food I ate I became sick, nothing major but enough to make me want to change my life. I often had allergic reactions to foods with the preservatives sulphites, (in the form of breathing difficulties – respiratory inflammation), I had extremely high blood pressure and suffered from debilitating anxiety and depression. I was also obese. I changed my lifestyle to eating whole foods I grew myself and my health has dramatically improved. It didn’t happen over night and it took a lot of hard work to change my habits. But it worked. I am living evidence of how broken the system is. If not just for myself.

5. The conventional food system is damaging our planet. In order to provide for an over populated planet we are relying on a system that is resource hungry. We end up producing more food than we can consume and much of it gets thrown away. The cost is high. All large scale food production relies heavily on fossil fuels. A global market means food is transported all over the world. We cannot stop this, but we can reduce it. Local and organic makes sense.

This website chronicles what I do.  Take it or leave it. It’s not right nor wrong. It’s not advice, it’s not gospel. It’s my story.

No bullshit here. Modern food is plain rubbish. Processed food, the stuff that’s easy to prepare at home that you can buy from supermarkets. It’s not good for us. The rubber burgers, subs, fried chicken and pizza from the chains, it’s all shit. This ‘food’ is a product, driven by the desire to make a great deal of money for a company and it’s shareholders. It’s designed to extract money from your pocket. It’s not designed to keep you healthy no matter what it tells you on the packet.

Humans have survived for a long time by eating real food. I’m not talking about pre-historic food, I’m talking about cooking with real vegetables, meat, cheese, diary, herbs and spices.

Some of the longest living people in the world live on a diet of pasta, rice, beans, fish and wine. Food they’ve been happily eating for centuries.

Most of what you’re told by the media is rubbish. All of us should know that by now.

You don’t need to drink ‘good bacteria’ drinks.

You don’t need multi vitamins.

You don’t need to eat food labelled, ‘low fat’ low sugar’ ‘low salt’…..instead eat food with no labels.

Humans have lived healthy lives without these modern products for centuries.

These pages are about eating real food. The stuff that I can grow in the soil. The stuff I can hunt and harvest from the fields and the bush.

This is my answer. It may not be the answer for you as I don’t have all the answers.

This is simply my answer for me and my gang.



I make no apologies for my truck, guns, nor my love of fine outlaw and country music. 

And if it makes you feel good, you can call me a hipster, hillbilly, redneck or bogan. You can call me what ever you like. 

I am also aware that I can only control the food at my home. When I am away from home I may eat a Kebab.


Image: justin bovington



  • http://mikesgonefishing.blogspot.com Mike

    Thanks for stopping by my fishing blog – not because you came to visit, but because I was able to follow you home. You’ve images are lovely, your perspective fascinating. I’m hooked.


    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Mike!

      The thing I love about blogs is being able to see what happens on the other side of the world! Thanks for sharing with us all mate!

  • http://azwanderings.wordpress.com/ bsmith835


    I can’t begin to tell you how fascinated I have been with your site. Your content is great and your photos are extraordinary. Thank you so much for having me on your blogroll and I look forward to following you in the future. Thanks again for sharing.


    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      No problems Ben! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be keeping a look out online to see whats going on in Arizona! It’s a different world from down here…..! Maybe it should be Amazing Arizona!

  • http://www.freerangefamily.org Jack Wylie

    Well done site my friend and fellow Hunter/Gatherer. Great photographs as well.

    Have you an RSS feed?

    Best to you this Holiday,

    Free Range Family

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Jack! I’ve just added a feed link…..nice blog mate!

  • http://naturalistsangle.blogspot.com/ Jay

    Just discovered your blog. Beautiful photographs and great content. Keep up the good work. I am hoping to make a trip down under and do some barramundi fly fishing before I kick the bucket. Maybe you can give me some pointers or steer me in the right direction.

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Jay!
      The best place for Barra fishing is in The Kimberly’s up north. One of the most remote and stunning places to fly fish in this country! Just watch out for the croc’s!

  • http://azwanderings.com/ AZWanderings

    I know that you just got me up on your blogroll but there have been some changes at AZWanderings. My site and url have both been updated. You can check me out at:

    Happy New Years and tight lines.


  • http://picklebugdesigns.blogspot.com/ Rach

    Hey Ro,
    Thanks for the lovely comments, they really mean a lot coming from you! Havn’t seen you for ages, will have to catch up soon & tell you all about what’s going on. Lots of changes happening at work, good changes which will help ease me out of hairdressing and back to my first love of viual arts and being crafty lady! Also, I’m going to China in 6 weeks, OMG I’m so excited I can’t even tell you how excited I am!
    See you soon hopefully!
    B.t.w, Love looking at your ace photos still, you make everything into a work of art. And your girls are gorgeous! Say hey to Kim

  • Francesca

    Thanks for stopping by MNW and for adding me to your blog roll! I’ve added yours to mine – you have an awesome blog – I’ve been enjoying your stunning photography and words muchly.
    Cheers! xo

  • http://www.phillhunt.wordpress.com Phill

    3 things:

    Really enjoy your photography

    Really enjoy your blog

    Love the fact you live in Ballarat; one of my favourite places in Australia

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Phill! Ballarat is a kinda nice place. It’s a hidden secret and definitely a blank canvas.

  • http://forestglenroad.org/ Ryan

    Very inspiring blog. Your photography is subtle and beautiful. I think I will go fishing now…

  • Ian

    Keep up the good life for us not there yet. I get out of the city to hunt and be human. If I ever make it down your way I may accost you to go rabbit hunting. If you ever make it up this way (Massachusetts, USA) you should do the same.

  • http://greenhorninthegarden.blogspot.com Turling

    Just stumbled on your blog via 10Engines. Only have time to get through page 3, but I’ll be back to travel back further. Great blog. Photography is magnificent.

  • http://inthesmalltowns.blogspot.com Rick

    Amazing blog. You’ve inspired me to pick mine back up. Last night I went through ten pages and enjoyed every post and photo.

    Best wishes.

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Rick, I’m glad you got something out of it!!!

  • http://www.freemanbrand.com/ Johnny

    Hi Rohan, just letting you know I’m a great fan of the site & have featured you on our site’s lifestyle/culture round-up ‘the Atlas Edition’ on http://www.freemanbrand.com — link here mate http://www.freemanbrand.com/2011/02/atlas-edition-017.html#more

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Johnny. Just go this message just as I’m packing up the Jeep for a quick afternoon hunt. Hoping for some game tonight for a Tandoori Rabbit recipe I’ve been wanting to try. An odd combination I’m sure but I’m willing to give it a try!

      Cheers beers!

      • http://www.freemanbrand.com/ Johnny

        I’m surrounded by damp concrete most of the year, I most certainly envy your trip mate. Hope it goes well, look forward to seeing the results.

  • alex

    wonderful blog, please do not move to a city and do not stop making photos.

  • http://sosweaty.tumblr.com Geoffrey Holstad

    We posted you up on Cold Splinters today, beautiful photos, beautiful life.


    All the best!

  • http://sugarandspice-and-allthingsnice.blogspot.com/ Shirleen

    Found your blog via Honey and Jam.

    Love your photos.
    Love your stories.
    Love your food!
    Love your blog.

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thats Lovely Shirleen! I’m happy to hear you got a kick out of the blog.

  • Jeff Adair

    We are brothers in our quest for the tastes and sensations of the wild. I look forward to future outings.

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Jeff! Come summer we’ll definitely have to do some remote hiking fly fishing trips!

  • http://www.alaalison.com Alison @ a la Alison

    BEAUTIFUL. All photos are stunning. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • http://www.wipetheworldsass.com dtbsz

    You have all my respect.

    BTW just pure curiosity. What (photo) gear do you use? Body & fav lens?

    May the force be with you!! :)

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Much respect.

      It’s not the body that so important but the lens. Dedicated macro and f2.8. Cannon or Nikon DSLR, anything above 2008 should be good.

  • http://www.girlcooksworld.com Cate

    Wow. I love love love your blog and photographs. Just subscribed right now.

    And congrats on the Saveur 50 Food Blogs You Should Be Reading. I think this was my best find of the day!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Cate! Saveur was a total surprise. Someone lovely must have nominated me!

  • http://www.meateaters.co.nz Skinny

    Beautiful photography – I love the ‘filtration/processing you use on your food shots – for some reason your site has been referring people to mine but I can’t for the life of me see how. Thanks anyway. I’ll add your site to my blog list.
    Cheers from across the ditch

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks skinny! Eat more meat!

  • http://www.bigskydreams.tumblr.com bigskydreamer

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. !! Love your philosophy and photography – thanks for blogging us through it.

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks so much! I do tend to rabbit on a bit sometimes, but I’m glad to get the message through!

  • http://www.woodlawnpacific.com Matt

    Great to see a fellow Victorian with such a great sensibility towards life and the way it should be lived. You make me hungry every time I check your site! Keep up the good work.



    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Matt! Where in Vic are you? Melb or Country?

      • http://www.woodlawnpacific.com Matt

        Whilst I fancy myself as a country bloke at heart, I alas find myself in the leafy outer northern suburb of Eltham dreaming of a proper “tree change”. One day…

        • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

          Eltham…..I used to live in Briar Hill!

      • http://www.woodlawnpacific.com Matt

        Haha talk about small world, we’re actually in the process of moving to our new (old) house in Briar Hill!

  • Chris

    Awesome blog, well done! Love the photos especially!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Chris….come by anytime!

  • http://amatourist.blogspot.com/ SAM

    Daybook – greetings from TEXAS. thank you for stopping by the Amatourist and for leading me back to your gatherhuntcooklive fiefdom.

    … I’ll be back often. All the best,

  • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

    Cheers Sam, Your website gives us a great insight to what the south of America is really like! A place I’d love to visit on my next trip over.

  • http://genevievearoundthecorner.wordpress.com genevieve

    I love love love your blog – thank you SO much for sharing your amazing photos and foodie goodness….expect me back regularly!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks so much Genevieve! Come back anytime!!

  • http://www.all-things-italian.com Nichole

    Just found you blog because a few Facebook pages I follow linked to your pantry post. Your blog looks great and I’m excited to follow along!

  • http://www.freestylefarm.ca Jill Chen

    You are amazing. Really. Photography is stunning. Food looks amazing. Styling beautiful and effortless. Found you blog by accident, have subscribed and added you to my blogroll. Looking forward to reading all your posts.

  • http://nwbutter.blog.com/ Aaron Abolofia

    Your pictures are unbelievable! I’m hooked. I’m sure you get this all the time but if you have a second I would love for you to check out my blog http://nwbutter.blog.com/

    Keep it coming!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Aaron…..Northwest Butter is a rad site!!!!

      I want a steak sandwich right now!

  • http://bluesistheteacher.blogspot.com Bluesistheteacher

    Great!! I agree with you 100%: I don’t like to bastardize food by over complicating it, too. I think i couldn’t explain it better.

    I also love family, food and nature too. Australian nature is always one of my top wishlist trips… maybe one day…. Thanks for your pics, i’m sure I’ll pass by wholelarderlove regulary!


  • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

    Thank you! Congrats on the freshly pressed

  • http://offpeaklife.wordpress.com Kellie

    Just found you through The Blue Hour. Soooo glad I did! What wonderful photos, but it’s your writing that reels me in. Consider me a subscriber from here on out!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Thanks Kellie!!!

  • Fiona

    Have just discovered your blog – a great read! From a fellow Ballarat family of grow/hunt/gatherers :)

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Really!!!! Ballarat!!!

      Totally rockin’

  • http://sdliving.wordpress.com The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife

    Great blog! What is it that you hunt in Ballarat?

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Mostly Rabbit, Hare and Duck and Quail in season. It’s a good life.

  • http://riccardocecchi.com Riccardo

    Great blog and photos, happy to have found you!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Not a bad little blog your self Riccardo!

  • Jeff

    I am constantly amazed by your skills. We will sharpen a few others when we hook a few sly browns or fighting rainbows. I have a plan for the early new year which you may be interested in?

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Jeff I can’t wait mate! We got a killer cold snap in town yesterday with a decent old hail storm, totally reinforcing my longing for the warmer weather.
      Winter seems like it’s holding on tight this year, making day dreams of wading up a river in stinking hot weather just that more enticing.

  • Jeff Adair

    Just imagine what we can do with a big fat fish or two. I have a few ideas in mind which I am sure with tantalise you. Sly browns and fighting rainbows high up in the Snowys.
    Cheers mate

  • http://smokeytownletters.wordpress.com smokeytownletters

    I was directed to your blog by a fellow commuter on the Ballarat-Melbourne line. We’re raising a couple of pigs on a small block out past Creswick, and have a sometimes successful veggie garden. Always wanted to learn to hunt. Closest I got was a few shots of my dad’s .22 a long while ago. Would love some tips on local yabby holes if you’re willing to share. As a kid we used the three dams on our property, but alas, no dams here. Your photos and food ideas are inspiring.

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Local yabbie holes are as you might already know are almost like a badge of a successful friendship. I have a few friends that have welcomed me onto their property to set traps. Unfortunately even on unused Crown Land parcels with dams, it’s illegal to trap them. So traps can only be used on private land. I guess it’s a matter of smooth talking land owners. Batter you eyelids or provide endless compliments to said land owners in the hope of gaining access to private dam.

      How much space do you have in Smokeytown? Do you want some rabbits?

      • carmie.m

        I know this is an old post, but I have only just stumbled across your site. (Love it BTW) I too am a local Smokeytown resident (well, Smokeytown Road) and I thought catching yabbies was legal as long as you don’t use an Opera House net. I stand to be corrected, as I am a novice when it comes to these things, but I would love to know, cause our family LOVES yabbies and I would be totally up for finding some local spots. Would also LOVE to know where some good fishing holes are in the area – planning on taking the family fishing for fathers day. Have tried a few, but with very little luck so far…………

        • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com wholelarderlove

          You can use what ever you want on private land.It’s illegal to use nets on government water, which is every river and lake! The best thing to do is soften up a farmer and get access to a dam and hope there is tabbies in there. It’s a little bit early in the season though, high summer I find is better. But no harm in trying now! Nets are only $14 a pop at the gun shop in town. I go to Rehfisch & CO.

  • Camilla Cathro

    Just thought I’d let you know I found your blog by the usual circuitous route (from some link to another to another) and I’ve added it to my reader, it’s THAT good! And weirdly you’re the first male blogger I read regularly!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com daybookexchange

      Not many of us males doing the blog! Thanks for reading!

  • http://foxandcub.blospot.com Em

    Love this, you’re backyard sounds like a dream. I’m a renter (in Ballarat by co-incidence) so my veggie patch consists of pots and a 1×1 wooden pallet from Bunnings! Glad you stopped by at fox+cub, your blog is fab. x

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com WholeLarderLove

      That’s better than what most people do!!! I reckon growing veg in pots in our climate is sometimes better than in the garden. The soil is warmer in pots and in Ballarat thats a challenge!

  • Sarah Curwen-Walker

    G’day Rohan,
    I’ve very much enjoyed watching your ABC Local videos and browsing your blog. I grew up just outside of Ballarat, in Yendon, right across from the Yendon tomato farm. Our close family friends built the place and I spent many child (happily) slave labour hours hand polishing each tomato as they used to do ‘back in the day’. In the nearby town, Bunninyong, John Harbor worked as a butcher and I still dream of his lamb roasts and remember fondly receiving freebie pieces of ham while shyly pushing the saw dust on the floor around with my feet. His new shop is around the corner from where my parents now live in town and I am extremely envious of my mother’s ease of access to his very special wares.
    I now live above my almost comically small greengrocer in Northcote, Melbourne. My philosophy is very similar to yours in letting the seasons dictate what appears on the table from week to week. Unfortunately the business side of things means that I need to have things from farther flung parts of the country (but never ever from o/s). I’m slowly educating people on our belief systems and most people are coming around to it.
    Since opening the store 5 months ago I have come eat many more vegetarian meals than not, leaving meat as a treat to be savored. I look forward to more of your vego recipes as although I am a keen cook, my veg repertoire lacks a little to be desired.
    I’m so happy to hear that you’ve scored a book deal and that the hard work albeit a labour of love, has paid off for you.
    Please come by the shop next time you’re in town. It’s not to far from the Spanish food store, Casa Iberica which is at 25 Johnson St. Collingwood.
    Happy growing, fishing, hunting, gathering and eating,
    St Dot’s Fine Produce
    234 High St
    Northcote Vic 3070

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com WholeLarderLove

      John harbor is my favorite butcher!! I used to work as a casual at a butchers in Surry Hills in Melbourne about 89-90. I developed a respect for the work butchers do and I guess seeing animals hanging desensitized me somewhat! I still eat meat, just that these days it’s mostly stuff I’ve hunted, dispatched or caught myself which means a little less meat than your average joe. It’s a bit more work invoked than a drive to Coles. ;-)

      Your shop sounds interesting and when I next visit my dear friend in The wood I’ll drop by.

      Thanks for visiting!

  • Jeff Adair

    The Snowys are calling. Get your gear, pack the swag,we are heading into the place where wind is created and the fish are waiting.

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com WholeLarderLove

      Mate I’m getting pumped!!

  • http:/marsblckvintage.wordpress.com marsblackvintage

    Love your blog. love it! It is beautiful and inspiring

  • otways finest

    recent conversation on roo was somewhat interesting, lets talk rabbit…

  • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

    This blog makes me happy! Life as it should be

  • http://nadelundgabel.wordpress.com nadel&gabel

    I just came across your blog recently, but immediatly fell in love with your amazing pics (would like to be such a good photographer), your storys – the honesty and reality that speaks of them! “From Blade to Plate” really impressed me and made me want to be a regular follower of your gardening, hunting, cooking adventures! Honestly enjoy reading your blog!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com WholeLarderLove

      Well thank you very much for your kind words. You’re definitely welcome back anytime!

  • http://weldonlife.wordpress.com A Weldon Life

    I chase my daughters through the woods with my Canon 60D all the time and can’t quite capture the colors and blur/focus you do. I actually had one of your pics open on my desktop while retouching a photo of my daughter in Apple Aperture ;-) Can you share a bit about your lens & post processing?

    Thanks so much. LOVE your blog.

  • http://blog.rindefield.nl rindefield

    i’m so glad to have found your blog! what an amazing photographs and stories. i LOVE it! thank you for the inspiration. keep up the good work. ;)

  • Maria Xanthopoulou

    Your blog is lovely. I read a few of your posts and thought you were a woman (well, a woman married to a guy named Kim, who hunts rabbits – then I read the “About” section)! The tenderness of your photos and musings speaks to my heart. I will be following your adventures from across the globe …

  • Nicole

    Look at the size of that yabby you’re holding! That is incredible!

    I was reading your post on the New-Old house and when I saw you say there would be room for “chooks” I knew you had to be from my part of the world. I’m an Adelaide-born bush kid who moved to the California ten years ago, and find myself strangely obsessed when I come across Australian food bloggers, though I rarely actively seek them out. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your blog and catching up on your beautiful photos!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com wholelarderlove

      Oh you must be home sick! ;-)

  • erin

    Hi, I just discovered your blog via an old issue of ‘Green’ magazine – I love it. I have been looking into relocating to Ballarat for some time – could you recommend any good blogs / websites to scope out the place?
    I have looked around a bit to get some feel as to the likely nature of late-30-somethings getting out of Melb, arts, farmers markets, ‘indie’ lifestyle in Ballarat – coming up cold so far… too far out of the loop, been living in nz for 10yrs.
    Never stop blogging!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com wholelarderlove

      I have mixed feelings about Ballarat the city itself. It’s a beautiful city from an aesthetic aspect, but some/many of the occupants of said city are of dubious quality. It’s a city that struggles with change, especially anything that’s out of the ordinary, and suffers from small town mentality. However just down the road is Daylesford that is far more open minded and embracing of the good life. We live in between the two, surrounded by paddocks and forest in walking distance.

      To get an idea of what the city run’s on make regular visit’s to the local news. That should give you an idea of what Ballarat is about. And you can make your own mind up from there. There is a good deal of sport news, cattle dog stories and complaints about the council poor management.

      The Courier.

      • erin

        thanks so much for your reply.
        I currently reside in a town; population 10’000 on NZ’s Sth Island so I have a good idea of the kind of thing you’re referring to! (replace AFL with Rugby, cattle dogs with cows – as for council management SNAP!)
        The newspaper is a great idea – I appreciate your candor regarding a sensitive subject…
        Never-the-less,urban Melbourne with two kids seems gritty when compared to the news in The Courier. :)
        thanks again
        blog on!

  • Jackie

    So inspiring! Thanks for sharing! Best wishes to you and your lovely family!

    • http://daybookexchange.wordpress.com wholelarderlove

      Thanks Jackie!

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  • http://www.bootandcanoe.com bootandcanoe

    Great blog. I am looking forward to thumbing through more of it. All the mention of rabbits is making me excited for rabbit season here in Maine.

  • http://bootandcanoe.wordpress.com bootandcanoe

    Great blog. I am looking forward to thumbing through more of it. All the mention of rabbits is getting me excited for rabbit season here in Maine.