Approach to living

Passata day has come and gone. It signifies the passing of yet another year where we’ve worked for our food. I’ve set up new vegetable gardens, constructed a poly tunnel, hunting for our meat, collected natures bounty from the forest floor, the coastal cliffs and now finally time for another important food task. preserving. Autumn is marked on the calendar as the time our hands and feet are busy carrying out tasks that serve us well during the frigid oncoming winter.

Passtata day is the penoltimate event in the food calendar. It’s marks the beginning and the end. Most importantly though it’s the celebration of the harvest season. It’s hard to grasp that it’s all over again. The years are like a darting swallows, they fly by quietly and swiftly.

As I write about it this day that has passed, I’m covered head to toe in Pendleton. One knitted cardigan and one woollen blanket covering my legs. The cold wind comes in from the window, I can hear it in the tree’s outside. A messenger of the changing season. I could close the window but I’m enjoying this feeling too much. It’s a reminder of time passing by. That time that never stands still. Its role; simply to taunt us.


Passata day has become not only a day to make a store of food for winter, it’s now much more. In some ways it’s our pagan celebration. We play music, we eat well, we drink, we laugh and become silly. The day is well balanced.

Simply instructions for the day.

Add frivolity and hard work, then mix well. 


This year was the biggest and most festive of any passata day I’ve been to. At first I was grumpy about it becoming out of control. Later I accepted that this is the future for our passata day. Lots of people, lots more tomatoes and lots more passta turned. For me the whole aim of the day is to squish the summer out of those roma tomatoes, and bottle it for winter consumption. That job was done and dusted by mid afternoon. The rest of the day was allocated to fun. Now who can complain about that?


It’s amazing how a task has evolved to be a celebration. Food is such an integral part of our families life. The process of embracing a life of working for you food has brought about great benefits to our lifestyle. We look forward to annual food events in our calendar. Not food festivals, but family traditions that revolve around food. We’re no different to a family living in rural Spain, Italy or France in that each year we look forward to and then celebrate the arrival of something new, the harvest of something old and become excited the promise of future food. Does that make sense?


It’s a challenge to pen words to describe the benefits and enjoyment our lives are graced with by this type of living, my words simply don’t do it justice. I could lament for all those years being part of the mainstream food system, but there’s no point to that. Instead I can look to our future. Look to the many passata days, years ahead. Dream of all the new season wild mushrooms, the meat from the annual deer hunting season, the first new season corn, the first feed of tomato and so on. So many events in our lives are based around food. It’s a rewarding existence. I’m not sure it’s necessarily the best approach, but it sure works for us.



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  • Charlotte Houston

    Lovely to see the the fun, mess and lushness in this. We had a little camp this weekend and one small bottle of home made tomato sauce managed to season our food and a whole carload of bedding, supplies and gear. Handle with care – potent stuff! Charlotte.

  • Kelly Moore

    Your passata day looks like so much fun! Its one of our favourite days too….

  • Fraser from Old Mill Rd

    “So many events in our lives are based around food” Too right and why not? Seeing as we eat 3 meals a day most days every day of our lives, I’ve never been able to grasp why you wouldn’t put utmost importance on it. The quality of it, the provenance of it, the freshness and nourishment from it. It’s almost cause for celebration at each and every meal.

  • Michel

    Thanks Rohan

    What brand is your Passata machine & where did you get it ?
    Would you go hand over electric?


    • rohan

      Not sure of the brand. But I got it at Constante in Melbourne

  • Alice

    Loving this post as it’s about so much more than just tomatoes. It’s exactly as you describe it, a farewell to summertime, time with friends and an age old tradition no mater where in the world it takes place.

    Plus it’s a reminder, life is messy, but tasty at times!

  • mountaingirl

    Just read your article in the guardian. We live our life like yourself but up in the mountains, and our tomatoes have just started so haven’t made our passata yet, but very soon. My partner killed one of our French Rouen ducks yesterday, and I plucked and gutted it ready for a roast this week. I don’t usually do the gutting, but had to do it as everyone else was quickly trying to net the chestnuts as the cockys were starting to land. Now I wished I had kept the heart, after reading your piece, I do like to keep the livers though and make pate.

  • Athanar Wellington

    I always enjoy your posts and photos. But I am very curious this time. What is in the pallet boxes up against the aluminum siding? Whatever it is, I might want to Dr o, also, if only I could know what!! Thanks.

    • rohan

      They’re transport brake boxes. Free and useful.

  • Hope

    Such beautiful photos, makes me want to start a passata day tradition with my family!

  • Yelle

    i remember seeing your post about this tradition last year. can’t believe i’ve been following along that long. every post by you is something new and refreshing for me to take away.

  • Cle-ann

    B E A U T I F U L

  • Michel

    Well done
    What is the brand on your passatta machine & where did you source it
    Many thanks

  • Patrick

    Up and over here we’re just getting our tomato seedlings started. It’s nice to be at the opposite end of the cycle and see reminders of where I’m going to be soon… Especially considering we need to get a new gasket for the food mill. Thanks for the reminder!


  • Michel

    Btw what is your passatta machine brand and where did you buy it?????????????????????????

    Tap tap




    • rohan

      I have no idea what the brand is. I bought it constante in Melbounre. I answered that last week. ;-)

      • Michel

        Sorry for shouting

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