Whole Larder Love » Grow. Gather. Hunt. Cook.

What if you depended on a crop for your livelihood, for your very survival. Imagine if it was so important that if it were to fail, the family you work to provide for will face a dire food shortage during the oncoming winter. Its an intimidating thought, but thankfully for most of us it’s not a reality.

Many cultures around the globe exist in this manner or close to it. Us westerners though, we’ve got it well sorted out. The mega food system looks out for us. It caters for us, ensures we have all the food we can stomach. Sure there are a few corners cut, the odd chemical added, a few bursts of carbon emissions, one or two unhappy farm animals, its the system thats helped make the population explode, and thats a good thing right? More people, more workers, stronger economy. Thats whats important for the future…right? Well I disagree. I disagree with every ounce of my body. And I have a few spare ounces.

So I removed myself as much as I practically could from the system. I figured that if one is to lose faith in a religion, then it’s ones duty to disconnect with the church. So I’m out on my own, humming some sort of a new gospel song (no doubt slightly out of key). My church is my garden, the fields where I hunt, the bush I forage, and the waters I fish. My alter is a wobbly kitchen bench that I fashioned from timber I scrounged at the tip, adhering to my approach of living off the crumbs of society. So far the new religion seems to be doing ok. There has been some persecution from the non-believers and one or two comments of disapproval about the choice of religious apparel (cap, dirty drill shirt and dirtier jeans), but all in all it’s doing well. Actually thats not an entirely true statement. There have been a few hiccups. The god of this religion hasn’t been playing fair of late. And this here parishioner has a feeling of discontent!

Summer is the most important season. Warm sunlight the key to successful photosynthesis, and of course the warming of the soil. It is these precious months that I grow as much storable food as possible. Making the most of the fine weather, I also grow an abundance of summer veg to feed us on those warm days.

But lately the old god of nature has been testing us. You’ve felt a strong hot wind right? Well here on the hill, the hot winds seem to be hotter and harder. They’ve hit so hard that the plants have been drained of moisture and cooked. Leaves burnt by hot wind. The sunlight has been so harsh that it melted candles left outside.

All the work I put into the bean crop has been compromised. Just before the borloti was due to flower the heat wave came in and belted with volcanic fury. Zucchini has been flattened, as has the corn. I’m hoping its all repairable, I have a decent supply of love. I’m hoping it can bring some of these plants back. To add salt to the wound, the warm weather seems to have encouraged holiday season cabbage moths, who on having such a frolicking good time have left eggs all over my broccoli which hatched and baby caterpillars devoured the tasty leaves within days.

Imagine though, really try and imagine if you where in the situation where this crop was part of a future food supply that would keep you and your family feed through winter, and now its in jeopardy. Scary huh.

There are some good outcomes from the heat. The plants that I allowed to go to seed have mostly cured and are ready to be stored or replanted. There seems to me to always be an upside to the downside.

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  • February 5, 2014 - 4:09 am

    Cate Burton - Rohan,

    Just as an aside, nature also provided bees who make beeswax (amongst other extraordinary things) for light. Beeswax has a melting point of 63 degrees celcius – ie wouldn’t be melted by the Australian sun if left outdoors. So, that means that the candles you had weren’t pure beeswax candles and that’s a situation I’d like to rectify as I just happen to have quite a lot of them!

    Pls send address details and I’ll send bee-created light. It will blow your mind with it’s extraordinary beauty.

    CateReplyCancel

    • February 5, 2014 - 4:26 am

      rohan - Huh! Learning a new fact everyday!! I won’t say no to bees wax candles for the coming winter.ReplyCancel

    • February 12, 2014 - 9:29 am

      Cate Burton - Hi Rohan,

      Thanks for your response. I would send them if I could find your address, but not on your website and not in your reply. Please email me your address… you have my email address.

      ThanksReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 4:13 am

    MontanaCal - Bummer Ro.

    Chin up though bro. I remember you said once that every season is different. And with each season, a new lesson learned.

    So learn the lessons, and crack on…hard yakka and the fresh air…it’s all there is…it still beats being behind a desk…

    CalReplyCancel

    • February 5, 2014 - 4:27 am

      rohan - It’s all good brother! We’ll be ok. I feel for the people that wouldn’t be ok. Thankfully I work on a diversity of food sources for winter. I’ll be cooking many hearty stews don’t you worry. I bet you’re having some nice warm tucker in that cold Montana winter. Lucky bugger. I’d live to visit.ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 5:56 am

    Ted - Yep, heatwaves and then a hurricane on Monday night. All my corn flattened but 2 days later it’s popped right up again. The tomatoes and lettuce all took a beating and the gherkins looked like they’d just got back from a 2 day bucks party. Zucchini leaves broken and burnt but hey, give everything a good soak and it’s amazing how resilient they all are. If everything gets through this weekends high temps then hopefully we are over the other side. When you coming around? Got a pile of seeds siting in my shed with your name on it.ReplyCancel

    • February 5, 2014 - 7:36 am

      rohan - Thanks mate. I’m good for seeds right now cheersReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 6:46 am

    Melissa Bujtor - A very interesting thought to mull over. Food security is a vast and interesting topic, not to mention the skewed distribution of the world’s resources! I hope that you can revive some of the crops. We currently live in Singapore where becoming self sustaining is not really an option in apartment living, but we are going to try and get close! We are currently working on the construction of our apartment farm … stay tuned for more adventures and disasters! I may even need to ask for some tips!ReplyCancel

    • February 5, 2014 - 9:08 am

      rohan - I think it will be ok! I’ve probably over loved them now!!! ;-) ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 9:31 am

    Paul - It’s tough when all your hard work goes crunchy and dry. I’m starting to get around that by using wicking beds…and I’ve finally worked out that a bit of bird netting over the broccoli is a really simple way to avoid cabbage moths…hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 10:14 am

    Bec - Beautifully said. So hard to watch the plants wither in this ferocious heat. And then (for those that can) to wander down to the greengrocer’s and see plump green vegies in abundance. Complex contrasts.

    As an aside, is that your bus in your driveway? Is it fitted out as a campervan? Just curious… we’re in the process of doing the same, and welcome any tips in the process.ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 5:54 pm

    Bailey - I think what you do is a beautiful thing. I’d like to be responsible for growing even half of the food I eat. One day I will…ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 7:57 pm

    Luke - Hi rohan

    Summer and storage very much a priority in my house too. We live out of gardens, forest and sea aswell. Ive just trialed a wicker bed system out of half a barrel and for keeping plants moist and using way less water its definitely a success if you havent already tried. Im growing watercress in mine. You obviously have different challenges to me as Im in nz in the Bay of PlentyReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 11:25 pm

    Younglee - My aunt is almost totally sustainable veg wise, but the amount of work she puts in (she’s retired so all her time is spent in the garden) amazes me.
    Her vegetables taste complete different from those brought in supermarkets. Her carrots actually taste like carrots!ReplyCancel

  • February 6, 2014 - 12:01 am

    Linda - I have been trying to keep my garden going over the extra hot summer we’ve had here in Cloncurry but after going away for two weeks and returning to find the person I paid to water my veg didn’t turn up, the last of my veg has given up and died. And I can’t blame them in the 40+ days we were having! And now we have been placed on level six water restrictions, there is a bleak future for my veg plans!
    I have had a total clean out and my whole veg garden is a blank slate, ready for autumn planting, as soon as this heat starts to ease off, and we hopefully get some rain! Luckily for me Autumn and Winter are my main growing seasons! It is very dissapointing though to see your hard work shrivelled and dead on the ground…….ReplyCancel

  • February 6, 2014 - 1:31 am

    Margaret | Destination Here&Now - I had my own “What if..” moment on the blog a couple of weeks ago. This is for you x
    http://destinationhereandnow.com/2014/02/do-not-eat-emus-they-contain-palm-oil/ReplyCancel

  • February 7, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    Christo V - A very simple technique I discovered that works well to prevent heat stress is to imbed some bamboo about an inch apart on the north side of your crop. Because as the sun moves the bamboo periodically shades a different part of the leaf it provides some releaf to each part of the plant.

    Found it works brilliantly and very simple, almost cost neutral if you’ve got a stand of bamboo.ReplyCancel

  • February 8, 2014 - 7:23 am

    Jodie - I am hearing you Rohan- Its something I have been acutely aware of from my tomato growing experiences. Last year rats ate my entire backyard crop. This year I moved my tomato growing to a plot at the local community garden- unfortunately the whole place has been been infested by billions of harlequin bugs that are sucking the life out of everything including my tomatoes.
    The whole experience really made me reflect we are very lucky here we can do our best to grow our own food, but when we fail there is always a back-up! With that in mind for the past 2 years I have been selling off my excess seedlings to work colleagues and neighbours for a gold coin donation with the funds going to support Oxfam small scale food growing programs that aim to improve food security for families in the developing world.ReplyCancel

  • February 9, 2014 - 4:57 pm

    Trish - Good luck! Such an admirable project.ReplyCancel

  • February 10, 2014 - 9:37 pm

    Jeannette - Rohan, what I love about your blog is that it is about hot, dry, difficult reality. The precariousness of crops is a reality that is easy to overlook by anyone surrounded by the obscene, unnecessary abundance of the supermarket.

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • February 11, 2014 - 12:07 am

      rohan - Thats a lovely thing to say!! Thank you!ReplyCancel

I’ve come to realise the I’ve been on the outer for so long now that the inside seems to make little sense.

A few moments have presented themselves of late, moments that lead me to think about the person I used to be, the lifestyle I used to lead and where I find myself this very day. A few chance meetings with various folk has shown me the ravine of contrast in how lives are lead.  The contrast in what we see as valuable, and what we aspire to achieve, receive and acquire. I cannot divulge what these chance encounters involved or with who. I cannot outline either parties personal choices in life, understanding that if this information were to be shared on such a forum there would be great debate and possibly damming retribution.

I can however say that I am becoming more and more convinced that where we are heading as a race of animals is a bad place. I can say without fear of retribution, I can declare without a second guess, that the western culture, the culture that has spread globally will sound the downfall for the race of man as we know it.

There seems to be very little evidence of holding back or slowing down the consuming. Although there are some in the public arena that are asking questions, or are actively trying to make change, the sad reality is that it’s the mega numbers of humans that are just ticking along, enjoying the ride, mindlessly working the machine. This my brothers and sisters, is what we have become. One giant machine. Billions of us.

We measure success in monitory terms. In ownership of wealth. We display our wealth by the brand of car we drive, the logo on our shirts the label on our footwear. You can gauge a persons success by the restaurant they dine at, the theatre they attend and the golf course they play. We idolise people as if they where Gods, when in fact they are all just as us, human when they feed, poo, fart and wee.

We still live by the approach of use and discard, with so many unnecessary things that adorn our houses, cars and offices. As advanced and modern as we are we continue to judge people in an archaic way, still defining race, religion or sexual preference and then making judgements of other humans based on these categories. The divide between rich and poor is the greatest in human history, and continues to extend.

We follow the next trend like sheep to a feed lot, be it fashion, hobby or food. Fermenting is rad, beards are still in, but catch on dude, foam on a plate it so passé. In a desperate attempt to be unique we embrace the likes of artisan, boutique, sustainable, gourmet and bespoke.

You may think I sound cynical or angry. You’ve made the right assumption.

Do you think anyone needs to be accountable? We’re all accountable. All of us.

So what are we to do? How many people are mindful enough to firstly identify there is something drastically wrong with the current system, and secondly do something, anything to make a difference.

After all we can all say… “It’s my planet too you know.”

 

 

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  • February 4, 2014 - 9:55 am

    Griffin - You know I couldn’t of said it better myself. It seems like everyday there is something else out there that makes everyday tasks easier and in return making us even more lazy than we already are. What happened to the day when you actually had to work for something and not been given it hand wrapped.

    I for one am a huge believer in being the provider for my family and taking the responsibility for putting food on the table which ever way that might be. If only there were more people out there that realised that we as a nation are heading in the wrong direction and stood up and did something about.
    Laziness is contagious and its starts at the top and like you said we all follow it except for the select few.
    I really do enjoy reading these posts keep up the good work Rohan if only there were more people like you.ReplyCancel

    • February 11, 2014 - 3:06 am

      Fabio Paderno - Here here… however can you imagine if everyone turned around and started foraging and hunting for there food, growing it is fine, but we are already at critical mass with hunting pressure, not by way of decreasing numbers of animals but by the large uptake of hunters in recent times oh and not to mention the race for sustainable resources which are already increasing in value.

      There will always be a divide until we learn how to use our intelligence as a species and that does not mean advances in technology or science either, rather emotional intelligence and hmmmm common sense. At this point all we seem to be doing is calling for the opponents to come over to our side of the fence. No, they can stay where they are, not interested in evangelizing my way of life, just exemplify by living it.

      Individual lives are like parallel universes. Are we crying out because we cannot afford to escape the system and we think that by beating the drums people will take notice and will let go of their laziness to join in. Grow for your self, serve yourself and in turn you will see that it will serve humanity.ReplyCancel

      • February 11, 2014 - 3:39 am

        rohan - Ive never advocated for people to take up hunting and foraging to replace their food, I talk about what I do and that works for me. For people else where its advisable for them to look at options that have less impact on environment. But its up to people to discover what works best for them.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 10:15 am

    Tim Hennessy - We are only responsible to ourselves and our children Ro. A foundation for change can only be measured on an individual’s yard stick. And there are many of us who make changes in our lives for positive outcomes that do not involve the life you live. The changes may be more or less tangible or socially acceptable, but we all have to think about change.

    In relating to your customers mate, you have to put on a few different hats. Most of all you have to be relevant and accessible to those who may not want to make the change you have, but make change nonetheless.

    Let’s go hunt.ReplyCancel

    • February 5, 2014 - 8:05 am

      victoria - I agree with Tim’s sentiment, although I’m not a customer of yours, so can’t comment on that. I don’t make the same choices as you, but I am trying to do the very best I can. I grow as much of our own veg and fruit on a small suburban block as I can. I bake my own bread every day, make good choices, live a good life. Could I do more, perhaps, but I am at the balance of what is best for us, right now. I admire so much of what you do, the freedom you have, or choose, it looks somewhat idyllic, though I know its a lot of hard work. It does make me sad though, that at times you come across as so disappointed with the rest of us. Passion is wonderful, but at times it does come across more as negativity and I think that does you a disservice.ReplyCancel

      • February 5, 2014 - 9:06 am

        rohan - Its not you Victoria or is it many of the readers of this blog that I’m talking about. In many ways I’m preaching to the converted.

        You and I both know its about doing what is practical and possible in our own lives.

        My disappointment lies with the general population. You must see it too. The majority of people are just drifting along with out a care for their impact. Whats more important is staying on the treadmill. I would dearly love to see some rise in prime time TV programs that focused on the real issues that will impact the following generations. TV programs that can communicate the situation and what we can do about it.

        My frustration is that whilst there are some of us trying to make change, we are not reaching out to those that need the information the most.

        Does that make sense?ReplyCancel

        • February 6, 2014 - 10:18 pm

          Ali Pockley - The real issue lies with the fact that the world economy is driven by consumption and growth, and until all governments come to terms with the fact that we just can’t keep doing this, I can’t see that it will ever really change until there is such a catastrophy that we as humans, are pushed into it.

          It’s likely to be so big that we will all be wiped out. I just hope that the plants and animals survive it.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 10:31 am

    pockets - look after the planet – its where i keep all my stuffReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 10:39 am

    Gerard Reardon - Chin Up, Western Culture will always be mixed with a bit East,South and North. People will learn to use their brains more and the Sun will eventually die.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 10:48 am

    Laura - Wow, I have been having this same thought process myself lately. It hit me recently that I have been plugging away as an environmentally conscious earthling for nigh on 20 years – I started in my teens. While we have made some progress – CFCs have been outlawed, every home has a recycling bin etc etc – we still seem to pushing the proverbial shit up a bigger and bigger hill! I won’t give up doing my own bit but honestly, as you say, it seems the vast majority just don’t/won’t/can’t give a crap. I think we humans are pretty much hard wired to take the easy way out. Most people just grab the over-packaged, preservative laden ‘food’ for their trolleys, throw them in plastic bags, drive home, chuck the plastic bags in the bin and crank the heater rather than putting on a (polyester, mass-produced) jumper!
    I was watching Q & A last night. Barnaby Joyce was passionately (and genuinely) pleading for support for the livelihood of farmer and the difficulties they face from drought. That his side of politics are the same ones that deny climate change and actively do anything they can to prevent positive changes to be implemented in that regard – well, it just does my head in!
    Agh, sometimes it feels so pointless because we are surely too far on our way now. Pessimistic or realistic? Hard to say. I know there are so many of us that live our lives as consciously as we can – but lately, as I save my jars and or re-use the washing up water to water the plants I think to myself, is this making any difference?ReplyCancel

    • February 5, 2014 - 12:30 am

      rohan - I think everything we do that makes a difference is important. Its not that we can and should completely change our lifestyles, instead we should identify where we can make positive change and then implement what we can.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Tara - Hi Rohan
    I am totally with you
    I worry as I see my kids buying into this consumerist world always wanting more never being satisfied
    I am the co CEO of 1 million women so I do strive to make a difference everyday of my existence but it is such a hard war to win
    The massive issue of over consumption
    We try and inspire people of the western world to take responsibility for their own part in climate change and show them how to live theory lives with less
    Less pollution
    Less waste
    Less stuff
    We try to explain how exhilarating it can be to live with less but I fear the masses just think we are spoil sports
    Thank you for being you Rohan
    So honest and profound
    Your posts help me continue doing my bitReplyCancel

    • February 5, 2014 - 12:59 am

      rohan - Thats a beautiful thing to share Tara. I may seem very cynical in this post, but these the simple life I’ve strived for has opened my eyes to the many things unnecessary and things that contribute to soiling the natural world. There are so many little things we can do to reduce our impact. We don’t need to become cave dwellers, just sensible, mindful consumers.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 11:47 am

    James McIntosh - I hang my head to where the world is headed. I can still recognise that whatever small change we make; be it for change, be it for flavour, be if for trend, is still a positive change.

    Did you wake up this morning realising that you might have made a positive influence that is strangely on trend and handsomely marketable?

    Yes we’re doomed, but that bespoke glass house is looking like the first to go.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    Lucais O'Neill - I agree 100% the system we live in is massively flawed. It’s a system that rewards the search for wealth over the search for a more wholesome and sustainable planet. It’s a system that’s taught folks to be cynicle towards people who identify with a way of life that embraces conservation and sustainable practices because they must be greenies or hippys, like that’s a bad thing!

    It’s because the ways we should be living arnt considered by most folk because what’s forced down our throats (literally and figuratively) are the ways that make that 1% of the population even more wealthy, even though they are the most destructive and short sighted practices!
    I’m fairly sure most people don’t want to continue down this path but I think most feel helpless to change it. It doesn’t mean we are though, it’s about building a movment through our own actions, but not doing it alone, by building communities of like minded people who want to see a difference then working together to start forcing the issues to the front of people’s minds.

    I think what you do is amazing, your showing people a different way to go about things, a way that’s not as hard as people build up in their heads to begin living. The world needs more people like you RoReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    Valerie - I hear you and understand how hopeless it all seems to be. However, I personally try not to go down that path because it is just too depressing! All any of us can do is to become as awake as possible, do our part to help make the world a better place, and know that everything comes to an end one day.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 3:25 pm

    Kim Duke - Hello from Canada!

    Don’t despair Ro. As someone who worked in the Canadian television media for 15 yrs I learned something pretty big.

    Good news rarely makes it to the masses. And so all the bad hits the air waves and we are left to think that the world is sliding down a slippery slope.

    There are billions of us. And most of those people are good. And they love nature, their kids, good food and a sunset.

    Small steps can lead to big things. History has proven it. So the key is for all of us to continue to live as simply as we can, eat local, respect the Earth, be kind, volunteer, and speak up and vote on what matters to us.

    As individuals we are but a drop of rain. But together we can do good things for the Earth and many of us are Ro, many more than you think.

    So – please sit down and write a little something about what you saw in the woods today or what you cooked that tasted great. It has a positive ripple effect.

    How do I know? Well here I am in Canada writing to you from across the world.

    Warmly,

    KimReplyCancel

    • February 5, 2014 - 1:03 am

      rohan - Thanks Kim. Wise bunch of words there.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    Christine Murphy - I so agree, I guess I have always been a hippy at heart and have not agreed to the material desires and don’t intend to. It is all about the love in your heart and spreading it around generously! Working towards you goals and helping others so they can learn too! There is hope for a better world!! I love your blog too!!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 4:55 pm

    uplandish - I couldn’t agree with you more. Society has become disposable to the point where it seems like every one is under the impression we have somewhere else to go when this planet is used up.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 7:45 pm

    Maryanne - I often get disillusioned by what’s happening around me, but I will continue doing what I’m doing. Rohan I’ve always loved your positivity, keep going, be who who you are and don’t let society change you I’m not.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    Christine - What’s with all the beating of the chest!!!! You cannot be responsible nor control other peoples’ actions. You are your own judge not anyone else’s. You lead by example. Stay positive. Many people look to you for guidance and support through your blog. Stay strong.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 10:27 pm

    Justin - I’m hearin’ ya Ro. The same questions roll around and around in my head all the time. What do we do? Have you read Paul Kingsnorth’s essay Confessions of Recovering Environmentalist? In it, he lays his frustrations bare and charts an interesting way forward. I found it helpful and you might too.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2014 - 11:25 pm

    Abe - I agree with everything you’ve said here, and I think there’s a lot of people out there that do as well, although not hardly enough yet. But the numbers are growing every day, and people like you that preach the gospel help grow those numbers. But it’s hard. And while we may get discouraged once in a while, we must continue to fight, and show others that there is a better way. There’s no other option.ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 7:32 am

    Tricia - I can relate to your feelings of frustration and despair Rohan. It hit me hard after a recent encounter. I think it was the first time I truly appreciated just how far removed some people are from our environment, their impact on it, and how important a healthy environment is to our survival. It’s easy to be optimistic when surrounded by like minded friends – but stepping outside that circle can be scary. I shed tears of sadness and helplessness on the way home from my recent encounter. Your title says it all – so very far removed!

    Cynicism is justified – but I also think there’s nothing wrong with people like you helping to make growing your own food, wearing pre-loved, and foraging fashionable ;-) There’s a whole lot of people out there that care more about trends than the environment – and always will.ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 11:51 am

    Binalong - Nice post and I agree with your sentiments but what is your next move? I ask myself this question all the time. What am I prepared to do to ensure the future of my children is viable and the planet is healthy and, even if I make the right choices, will it have any impact when our politicians are hand in pocket with the big corporations and vested interests? We are waiting for someone to stand up, take the mantle and lead. Not like an Abbott or Gillard – but with conviction, honesty and purpose. Are you prepared to do that? As an aside, keep up the blog. I love it.ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    Fran - I’m sorry you are in a dark spot, Ro. I too get those moments of utter despair, when I think about how messed up we all are. But it’s men and women like you, who lead by example, that lift me from the depths. Not only are you an example to everyone who follows the blog, or buys the book, or attends the workshops, you are raising 4 children. You are showing them there is an alternative, that they have agency and choice. Isn’t that how you change the world? I agree with Binalong – I realise you’ve got a lot on your plate, but have you considered politics? We’re so bereft of people with vision, who have considered the way they move through the world. I read recently “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for”. Somehow, it seems appropriate. Sending you love and light.ReplyCancel

  • February 6, 2014 - 1:25 am

    Do not eat emus! They contain palm oil! | destinationhereandnow.com - […] Rohan Anderson at Whole Larder Love despairs and he’s been despairing a lot these past couple of weeks, the bells start […]ReplyCancel

  • February 6, 2014 - 11:58 am

    Emilia - I feel so bad for you because obviously I know it’s hard not to lose heart and wonder if the difference that you as a person can make is actually so insignificant that the stress involved maybe isn’t worth it. I know you and Kate get a lot of crap you really don’t deserve.
    You simply can’t take on the world or the masses or the lowest common denominator.. All you can do is be true to your own beliefs and be happy enough at the end of the day in order that you still have the energy to share. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you do as long as you keep yourself well and your family safe so that you can remain able to make the contribution you have been making.
    Don’t take on too much and don’t let yourself burn out… And keep telling us about your stuff, good and not so.
    xReplyCancel

  • February 7, 2014 - 2:12 am
  • February 7, 2014 - 4:46 am

    Fabio Paderno - G’day Rohan

    I met you at a fund raiser last year in Elevated Plains and it was refreshing to meet a like minded individual. I, as have most others have had the good fortune to sit on both sides of the fence. But my decision was made by clear by observation of my childhood memories, where I lived in an environment where most of the food we ate was grown and hunted and processed by my parents and relatives. Times were good, there was always laughter, good healthy banter and just plain happiness, why because like minded individuals came together for a common purpose, money was scarce. I really cannot fight and rage against the machine, I do not want to, I want to know that what I observed in my childhood does not get stripped away with western ideologies that constantly entrap and snare the young ones into believing that the carrot is not that far off in obtaining. All I can do is live as close to the earth as possible, attempt to create my own peace with my family and allow the emanations of my reality ripple out and possibly touch, influence even prod an individual into asking questions. Food is not a fad, I was ridiculed as a child for bringing in home made food to school, now you have to pay the price of a small mortgage for what I make at home. I love the fact that food turns you on, but I guess if we are all responsible for our little patch of dirt, live as close as possible to the earth and allow healthy discussion to take place with our children, then the sum of all these actions will be greater than a mass turn around in western culture. Mass change over a short period of time will hurt everyone, this is western thinking, gratification NOW. Some of the great changes are happening in the homes of people on this blog, on the fringes and within the very heart of the great machine. Cheers now can we hunt.ReplyCancel

  • February 14, 2014 - 8:10 am

    Weekend Play | Linen + Leaves - […]  read this:  Letting Go of Musturbation – Sas Petherick ,  So Very Far Removed – Whole Larder […]ReplyCancel

Small and sweet. Short blonde hair, cut to a bob. Lime green eyes, innocent and pure. A consistently grubby face, dirty and grimy. Thats my little girl. My youngest. This morning we walked her to her first day of school. It all begins from here. For years to come she will learn what society deems as important and necessary. At the home front, I will continue to teach her things that maybe overlooked by the education system. Some values, ethics and the skills of practiculture. Living and working with natures wonders.

Learning is something that we should never stop doing. An obvious thing to state? Well for while there I guess I stopped learning. I found myself in quite a holding pattern. I’d go to work, earn money and entertain myself with passive activities. As my life moved towards living a more practiculture existence, I had to reconsider my approach to learning. Most everything I know about this lifestyle has come about from trial and error, in fact more error than trial. But I like it that way. The first chorizo I made, I put in too much salt. The first time I grew garlic I didn’t dry it properly before storing and most of it rotted. Crops have failed, structures have crumbled and ducks have eluded my shot. All in all though, I have come out a learned individual. I’m no expert in any one thing, and I do not profess to have all the answers nor do I know everything, but I do know what works for me. If there is something I become interested in, I’ll endeavour to learn the process, understand its purpose.

Passing on what we learn is vitally important. If you consider where us humans are today compared with say 100 years ago, our way of living has vastly changed. I’m not saying it’s better, it’s just thats its significantly changed. In fact much of what I do is derived from an age passed. I cure meat, store food for the winter, I grow and harvest, hunt and fish. In a few weeks time I’ll be talking on these topics, my approach to practiculture and why I do what I do. I’d love to share with you Sydneysiders what I’ve learnt. I’ll even go as far as showing you how to skin, gut and butcher a wild shot rabbit (of which I’ll be bringing on flight from home!)

Wildwon, are co-presenting an event with Sydney Living Museums, ‘Stories from the Cellar’. The event I’ll be talking a is the Elizabeth Bay House, down in the cellars, where I’ll talk and demonstrate along with other people sharing their knowledge on food preservation, preparation and creation. There will be cheese makers, meat curer’s, fish smokers and chefs. All sharing their valuable knowledge.

 

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  • January 31, 2014 - 2:30 am

    Andrew Bounos - Practiculture.Now there’s a term that makes you want to have a go!
    Must get out in the garden and have another scratch around :) ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    Lisa Chiodo - Now this sounds fantastic, sadly I’m a long way from Australia. Learning is such an amazing process, I’m just learning to keep the fires lit so we can cook, how much to feed the chickens, making salami including butchering the pig, and our two young children are leaning things I never thought they’d need in our old suburban life in Brisbane.

    Hope your little girl has a wonderful time at school and gets all those life gems at home. I’ve been inspired and reassured reading your stories and sharing your life, thank you ciao lisa (over in the mountains of Italy)ReplyCancel

  • February 2, 2014 - 12:41 am

    Warwick Berry - I loik smuked moit.ReplyCancel

  • February 2, 2014 - 11:55 pm

    sarah - all the reasons for living with the land..society,,everything,,i farm, i live, i breathe..and i homeschool…its a hard life and exhuasting at times..but keeping the kids home was the best decision ive made..that and the skills and courage to raise and slaughter my own meat..cheers!ReplyCancel

  • February 6, 2014 - 3:02 am

    Jo - Hey Rohan,

    Love catching up on your posts. I could not agree with you more and totally related to garlic disaster! We moved from a large city to the country 5 years ago now and have not looked back! We have 2 boys who are growing and learning about food, the real life cycle, disappointments, and the thrill of the first whole meal of the summer season we have totally grown ourselves. Nothing could make us happier, our city friends admire from a distance, and question why we ‘work’ so hard! But we smile to ourselves and feel quite chuffed that we have made it. Keep on digging
    JoReplyCancel

  • February 9, 2014 - 3:28 am

    Ruth - It’s so important to understand where the things we consume come from – and how better to understand than by doing! The “Stories from the Cellar” event sounds amazing – I’m sending my boyfriend along to take lots of notes for me :) ReplyCancel