hunter of spirit

I remember my first time. I was huddled in the hollow of a fallen tree. Hidden from view, patiently waiting. I was alone, I was nervous as a school boy on a first date. I expected it to all go wrong. All go wrong in the sense that I’d likely to return home empty handed. It had already happened for a few weeks prior. When I’d got the chance, I’d been slipping away to the waters edge of the lake, laying in wait, but nothing came. Would this day be any different. My confidence in my ability was waining.

This day however would be different. It was only a few years ago, so I recollect it well enough. Just like now, Autumn had returned. The leaves reflected a different hue and the winds blew in cool and crisp.

On this day I had everything set. Like a good scout, I was well prepared. I had a thermos of home made soup. Some crusty bread, water and plenty of warm clothes. I had a box of shells and a brand new Spanish made Lanber, under and over 12 gauge scatter gun that was decorated with a detailed engraving of northern geese with leafy borders.

The morning turned into midday, not a waterfowl to be seen. It could have been boring for some, but the quietness and solitude where exactly what I needed at the time. Hours passed slowly, like drift wood on a river. I found myself questioning my ability to go through with the task at hand. I was nervous for a few reasons. Firstly I’d been against duck hunting since my early years as a result of seeing the yearly massacre that duck hunters were responsible for. The anti-duck hunting movement was in full swing in the 1980′s and 90′s and as a consequence I’d seen plenty of horrible footage on television. The images of hundreds of ducks shot with semi-automatic shotguns for sport, well it plain haunted me. But I was different right? I was hunting something that was natural. Something that had zero human intervention, other than the timing and duration of the hunting season. These birds I was hunting for food were born free. The ducks would have a few clutches over spring and summer, and by autumn the new birds were at adulthood and thats when hunting was permitted. It made sense to me. It sure as hell made more sense to me than factory farmed poultry.

Here I was, having returned to country living, and right at my door step was an animal that had not been raised in horrid factory farm conditions, it had not been treated with antibiotics nor had it been transported and packaged. It was as real as I could get. And it made a good change from the rabbit I was hunting so frequently. It was in my mind, a real seasonal treat. I once a year event.

Taking a break in my reflection, I’d pass time with a sip of the heartwarming soup, made from the last of my autumn zucchini. Time passed. Then it was in the early afternoon, that a flock appeared from the east, slightly out of view at first but it was their noise that got my attention. Closer and closer they came, close enough for me to see what species they where. It was clear they were Pacific Black ducks, one of the most common in this region. I’d recently passed the Waterfowl Identification Test held by the then Department of Sustainability and Environment, and as a result I’d been issued with my ticket for the season. Prior to the test one had to study all the birds in flight, and be able to recognise their call. With this information I was well prepared to identify the birds within seconds.

As the birds came into range, I selected one, took aim and shot just mico seconds in front of it. Bang! The shell exploded with a spray of shot. A hit, and the bird dropped in to the water, lifeless. I ran to the water, my jeans became soaked wet (this was prior to me owning waders). I was not going to let this bird get away after all that effort, so into the cold water in jeans I went. Dripping in lake water, I retired to my hollow log encampment to asses the bird. In my hands was the most beautiful creature. I cried. I may have just had some lake grit in my eye though.

My emotions ran a mix of joy and sadness. Just like killing a rabbit I was thankful for the meat I was about to receive. But somehow this was far prettier than a soft furred cotton tail rabbit. On the wing sat a set of bright emerald feathers that shimmered in the light. The detail in the head was more beautiful up close than what I’d seen in pictures and paintings. It’s hard to explain, I mean I’d just shot this bird and now I’m saying it’s beautiful? It almost doesn’t make sense. But there it was, bloodied and beautiful. It was everything about eating meat. Reality. No bullshit. It was the uncompromising reality of life and death.

I hung that duck for a few days and eventually plucked it, and made a roast duck risotto (which has become an annual favourite especially with the kids). The meat is very rich and can be used sparingly, let me assure you, it’s delicious. There’s is no mistaking that it’s the taste of Autumn.

Back in present day and the season has returned. Once again I’ve been hunting alone. I walk the fields where I’ve permission to shoot, and I stalk the dams. I crawl up the embankments, I figure my shot and if there are birds around there is always a chance I’ll walk home with a duck under my arm.

So far I’ve bagged a few black ducks which have been stuffed with a garlic and sage butter and slow roasted whole. I’ve processed every morsel of that rich meat and it’s been getting the paella treatment with ingredients like eggplant, parsley, thyme, jalapeño, smoked pimenton and manchego cheese. It’s such an easy meal and very much celebrates the flavours of autumn. It’s food that makes sense. The peak season wild duck meets the peak season vegetables from my back yard.

This type of food, this type of living is what I’ve aspired to for so many of my adult years. It totally makes sense to me to live this way. I have a multitude of reasons that drive me, but none of them involve bloodsport or trophy hunting. Living with what nature provides is how I’m supposed to be living. I know to some my approach may seem archaic, after all it’s 2014 not 1814. I know I’m not going to save the world by taking this approach to food and to life, lets face it I’m just one man feeding his family the way he believes is right.

But to me it’s much more than that. This is who I am. This is what I was dreaming of when I was a child growing up on the farm. I always wanted to become a man that resembled a pioneer, living off the land, living with what one could get their hands on. A pioneer facing new challenges and flying by the seat of their pants. Thats who I’ve become. Thats who I am.

I also have to accept that my role in life now comprises of two things.

Firstly to live with nature. Secondly, to communicate that journey.

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  • March 26, 2014 - 9:52 am

    Rosella22 - that’s the way, brotherReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 10:54 am

    Ness - I just had to tell you how much of an impact you, your lifestyle and your family is having in my own little world. My husband and our two little sons are moving to the country next year (goodbye hell-hole Geelong!) and want to eventually live off grid. I read your posts, look at your photos and embrace your words as they are so down-to-earth, pleading with heartfelt sincerity and love, and and your life is just so beautiful. It is filled with honesty. Courage. Grace. But most of all it is filled with love and admiration for what we have in front of us as beings on this earth. Please don’t listen to the dicks in society – I, too, can’t live with other humans! – I much prefer the power of silence, loves embrace and daily, quiet thoughts. But most of all I am thankful for such simple things – including you walking into our lives. Enjoy your next morning, afternoon and eve, Rohan! x NessReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Tim - A really lovely bedtime story mate. Good to hear you focusing on the stuff which makes you an awesome leader and companion.ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 12:03 pm

    Christopher Howe - Nice one Ro.

    A gorgeous, soft, velvety, rich and considered return of fire in the midst of all the empty chatter of recent.

    We are only responsible for answering to ourselves bro.


    • March 26, 2014 - 10:42 pm

      rohan - We are only responsible for answering to ourselves bro.

      This is what keeps me going. It’s what I’ve been telling myself for years. Thanks mate.ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 12:50 pm

    Brian - My first post Rohan. I have felt compelled this time,although tempted many times before,to participate following the number of unbelievably naive and almost hysterical comments made recently.
    Your depiction of your day on the lake/dam was a great example of what I must agree is a very responsible and balanced approach to the provision of meat to your diet. Although the more knee jerk reaction to your post from some, bordered on farce,i am pleased to see a great majority of support from the wider community, of whom I would be confident in saying most are not hunters themselves. Of those personal attacks made, it only goes to diminish any degree of credibility they may have wanted to generate, to carry on this way. If they were regular readers like myself, they should have understood the strong commitment you have across the board to responsible and sustainable living, that does include this activity. Humans have created an unnatural balance in the environment that allow for unsustainable growth in many wild animals and the occasional and responsible culling from time to time can help to maintain reasonable and sustainable numbers. In addition, no one in their right mind would accept the moronic approach of a bunch of red necks indiscriminately shooting anything that moves. a point you have strongly made many times before. I respect those people out there who may have a genuine aversion to eating meat and actually live by those beliefs. I do not share the same outlook, but would never denigrate their ideals. However, the great majority of those who jumped on the, lets have a crack him bandwagon probably do eat meat and are happy to do so as long as they never have to take responsibility for the way they are raised and butchered. Ignorance is really bliss for many. As you have commented on in the past, surely a reasonable person should never be able to state a position that an animal that has lived a happy, healthy and productive life, then is dispatched as efficiently as possible could ever be worse than one that has been factory farmed,and produced for the every day table of the greater masses. Since the dawn of time, most humans eat meat,and will continue to do so long after the baboons griping about your article have gone the way of the dodo. The only real argument we should, all be having is how we can all, as a community, start to improve the lot for the animals who are marked to produce food for our table in the future. Sorry, long and probably not the most articulate rant, but continue to maintain the rage Ro. One last word for those who do insist on a personal attack; do some real research, take the time to find out exactly what you are talking about, actually live the way you believe others should be living or piss off!ReplyCancel

    • March 26, 2014 - 10:41 pm

      rohan - Thank you Brian. I really value what you’ve commented there. It’s fuel to keep me going.ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    Susan in Las Vegas - That’s lovely – and touches the real dilemma that thoughtful people face in eating real food, rather than packaged grocery store offerings.

    I’m a city girl, but recently decided (in a much smaller way) to do the same, and started killing and butchering the chickens I eat. (Rather than plucking a cellophane wrapped package from the grocery store frig.) One moment there’s a soft lovely bird in your hands, and moments later, it’s no longer alive. It’s become food.

    That’s both a startling simple line to cross, and a very difficult one.

    I’m glad I’ve learned to do this, and have committed to continuing in the future. I’m much more mindful of what I’m eating and where it’s coming from. And I’m much more grateful for the bounty I have available.ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 9:30 pm

    yvette - Quail season is coming soon, do you do that as well? Great article.ReplyCancel

    • March 26, 2014 - 10:40 pm

      rohan - Yes. I’ll be out in the field soon. I have to say, even though there isn’t much meat on a quail, it has to be the most delicious bird meat out there. Unbelievably treasured.ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 9:54 pm

    Kaz - Something i can’t figure. When you use a shot gun to shoot ducks, rabbits or whatever – don’t you get little metal pellets through the meat?ReplyCancel

    • March 26, 2014 - 10:39 pm

      rohan - Valid question Kaz.
      For rabbits to Deer it’s best to use a rifle. It fires a single projectile i.e. bullet.
      For a fast moving target like a duck in the air a shotgun is more practical as it shoots hundreds of small pellets (shot).
      When the bird is cooked, as with all animals, the meat shrinks somewhat and as I process the meat from the carcus I’ll often find the odd shot and discard it. However sometimes one gets through and we have a bit of a chuckle. Most of the time the shot will pass through the bird. The odd one stays in but we accept that.ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 11:03 pm

    lemmiwinks - One of the most refreshing and appealing (to me, in this age of political correctness) things about your blog is it’s subtitle – “Grow. Gather. *Hunt*. Cook.” I really admire that you have the balls to admit to being a hunter (a much vilified pursuit these days). I wish I was as brave.

    If you ever get the chance to go after feral goats, holy cow they’re delicious when slow roasted in white wine with onions.

    Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but there is a significant difference between “where” and “were”. For some reason you’re “where”ing where you should be “were”ing a lot. :-) ReplyCancel

    • March 26, 2014 - 11:44 pm

      rohan - I know I’m horrible at it! I’ve gone and fixed them. It’s my stupid brain. I can’t figure out the right one. Today I wrote out sentences on my white board to remind me in which moments I should use the right word. Sorry!ReplyCancel

      • March 27, 2014 - 10:52 pm

        lemmiwinks - I’m just happy to read a new post here dude!ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 10:18 am

    David Griffiths - Rohan,

    Two things strike me about you post

    The first is how closely aligned you are with nature ,how you are harmonsly living within the natural flow of the physical world . That is quite a remarkable achievement .

    The second is more troubling , you seem to have gone to great lengths to explain and justify your beautiful natural hunter lifestyle . I am guessing that maybe you do this because you have been misunderstood and heaped into the same basket as the porno shooter ,you know those who feel so empty and broken inside that the only reall power they feel is that of taking life for their own blood lust.

    I recon you are an inspiration and a guiding light of a beautiful way to live and you don’t need to work so hard to justify your choices . Your right on the mark mate


    • March 27, 2014 - 10:28 am

      rohan - David thank you. Yes for many years I’ve been on the defensive after coping flack for my choices. I wonder if I just turned everything off. That’s the easy way. But I feel that some people may benefit from hearing what I’m doing. That’s what keeps me going. Thanks for your support.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 7:13 pm

    Peter - You might not save the world, but you’re doing what you can to save your world. Good for you for doing it, and thank you for sharing the journey with us.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 9:58 pm

    Rachel - So well said. Thanks for that little breath of fresh air.ReplyCancel

  • March 29, 2014 - 4:09 am

    Uncle Larry - I can’t believe I’ve never crossed paths with you until today’s sweet tweet from Filson.
    It’s always comforting to feel the world shrink and expand at once, and I’m stuck in the middle after reading this. Cheers my man, let’s keep trying to live simple and honest.ReplyCancel

  • March 29, 2014 - 10:30 pm

    KC - Beautifully said! I would imagine that I too would cry the first time I shot something. I find your blog such inspiration and hopefully one day I can be more connected to my food then just the veggie garden in my backyard.ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2014 - 7:27 pm

    June Molloy Vladička - A beautiful and eloquent post, Rohan. I’ve never hunted, mainly because guns scare me, but my father hunted and I grew up eating wild game in season – mostly pheasant and rabbits. I fish, though, and understand the peace to be enjoyed even if you catch nothing. I almost always find the fish that I catch beautiful. I hope you don’t feel the need to justify yourself to those whose daily joy is to find fault and pass negative comment on those who are trying to make the world a little bit better. There will always be those who disagree as well as those who thing what you’re doing is awesome. There will also be those who will swear that black is white just for the heck of it. Onwards and upwards, eh?ReplyCancel

You’re an idiot. No, you’re an idiot. No you are. I said it first. Takes one to know one.

This post is a response to the comments for article #1

And a general observational piece. A reaction to article #2

The world is full of people with ill informed opinions. Opinions formed on what they see in the media. Often it’s an opinion not formed by experience or reality. Alas it’s one based on what’s fed to the mind via television, radio or print. Comfortable western lives have made us so ‘informed’ that we have become macro judgemental. We all have opinions for everything. That’s ok, but to have ill informed opinions is not doing anybody any good.

I have no need to justify what I do. I have no need to justify to people the choice’s I have made to live the way I do. However saying that, I’ve always made it clear that I no longer want to be part of the mainstream food system. Why? Well, go walk down the isles of a supermarket and admire the fake unhealthy food, then walk into a poultry/pork factory farm and admire the cruelty, walk the paddocks of the land hammered by intensive farming methods. Go study the carbon emissions resulting from worldwide food transport and research the chemicals applied to your food. Food that most people eat without a thought to what it’s doing to their health and the health of the planet.

The action I take to live a life away from that flawed system is what I to communicate with you, the reader. I photograph it and I write about it. The sole intention is to display an alternate lighter way of living. One that is practical and not particularly extreme.

I’ve always said sustainability is a buzz word. We need to focus on how we can individually reduce. Reduce is our future.

I’ve been left with so little hope for the future of the world that I can’t even live in house thats in close proximity to neighbours. Why? Because most people are fucking idiots. That’s a sad truth that quite frankly it pisses people off when I say it. But tell me this. If the world wasn’t full of mindless idiots then why do we have a resource hungry society that is still to this day, taking, taking, taking from nature? Go ask native indigenous tribes around the world how they feel about their natural world being raped. Talk to any old cocky farmer out in the bush and listen to them tell you stories about how they used to be able to fish in the rivers, when they weren’t polluted or empty for lack of rain.

How long can we sip our soy lattes and wait for something good to happen? Well I’m one of those annoying blokes that decided I would no longer stand for it. “Take some fucking action Rohan” rings in my head everyday. So I don’t eat supermarket food? Hell it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out how unnatural that food is. You don’t need pages of scientific data to understand that our mass produced food system is unhealthy for us and our beautiful nature. Hold a packet of cereal in your hands and tell me how natural that is.

There are two options for us humans. The future outcomes will sway towards repair and reduction or continuos resource exploitation. Lets imagine when all of us a dead and buried, say in a few hundred years time, what will the world look like? Will it be a utopia of reduced resource usage and love for nature or will it be mega cities, more pollution, more climatic problems and wars fought over natural resources?

I said recently that I’ve chosen to live off the land. The reality though is that WE ALL LIVE OFF THE LAND. The only difference is that some of us have an intimate relationship and appreciation for that land, some of us do not. Thus some of us have opinions formed by experience and some have opinions formed by the information has been selected for them.


Free Advice:

For those readers that will complain, saying that I should stop my opinion pieces on this blog and just write stories about fly fishing, hunting and building log cabins. Turn your computer off and take a walk in the bush. 

For those people that are going to say I’m too angry. I disagree. I’m not angry enough. If only you knew what our future is going to be like you’d be angry too. 


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  • March 25, 2014 - 2:07 am

    Michel - Get angry
    We should all get really angry
    Our way of life is f@ckedReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:10 am

    Jacqui - Thank you, great read, keep ‘em coming….ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:11 am

    Kathryn - Can you hear my round of applause from just south of Bendigo? It should be loud enough for you to hear it from your place. Continue to tell us about your life, and please keep up the anger! I love reading your blog, it fills me with hope. Cheers KathrynReplyCancel

    • March 25, 2014 - 2:37 am

      Spryn - What Kathryn said :) ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:16 am

    tony - Yep fucken A. To many mindless idiots that just take for granted as gospel what comes out of the mouths of people with vested growth, profit at all costs and raping all the natural elements on this round piece of dirt we live on. More of us need to get fucken angry, question everything, stop taking shit from our elected bureaucrats and start a revolution to take away that control we have allowed them to wield over us.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:17 am

    mountaingirl - This might come to shock to you, but there are those of us out there who agree with you whole heartily. Just picked one of our last basil plants and made a big batch of pesto to freeze and still have a big pot of tomatoes on the stove. It does take time to do these things, and yes I do live in the bush on a property. But everyone can do something, my grandparents lived in suburbia and everyone was able to have a vegie garden and some chooks. My friend lives in a flat and has taken over the small garden around the concrete and has made a vegie garden that all residents can share. If you live in a high rise join a local food co-op or get a garden plot(they are in the cities). If you want a future you need to get off your couch and into the garden.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:17 am

    Michelle - Your writing is so passionate Ro. I love reading your opinion pieces. Keep them coming. People keep having be bloody reminded.
    We should all be angry.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:18 am

    Emma Galloway - Keep pushing love, and know that there are loads of us out here who support you and your choices. xxReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:21 am

    Ted of Glenlyon - Say it as it is, good on you mate. Totally agree.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:27 am

    John McDaniel - We are fucked..

    This sums it up.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:31 am

    Shane - Please continue doing what you’re doing; helping us understand the choices we are making each day.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:39 am

    Spryn - Keep it up mate – to be frank if people dont want to hear what you have to say then it’s easy – unsubscribe! It’s your blog, your soapbox, your life -who gives a #hit what others think! Carry on and keep it up – when’s the next book coming out.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:43 am

    Michelle - I really enjoy your blog but have never commented before but after reading some of the comments you received after your article I was absolutely gob-smacked.

    Good for you for telling them where to go!

    Kind Regards,


  • March 25, 2014 - 2:46 am

    karen - Glory, I love to read your view, sometimes it even makes me think a little harder about my own life choices…….as for the complainers go find another blog that doesn’t challenge you and sit in your chair and watch those fish you want to catch diminish in the polluted waters….ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:56 am

    Juan Dollapotz - Keep fighting the good fight Roh.
    Sometimes you have to slap a prone body to see if it’s still alive…..ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:56 am

    Denise - Thanks Rohan for your informative writings. I try to live as sustainably as I can and support local producers as much as I can. Living in Tassie I am spoilt for the wonderful array of produce around me. Keep up the good work. By the way I loved your images of passatta day.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 3:03 am

    Deb - I’ve been reading your blog for a year or so and I enjoy your writing. Like many others, I agree with your philosophy and have also been practicing living off the land (to varying degrees) for many years. However my response to the above blog is this: what was your aim? Was it to vent? If so, maybe it helped some. Was it to influence others that your choices are worth considering and trying? If so, I think you are more likely to have polarized attitudes. You are not going to reach those who aren’t ready for the message. You might have turned others away who could have been open to your message. Stick with telling your story honestly and calmly and your success in what you do will be the most powerful example.ReplyCancel

    • March 25, 2014 - 4:04 am

      rohan - Deb my post was a response to the comments made on the two Duck Hunting articles that I attached links for. Also I’m pretty clear in communicating the realities, and also I use this forum to write how honestly feel. Most of my posts are the stories of my daily life. And sometimes I guess they could be considered entertaining. But this here blog does not exist to please others. It’s here to communicate my stories, feelings and thoughts. Success never comes into my thoughts as I write a post.ReplyCancel

      • March 25, 2014 - 11:31 am

        Donna - You will not reach the idiots anyway as they are well-defended by their parroting of corporate talking points – no worries. People need to know that being “nice” and being “calm” are ways to keep people quiet and accepting of the b.s.

        You are a bright light in the darkness – keep shining.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 3:13 am

    Alacoque - There’s no point having stories about fly fishing or hunting etc without the story behind your decisions to do these things. It’s lovely to find others who think the same way we do, especially in this world filled with people so concerned about purchasing the next new thing. Living in the city our options for living lightly on the earth are different to yours but we can still make a difference. Everyone has a right to an opinion, the mistake people make is thinking all opinions are equally valid.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 3:17 am

    Sarah - Well said!!! I cant agree with you more about how many idiots unfortunately inhabit this planet. I am vego myself and dont totally agree with duck hunting, but I dont agree with killing animals full stop. I understand that other people choose to eat meat and I will support someone who chooses to hunt responsibly and have a conection to their meat any day over the choice of plastic wrapped, factory farmed flesh!!!
    People need to face the truth, well done and keep the opinions coming!!!!ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 3:28 am

    Christi - Angry passionate, insightful, truthful, honest, real….they would be how I would describe your words often…..the saying ‘blind Freddy’ seems to be the only thing you haven’t touched on…. ;) ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 3:49 am

    AB - Love your work Brother.

    What indeed is this human game we are all playing at? Trying to simply find a comfortable place to sit within our world seems at once immediate and necessary and yet so strange an endeavor – one undertaken by no other species in history (that we know of). Of course other species may live unsustainably (I’m thinking of locusts and other plague species), but that seems pretty shitty company for humanity – capable of reaching other planets, global speed of light information sharing, splitting atoms, conquering diseases etc, etc.

    I for one welcome the debate. It IS a shame that it is populated by many with ill informed opinions. But I think the clash of ideas (even blunt ones) and the ability for education that you and others like you precipitate through these articles and discussions is worth the angst, and even the anger. If we could simply remove the venom and the automatic defensiveness many bring to the discussion, we might all learn something; and faster.

    So please, see every blunt comment, criticism and insult as an opportunity for us all to observe and learn. Those of us who live in the city and are engaged in lives that involve food choices on a different level to yours (for now) benefit greatly from your efforts. I hope you can find the same zen with your media opponents that you have for nature!ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 4:14 am

    Lou - Brilliant commentary.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 4:19 am

    Jeff - Way to go, Rohan. You are more real, and more Green, than most!ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 4:42 am

    dad down under - Hey Rohan, I had the pleasure of picking up one of your vege boxes this week and spent much of Saturday dragging my wife into the kitchen and making her try everything because it actually tasted of something. I love what you’re doing and what you’re saying. You’re working with nature rather than against it and I commend you on that. Keep doing what you do.ReplyCancel

    • March 25, 2014 - 5:15 am

      rohan - Good on you mate!!!!! Great real food isn’t it!ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 5:07 am

    Emma - This whole article is worthy of a slow clap. When I was younger we lived off the land, we only ate meat off the organic farm including the wild rabbits or what was hunted from the woods in NZ, as I got older I got bullied about being a redneck for the way we lived and for going to the rifle club (so that I was a clean shot and the animals didn’t suffer). So I moved to the city, ate crap unethical food, got sick and overweight. Now we’re leaving to have land again, to return to simple.
    Things are so toxic now and people have such strong uniformed opinions that it is hard to argue reasonably with them.
    I thank you for making your life look so damn good that it will hopefully encourage people to open their eyes and see what is actually going on.ReplyCancel

    • March 25, 2014 - 5:14 am

      rohan - You speak some sense Emma. I was toxic years ago too. I ate all the bad food, and made poor lifestyle choices. I’m better now. Thats all I do is try to communicate that process and the benefits! Good luck to your family.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 5:28 am

    ami - Keep going Rohan. More folks need to get angry!

    Love your posts and your wonderful photographs.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 6:02 am

    Catherine - I really enjoyed reading this Rohan, reading how passionate you are about what you do and how frustrated it can be to get people to see sense but it’s hard. I like what you do and what you believe in keep on sharing however you feel.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 6:11 am

    Scott - Live true to your values mateReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 6:11 am

    kmc - I love your blog and follow it from Im sure others do….and yip Im totally with you on your fk em comments….how can shooting a duck be any worse than battery raised poultry that ‘flavours’ (??) your other foods products…wildlife and freerange animals get to have a live a good life and have one shit day… opposed to a battery or barn reared animal that has a shit life one one shittier day!…..we need to get back in touch with where our food really comes from in order that we can better appreciate this place we call ‘home’… often do these nancies that wank on about the political correctness of food production actually do the whole 9yards themselves…from paddock to plate,no waste?ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 6:31 am

    melody (mandarine's) - You cannot stop doing what youre doing.
    You’re such a strong voice, and your words are so right and true.

    There’s too many idiots in that world, you’re totally right. The planet would be much better without them.

    Keep fighting.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 6:46 am

    suzanne - Telling it like it is. Love your passion.I am glad to live in your neighborhood,taking full advantage of its rich volcanic soils, reasonable supply of water and a prevailing culture appreciating home and locally grown food.Ignorant idiots are usually motivated by their own inadequacies. What you do is real.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 7:30 am

    Kian - Rohnan,

    You are an inspiration. Never quit doing what you do. You are the “eye.”

    Said the Eye one day, “I see beyond these valleys a mountain veiled with blue mist. Is it not beautiful?”
    The Ear listened, and after listening intently awhile, said, “But where is any mountain? I do not hear.”
    Then the Hand spoke and said, “I am trying in vain to feel it or touch it, and I can find no mountain.”
    And the Nose said, “There is no mountain, I cannor smell it.”
    Then the Eye turned the other way, and they all began to talk together about the Eye’s strange delusion. And they said, “Something must be the matter with the Eye.”

    The Madman, Khalil GibranReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 7:35 am

    lizzie @ strayedtable - HERE HERE. If only everyone opened their eyes to what is around them. Honestly food doesn’t just fall from the sky. Please keep telling it like it is, people really grind me too with their lack of food education.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 7:43 am

    Nadia - Love, love, love your blog. You speak the truth, truth that the majority of people are too blind or naive to see. Don’t stop being yourself. Your posts are not all pretty and rosy, they’re raw and filled with a burning passion. Love it!! Wish the world was full of more people like you.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 8:14 am

    Samantha Rixon - Rohan. I LOVE what you are doing, your honesty, your wisdom, your passion and your anger. I am in the process of following the same path with pigs, chickens, vegetables and most importantly, living with less. However I do have days (most days) where I have complete despair for the human race. Greed, money, ego, stupidity, apathy and distance from nature seem to be traits that are valued by mainstream society. They see what we are doing as ‘weird’ or ‘disgusting’. So, unfortunately I do see a future filled with mega cities, more pollution, more climatic problems and wars fought over natural resources. However I will continue to connect with people like yourself, and hopefully, we can come up with a way to initiate the social change that is required to save ourselves and our planet. Thank you for your posts. xReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 8:48 am

    Sash @ Inked in Colour - No one is angry enough. Most of the people in this country are so damn complacent. I don’t know why. I don’t know why more people don’t care enough to talk about the reality of the way we live right now and the dangerous future we are creating for ourseleves. I don’t know why more people don’t engage in this discussion with great passion. I don’t know why people don’t give a shit. I don’t know.

    What I do know is that I do give a shit. I care about the fact we are so wasteful and unhealthy and uncaring. I give a shit.

    And if the people that DO give a shit stand up and make their voices heard (however unpopular they may be)… maybe it will be the end to at least a bit of the complacency.

    Good on you Rohan. You’ve got the right idea mate.


    • April 2, 2014 - 7:59 am

      Aina - I also wonder why people are so damn ignorant and unaffected. Seriously, how bad must it be before you get any response ??? When they do react, I a afraid it is Far Too Late !!ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 8:57 am

    Rachel - Keep speaking your truth. Those who are most turned off by it are the ones who need to hear it.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 9:33 am

    Sian Robinson - I am against hunting animals for fun. (Like fox hunting in the UK) but I have never been against anything you have done or said. You are living as we should all live. You are connected to your food and you respect it. Most of us don’t have any concept where our food comes from. I watched a documentary recently on how animals are treated before they reach our supermarket and I was in bits. I thought I knew but I had no idea. No I’m not becoming a vegetarian but I will be changing what I eat and know exactly where it comes from. I envy you living of the land, eating in season, gathering and hunting your own food. It takes a lot of work especially when convenience and ignorance calls seductively from supermarkets all over. I hope you keep talking about what you do. Change is always difficult for people to accept. But food wise we desperately need to change our food habits.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 10:07 am

    Scott Johnson - Rohan, I’m like a few others that felt moved to say something after reading some comments from Article #1.

    I do think you’re too angry, i think you need to have some faith that there is an under swell of people who are sick of mundane, inhumane and pathetic product you can get at the supermarkets. We don’t all grow, hunt all of our produce. We don’t have the opportunity to. But we only buy from suppliers we know, avoid the supermarket at all costs, have little to large veggie patches. We aren’t as “self sufficient” as you, but we’re trying. We’re trying because of the rubbish we are shown at the local Coles and we’re sick of it. We want to know where our produce comes from, how it was reared and slaughtered. It makes a difference. If an animal is going to die for us to eat then it may as taste as best it can. We want our veggies to be free of pesticides.

    So don’t let the ignorant get you down, or get you angry. Your blog may change a few of us, it may keep the passion for home grown just a little longer. It all helps. It’s changing the world, by helping that under swell grow.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 10:53 am

    Rob Wilmot - Good on you Rohan. Judging by the many comments on your rave, lots of people agree with you. The thing is, most thinking people know what’s needed to preserve a sustainable world but hardly anyone wants to do it. Life is currently just too comfy as it is. I reckon humans will all cop it in the neck eventually, and deservedly so. It’s probably too late to change now, even if we wanted to.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 11:33 am

    Guy - Love you work / your passionReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    Reddog - I cut my own firewood, grow veggies, raise chickens for eggs and slaughter them to eat all in a regular 1/4 acre residential block, with a regular full time job. Everyone can do something to help. No excuses. It’s an investment in your own health and the future of the planet. I absolutely support you, Ro, and respect that you’re willing to cop criticism time and time again for what you believe in.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 1:02 pm

    emma - You are offering the world what it needs to hear – a truth about a way of living that we can all learn from. Reactions will always vary, including stupid & insignificant ones regarding someone’s weight…. below-the-belt commentary is a sad reflection of those who are missing the boat. You are brave putting your lifestyle out there for all to see…. don’t ever stop doing that because you’re one of the rare few helping to shift the change.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    Nikki - I just wanted to tell you that I hail from the US, and even halfway across the world, your words ring true and clear to me & are a major inspiration to me on a regular basis. For every loudmouth assclown who decides to try to harass you for your opinions and decisions, there are TONS of us who typically sit back quietly in the wings, inspired by your words (I’ve been following your blog religiously for almost a year now, and this is the first time I’ve commented that I can remember).

    I was bullied as a child, and my parents used to tell me that it was just because the bullies were jealous of me. I didn’t believe it then (what kid does?) but as an adult, I see that more and more throughout the Internet, and in the small cliques that form in society. Instead of “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”, I say it’s now “those who can, do; those who can’t, criticize”. Keep fighting the good fight; there are more of us in your corner than you’d think.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 4:05 pm

    Patty - Excellent read….its your story, its your feelings, its your blog. Respect to you brother. Stand tall, keep preaching.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 4:50 pm

    Karen - oh. my. god. I am nearly speechless after reading the comments, especially those on the piece you wrote. I am in America, and even though there is an ever-growing contingent of “humans are worthless scum who should subsist on gmo soybeans and leave all the animals alone” idiots, I have never seen such a hateful display. Mind boggling. Love your blog, love the lifestyle you’ve chosen.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 5:51 pm

    Jay - I really like one of the comments that suggested you were a “hipster” in some way or likened your approach to living as being “hipster.” The difference between you and hipsters is that they like to talk about living sustainably (or any other way that’s against the mainstream) and you actually do it. I hope to be more like you in my lifestyle… and I’ve never said that about any hipster.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 8:46 pm

    SS - Excellent post. I am amazed that people can form such strong negative reactions to something they have no physical experience of. I grew up on a farm catching rabbits, milking the house cow, watching my dad slaughter sheep for us to eat, growing our vegetables etc etc.
    fairly sure most of the naysayers haven’t had the pleasure of growing up in the country or actually spending time physically being part of raising / growing food for their family. They might just change their opinions if that was the case……..ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 9:13 pm

    Chris Godden - I hate hypocrisy, and I hate political correctness even more. Its simple, if you dont like the content of a blog or an article, its a simple choice – close your browser. Dont read the blog, only read those entries that interest you.

    Be kind to your fellow man and dont hide behind the anonymity of the internet. If you like something give praise, if you dont like something – try keeping those comments to yourself because there is no need for it. Its not constructive and does not get mankind anywhere.

    Rohan, I hold you in a very high regard! I look at your way of life and it is something that I am striving to achieve. Keep up your good work brother and try not to worry to much about the idiots. Surely natural selection will catch up with them one day and they wont know what to do.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    Wendy - Rohan, I love your blog, admire your lifestyle and your choices. I don’t think you are too angry, I think you are REAL. Just keep on keeping on, there is no need to justify yourself to anyone who can’t just accept others make their choices and have their own reasons for doing so. I guess if others feel buying their meat pre-packaged makes them better people, well….my husband has worked on farms for years, mass production of meat can be a cruel business.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 9:56 pm

    Moumi - Well said ! Nothing else to add, just act !ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 10:31 pm

    lemmiwinks - Stuffed if I know why you’d post a whiny comment here anyway. If you don’t like it, don’t click the bookmark or link that brings you here. Duh!ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 1:56 am

    John Peabody - Not sure what the fuss is about. Keep doing what you’re doing and keep the opinion pieces coming please.ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 9:46 am

    Dale Morgan - Its your blog Rohan, say what you fucken like. People will stay if like what they hear!ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 12:11 pm

    Robert - Angry? Understandably. You waded into what is a flash-point for misanthropic animal rights extremism in Australia and been dealt a serve of blind hatred. Stay the course. Hunters care deeply about what, where and how they get their meat. Hunters acknowledge that all living things die and become food for some other living thing, and choose to be an intimate part of that until they, too, become food for something else. You’re choices inspire me.ReplyCancel

    • March 26, 2014 - 10:41 pm

      rohan - Couldn’t have said it better Robert!ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 10:25 pm

    Melissa - Keep going! Keep sticking the boot in and pushing along, there needs to be more of it!!
    I love to stick my boot in by not buying from the supermarkets. I stick my boot in when friends come over and there are no ‘conveniences’ like crappy tomato & BBQ sauce or shitty soft drink. But I do have my nice homemade tomato sauce and share the recipe because it’s dead easy to make!
    I stick it in by passing on the details of where friends/family can get great meat/veges.
    The list of ways we can all stick the boot in goes on forever! People at work thought I was nuts to make bread just to use up the last of your grapes, people at my husbands work think he’s nuts because he won’t eat the free lunches of Subway or Domino’s Pizza but we’ll cop it because we know it’s the best thing for us and our son.
    Stay angry & keep sticking your boot in!ReplyCancel

    • April 2, 2014 - 7:12 am

      Gem - Would you mind sharing the recipe with me? I have a few good tomato sauce recipes for stuff like pizza or pasta, but I’d love a good bottled version to chuck on a sausage! ^^ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 1:12 am

    Jim - Too many comments to go through all of them so I may be saying something already said: STOP READING COMMENTS SECTIONS! Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and most do them stink.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 8:33 am

    David - Your comments on people’s ill informed opinions leads me to ask you the question if you ever visited a “factory” farm and seen these acts of cruelty you mentioned, or are you just as ill informed with your media influenced views as those you deride in your article. If you witnessed these acts first hand, would you care to share with us which farms you visited , and if you did indeed see instances of animal welfare breeches, did you report them to the DPI?ReplyCancel

    • March 27, 2014 - 8:50 am

      rohan - If I where to tell you were I’d been and if I was to state what I have seen then wouldn’t I then make myself liable legally. So no. I’m not telling you.

      I worked in a dairy as a kid. A butchers as a teenager and for colesmyer as an adult. I’ve also researched for years prior to changing my way of living.

      I’ve been witness to both poorly operated and perfectly operated poultry farms. One of the poorly operated farms claimed to be free range. It was far from free range.

      I have enough experience to make an informed opinion. I also know the corners that are cut to ensure the bottom line turns a profit.

      In any case. It doesn’t take a genius to know that some companies get it all wrong. I’m not being an advocate for free range and organic just for the sake of it. It’s not actually fun being a dart board for people’s comments like yours.ReplyCancel

    • March 27, 2014 - 8:56 am

      rohan - Oh one last thing. I worked for the DSE for 7 years. I know how useless the department can be in following up cases. In any case, what is deemed fair and best practice by industry standards isn’t necessarily what I’d call fair and reasonably humane.

      The term ‘free range’ had no governmental regulation. The standard is set by an industry lead regulator. The industry monitors its;ef and sets it’s own standards? So Coles stepped in and tried to make the term free range become applicable to birds living 10,000 birds per hectare.

      I don’t know what you’re driving at David. Do you work for the poultry industry?ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 11:43 pm

    Rebekah - “Because most people are fucking idiots.” hahaha I love this. I had a good laugh. It’s just the simple, honest truth. I love your blog. I love your honesty and that you just say things as they are without attempting to pretty them up for the benefit of those with their heads in the sand (who unfortunately are the majority!) and who really can’t handle the truth. Please keep doing what you’re doing, we need more people in the world like you!ReplyCancel

  • March 28, 2014 - 9:19 am

    A March List... - Think Big Live Simply - […] : Motivated by this post by Rohan. Harsh, but fair he always reminds me I can keep doing […]ReplyCancel

  • March 28, 2014 - 9:22 pm

    alan middleton - At least you have only a few million idiots in Oz. I have to watch 300 million idiots up here who not only are actively ignorant but they make it a full time job of voluntarily telling me (and those like me) about their “real ‘merican” values and rightousness.

    Stay on the path. You DO speak for many.ReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2014 - 8:39 am

    Paul - Permie (soon to be) from the Mallee - You see, I use to be a radical vegan. I got there on the words of Peter Singer, Gary Francione and Carol J Adams. I opposed exploitation. I ate “ethically”. I was angry at people all the time and let them know about it. But then, I got sick of the language being used by my associates. I got sick of their flawed insistence that “Redwood Cheatin Pepperoni Slices has to be better than the real thing, for no animals were hurt in its production”. I started to see the “movement” as juvenile, unevolved; trivial. The amount of infighting made matters worse.

    I handed back my vegan membership and started eating meat and other animal products again. Initially my health took a turn – I was healthier as a wholefood-eatin’ vegan. But I regained balance.

    So why did I leave the vegan marfia? I am still not entirely sure. Do I think using animals as a means to a human end is morally testing? Absolutely. It is exploitation. However, I think that it can be justified. Shooting down a duck and turning it into dinner for a family, surely that is better than snacking on some edible food-like substance from the supermarket. Meat (and other animal products) has its place. But not all is the same. Sure, to the welfarists out there, many of whom are mere vegetarians, fresh game is better than factory cow. Surely.ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2014 - 10:10 am

    Fabian - Rohan
    Really enjoy your posts and the real way of life you are practicing.
    Commend you on the guts to go and follow your dreams.
    You are a great inspiration to all life seeking individuals, such as myself.
    My aim here is to inspire you to continue to do what you do as we can live thru your experience.
    Thank you and RegardsReplyCancel

  • April 1, 2014 - 7:00 am

    lisa | renovating italy - It seems that people come in half way through a conversation and then make judgements. I bet all the people who commented in such a negative way would be happy to come to Italy for the ‘Slow Food’ which is real food, I totally get where you are coming from and when I showed pics of our baby rabbits (which will one day be eaten) everyone was saying how cute they are and ‘you’re not going to eat them are you’….well yes we are, and we will know where the food comes from that we eat and feed to our children. It’s just about educating yourself and here in the mountains the locals are happy to educate us, I can’t imagine any other way that will work long term for humanity.

    don’t let the bastards get you down xxxxReplyCancel

  • April 2, 2014 - 6:08 am

    Gem - Jesus Christ, I just read the comments after your Guardian article. What the hell is wrong with people?

    I don’t understand how these morons think it’s more moral to eat a farmed creature than a wild one. Too many generations in the city, perhaps? And for those accusing you of hipsterism… well! I think they need to actually read what you write.

    I’m sorry you have to put up with this sort of bullshit. But I’m glad that you seem to have a really strong community here to reassure you if you ever feel like faltering.ReplyCancel

  • April 2, 2014 - 7:22 am

    Aina - Hear, Hear !!!ReplyCancel

  • April 2, 2014 - 9:13 am

    Oliver - Rohan, like many who read your blog and haven’t commented before but feel the need to now, I would just like to add how brave you are to communicate your journey in the way you do. Being a Guardian reader I also get sick and tired of the below the line comments from people who just seem to enjoy trolling. The excuse that you are self-promoting, that you are a pretentious hipster parading as something you are not is such a lame and easy comment to make. And it’s bullshit. It’s clear to any sensible soul that you are doing what you feel is right for you, for your family, and for the land.
    Without blowing hot air up your arse you are inspiring. Keep it up dude.ReplyCancel

  • April 6, 2014 - 5:48 am

    Nicole - My dad grew up in country Victoria in the 50′s and he really misses heading out to the hills to hunt rabbits. I think people don’t like to be confronted with the reality that for meat to be consumed, an animal has to die. And even more confronting is if somebody might actually enjoy or take satisfaction in the process. I like how you share how real it is to get food. Cheers.ReplyCancel

  • April 7, 2014 - 4:51 am

    Simon - I’ve been following your blog sporadically over the years. Like a normal human being i agree with some things you say and some i don’t. I think the flak you got over that article was a bit over the top – but i have opinions about MSM and how useless it is. Having a comment section opens you up to the great unwashed and their myriad (and quite frankly stupid) opinions. But you also have the right to answer back. I’d stay away from the stupid though. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience (makes you feel dirty to boot).

    I’d also read (via Alain De Botton) that by confronting people with a situation and telling them their opinion is morally wrong it only makes them feel angry, powerless. They dig in their heels and no progress is made. I think that happened on both sides in the comments of that article.

    You are expounding on an increasingly touchy subject. Most intelligent people are aware of where our planet is heading. Personally it all gets a bit mind bending when you spend too much time thinking about it. There are studies being done that are showing urban living in a centralised communal city system is more efficient and progressive with innovation and living footprints. Rural living in contrast is less efficient. But you are right – the way to feed these cities must be changed. I think it is changing . . slowly. And there is a hellava long way to go on the city living footprint and how we eat.

    Keep blogging and raising these subjects but be open to the different view point.

    by the by just a bit of background on me to give you an idea of where i’m coming from. I also moved out of the city living, waking up one morning with an intense desire to ‘get out’. So we packed up the kids and moved to five acres we had for just this eventuality. Still work in a rural town/city but try to run the five acres better than we found it. To include natural habitat as well as using it ‘sustainably’. I have a decent vege patch going after five years now and a few animals to go with it (the half decent vege patch is now starting to attract more wildlife much to my frustration). Still a long way to go. Besides – it’s hard work when you work a 9 to 5 as well.ReplyCancel

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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  • March 24, 2014 - 2:38 am

    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.ReplyCancel

  • March 24, 2014 - 2:50 am

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

  • March 24, 2014 - 4:11 am

    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.ReplyCancel

  • March 24, 2014 - 4:12 am

    Michel - Thanks Rohan

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


    • March 25, 2014 - 1:51 am

      rohan - Not sure of the brand. But I got it at Constante in MelbourneReplyCancel

  • March 24, 2014 - 4:29 am

    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!ReplyCancel

  • March 24, 2014 - 12:29 pm

    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.ReplyCancel

  • March 24, 2014 - 2:22 pm

    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.ReplyCancel

    • March 25, 2014 - 1:50 am

      rohan - They’re transport brake boxes. Free and useful.ReplyCancel

  • March 24, 2014 - 11:57 pm

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

  • March 25, 2014 - 12:39 am

    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.ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 1:59 am

    Cle-ann - B E A U T I F U LReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 2:04 am

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

  • March 25, 2014 - 5:33 pm

    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!


  • March 26, 2014 - 10:08 am

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

    Tap tap



    HELLO HELLOReplyCancel

    • March 26, 2014 - 10:11 am

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

      • March 27, 2014 - 7:07 am

        Michel - Thanks
        Sorry for shouting
        ;-) ReplyCancel

  • April 1, 2014 - 1:45 am

    Links: Mango Butter, Savory Crumbles, and Winners | Food in JarsFood in Jars - […] Gorgeous photos from Whole Larder Love’s annual passata day. […]ReplyCancel