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

Many months ago I got a call from a friend about a bunch of piglets free to a good home. This is the second year in a row something like this has happened. Maybe the word has got out the I’m the man to contact to take care of unwanted pigs. And that’s alright by me.

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Anyway, as it turned out there were a whole bunch of piglets, of which I didn’t have the facility to take care of. So the piglets went to another friends farm, where I managed to strike up a deal to house at least one of those piglet’s in his porky nursery to be raised to maturity. All I had to do was cover feed cost. Seemed like a good idea to me.

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After a fair bit of mucking around (It’s been a busy year for me), we finally got that pig to the abattoir.  A day later hanging at a mates cool room was our beautiful pig ready for us to break down. I have a few pork gurus/mentors which I’m very stoked about, and this mate, well she guided and trained me in the process of breaking down a pig, just like when Johnny Castle taught Baby how to Dirty Dance. I did this job last year, but with a more commerical butcher who wasn’t really interested in teaching me any skills, he just wanted to chop the pig up as quickly as possible. Which is cool. That’s what I commissioned him for. But here, my mentor (female Johnny Castle, but with pork) really took me under her teaching wings. I learnt so much in just a few hours. It’s a blessing to learn from someone so passionate about what they do. She calls herself an ‘ethical omnivore’ which I’ve never heard of before but it makes total sense to me. Maybe I’m one too.

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The story here is that the little piglets where housed at a pig farm, a nursery if you will. They grew up with the care from the dedicated pig farmer, and finally matured into a beautiful animal. One step further and they transformed from living animal into a year supply of pork for our family. To finish of the process, the cuts have started to become cured little gems for future cooking like double smoked loin bacon, jamon, chorizo and hot salami.

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I’ve had an idea running in my head for a few years now. In fact for too many years, it’s been an idea,  just that. But I’m moving into action now. Last week we looked at a piece of land which was in fact an old nursery that raised little plants to maturity for sale to the public. It has all the bones I need for my big idea.

The idea? Imagine a place where we can show how to grow food and raise animals in a pegged out space the size of the average Australian backyard.

Imagine a place where we can cook real food for people, and where every meal served comes a recipe card so you can go home and cook the food yourself.

Imagine a place that could facilitate workshops and sharing of skills and ideas. And because I don’t have to rent it I can get the rates affordable so that everyone can attend.

Imagine a place for people to experience, touch, feel, taste a lifestyle so beautiful it makes this bearded grump so very content and happy.

Imagine a place where all people, all races, all religions, all the people can come to experience something beautiful. A mini harmonious nirvana, where it’s cool to be a human.

A place where people can buy food staples from producers. Nothing gourmet. Just real bloody food.

I’m working on a crowd funding project for the ‘Nursery’. It will be launched in the next few weeks. I will be calling in a million favours from everyone that cares. I have a LOT of money I need to raise. Like A LOT. I have a lot of meetings, brainstorming and favour asking ahead of me.

When I hear the word ‘nursery’ it evokes a thought of place’s where little things are raised and nurtured to grow into big things. I want to turn this old nursery into a place where I can nuture little ideas into big action.

In a time of chaos, fear, hatred and consumerism, we have an opportunity to make something beautiful happen. We have a project of hope. Watch this space.

 

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  • September 28, 2014 - 4:40 am

    Deborah - Oh geez, I hope it all comes together. Do it, do it, do it!!!! I want to see your project of hope become a reality.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 4:50 am

    Andy - All strength to you Ro.Bring it on!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 5:12 am

    Danielle, Sam, Benjamin - Oh, we recognise the apron of that wonderful Meatsmith – she’s a real trooper for all things ethical, possible, pozible and inspirational!

    Roh, let us know if your big idea could be helped by linking up with a local small, ethical, family beef farm that farms its broad acre with the kind of heart and soul good folks put into their back yards.

    Cheers, Danielle, Sam, Benjamin
    Sidonia Hills Natural BeefReplyCancel

    • September 28, 2014 - 8:32 am

      Peter - Funny, I thought her pigtails and butchers’ block (what little you can see of both) were more of a give away than the apron.

      I was up there picking up some pork yesterday actually and was very impressed with the whole set up. She definitely seems to be a great person to talk to about making sure you are able to realistically turn this nursery in to a self sustaining reality.

      I’ll keep an eye out for the fund raising and see what I can chip in.

      Great idea doing it in suburban back yard size blocks too, there is a nice display section of the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens set up the same way showing lots of different interesting gardens you can make in a small back yard, though these were mostly (maybe all) ornamental rather than food producing.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 5:14 am

    kris - Wonderful idea. ‘River Cottage’ of Victoria.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 5:33 am

    SteveB - Kris’ comment says it all, River Cottage Central Highlands. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 5:38 am

    Kane Arnold - Sounds amazing. Love to help where I can.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 5:48 am

    Alistair - Rocking. Any chance of some of that bacon as a pledge reward?ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 5:54 am

    Jen Armstrong - Sign me up, Ro.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 7:14 am

    Bec - Fantastic idea, Rohan!
    Please tell me this venture would be near Ballarat?!
    I can tell you now that there are a lot of people who would be very interested in this idea! Most of my friends in the 20-35 age gap especially, as a lot of these skills weren’t taught to us as it perhaps was felt that it wasn’t needed (unfortunately!). There is a massive back to simple movement at the moment which I’m sure you’re well aware of. Would love to kick in to the kickstarter once it’s up and running! Just as an aside, investing in a coffee machine would be well worthwhile for this venture. A lot of people from Melbourne go touring the “country” for cafes and lunch, and a lot of my friends are cafeine addicts so it would be a great draw card to get people in to a fantastic way of life. Can’t wait for this. You’re making a tremendous difference, I hope you know this. Just seeing someone else living the way we are moving towards ourselves is inspiring and gives us confidence that it can be done. Keep sharing your adventures! Cheers, Bec.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 7:52 am

    Alacoque - From little things big things grow…ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 7:54 am

    Judy - That sounds amazing!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 9:04 am

    Dale Morgan - Go Man Go! Sounds amazing. I am sending you all the very best good luck. May your dream be a beautiful reality!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 9:24 am

    Lara - Hey Rohan,

    This sounds a lot like the kind of thing we’re working on over at Curracloe Farm. Would love to throw some ideas around when you’ve got time.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 9:24 am

    Kathryn - Woohoo! Can’t wait to visit your nursery. What a wonderful dream – and you are going to share. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 9:53 am

    Aaron - are we making a hay bale house yet?ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 11:03 am

    Bec - Sounds fantastic – power to you with the favour asking and brainstormingReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 11:29 am

    William - This sounds like a fantastic dream that needs to become a reality. Good luck from the USReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 11:46 am

    Tara - Start a” pozble” campaign, you would get plenty of support from us loyal readers.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 12:26 pm

    annton - brilliant. I am wishing you the luck, power and strength for it. places like this are needed so much. all over the world.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 1:30 pm

    Emmy Herring - Ro, I’m home from overseas and I’m relocating to Victoria… And I would really like to help you with this project. In any way possible. It means so much to me too to see a project like this come to fruition and so I’m offering my services to help you in any way I can. Let’s talk :) ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 7:26 pm

    Sarah - Oh I love this idea so much that I think I will start saving my money to fly across a big pond to come be a part of it. I want to learn so much more about taking my food in to my own hands. This idea is brilliant!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 9:22 pm

    Shelley Panton - Hi Rohan, Great to read about your Nursery idea – i look forward to hearing more about this, exciting times ahead .. bring on pozible .. go for it!!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    Lorraine Hogan - Include me if you need any local volunteers to help with your start up. More than happy to support your venture.ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    Alina - Oh man, how excitement! I’m there already.ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2014 - 12:18 am

    Jessie - Where’s the button to click and the place to donate! Exactly what we need more of. And the best bit? You’re actually pretty much local to me (I’m in Ballan)!!! I will not only be helping fund but coming to learn too!ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2014 - 12:48 am

    Chris G. - I’m in! I can already start imagining what it will be like…I even have my mind running off with “What would I do in this situation? What would Roh do?”.

    All the best, and as you said…I will be watching this space!ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2014 - 5:40 am

    Craig Phillips - Will be watching closely. As I am (hopefully) about to acquire 5 acres just outside of Bellingen, NSW. And I am a man after your own heart and hope to be able to workshop in Permaculture and Practical living skills. All the best to you grumpy sir.ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2014 - 10:57 pm

    Louise - So excited by this, make it happen!!ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2014 - 11:45 pm

    Tammi Jonas - Love it, Ro! Let us know what we can do to help! xReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2014 - 3:27 am

    Nicole - Fuck yes! That sounds awesome!! I am most definitely watching this space buddy!!ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2014 - 9:47 am

    graham - Fantastic idea. Hope it goes well.ReplyCancel

  • October 6, 2014 - 12:40 am

    Mary Gates - What beautiful photos!

    pacific-prep.blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • October 6, 2014 - 6:53 am

    Marcia - That meat looks amazing! & I’m heading towards learning some more butchery skills also as I won a ticket to a Ham & Bacon making class (in Adelaide at the end of October).

    The double smoked loin sounds delightful, what wood/s do you smoke with?

    We get to choose our own flavours for a customised boneless ham & a bacon. My mind is full of ideas & I can’t decided, what flavours would you all suggest?ReplyCancel

If you have a keen eye, you’ll see the rabbits getting all frisky at the end of winter. They bounce around one another in a flirtatious frenzied ritual. They spring and fly into the air with acrobatic fervour. Sometimes they chase one another from one side of their patch to the other. I could sit and watch them for ages, but more often than not I have something more pressing to do with my time. The result of this annual mating display is obvious; many baby rabbits.

Unending baby rabbits in fact. The cycle is as predictable as the mad north winds of spring. Without fail, the new generation rabbits rise out of their labyrinth of warrens into the world of grassy fields. This generation is weird, they communicate mostly by social media and prefer text to conversation, and seem to take way more selfies than the previous generation.

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I cannot deny that there is some element of cuteness to this new batch of rabbits, but the underlying fact is that the species is introduced to Australia, it’s a feral pest species. They cause a lot of damage to crops and the warrens wreak havoc with the erodible Australian soils. When I decided to stop buying supermarket chicken because I’d discovered how said birds where raised, I turned to hunting rabbits as an alternative white meat, and I’ve been hunting them ever since. You’d think I’d have tired of them by now, but it’s the opposite. They’re still very much a joy to hunt, a joy to cook, and a pleasure to eat.

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When I was a full blooded bogan I used to visit a Italian style pasta chain restaurant that’s relatively famous in Australia. I often ordered a pasta dish that consisted of chicken, avocado in a creamy creamy sauce. It was delicious, but I’m pretty sure the ingredients wouldn’t fit my current view of the world. I’m not sure anything is organic, local or ethically raised. I know sometimes I hear myself and think, “Rohan you’re annoying”. The reality is, right or wrong, I just give a shit about my food. Thus I haven’t eaten there for well over a decade.

With that old favourite meal in mind, I figured I could make my own version. A version of the old meal but through new Rohan eyes. The baby rabbits are fresh and at their best in spring and avocados are now at peak season. The avocados are at peak season and my mates up at Barham Avocado’s grow a selection of varieties that stretch the avocado season from winter to summer.

What could be better than combining in season avocados from the guys up at Barham with the tender meat of new season rabbits. Seemed like an interesting twist on the old meal that I used to order with my blind robotic eyes, but now with my new approach influenced by the new version of Rohan.

I use baby rabbits because the meat is the best quailty, it’s tender and delicious. And before you get on your high horse about me eating baby rabbits, please remember these guys grow up to be adult rabbits. And just like humans, the adults are the ones that do all the environmental damage.

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Now I know we have serious issues in the world. Issues that have split the community in two. This dish represents one of those major issues. Apparently it’s very wrong (culinary speaking) for me to have avocados in a hot dish. Seems ok to me, but apparently it’s a big no no. The kids and I didn’t seem to be that concerned as we devoured the meal for dinner. If my kids eat it, I’m happy. If it’s works for you in life, just do it. No one is your boss but yourself. Well that’s how I live anyway.

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With everything I cook I make an effort to source good local stuff. If I can’t make it myself, I look for the local option. To be honest, it doesn’t take much effort. Well I don’t think it does. It’s easy to say I’m too time poor. I believe that’s a state of mind. You’re only as busy as you allow yourself to be.

FULL RECIPE available HERE

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  • September 10, 2014 - 12:22 pm

    B-May - This looks delish… although I am a bit (lot) meat-averse. Pity the meatasaur Boy has no idea how to hunt. I can get behind shooting rabbits (that’s the country girl in me coming out). Just maybe not eating them very often…
    I am may be a mostly-Vegetarian, but Rohan, I really admire what you do.

    It bothers me when he eats Coles Chicken. I wouldn’t put my judgemental face on nearly so much if he hunted or raised the animal himself (although, I know he’s such a softy, he wouldn’t be able to butcher any animal he actually raised unless he was starving… so hunting it is?)

    Disclaimer: This comment probably doesn’t make much sense. I’m 5 weeks into teaching rounds and utterly mentally exhausted.ReplyCancel

  • September 10, 2014 - 2:14 pm

    sarah - ok seriously drooling over this, i just so happen to have ample rabbits in the freezer…thks man!ReplyCancel

  • September 11, 2014 - 12:09 am

    lemmiwinks - Thank you for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • September 11, 2014 - 3:22 am

    Jane @ Shady Baker - Such good, real food Rohan…a far cry from Fasta Pasta I would say :) ReplyCancel

  • September 11, 2014 - 6:28 am

    Andy - What Sarah said.Bunnies in our freezer too ready to go.Three cheers for undeground mutton! Thanks for recipe.ReplyCancel

  • September 15, 2014 - 10:15 pm

    Michelle - You speak the truth in every single sentence up above.

    I really do like the way you think, Rohan.

    Also that dish looks fab.ReplyCancel

  • September 20, 2014 - 3:54 am

    Baby Rabbit ravioli with in season avocado » Whole Larder Love » webindex24.ch - News aus dem Web - […] Baby Rabbit ravioli with in season avocado » Whole Larder Love […]ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2014 - 2:15 pm

    PJ - Oh wow! Time to bust out the .22 and go look for some fall rabbits. That dish looks amazing, feeling inspired.

    Don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to those avocados. Over here on the west cast US we have avocado with spicy food all the time, they go together great!ReplyCancel

  • October 6, 2014 - 12:43 am

    Mary Gates - I think it’s great that you decided to stop buying store chicken! Have you thought of raising your own?

    pacific-prep.blogspot.comReplyCancel

The evening air hung thick and warm. Summer was in full swing at Elkhorn. During the daylight hours the shade of ancient trees offered some respite from the sting of summer sunlight. When the sun fell from view and fireflies danced in the still air, it was the lake that sang to me. In the cover of darkness we swam, lazy and slow. Floating with bodies parts poking out of the wetness. Our faces looked into the night sky, mesmerised by the moment.

The lake was surprisingly warm, it was also full of lake weed that tickled feet as we wriggled about. It was a refreshing momentary break from the draining heat of a Wisconsin summer. Our bodies where confused as we’d just travelled from a cold winter back home, I’m sure they experienced some sort of shock from the extreme contrast in weather. Only a few weeks ago I was standing in snow, now I was on the other side of the planet, sweating it out in summer.

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I’d made my way to Camp Wandawega to run my first American workshop in ‘practiculture’. The idea was to share my skills with whoever wanted to learn them. From skinning a rabbit to making sourdough bread and everything in between. I don’t have much these days, be it money or possessions, but I do have a handful of learned skills that I’m keen to share. That’s my commodity.

That was the idea of this workshop. To share skills. That did happen, and people seemed pretty happy walking away with techniques like how to smoke pork loin or how to butterfly a trout. But something happened to me at this workshop that I did not envisage.

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I’ve come away asking myself a lot of questions. About my purpose. About what I want to achieve.

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When I was a kid, Mum used to call me an idealist. She spotted it early on, and she was dead right. I am an idealist. Ideally I’d like to see more people embrace a certain way of living. I’d like to see people source food that’s not going to make them sick or make the environment worse off. But the reality is this just isn’t going to happen. I don’t have the reach, I don’t have the media presence and I definitely don’t have the money to make that happen.

I’ve now travelled the world trying to peddle the idea of ‘sustainable’ living. I get on stages all over the place and share my story and talk about how making certain changes in ones life can in turn provide massive positive benefits for the individual, their family and our environment. I’ve spoken to thousands of people on this topic but I know that I’m not even scratching the surface.

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When I sit in a plane, on that slow approach to land on a runway, I look down at the massive cities. The network of roads, buildings, the built human environment. These places are massive machines. The are too big to be altered. The massive companies that are manufacturing the shit food have budgets, of endless supplies of money to keep the machine going.

The ‘people’ don’t want to hear the news that the cheap food they eat will make them sick. The people don’t want to hear that man made chemicals have negative impact in all areas from our health to the health of the natural world. There are just too many distractions that divert peoples attention form the reality. The sad part is that a lot of our modern world woes are cause and effect i.e. If we stopped eating bad food our hospitals would be quieter.

Ideally I’d love to see little changes made that can reduce our impact on environment. I shouldn’t have to spell out exactly what those changes are, it’s up to the individual to figure that out. We don’t need to be hand fed anymore. We’re adults. Let’s figure things out for ourselves. See there’s me being idealistic again.

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The workshop went well by all accounts. It was a stunning venue at Camp Wandawega. That place is something special. The people there where amazing, the students where amazing and the sharing of ideas and skills was a productive two way street. It’s just that I’ve come away asking myself so many questions that, at the moment I just don’t have the answers for.

People keep telling me that I’m doing this or that the wrong way. That I’m not putting enough science behind my message or that I’m wearing the wrong hat. I’m realising now, after being on this path for a few years now that it’s easy to become a target. I know now that if you put out a message your going to get shot down at times. Acceptance is part of the role.

I have one conclusion from this experience. And I’ve turned to my outlaw country hero Willie Nelson for my answer. See, he did his time in Nashville in the 1960′s trying to become a country music star. He tried to play the industry game, was clean shaven and well dressed and tried to write clean songs. But it wasn’t the real Willie. Then he started to do things his own way. He was more honest and became real Willie. Branded an outlaw from the Nashvillie scene, because he ideally wanted to be himself because thats something he could believe in.

Now I know I’m not Willie, I’m not comparing myself to Willie, but it’s the metaphor that lies within the story that I’m interested in. I can’t walk the streets of the worlds great cities telling everybody that they’re living it all wrong. No one will want to be told, and who the hell do I think I am saying that the modern world is slowly but surely killing the health of the natural world and us humans. I can however be myself. I can live my way and record it here, on this old blog. Here I can be the real Rohan. I can continue my journey of discovering real food, and living a more mindful and purpose driven existence. This is not an idealistic notion. This is practical and achievable.

Big thanks to everyone that helped out to make the Camp Wandawega workshop a success.
David and Tereasa for all you’re help getting the event off the ground. Thanks to Max Wastler, Kate Berry, Dillion, Dale, Jacky, Joe, LL Bean, Sweet Paul, Karen and Bob, Ruby Roasters, Underground Porky Jonny and all the students that came, learnt and swam in the lake with me.

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  • September 1, 2014 - 2:38 am

    Georgie - Thanks for another great post Rohan. Keep up the great work – I really appreciate what you are doing. Over the years your blogs have provided me with a few minutes of indulgent respite away from the corporate desk based job I have been doing for 6 years (shudder). This Thursday I finish and vow never to return.

    I want to live holistically and sustainably in the country and I just can’t keep doing the exact opposite any longer.

    Thank you for being so inspirational.ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 2:39 am

    emma - Giving from your heart, not your bank account, because you love what you do & you live the life that you teach others about – that’s how to give a real message to the world. If people lived their own lives in a truly heartfelt & meaningful way, not by what society dictates to them & the rest of the Joneses… well, everyone would be a lot better off in a way that money can’t buy. If folks are giving you advice about your trucker caps, they’re missing the bigger picture & not clearly listening to the sustainable message you’re trying to share with the world. The world always needs idealists, dreamers, optimists & activists even if we are a minority. A small difference in the world is better than no difference at all. Peace xReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 2:49 am

    Ceilidh - Rohan, your words are eloquent as always.

    This post speaks to me of a longing in you to “find your tribe”. The connections you are making through your work is just that; finding your tribe, your place to belong. I think the world is changing but it’s a matter of convenience. Most people won’t change until they have no other option because it’s inconvenient for them to do so at the present time

    That doesn’t mean that your skills aren’t appreciated by some people already!

    Cheers,
    Ceilidh.ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 3:25 am

    Justin - Couldn’t agree more with what you’ve written in this post, Ro. My mum still tells me I’m too idealistic, and I’ve been called a rebel more than a couple of times as well. I’ve had family ask (not directly) when I’m going to get a real job and lost friendships because I was too honest. Whatever. The older I get the more willing I am to say “who cares”. We become our best selves when we become authentic. Keep striving for real!ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 3:36 am

    Padaek - Hi Rohan,

    Great post! Such a beautiful painting and photo of the lake! I agree with you that ‘the modern world is slowly but surely killing the health of the natural world and us humans’, but unfortunately I am a part of it, although ideally I’m looking forward to making a change. I enjoy reading and following your blog and stumbled on it by accident. It’s a rare find/perspective. Your message is strong and needed and when the time is right, people like I did will find you and learn what they need/want to. Great message re. Willie Nelson. Keeping it real to oneself is undoubtedly the best way to go. I too am experiencing this. I guess some criticism from people is a sign that your message is getting out there. Thanks for sharing such a fascinating and inspiring life and blog. Best wishes mate! :) ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 5:42 am

    Ami Hillege - Rohan,

    It is impossible to change the world. But what you’re doing is giving those who are interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle a glimpse of what can be achieved.

    Write on.. We’re reading and enjoying your blog posts. And not just your writing, but your photography. You have a great eye and it would be a shame not to share your talents!

    Cheers
    Ami
    Otway Fields
    Gerangamete
    VICReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 6:17 am

    Emilia - For what it’s worth Rohan, this is what I think and a bit about why…

    My grandmother grew up in the 1930s in Bulgaria in a peasant family, her parents making their living and feeding their family entirely from what they produced on a few acres. They made cheese and yoghurt from goats and sheep every day, they made their own wine and spirits, they kept chickens, ducks and geese and pigs for meat and they grew and sold all of their own friut and vegetables…. they worked like dogs all summer in order to have food for the winter. It was this way for most of the people in Bulgaria.

    The industrial revolution only reached rural Bulgaria after WW2 when Socialism arrived. My grandmother explained that when she was a child before DDT most people had bed bugs and lice that were almost impossible to get rid of.. with this reality in mind and also the fact that chemicals of all kinds were massive labour savers, it’s easy to imagine why as modern farming methods have arrived, bit by bit all over the world they’ve been embraced. Slowly the poor peasants of bulgaria moved to cities to work and now very few people of my generation in Bulgaria know the skills the earlier generations lived by… it has been a source of sorrow for me as I’ve seen my grandmother’s generation die out and my mother’s and my own generations lose their ability and inclination to live off the land.

    You and I are the same in that we have a romantic notion of moving back to a more simple, nourishing, seasonal existence, but it’s only possible to really feel and know the value of that when you’ve lived it somehow, seen it and believe it to be genuinely better. You are one person providing a service to people who want to learn…. you can never convert people to your way of thinking, but you can be here online, on your beautiful blog, writing about your beautiful life with your family. When people all over the world arrive at a moment the way you did where they want to change their way of living, they will come looking for you… In order to sustain yourself emotionally to keep being here, you need to look after yourself.

    Much love from my family to yours, I admire your tenacity and your willingness to take a hit in the line of trying to make a difference… you are making a difference. Keep doing what you can, and please take care.
    xReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 8:57 am

    graham - It’s a good life you’re living, and a good path we’re on. There’s a lot of talk about the “1%”, they exist, and they drive the existing status quo. There are a lot of sheep in cities. I like to think that we’re the other 2 or 3%. What you are doing is of value, you are preaching to, and mobilising the converted. If we can be solid, we can make real change. Keep it up.ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 9:25 am

    Fraser - Yes! You got it.ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 9:54 am

    Tara - Thanks for another great post. I can’t help but think you are becoming a bit disheartened. I want you to know that you (and Kate) have inspired me to make a huge shift that I never thought possible to do. I have been frantically planning my spring/Summer harvest for weeks now. I moved my 2 girls and myself from St Kilda to a semi rural suburb on the river so that I can attempt to live a more sustainable life and show them, the next generation, some “tricks of the trade” Together Kate and yourself have inspired me to make small changes gradually and make my life a lot simpler and easier. What you have shown me is invaluable and Thankyou just seems like an understatement. Baby steps I say and keep em coming!ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 11:23 am

    Alacoque - Some decisions can’t be rationalised or explained to others, they just have to be lived and when they see you living contently they will understand that your decision was the right one. There are many people challenging the status quo in their own little ways and these mini revolutions quietly inspire those around them, or at worst provoke questioning of blinding following a mainstream lifestyle. I may not be able to change the world but I can change MY world, and that of my family, by living authentically.ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 11:28 am

    Helen - I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now, and every post inspires me to try and live more sustainably and mindfully. I hope that some of the small changes I make will inspire those around me to do the same… and so it goes…

    Being able to follow your thoughts and journey through the magic of the internet has been a privilege and a pleasure.

    Keep fighting the good fight!ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 11:35 am

    emmy - We’re listening, Rohan! We are helping you spread the message! Keep going, and definitely be yourself. We are too, sticking with what we know and what we care about. We love you, your style and your message.
    Keep at it!
    H&H
    xxxxReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 12:03 pm

    Michelle - Rohan a big, big thankyou. So grateful for the words you write here. You have inspired me to live so differently. I am well and strong and happy. I didn’t know how unwell was before I took on your advise about a better way to live, big love to you xReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    brenda - “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later” – Og Mandino

    and you will harvest a full bounty RoReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 2:10 pm

    Sandy - Wonderful post. :) There’s a purity in just being yourself and learning, and sharing. It’s probably way less headache than being someone’s ‘guru’. Thank you for sharing this.ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 2:34 pm

    Jacki - But everything has to start with small change, one person tells two people who tells three. Scratching the surface magnifies the itch so it has to be scratched more.
    It is hard to not end up in a negative cycle of cynicism and depression when confronted with food corporations and their stronghold on the ‘people’. It is hard to educate in a world where we have been taught to only believe ‘scientifically proven’ facts. But it’s no reason to stop doing and promoting what you believe will make the world a better place.
    There is no argument that can support drinking soda and eating crap food. There is no argument that can support mass overconsumption and the use of chemicals in food. The people who are arguing against sustainable, seasonal, mindful eating for us as people and a community are the ones who need to keep hearing and reading your message – and the hate mail means the message is at least being heard!
    You can not fight food corporations on your own, but there are many other like minded people out there trying hard to do their bit too. It’s just tough not to become jaded and pessimistic visiting the great US of A and even harder to turn that pessimism into motivation to live more mindfully, better educated and aware of the footprint we as individuals leave on this world.
    It’s always good to reassess, question purpose, grow and learn from our experiences. For example we learnt that night swimming in a lake is delicious, but you should rinse your clothes out afterwards because four days later they will be stinking out the whole van. You would think as adults that lesson would have been learnt by now, but sadly no. Small steps ;) ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 2:41 pm

    Rob Wilmot - What, no photos of the lake swimming? But those New Zealand whites look tasty. You can always pick a serious sustainable person – they raise rabbits. Keep preaching the message Rohan, this crazy world needs it!ReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    Alistair - Rohan, great post and congratulations on the camp.

    Actions speak louder than words. Live your life the way you want to live it. Your health, happiness and continued success are proof that you are onto something. You will never change everyone’s minds, nor make everyone happy. You can however show them that there is an alternative and slowly arm them with the skills to make a positive change in their lives.

    To me this is what the blog and book do exceedingly well. I don’t agree with everything you say but you have some damn good ideas and you share it with us in a format that is not too technical or scientific, but just right to light the spark of inspiration.

    Look at all you have already achieved, keep fighting the good fight dude!

    Al

    http://www.raawrr.comReplyCancel

  • September 2, 2014 - 2:43 pm

    Karen - when you stop trying to be someone else – you can be yourself – and good things can only come from that. Live clean – live simple – live honestly – and share what you have to offer – you never know who or what is being impacted …….. in the end it’s always “…from little things big things grow” – Paul Kelly.ReplyCancel

  • September 2, 2014 - 4:22 pm

    Val - I enjoy your blog..and yes you seem disheartened..but we are all out here waiting to read more..you won’t see our changes in lifestyle…because we are here and not there…but I can assure you that you make us think and talk to others about what you write..so it perpetuates. Keep on..one of my favorites is about the tomatoes you bottled up..what was the name..it started with P..I saw it in tiny bottles in the store..I need a better idea of how to accomplish it..we have tomatoes……ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2014 - 12:50 am

    Eleanor - Rohan, you are a constant source of inspiration.
    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2014 - 2:50 am

    Lorraine Butler - Rohan, I am really sorry that you feel this way. You do touch people and yes, as other people have said, you are preaching mainly to the converted. But if we hand on your way of life to others as I have done (more in a minute) your thoughts are living and breathing in others.

    I have 3 sons and 2 of the 3 now are dabbling in growing their own produce and 1 has chickens as well. This has come about because of my talks of my own modest plot where I grow enough to keep my hubby and I in fresh veg and my handing on of your blog and ideas to them. If we all win over just a few others, the idea of living sustainably will grow.
    Keep up the fight you are doing great things. Lorraine.ReplyCancel

  • September 9, 2014 - 3:19 pm

    StJon - put me in the mood for rabbit cacciatore, just got to catch one…ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 12:43 pm

    Stephanie - For what it’s worth, there are more of us out there than you may believe. Striving to live a simpler, more holistic and sustainable lifestyle. Our message is being heard. Only, it’s a bit quieter than the rest. But that is who we are. Simple is quiet. But there is power in the quiet. It’s catching on. Keep showing the world how beautiful this life can truly be. It is never in vain. Many are watching. And following along. Every small change adds up to a powerful difference.ReplyCancel