wasteland to wildflowers

Last week I did something a little strange. I dropped the Jeep off in town and walked home. It’s strange because it’s a 4 hour walk home and the mechanic has a free car service. But I needed a walk. A good walk always allows me to think, it’s time to talk to myself and to figure things out. This walk took me through a mixed landscape, starting in the industrial zone, through the suburbs and finally into the bush. I took my camera, I slung it around my neck, and every now and then I’d click the shutter as my camera hung at chest height. I didn’t look through the viewfinder, I let the camera do the work.

What I ended up with is a photographic metaphor of my life. More precisely the journey of my life these past few years. I left the ugly, the industrial complex, I left the suburban culture, and made my way through semi-rural life and ended up back in the country where I was most happiest as a child.

The walk was pretty arduous I have to admit. It was hot, I had a pack with plenty of water and some tucker. The bush tracks were often steep and rocky. As I walked out of Ballarat I consumed the ugliness of our current lifestyle – factories making ‘stuff’ in a bland soulless suburban environment and extravagant use of natural resources (i.e. golf courses).

Then as I gradually entered the bush on the fringe of this rural city, I was confronted with the expected – the visual and environmental eyesore of dumped rubbish, which in my mind shows the general level of respect many of my fellow citizens have for the natural world. It seems that some people have the ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ approach. I just can’t understand what goes through ones mind when they dump rubbish in the forest.

All the usual suspects were there, they always are.

It’s such a pity that it’s so hard to go anywhere in Victoria without seeing junk that some person has left behind, no doubt with intent. It demonstrates to me the attitudes of the people. Sure there are people who care, but when I see this being so commonplace my heart sinks for the future of humanity. This display of human behaviour shows to me a clear lack of respect for nature, and no doubt an overall view of our greater natural environment. Why would that person care about reducing their carbon footprint, buying less stuff, living with less? These attitudes of disrespect and laziness run strong through a person’s general approach to life.

When I got deeper into the bush I saw the most beautiful patches of wildflowers, the chocolate lilies, milk maids and all the other wild orchids and flowers were such a beautiful sight. They come out and beautify the bush every spring. With such beauty how could one treat the bush with no respect?

When I sifted through the images, I was saddened by some pictures, their honesty and what they represented to me. In the end I was happy to find the little track in a paddock of long grass that led me home. It’s such a simple, non-descript country track, but it represents so much to me. It’s a harbinger of hope.

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  • http://www.destinationhereandnow.com Margaret Hogan

    We’ve just been having a conversation about writing epic shit. I love this piece Rohan. I love what you’re on about. Well done you!

    • http://www.hellokateberry.com Kate

      Epic shit! Love it!

    • http://www.destinationhereandnow.com Margaret Hogan
      • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

        Thats just beautiful Margaret. xo

        • http://www.destinationhereandnow.com Margaret Hogan

          It’s epic shit. What choice did I have :)

    • http://www.thekindcleaner.com.au/blog Paul – The Kind Little Blogger

      “Epic shit!” That’s gold. The few thousand words that these pictures typify certainly deserve “epic” status, I think. What a fascinating devolution to a time (or a place) where people still seem to give a shit. Where, at least, the McDonald’s takeaway coffee cup would be replaced by a knocked-off cappuccino mug from “Merl’s Tea House” or a dead roo. The two pictures that get me the most are the golf course and the street in the sub-division. Their environmental impact is less pronounced than the rubbish-on-the-verge; but is arguably greater and more permanent. Golf courses don’t exist in a vacuum. The space. The inputs. Grr. Lunacy.

  • Carleene

    Thanks so much for sharing your little journey,it was fascinating:)

  • http://www.ericronald.net Eric Ronald

    I really appreciated this post Ro. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Shane

    I can relate to all of this, especially what you say about golf courses. Living in the western U.S. desert, I scuff every time I see how green the golf courses are when just over their fences brown is the dominant. I hope to soon get my family on a similar path to the one you have yours on. Thanks for the inspriation.

  • Sandra

    Your pilgrimage home Rohan was a snapshot (pun intended) of how much your life has bloomed. Thank you for sharing.

  • Tim Waddell

    You’re a talent Rohan. I’m by no means a photographer but images 5564, 5581 and 5535 are absolutely beautiful and stopped me in my tracks.

    The last two I mentioned are such quintessentially Australian experiences. 5581 is such a perfect example of how stark and sober urbanism is, especially when juxtaposed against the softness of 5635′s organic streetscape.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thelocalgrocers Greg Winning

    This is just a piece of art on its own. Brilliant!

  • http://shadybaker.blogspot.com.au Jane @ Shady Baker

    Great thoughts Rohan, all of these things certainly make me wonder too. Hearing you on the ‘little track that led me home’…always a welcome sight for my family too. I cant imagine living any other way.

  • Rachael

    Ah Rohan….every time I read your blog something stirs inside me, I feel my entire being nodding ‘yes…this is the truth’. Your observations resonate with me so deeply. I am a former country girl who moved from inland NSW to the Melbourne smoke as soon as I could…coming up on 10 years later I love the city, but I ache for the bush, the stars, the silence. I am so passionate about food, about health and wellbeing, and concern over what we are slowly doing to ourselves, each other, and the environment. I stood in Readings the other day lovingly caressing your book (I am vego and still love seeing all your recipes, even the meaty ones!). My partner and I have slowly turned our little barren courtyard into a thriving vegie patch, my little baby tomatoes have just started turning red, our corn is growing taller, and our silverbeet seems like it will live forever! You are living the dream Rohan, and every time I read your words and see your photos you remind me of what it all means to me. For that I thank you x

  • http://missusmoonshine.blogspot.com/ Alicia

    It can get a tad depressing thinking about where you’re at and how much you care compared to the plebs can’t it? I had a moment like that at the Melbourne Zoo druing the last school holidays. We had to make our way through a crowd that were watching some performance of seals or something, and I cast my eyes over a sea of bogans drinking cola. I was left wondering what hope we have for humanity? Think positive, think positive…

  • http://www.davidandelizabeth.com.au Elizabeth

    Makes me even more thankful for my own journey towards ‘the bush’, or in my case ‘the plains’. Thanks for sharing, always inspired to make more sustainable decisions by your posts :)

  • shirley hewitt

    Great photos,Rohan. We left the road the other day and went up our small mount. It was covered with forget-me-nots. So beautiful.You can forget for a while that within walking distance you can find stinking garbage that people have dumped.

  • http://www.pictorialmelbourne.com Dan

    We were talking at the sustainability consultancy I work with the other day about when people will wake up and realise that they need to change behaviour. The optimist felt that the change had begun, the pessimist felt that no change would come and a couple of us felt that once people were significantly affected at the store, at work, at the bank by our changing climate and world, behaviour change would come. But by then it would be too late.

  • http://oldmillroad.com.au Fraser from Old Mill Rd

    Your home track, my Old Mill Road, same thing. Just getting on the home stretch lifts the weight a bit and it feels very comforting. Sometimes a little stop and a breath just to enjoy it is very rewarding.
    And then the other day some knob dumped a trailer load of crap on our road. It’s not actually our road it’s a public one but man, I was affronted as if they’d dumped it on my doorstep. I’m not a violent man but mate I was livid, if I had of caught the cock, I tell you…
    Just the sight of the waste fast food containers in your pics, god it makes mad and it makes me sad. BAH! It’s got me all uptight, I’m going to have a beer.

    • http://oldmillroad.com.au Fraser from Old Mill Rd

      I mean..what’s going through their heads, they know it’s wrong. The drink can and the food wrapper out of the car window while stupid and unnecessary can at least be attributed to lack of thinking, laziness, a spur of the moment lapse of judgement or whatever but dumping a load of their rubbish, not one handful but repeated shovelling or raking out of the shit that they no longer want and spreading that shit just on the side of the road in a place where birds are singing, the wind rustling through the trees, the sounds of nature all around, fresh air, just a lovely place to be and observe and these clowns leave their mark on it like soiled toilet paper. F%$k it makes me furious. It’s pre-meditated, it’s conscious disrespect and deliberate spitting in the face of everyone in their community. Grubs.

      • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

        Yeah thats bloody outrageous! What goes through the mind to actually carry through with an action like that? The mind boggles.

  • http://www.theadventuresofmisspiggy.com/ Miss Piggy

    When I think about animals living their lives in factory farms and the greedy people that just want to eat “cheap meat” for 21 meals a week without any thought to what they are eating I despair – people care so little about animals welfare, and like you’ve pointed out the imprisonment that we live it. It sucks.

  • Chris

    Hi Rohan, I’m a similar age to you and also have recently changed my life dramatically. I tell myself it is finally being an adult. Unfortunately, not many in our world are acting like adults instead choosing to remain naughty-child-like-shits who try to get away with stuff without the adults noticing(or mother nature for that matter). I see that in all levels of society. What gives me heart is I can slowly see big shifts in thinking. Not from the extremes, such as greenies, but from more traditional ‘normal western world’ people such as yourself and myself. However, it is things like your words and pictures that give me a little hope, education and sense that stuff can be different. So, carry on bloke and continue to show people like me there is another way home in your lovley layed back kinda way. Thanks

  • http://www.suburbandigs.wordpress.com Michael from Suburban Digs

    I love this post, love it!

  • samantha

    seeing empty wrappers just lying about in parks and woods just makes me so upset. why on earth would you throw your mcdonalds wrapper out the window with such reckless abandon? have these people never heard of rubbish bins? the photo with the futon especially burns a hateful fire in me.. but i guess these people just think that ‘out of sight = out of mind’

  • Clare

    Thanks for your post today. Hubby and I invested in 11 acres in country vic recently – hubby’s been hanging out for a bush block for ages. I’ve spent quite a few hours collecting rubbish (mostly bottles and cans)…I think I’ve got them all now (4 big bag fulls later). We’ve got the old (crashed) gemini and some other iron bits and pieces to go and it’ll then be our bush block. Then we’re set to enjoy it. Let’s try and spread the word (oh, and I do also resort to some EPA online litter reporting when I spot someone chucking cigarette butts out of their car…I’m heartened to say that I haven’t reported anyone recently whereas 5-6 years ago I was doing it quite a lot…I think the fines got through to people).

  • http://www.lovelygreens.com Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    It’s amazing how much you miss when you zoom by in a vehicle, isn’t it? Not very many people would contemplate taking a walk such as you’ve done and your post will probably be on my mind for the rest of the day.

    I’m also appalled by litter and peoples’ apparent disregard for nature. Discarded cans, diapers, and mattresses are terrible eyesores especially in rural settings. I’ve often thought about why people dump rubbish or toss it on the ground and have come to the conclusion that it’s part of who we are. Even excavations of primitive campsites show that our ancestors tossed bones and refuse on the ground around their homes and communities. When the refuse is organic it can be an opportunity for other animals for both food and shelter and so can be a good thing. Cheap plastic non-biodegradable rubbish isn’t though, and I think that our human behaviour just hasn’t updated itself to take this into account.

  • Ash Hall


    we have been throwing our rubbish for milenia the onlt thing that has changed is the waste used to be organic but we have replaced ti with non biodegradable plastics all made form oil. We cant change behaviour so can we change the material.

    People dont really understand that the landcsape gives us our way of life, our space to socially bond, friendships, love of nature, physical well being and most important our mental wellness, and a whole host of physical things liek clean air, water food etc. if they understood this they would use this as the leveridge to Not discount our future.

    Love what you do- must catch up soon

  • Zelda

    Another beautiful, insightful and thought-provoking post, Rohan. Unfortunately, one does encounter this ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality everywhere, not least in poorer or developing countries, unfortunately. Whilst I am as outraged and saddened as you by what we consider to be rampant materialism, part of me can’t help thinking that it’s wrong to judge people who have very little for wanting material things for themselves and their children, however misguided that may seem.

  • Michelle Frantom

    Lovely Blog. And don’t despair (although I do regularly) There are like-minded people out there. I blog about how frustrated I am with humanity too. Like you, I just don’t really get what’s going on in their heads.

  • http://art-dennes.blogspot.fr/ Anne

    That’s exactly what I think when I walk through the forest : how people can be so careless with nature.
    What struck me the most is, thats sometimes, people had been trough hell to dump furnitures in the middle of the forest without road when dumpster are free and of easy access 0_0

  • http://onemotherhen.blogspot.com Alicia

    I can’t believe you walked all the way home. the images are great, I can totally relate to the urban rubbish leading to rural beauties like flowers and forest. It is a shame the forest is littered with rubbish, considering there are accessible free waste depots now.

  • http://www.vanwaffle.com Van Waffle

    Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your part of the world.

  • http://www.thefarmerslarder.com.au Louise

    Such a beautiful post Ro. It made us stop, think, breath.

  • Robyn

    This post touched a chord with me.
    We (husband, 2 kids and myself) spend a fair bit of time up your way around Creswick foraging wild mushrooms in autumn, and this year I was sickened and saddened by the ‘dump’ we stumbled acorss in the middle of the pine forest/bush. It was literally years worth of rubbish dumping especially old tyres, metal,, paint and can you believe…chemicals. I was speechless, and so so angry. Someone (or people) for years had been making a very special journey to dump these things with no consideration of the effects on the bush and waterways of these materials. Clearly they know it is wrong, but don’t care–its not thoughtless tossing of rubbish, it was well planned and executed. I find this type of behaviour so appalling.
    On a lighter note–what beautiful photos and what a profound journey you had -one of the physical and photogenic and illustrates your current existance.

  • http://freefallingskyward.blogspot.com.au/ freefalling

    Yes, but can we have one without the other?
    I’m not having a chip, I’m seriously asking.
    Can we have the world that provides us with jeeps and jeep factories and camera manufacturers and internet providers and all their associated industries and the gazillion other things we use every day, as well as a world where everything is pretty and morally worthy and idealized?
    I always read your blog and love your photos and what you are trying to achieve.
    What jars is, you always poo poo “the other” yet are constantly on the receiving end of the benefits of that world.
    Do we just pursue our good and virtuous life when it is convenient?
    Isn’t driving around in your jeep on country roads pooping it all up with noxious fumes the same kind of thing as rubbish dumping, just not quite as visible?
    Of course I don’t want people dumping their crap in my bit of loveliness but I don’t want to be self-righteous about it either (sorry, bit harsh).
    And if you want to use your blog to influence the great unwashed, does it bother you that you may be preaching to the choir?
    Can you influence the opposition who may not see you as living your real truth while constantly having a go at them?
    Yeah – you might eat local food but how do those books get around the world?
    Why does what you deem morally justified carry more weight than what someone else may choose?
    Yeah – I get we can only change the world slowly and by little steps and by living as an example but do we have to slag off other people’s short-comings at the same time?

    (Please people – don’t be hating on me. I’m not trying to be controversial or argumentative, I’m just an ordinary person walking around in circles scratching my bum – my mind completely bamboozled by all the questions the modern world presents. I’m asking for real thoughts here.
    If Rohan doesn’t want me here – he can tell me to piss off – and I will)

    • http://www.theradish.com.au Justin

      Life is inevitably about compromise, and wisdom is knowing what compromises to make and when to make them.

      • http://freefallingskyward.blogspot.com.au/ freefalling

        yeah – but isn’t that kind of glib and dismissive?
        Isn’t that just absolving us of our sins?
        Don’t people all over the world use that argument to justify something that contradicts their message?
        Who says my wisdom is greater or more worthy than my fellow human being who chose another path?
        And does my worthy compromise then allow me to pass judgment on others?

    • Jesus

      The answer is – No you can’t.

      Everyone takes their green bags to the supermarket – but put their garbage in plastic bags.

      This kind of hypocrisy is what the idea of the “sustainable living” lifestyle is built on.

      It sells Politics, Laws, Books, “ECO-products”, TV shows, blogs, and everything else people have been told they need to appease their environmental guilt.

      • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

        Thanks for dropping by Jesus. Are you a little early? I thought you were coming in a few more weeks time.

        You’re right. There is a lot of people that make money from sending a message. And yes I will make some money from the book I wrote. But I do most of my work on this blog. Pays zero, and I like it that way. It allows me to write what I like about my life and my views.

        There are so many bullshit’eco’ friendly things out there. I saw a ripper the other day. ‘Eco’ fire wood and kindling at the Shell Service station. I guess it’s up to us to wade through the bullshit and find it is that good for us to do.

    • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

      A good few questions asked here. My message about the bleakness of modern living is that instead of a culture of just consuming, there is a potential of the wonderful! Imagine an oasis of modern tech and old tech. Imagine all those houses growing a good deal of their own food instead of water hungry ornamental plants and grass. Same to be said for the golf course. Imagine if all the people in all those suburban houses cared enough to support local economy as much as possible instead of buying from supermarkets which ship food from all over Australia and the world. Imagine if they bought fresh food off local growers. Imagine if those people wanted less TV, less electronic equipment, where happy with the clothes they owned instead of keeping up with each new seasons fashion thus needing more sweat shop factories in poorer countries……generally wouldn’t it be good if people bought less stuff. There’d be less factories making stuff.

      Sure I have the basics. I get ribbed for this all the time, and I don’t mind. I have a camera, a phone a macbook air. All technology made by big companies. It’s outrageous to assume that they can’t go hand in hand with a more sustainable approach to living. They allow me to communicate my approach to life to the rest of the world, or anyone who is willing to read my blog. It’s all about balance. Just like my Jeep that runs on LPG gas not petrol, its a worthwhile fuel conversion that results a massive reduction in emissions. And I drive it to places only when it’s needed. I also drive with more than just one reason in mind, i.e. if I’m driving into town to drop the kids at school, I’ll pick up some chook food, buy some grocery staples and visit the bank. This is about being mindful and frugal in the use of my fuel resources.

      I get angry when I see a city landscape where the main drive in peoples lives is to eat cheap food, acquire stuff and try to out do their neighbours whilst worshipping false idols of celebrity and sports hero’s, and not giving a hoot to people doing good things for the word.

      I’m living the best way I can, it’s not perfect but its as much as I can feasibly manage right now in my life. By growing, hunting, foraging and cooking my own food I think I’m making a reduction in my carbon foot print. Yes I use LPG. I use electricity. And yes I et frustrated when I see people junking our bush and living the suburban dream. This post was about recording those frustrations. It’s up to the reader to take it which ever way they will.

      Thanks for your thought provoking questions. I think we’d have a good conversation sitting around a campfire.

      • http://freefallingskyward.blogspot.com.au/ freefalling

        Yeah but isn’t that just stereotyping people in the ‘burbs?

        It makes it seem like all that people in the city do is:
        “where the main drive in peoples lives is to eat cheap food, acquire stuff and try to out do their neighbours whilst worshipping false idols of celebrity and sports hero’s, and not giving a hoot to people doing good things for the world”.

        I don’t think that’s really true.

        Certainly it exists but I bring to mind all my husband’s family – city dwellers – fruit and vegie growers, sausage makers, hunters, fishermen, jam makers, tomato preservers. Or my own family – bee-keepers, vegie gardeners, fishermen, hunters.
        And I don’t think they are anything special. When I lived in the city and spoke with my neighbours or workmates- they all had similar tales to tell.

        I hear everything that you are saying and I understand the philosophy about how you want to live your life – it’s pretty much the same as mine.
        But I think it’s a imaginary world.
        Coz people WANT to play golf on golf courses that grow grass and who am I to say they can’t. They work hard all week to bring me whatever thing I want (internet connection, electricity, building my car). Do I then have the right to diminish their contribution and tell them they should spend their weekends tending a vegie patch?

        And it just brings me back to my original question.
        Can I ask x,y or z of a city and all it entails and not expect that there will be negative by-products?
        And am I then in a position to criticize those by-products while taking their fruits with my other hand?

        (PS. thanks for not telling me to piss off!)

        • Greg

          You put some pretty pertinant and thoughtful points “freefalling” . I must say you have been very fortunate in your life, its not the norm to have all these skills and opportunities you take for granted. Most of us from anglo backgounds have very few.

          • http://freefallingskyward.blogspot.com.au/ freefalling

            Yeah – I guess I have been lucky and I do take it for granted but all those skills were self-taught in our family. Dad thought keeping bees might be interesting, so he just went and did it.
            Same with fishing – we just went down to some water and threw in a handline. Even now – I don’t know what I’m doing half the time – I just have a crack. Strangely enough, my forefathers came from the most industrialized cities of the 19th century – Manchester and Newcastle in the UK.

        • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

          In my previous work I walked into many a suburban home, I had about flu years of being let into peoples houses in the suburbs. What you and I do was not the norm. In fact what I saw disgusted me. Large TV’s and multiple rooms, men obsessed with sports, women obsessed with looking like peacocks and keeping up with the latest international gossip, backyards full of large BBQ’s, trimmed lawns, ornate gardens, electronic gadgetry everywhere. This is what I saw, this is where I form my opinions. My grip is that I’d like to see more food grown in backyards, more car pooling, less buying of stuff that sits idle in large mansion houses in the suburbs. My opinions are based from my live’s observations. It saddens me even more when I see the rubbish dumped in the bush from people that live in Ballarat only five minutes drive away. It shows to me a general (not everyone) lack of respect we have for our planet and ultimately each other. My grip is that the message of living with a lighter foot print is not getting through to the masses, it’s low down on the daily priority list. I saw a report in The Age newspaper this week that said the youth’s number one concern that makes them worry is the economy. Money is more important to people than the health of the planet. This is my concern.

          What you and your family do is not the norm. It’s great, it’s wonderful and I wish there where more people like you. And thats why I’m pissed at the masses.

          Are you in Australia?

          • http://freefallingskyward.blogspot.com.au/ freefalling

            Yeah – see I also read that article in The Age and I thought it was a little bit of bullshit.
            It said “The biggest concern for the next generation is finding a job to support their families” -
            and somehow that equated to young people valuing money more than our earth.
            Isn’t your main concern providing for your family?
            And that doesn’t mean you don’t value the earth.

          • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

            Money leads to greed.

        • http://www.thekindcleaner.com.au/blog Paul – The Kind Little Blogger

          You’re right, it is a bit of a stereotype. It’s certainly not a trait unique to city dwellers. After all, I’m a city dweller and I’m live more like Rohan than the people he describes.

          I think a very real problem amongst the majority–or the “consuming majority”–is a moral apathy. They don’t make moral considerations in the way they live their day-to-day lives. They’re guided by the law and social convention. Challenging things seems like a waste of time, when there is better things they could be doing like drinking with mates at the pub, watching the AFL on TV or laying pavers in the backyard.

          I learnt to challenge the way I see and do things during the first philosophy course I took a few years ago. It’s transformed my life in so many ways. I’m now a politically aware and involved vegan on a journey to explore the “good life”.

          • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

            I love this line…

            I think a very real problem amongst the majority–or the “consuming majority”–is a moral apathy

  • chad

    you could of walked over to mine for a coffee & man chat

  • Greg

    Lovely work, the photos so insiteful even the crap looks good. What I make a point of doing in my bush camping times , just to counter these intentional and un intentional vandals is, I pick up something, however small and remove it from the landscape, it might be a cable tie that so many people these days just cut off and discard it where it drops or a can, just to make the place a little better than when I arrived. Its my way of saying thanks to the “owner of the land” whoever they may be. I read somewhere that although we live in a big open country with so much free camping that someone always owns the land we use.

  • Mitch

    Rohan – please stop listening to your publisher!

    It was better when it was just you hunting and cooking. Fill the environmental soap box with parsnips for the winter and leave it well alone.

    It’s been done to death, by Vegans who ride a bicycle everywhere,
    have no kids, and stand in front of the whaling ships.

    please don’t let it become:

    Grow – Gather – Hunt – Cook – PREACH

    • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

      Thanks Mitch,

      I’m not sure what you mean by stop talking to my publisher…..I barely talk to them! I any case this is me pissed off at the world I see. It’s a bad place we’re in. Did you see that rubbish in the bush? The concrete urban landscape? These are not good signs for humanities future.

  • http://nutsfortreasure/wordpress.com Eunice

    Sadly it is how walks go these days :(

  • Katie Krupin

    Awesome photojourney. Great pictures and great thoughts. Thank you :)

  • Sue Love

    Love your blogs, Rohan.
    I live in Malmsbury, trying to be self sufficient. I never buy herbs, garlic,seasonal fruit, seasonal veges, honey, jam, rhubarb,eggs.
    My little piece of the world is hard work ,but rewarding!
    And, out the front on the road, there are the same culprits that you found littering the bush. Even tho’ I am far from these fast food outlets, they chuck it out of the window here. You do wonder, eh?

  • Sonia

    I really appreciated your post Rohan. I know that people dump rubbish everywhere, but in my experience, the environs of Ballarat are particularly bad for this. I lived in Ballarat for about 5 years in the ’90s, and my partners parents live next to the Canadian Forest, so I have a bit of experience of the area. I’ve never seen more ‘no rubbish dumping’ signs (or more rubbish dumped) anywhere (in Central Vic at least). Perhaps the local council needs to be encouraged to embark on some kind of community education campaign, or some kind of effort to increase local people’s pride in and respect for their environment. I don’t really know what exactly. But it seems like there’s not a hell of a lot of community pride in the natural beauty of the bush around Ballarat. And Ballarat doesn’t seem to really promote the bush for tourism (like Daylesford does, for example). I don’t know. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. But one thing is certain, the “No Dumping Rubbish” signs aren’t doing much.

  • http://thebeetleshack.com Em @ The Beetle Shack

    I feel like i’m the eyeballs on your chest… your nipples, maybe?

    too far?

    I enjoyed the walk (not the rubbish)

    xo em

  • Brendan

    Love it!

  • Tim H

    I am stuck in the middle of your images…. What I mean is, I have just moved from the city of Chicago to the suburbs of Colorado. I thought the suburban lifestyle would offer something else. It doesn’t. I visit the mountains, only as a passerby who yearns to stay. How did you do it? How were you able to make the transition? With your family? Financially? Anyhow, I appreciate what you are doing and how you approach life.

  • EL

    Noticing the trash dumped, we have the same problem here in the states. Last summer there were squatters camping near our neighborhood in the woods. I wouldn’t mind, but they didn’t pack it out. The problem here is that we have bears to worry about.

    Not fair to punish the bear if it thinks it’s getting easy food by going through human trash. . .

  • http://amermaidintheattic.blogspot.com.au/ Christina

    Hi Rohan,
    I’ve recently discovered your blog, but this is the first time I’ve commented. I don’t understand this complete disregard for our natural environment either. When I was growing up, the ‘Keep Australia Beautiful’ campaign was in full swing, and I honestly think it did make a difference, people used to give rude looks to anyone who dropped their rubbish on the ground, and people used to pick up after themselves. As a kid we travelled and camped a lot, and you saw a bit of rubbish, but not much. When I travelled to Europe for the first time back in 1990, I was shocked at the amount just dumped by the road and in the bush, I just wasn’t used to it. Now, I see the same here, and it really hurts. Maybe I’m being stupidly naive, but I reckon we could do with revisiting the old ‘KAB’ campaign. Try and re-instill a sense of pride in our beautiful environment, and our role in keeping it that way.

    p.s. I bought your book for my hubby for Christmas, and had a quick read through. It’s part of our ‘dream’ plan…find a country place, give the kids some space to grow, get some chooks and grow stuff. Your recipes alone are seriously drool-worthy, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book! Keep up the good work!


    • http://wholelarderlove.com rohan

      Thanks Christina…..all the best to you and your family. I hope you get your dream one day.

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  • Dayla

    Hi Rohan,
    I discovered your blog today, got it from Down To Earth Blog which I love. I am falling in love with your blog too. We recently moved to Healeville from the suburbs of Melbourne and I have to say, out of site is out of mind. Not being part of that ‘sardine can’ environment is so good. Living on a couple of acres and growing our own food and keeping chooks is bliss! I recomend it for everyone. Although I know that is not possible.
    But not being confronted with the awful side of humanity, the noise, the rubbish, the blatant disregard for your neighbours is just what I need to rebuild my faith in humanity. The internet is such a wonder for the cause of self sufficiency and walking lightly on the planet. Suddenly you find you’re not alone in the world with your ideas and alternative practises. You may be preaching to the choir but you are strengthening our resolve to go further. Thankyou so much.

  • http://www.jesilangdale.com Jesi

    Rohan, everything that you have written here expresses exactly how I feel as well. I currently live in Seattle, WA; right downtown in the middle of everything, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt this lost. I really hope to get out next year to at least a smaller town, and then from there the Olympic Peninsula. Do you have any posts about transitioning to more of a sustainable and ‘at-home’ life? How do you pay bills, etc? Thanks for sharing everything, it is truly inspiring.

  • tamara

    your blog is so inspiring.

  • Pete

    A bit off tangent… or maybe not… but did you see the hundreds of prickly pears on those cacti in the first pic?

    Make a bee-line for them… for use in sorbets to on their own… awesome…

    Not to mention they’re invasive and a pest in Aus…