Eating what the land provides is something that has fascinated me since I was a runty little kid growing up on a small Gippsland farm in Victoria. As a boy I would often catch eel, trout and fresh water crayfish and cook them up with simple ingredients. I could have lived off this food!
It was the family farm that got me started with the now adult obsession with growing my own food. My mum inspired me with her love of growing your own and living as self sufficient as possible, something I now try to instil in my kids. We (my little family) live in a converted old school house in country Victoria. Our garden is a useful one, and is stuffed full of produce, some fruit tree’s, plenty seasonable vegetables and plenty of mixed herbs. The very reason for our self sufficient lifestyle is aimed at reducing our reliance on high carbon cost food from major supermarkets. We still buy the basics from the supermarkets, that will never change, but we have drastically reduced our trolly of fresh food and meat.

I love to cook, I love to eat. Who could say that eating delicious food doesn’t make us feel good? I cook fairly rustic type meals, it’s peasant style cooking to be honest, nothing fancy. I don’t like to bastardize food by over complicating it. I may care about my food, but that doesn’t make me a ‘gour-met’ nor a ‘provincial artisan foodie’. I really don’t like these fancy associations. Simply put, I love cooking with food that I’ve grown, gathered, hunted, fished for or sourced locally. There is a peace to understanding food. Food ethics and a conscience make the the process more interesting. Sometimes frustrating, often rewarding, always challenging and sometimes divinely tasting.

This blog documents my cooking, hunting, fishing, harvesting from my patch and of course daily life with my little family living in our historic region situated in Victoria, Australia. If you not impressed with the caliber of the ‘thrilling yarns’ or frustrated with my spelling mistakes….then just look at the pictures!

And if you’re philanthropically minded….feel free to donate some land to me!

Not much has changed from this pic. I’m still a grubby little bush kid. I’m just bigger now and have grey hair sneaking in.

95 thoughts on “About”


  2. Thanks for stopping by my fishing blog – not because you came to visit, but because I was able to follow you home. You’ve images are lovely, your perspective fascinating. I’m hooked.


  3. Daybook,

    I can’t begin to tell you how fascinated I have been with your site. Your content is great and your photos are extraordinary. Thank you so much for having me on your blogroll and I look forward to following you in the future. Thanks again for sharing.


    • No problems Ben! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be keeping a look out online to see whats going on in Arizona! It’s a different world from down here…..! Maybe it should be Amazing Arizona!

  4. Well done site my friend and fellow Hunter/Gatherer. Great photographs as well.

    Have you an RSS feed?

    Best to you this Holiday,

    Free Range Family

  5. Just discovered your blog. Beautiful photographs and great content. Keep up the good work. I am hoping to make a trip down under and do some barramundi fly fishing before I kick the bucket. Maybe you can give me some pointers or steer me in the right direction.

    • Thanks Jay!
      The best place for Barra fishing is in The Kimberly’s up north. One of the most remote and stunning places to fly fish in this country! Just watch out for the croc’s!

  6. Daybook,
    I know that you just got me up on your blogroll but there have been some changes at AZWanderings. My site and url have both been updated. You can check me out at:

    Happy New Years and tight lines.


  7. Hey Ro,
    Thanks for the lovely comments, they really mean a lot coming from you! Havn’t seen you for ages, will have to catch up soon & tell you all about what’s going on. Lots of changes happening at work, good changes which will help ease me out of hairdressing and back to my first love of viual arts and being crafty lady! Also, I’m going to China in 6 weeks, OMG I’m so excited I can’t even tell you how excited I am!
    See you soon hopefully!
    B.t.w, Love looking at your ace photos still, you make everything into a work of art. And your girls are gorgeous! Say hey to Kim

  8. Francesca said:

    Thanks for stopping by MNW and for adding me to your blog roll! I’ve added yours to mine – you have an awesome blog – I’ve been enjoying your stunning photography and words muchly.
    Cheers! xo

  9. 3 things:

    Really enjoy your photography

    Really enjoy your blog

    Love the fact you live in Ballarat; one of my favourite places in Australia

  10. Very inspiring blog. Your photography is subtle and beautiful. I think I will go fishing now…

  11. Keep up the good life for us not there yet. I get out of the city to hunt and be human. If I ever make it down your way I may accost you to go rabbit hunting. If you ever make it up this way (Massachusetts, USA) you should do the same.

  12. Just stumbled on your blog via 10Engines. Only have time to get through page 3, but I’ll be back to travel back further. Great blog. Photography is magnificent.

  13. Amazing blog. You’ve inspired me to pick mine back up. Last night I went through ten pages and enjoyed every post and photo.

    Best wishes.

  14. Hi Rohan, just letting you know I’m a great fan of the site & have featured you on our site’s lifestyle/culture round-up ‘the Atlas Edition’ on http://www.freemanbrand.com — link here mate http://www.freemanbrand.com/2011/02/atlas-edition-017.html#more

    • Thanks Johnny. Just go this message just as I’m packing up the Jeep for a quick afternoon hunt. Hoping for some game tonight for a Tandoori Rabbit recipe I’ve been wanting to try. An odd combination I’m sure but I’m willing to give it a try!

      Cheers beers!

      • I’m surrounded by damp concrete most of the year, I most certainly envy your trip mate. Hope it goes well, look forward to seeing the results.

  15. wonderful blog, please do not move to a city and do not stop making photos.

  16. We posted you up on Cold Splinters today, beautiful photos, beautiful life.


    All the best!

  17. Found your blog via Honey and Jam.

    Love your photos.
    Love your stories.
    Love your food!
    Love your blog.


  18. Jeff Adair said:

    We are brothers in our quest for the tastes and sensations of the wild. I look forward to future outings.

  19. BEAUTIFUL. All photos are stunning. Thank you for the inspiration.

  20. You have all my respect.

    BTW just pure curiosity. What (photo) gear do you use? Body & fav lens?

    May the force be with you!! :)

  21. Wow. I love love love your blog and photographs. Just subscribed right now.

    And congrats on the Saveur 50 Food Blogs You Should Be Reading. I think this was my best find of the day!

  22. Beautiful photography – I love the ‘filtration/processing you use on your food shots – for some reason your site has been referring people to mine but I can’t for the life of me see how. Thanks anyway. I’ll add your site to my blog list.
    Cheers from across the ditch

  23. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. !! Love your philosophy and photography – thanks for blogging us through it.

  24. Great to see a fellow Victorian with such a great sensibility towards life and the way it should be lived. You make me hungry every time I check your site! Keep up the good work.



  25. Awesome blog, well done! Love the photos especially!

  26. Daybook – greetings from TEXAS. thank you for stopping by the Amatourist and for leading me back to your gatherhuntcooklive fiefdom.

    … I’ll be back often. All the best,

  27. Cheers Sam, Your website gives us a great insight to what the south of America is really like! A place I’d love to visit on my next trip over.

  28. I love love love your blog – thank you SO much for sharing your amazing photos and foodie goodness….expect me back regularly!

  29. Just found you blog because a few Facebook pages I follow linked to your pantry post. Your blog looks great and I’m excited to follow along!

  30. You are amazing. Really. Photography is stunning. Food looks amazing. Styling beautiful and effortless. Found you blog by accident, have subscribed and added you to my blogroll. Looking forward to reading all your posts.

  31. Your pictures are unbelievable! I’m hooked. I’m sure you get this all the time but if you have a second I would love for you to check out my blog http://nwbutter.blog.com/

    Keep it coming!

  32. Great!! I agree with you 100%: I don’t like to bastardize food by over complicating it, too. I think i couldn’t explain it better.

    I also love family, food and nature too. Australian nature is always one of my top wishlist trips… maybe one day…. Thanks for your pics, i’m sure I’ll pass by wholelarderlove regulary!


  33. Thank you! Congrats on the freshly pressed

  34. Just found you through The Blue Hour. Soooo glad I did! What wonderful photos, but it’s your writing that reels me in. Consider me a subscriber from here on out!

  35. Have just discovered your blog – a great read! From a fellow Ballarat family of grow/hunt/gatherers :)

  36. Great blog! What is it that you hunt in Ballarat?

  37. Great blog and photos, happy to have found you!

  38. Ro
    I am constantly amazed by your skills. We will sharpen a few others when we hook a few sly browns or fighting rainbows. I have a plan for the early new year which you may be interested in?

    • Jeff I can’t wait mate! We got a killer cold snap in town yesterday with a decent old hail storm, totally reinforcing my longing for the warmer weather.
      Winter seems like it’s holding on tight this year, making day dreams of wading up a river in stinking hot weather just that more enticing.

  39. Ro
    Just imagine what we can do with a big fat fish or two. I have a few ideas in mind which I am sure with tantalise you. Sly browns and fighting rainbows high up in the Snowys.
    Cheers mate

  40. smokeytownletters said:

    I was directed to your blog by a fellow commuter on the Ballarat-Melbourne line. We’re raising a couple of pigs on a small block out past Creswick, and have a sometimes successful veggie garden. Always wanted to learn to hunt. Closest I got was a few shots of my dad’s .22 a long while ago. Would love some tips on local yabby holes if you’re willing to share. As a kid we used the three dams on our property, but alas, no dams here. Your photos and food ideas are inspiring.

    • Local yabbie holes are as you might already know are almost like a badge of a successful friendship. I have a few friends that have welcomed me onto their property to set traps. Unfortunately even on unused Crown Land parcels with dams, it’s illegal to trap them. So traps can only be used on private land. I guess it’s a matter of smooth talking land owners. Batter you eyelids or provide endless compliments to said land owners in the hope of gaining access to private dam.

      How much space do you have in Smokeytown? Do you want some rabbits?

      • I know this is an old post, but I have only just stumbled across your site. (Love it BTW) I too am a local Smokeytown resident (well, Smokeytown Road) and I thought catching yabbies was legal as long as you don’t use an Opera House net. I stand to be corrected, as I am a novice when it comes to these things, but I would love to know, cause our family LOVES yabbies and I would be totally up for finding some local spots. Would also LOVE to know where some good fishing holes are in the area – planning on taking the family fishing for fathers day. Have tried a few, but with very little luck so far…………

      • You can use what ever you want on private land.It’s illegal to use nets on government water, which is every river and lake! The best thing to do is soften up a farmer and get access to a dam and hope there is tabbies in there. It’s a little bit early in the season though, high summer I find is better. But no harm in trying now! Nets are only $14 a pop at the gun shop in town. I go to Rehfisch & CO.

  41. Camilla Cathro said:

    Just thought I’d let you know I found your blog by the usual circuitous route (from some link to another to another) and I’ve added it to my reader, it’s THAT good! And weirdly you’re the first male blogger I read regularly!

  42. Love this, you’re backyard sounds like a dream. I’m a renter (in Ballarat by co-incidence) so my veggie patch consists of pots and a 1×1 wooden pallet from Bunnings! Glad you stopped by at fox+cub, your blog is fab. x

    • That’s better than what most people do!!! I reckon growing veg in pots in our climate is sometimes better than in the garden. The soil is warmer in pots and in Ballarat thats a challenge!

  43. Sarah Curwen-Walker said:

    G’day Rohan,
    I’ve very much enjoyed watching your ABC Local videos and browsing your blog. I grew up just outside of Ballarat, in Yendon, right across from the Yendon tomato farm. Our close family friends built the place and I spent many child (happily) slave labour hours hand polishing each tomato as they used to do ‘back in the day’. In the nearby town, Bunninyong, John Harbor worked as a butcher and I still dream of his lamb roasts and remember fondly receiving freebie pieces of ham while shyly pushing the saw dust on the floor around with my feet. His new shop is around the corner from where my parents now live in town and I am extremely envious of my mother’s ease of access to his very special wares.
    I now live above my almost comically small greengrocer in Northcote, Melbourne. My philosophy is very similar to yours in letting the seasons dictate what appears on the table from week to week. Unfortunately the business side of things means that I need to have things from farther flung parts of the country (but never ever from o/s). I’m slowly educating people on our belief systems and most people are coming around to it.
    Since opening the store 5 months ago I have come eat many more vegetarian meals than not, leaving meat as a treat to be savored. I look forward to more of your vego recipes as although I am a keen cook, my veg repertoire lacks a little to be desired.
    I’m so happy to hear that you’ve scored a book deal and that the hard work albeit a labour of love, has paid off for you.
    Please come by the shop next time you’re in town. It’s not to far from the Spanish food store, Casa Iberica which is at 25 Johnson St. Collingwood.
    Happy growing, fishing, hunting, gathering and eating,
    St Dot’s Fine Produce
    234 High St
    Northcote Vic 3070

    • John harbor is my favorite butcher!! I used to work as a casual at a butchers in Surry Hills in Melbourne about 89-90. I developed a respect for the work butchers do and I guess seeing animals hanging desensitized me somewhat! I still eat meat, just that these days it’s mostly stuff I’ve hunted, dispatched or caught myself which means a little less meat than your average joe. It’s a bit more work invoked than a drive to Coles. ;-)

      Your shop sounds interesting and when I next visit my dear friend in The wood I’ll drop by.

      Thanks for visiting!

  44. Ro
    The Snowys are calling. Get your gear, pack the swag,we are heading into the place where wind is created and the fish are waiting.

  45. Love your blog. love it! It is beautiful and inspiring

  46. otways finest said:

    recent conversation on roo was somewhat interesting, lets talk rabbit…

  47. This blog makes me happy! Life as it should be

  48. I just came across your blog recently, but immediatly fell in love with your amazing pics (would like to be such a good photographer), your storys – the honesty and reality that speaks of them! “From Blade to Plate” really impressed me and made me want to be a regular follower of your gardening, hunting, cooking adventures! Honestly enjoy reading your blog!

  49. I chase my daughters through the woods with my Canon 60D all the time and can’t quite capture the colors and blur/focus you do. I actually had one of your pics open on my desktop while retouching a photo of my daughter in Apple Aperture ;-) Can you share a bit about your lens & post processing?

    Thanks so much. LOVE your blog.

  50. i’m so glad to have found your blog! what an amazing photographs and stories. i LOVE it! thank you for the inspiration. keep up the good work. ;)

  51. Maria Xanthopoulou said:

    Your blog is lovely. I read a few of your posts and thought you were a woman (well, a woman married to a guy named Kim, who hunts rabbits – then I read the “About” section)! The tenderness of your photos and musings speaks to my heart. I will be following your adventures from across the globe …

  52. Look at the size of that yabby you’re holding! That is incredible!

    I was reading your post on the New-Old house and when I saw you say there would be room for “chooks” I knew you had to be from my part of the world. I’m an Adelaide-born bush kid who moved to the California ten years ago, and find myself strangely obsessed when I come across Australian food bloggers, though I rarely actively seek them out. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your blog and catching up on your beautiful photos!

  53. Hi, I just discovered your blog via an old issue of ‘Green’ magazine – I love it. I have been looking into relocating to Ballarat for some time – could you recommend any good blogs / websites to scope out the place?
    I have looked around a bit to get some feel as to the likely nature of late-30-somethings getting out of Melb, arts, farmers markets, ‘indie’ lifestyle in Ballarat – coming up cold so far… too far out of the loop, been living in nz for 10yrs.
    Never stop blogging!

    • I have mixed feelings about Ballarat the city itself. It’s a beautiful city from an aesthetic aspect, but some/many of the occupants of said city are of dubious quality. It’s a city that struggles with change, especially anything that’s out of the ordinary, and suffers from small town mentality. However just down the road is Daylesford that is far more open minded and embracing of the good life. We live in between the two, surrounded by paddocks and forest in walking distance.

      To get an idea of what the city run’s on make regular visit’s to the local news. That should give you an idea of what Ballarat is about. And you can make your own mind up from there. There is a good deal of sport news, cattle dog stories and complaints about the council poor management.

      The Courier.

      • thanks so much for your reply.
        I currently reside in a town; population 10’000 on NZ’s Sth Island so I have a good idea of the kind of thing you’re referring to! (replace AFL with Rugby, cattle dogs with cows – as for council management SNAP!)
        The newspaper is a great idea – I appreciate your candor regarding a sensitive subject…
        Never-the-less,urban Melbourne with two kids seems gritty when compared to the news in The Courier.
        thanks again
        blog on!

  54. So inspiring! Thanks for sharing! Best wishes to you and your lovely family!

  55. Great blog. I am looking forward to thumbing through more of it. All the mention of rabbits is making me excited for rabbit season here in Maine.

  56. bootandcanoe said:

    Great blog. I am looking forward to thumbing through more of it. All the mention of rabbits is getting me excited for rabbit season here in Maine.

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