I came across Rohan Anderson and his website Whole Larder Love via a blog in the US called 10 Engines. The latter was introduced to me one cold December night in London by the brother of the guy who runs it, and I’ve been following it ever since. Here was a man who liked outdoorsy, masculine stuff (like tools and trucks), but was also into fashion (albeit in that functional, yet knows what looks classically good kind of way).
I was and continue to be intrigued, particularly when he brings people like Rohan to my attention. Whole Larder Love makes me feel homesick for the rugged Australian life that I never actually had. I know that probably makes no sense, but, even though I was dragged up in Sydney, the romance of the outback, with its unforgiving climate and salt-of-the-earth people, pulls at me somehow. Could I have been one of them if I’d made some different choices earlier on? In reality, probably not, but it’s fun to dream about. Anyway, this is not about me. This post is about Rohan and his wicked sense of humour, his talent for photography and his love of food – wherever he can find it.
where are you from?
Born in Melbourne (Australia), raised on a farm in Gippsland, university and schooled back in Melbourne, then back out to the country for my remaining days.
what do you do?
Most of my time is unfortunately spent doing things of little real value. It’s the curse of this age. I sit in an office performing graphic design tasks and often I get paid to take photos of things. What I actually do of any great value is grow vegetables, hunt, forage the wild larder, learn what to do with whole foods and sometimes I go out to a river and wave a fly rod in the air hoping that one day I might catch a fish.
where do you do it?
Well that’s personal, but here goes…once we did it in my office. I knew a retrenchment was coming so I figured what the heck. Whats the worst that could happen? It was a bit of a failure. Too rushed and nervous.
The food side of things? Well I use my tiny urban yard to grow vegetables and fruit. And I hunt and fish on a list of private spots that I just can’t share with you.
why did you start the blog?
I’ve had about five blogs so far, all different, some for overseas adventures, some for my time in the music industry and even one for a magazine I ran. This one is my favourite. I really just like that I can meet people online that get a kick out of the same things. It’s not for meeting people like online swingers or anything. That was never my intention, I always delete those emails.
I’ve always found that blogs, (although now considered a bit outdated in the social media scene) can offer a better story than a few sentences in a ‘Twit’ or the instant gratification of Facebook. Both of which I have been a part of but since distanced myself from and what a load off my shoulders it’s been. Blogs are like comparing a thick juicy steak to a hamburger pattie. The pattie is nothing without the partnership of the bun, lettuce, cheese and mayonnaise. But a steak can be eaten on its own, enjoyed for its complexity and depth of flavour. This is a terrible metaphor, but now I want a steak for lunch. A blog steak.
what inspires you?
Images. Beautiful stunning story telling images.
Food. Food that I’m scared of. Food that I’ve never tasted. Wild things like slimy mushrooms and plants that are considered weeds but are in fact edible.
The power of nature. Weather. I love weather. How could you not be interested in weather.
I’m inspired by ballsy, strong humans that blow me away with their drive, determination and uniqueness. Eustice Conway and Dick Proenneke are my mentors right now.
who taught you to cook?
Me. Sure books have helped, but making mistakes and furiously stabbing the darkness normally produces ‘interesting’ results.
I recently got accused of murder, apparently I murder innocent animals in my conquest for food. I was told that we as humans need to be the voice for these poor animals that can’t speak for themselves. I think some people have forgotten that we are actually animals. Just because we have a consciousness that might ‘elevate’ us above all the other animals, we are in fact still biologically speaking, omnivorous animals. It’s just that we wear clothes and live in houses.
If we are to be the voice for these defenceless animals, than what are we to do about all the other predators? What will they do? Should we introduce them to the politically correct vegan philosophy? What about those nasty herbivores out there, ripping out defenceless plants by the roots for their daily intake of energy. The plants are living organisms and they have no voice. I know, I have a garden…never once heard the plants speak.
Food is such an important part of our lives. It divides us, yet it brings us together. It’s been spiritualised and politicized. But if you were to take away all of the tradition, the politics and emotion that surrounds food then what remains? This ones going to knock you socks off. We have this basic requirement to feed our bodies with energy for us to survive, that’s all food boils down to. Amazing I know. Now this is simplicity that I admire. Nature is the master, we are the pawns. Or is that prawns…..hhhmmm garlic, prawns. My tummy is rumbling.
All images courtesy of Rohan Anderson.