With Father’s Day coming up, we thought we’d get a little insight into some of our favourite dads around town – or just a little further afield: Whole Larder Love’s Rohan Anderson, Scottie Neoh of Tailfeather, and Greg Hatton from Butterland.
Whole Larder Love author, Rohan Anderson maintains his philosophy ‘Eat well, Live well’ on a small farm on the edge of Ballarat with his partner Kate and their four daughters.
Whole Larder Love began as an online journal ‘documenting the story of a life change’ and became a book, not just of recipes but Anderson’s philosophies and practices in bringing food to the family table.
Anderson’s approach to a simple life is focused on growing, hunting and searching for free wild food, cutting down on food miles and processed stuff – and gaining a whole lot in the meantime.
I’m driven by what needs to be done. Vegetables don’t plant themselves, deers don’t voluntarily jump into my freezer, I’m driven mostly by practical things. If anything I feel pretty happy being outdoors in the nature stuff, but it’s not what inspires me, it’s part of me and I’m part of it.Rohan Anderson
How has a life away from the city changed you, your family’s life?
I moved out of the city before I had kids, so living in the country has been part of their lives from the get go. For me it was a return to quiet and peace and closer to the elements of nature that I find most stunning, running water, fern gullies, mountains. Tell me a cliche natural beauty and I’ll tell you why I love it.
My mind is clearer out here, and for me it seems logical that we should all live within a natural as possible environment. The best way to describe how I love living out here is to explain how exhausted I feel after a few days back in the city. The noise, traffic, billboards, visual pollution, it’s all horrible, to me anyway. When I get home, I’m at peace.
What’s your typical family downtime?
At the moment it’s huddling around the fire in the lounge. On a day when the sun comes out, the kids and I might pack up the car and head bush or to the weekend market. We play UNO more than we probably should.
What does father’s day bring?
My kids love me, they eat my food and we hang out and have fun. All I want from them is to live honest lives with integrity. Gifts are fleeting, gifts get thrown in the bin. Love is for life.
‘A Year in Practiculture’ is the second book from Anderson, comprised of what he is now known for – healthier, hands-on, more sustainable eating, delivered with passion and a grain of salt.
Living in the bush was an amazing challenge, but it takes a lot of time, work and dedication. We were in the perfect place to bring Tailfeather to life.Scottie Neoh
Scottie Neoh is an artist and designer whose ethic and aesthetic derives largely from the natural environment. He is one half of Tailfeather, a leather good design team born of the collaboration with his other half, Natalia Perez.
Tailfeather began in 2010, in their home studio in the bush landscape of the Tallrook Ranges 100 kilometres north of Melbourne; this year Scottie, Natalia and their new baby girl shifted toward the coast…
From bush to beach, and their new studio in the Bellarine Penisula, Tailfeather maintains its finer elements: timeless design, traditional craft, durable materials and practical function.
“I’m a maker. Honouring traditional techniques in everyday military-inspired designs.”
How does the natural environment impact your work and creative drive?
The natural environment gives me everything I need and keeps me balanced. Nature has proven that simplicity with underlying intricacies is the ultimate design ethos. The Tailfeather colour pallet is pulled directly from the harsh Australian terrain.
Why did you move away from the bush – what prompted the sea change?
We were expecting our first child and wanted to set up somewhere that we could create an easier work/ life balance. Living in the bush was an amazing challenge, but it takes a lot of time, work and dedication. We were in the perfect place to bring Tailfeather to life. In our rare downtime we found ourselves heading to the Bellarine Peninsula to relax so it was an easy decision to set up camp here.
What’s your advice as a dad?
Be kind to your wife.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Prepare to have your emotions rocked!
What does father’s day bring?
A day of fun and adventure with my baby girl.
Butterland is an old butter factory in the central goldfield of Victoria, 1.5 hours out of Melbourne. The heritage-listed ex-Newstead Butter Factory was a real fixer upper, to become the home of DIY and decor dab hands Greg Hatton and Katie Marx, where they live with their four girls – “including the dog”.
It’s currently used as a studio for Greg’s furniture making, as well as an event space – think beautiful rustic weddings and more. Like the operative space, Greg’s furniture is made with reclaimed materials, found objects and introduced trees that cause land degradation – giving things that might go to waste a function, and therefore another life.
Where do you get inspiration?
Nature, mostly I get great pleasure in keeping a little bit of it in my designs and working with raw materials and turning them into utilitarian objects.
You work with raw materials, and you’re largely self-taught. What might be the fundamentals of your approach to life and work?
Live simply. I try to make something I need from what I have on hand.
How has a life away from the city changed?
It’s changed a bit as prior to moving to the country I was sans family. Katie found me much more attractive once I had a butter factory and babies soon followed. Life in the country is great. Nothing much has changed but I’m no longer surrounded by impatient drivers and intolerant humans which is a vast improvement.
How does your fathers’ day shape up?
A picnic in the bush somewhere, staring into nothing much. A little campfire nowhere special, just away in nature.
Butterland is not online, but can be found in the real world at 2-4 Tivey St, Newstead. But first, check out Greg’s beautiful furniture and landscape creations here.
Special thanks to the Dads for their time amid a heck of a lot of work and well, kids.
Happy Fathers’ Day 🙂