Kitchen Garden Guides

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Interesting, isn't it, how we have so easily assimilated technology into even the simplest of lives. And so it was that Sophie and Greg arrived at my door, on their bicycles, one evening recently, having contacted me via the world of bloggers. A delightful pair they are, riding around parts of Australia and then the world, gathering notes on living simply, for a future book. Visit them at

image Cygnet is a magnet for just the people they needed to speak to so I had arranged for a get together over dinner at my place, that evening.

We ate from the garden, talked from the heart, told our stories and aired our thoughts about the why, how and who of trying to live simpler lives.


Greg took copious notes and asked everyone as many questions as he could think of, ending up with enough information already to write a book!

So, what are simple lives? The answer is actually very simple too; living a simple life requires you to be connected to a community so that you can share tools, seeds, "stuff" and food. It means re-humanising yourself. It means caring.... about your neighbours, your friends, your environment and your impact on all of these. It is not about being a hermit, surviving alone.

How does one begin? Most people start slowly and unintentionally..... growing a few vegetables, reading labels in the supermarket, catching a bus to work or joining a community garden, buying a magazine on sustainable home improvements or organic gardening etc etc. Very slowly the meaning of life questions you thought were going to be answered by frantically driving your children to their next activity, working late to get more money and buying new furniture or gadgets, still rear their heads and remain unanswered.

One evening, about 6 years ago, I went to a talk. I have now forgotten the topic because what happened was that, in the interval, I met people. Some of these people made me think very differently; opened my eyes to the bloody obvious..... and that was that there is a whole lot of people out there, in my city of Adelaide, who thought just like me. I realised I was no longer a hermit, growing my vegetables, NOT enrolling my children in structured activities, refusing to use chemicals in my home etc etc; I had found community.

Simple lives are just that.... plural. The hardest part of the journey is finding them. The internet is a good place to start. Make a blog. Read blogs listed in other people's side bars. Leave comments. Get connected to the online community and you will find that your neighbour may well be there too!









Good luck Sophie and Greg. Have fun. Take in the vibes.










Life is good; get there fast and then take it slow.


Pattie Baker said...

cool pix! nice post, Kate.

africanaussie said...

good thoughts there, and I love the last quote - life is good, get there fast, then take it slow. That sunset photos is fantastic.

Gavin Webber said...

Kate, what a great philosophy to have. I agree with the blog idea, as it is a much wider simple living community than many people think!

I am so glad I gave Greg and Sophie your details! Sounds like you had a fantastic time.

Gav x

Greg Foyster said...

Hi Kate, It was good to meet so many like-minded people in Cygnet...and to eat the chocolate from the local store...and to sample the food at Lotus Eaters cafe...and to eat oysters fresh off the rocks the next day! You really do live in a special part of the world.

Great post, and thanks for the wonderful food and company.

- Greg

AlexF said...

What a fantastic get together mum. I really love this paragraph:

We ate from the garden, talked from the heart, told our stories and aired our thoughts about the why, how and who of trying to live simpler lives.

Darren (Green Change) said...

Great post - I'm adding a comment here so I can be part of your community :-).

Andrea said...

Love your thoughts here Kate, amazing what you can learn and who you may meet when your eyes and ears are open.