A simpler life. Keeping a garden, growing as much of our food as I can and being creative with it. Sourcing most of the rest locally, keeping chickens and baking my own bread.

Willow and Spike

Our two fox terriers, Willow and Spike, ready to head back to the house after some gardening

Hello! I’m Stephen, I live on a beautiful property in Northern New South Wales with my partner and two fox terriers. This blog is about us and our experiences on the land.

Our place

We have called the place Hill House. We sit on a ridge with marvellous views out to densely forested hills. The property is off-grid, with self contained solar power, rainwater and sewerage. We moved from inner city Sydney, right in the urban thick of it, where driving anywhere was a hassle but you can walk to almost anything you want. Now we have made the ‘tree change’ and life is very different. I’m trying to produce as much as I reasonably can, with chickens, gardens, an orchard, and who knows what to come. The feature image is me with our first egg (Which we called ‘thought’).

Hill House, looking up the hill

Our house, looking up from the main track down to the dam

Living here is a big learning experience in many ways. I come from a family culture of gardening but I’m from Perth originally which, with its mediterranean hot dry summers and mild wet winters, is kind of opposite in seasons to Uki. Here we have rain most of the year, with a dry patch in Spring, and warm humid summers.



I’m a scientist by profession and temperament. I started off aiming for a Plant Science degree at Uni, but Biochemistry became my major and my work subject. I kept the interest in plants, and a garden is one of the things that enrich my life. It was one thing that I missed through years of apartment living around the world. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can grow here, what we can make of this property, and what I can cook with its produce.
I have a scientist’s fascination in what we are, how we were shaped by acquisitions like tools, fire, and language, and how we start from a genetic legacy and generate our identities. I think we as a society and as individuals are still changing, and the difference we see in the culture of just a hundred years ago indicates a bright future for us. I am an optimist and think that our future will be all about technology that we can’t even predict, but that keeps improving our lives.

I’d love to hear your comments, if you want to discuss anything please fill in the form below.

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