Last year we worked with Grown and Gathered’s Matt and Lentil to create a limited edition kimono. We connected over our shared love for natural dyes and the possibilities they saw in creating patterns using flowers - the place where their passion started as small flower and produce farmers. They live in Guildford, over an hour out of Melbourne, in total harmony with nature - growing their own produce, flowers, and raising their own livestock. Yes, they’re pretty extraordinary farmers, but they’re also so much more. They’re also incredible cooks, authors, educators, bloggers, and sustainability advocates. They’re a perfect example of living authentically, and being genuinely sustainable. We sat down on a calm Monday morning with the duo and asked a few questions about their life, each other and what they love most in the world.
This one may be tricky, but fruit or vegetables?
M: Vegetables! Obviously.
What’s your ultimate breakfast in bed?
M: Boiled eggs from our chooks. Toast. Lots of butter. Salt. Black coffee.
L: Scrambled eggs, good sourdough bread, a few pickles, butter, salt, pepper. Or a really good breakfast smoothie.
How do start your day? What sets the right tone for you?
M: Getting in the garden. Picking what needs to be picked, tending to what needs to be tended.
L: Sitting, I like a little time to sit and take in the day!
In such a commercialised world, it’s a seemingly daunting prospect letting go of our urban comforts in exchange for a more simple and sustainable life. How was this process for you?
M: Not at all. Life in the country is SO MUCH MORE comfortable ha ha! No traffic. No pollution. Space. We love it.
L: I second what Matt said. As long as you are somewhere that there is a good community, and you have your kind of people around you, then it is amazing.
Do you have feel like you’ve sacrificed anything in order to create your present, more seasonal life?
M: No. Initially, when we were isolated on the farm I would say we really missed having good friends around us. But now that we live in a village, we have everything we could ever want!
What’s the best thing about living off the earth? What moment makes you stop and say “yes, this is all worth it”?
M: The food. Eating what you grow. Or what you've been given that others have grown. There is nothing better.
L: Yes, just the simple tasks of growing (and gathering), eating and cooking all year round - from nature. It really is what we love to do.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
M: No fucking idea. Who can think that far ahead! We're not great planners actually. Hopefully sipping red wine in Italy.
L: I don't believe in planning that far ahead, because life is unexpected - you don't know what is going to happen next, as much as you think you might.
What’s your favourite meal that your partner has prepared for you?
M: Oh there are too many. Actually my most favourite thing in the world that Lentil makes are her cookies. We often start the day with just a coffee and a cookie and I feel like the luckiest man in the world to have homemade cookies always at the ready. What a legend.
L: Too many. I think his freestyle stews (every version a little different) would have to be it through.
What book are you reading at the moment?
M: The making of men by Dr Arne Rubinstein. It's about rights of passage and creating actual grown-up men out of our boys. We don't have kids yet but many friends kids are starting to get to that transition point now and we all want to make some real men out of them ha ha! Our modern world needs more of them.
L: The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls (again! ha).