Hi! I’m Claire, an ecologist and real food advocate. My goal is to help and motivate others to live a simple, healthy and more sustainable life. I blog about self-sufficiency, green living, permaculture, food and drink, organic gardening, living off-grid, upcycling and making anything and everything from scratch. Whether you live on acreage, have a small suburban plot or even a flat in the city, A Wild, Green Life has tried and tested advice, practical tips and projects for you!
Four years ago my new husband and I decided it was time for a change of direction. We were both keen to achieve a better work-life balance, escape stress and consumerism and focus on being happy and healthy together. For us, an ecologist and a vet, that meant living a simple and sustainable back to nature ‘good life’, surrounded by wildlife and trees. When I commit to something, I’m all in, so once we had agreed, I began obsessively researching and planning our dream lifestyle. Caught up in the excitement of it all, not long after we bought a large patch of rainforest in Queensland, Australia…unseen over the internet, from another continent.
Looking back, we were very naïve and it could so easily all have turned into an absolute disaster. My husband knew the area where we had bought the place, but obviously hadn’t seen the property. I had never even so much as stepped foot on Australian soil, but had lived in rainforests in other parts of
the world. Undaunted and full of hope we took a leap of faith, and in February 2012 I emigrated to Australia moving onto the property straight from the airport. Our new place had a large uninsulated ‘liveable’ shed (that had been completely taken over by snakes!), a dirt road and a 1ha clearing, but no garden, house, electricity or even running water. Nevertheless, I fell in love with it immediately. That night, by candlelight, we sat down together and planned out what we wanted to achieve (read here) and we are still working on it today.
Our new lifestyle has been a steep learning curve, but we have come a long way since those early days. We now live in a home powered by solar with a vegetable oil generator as backup. All of our water for drinking and bathing is rainwater collected on our roof and pressure pumped to the taps. I cook on a wood stove that also heats our water and I warm the house with a large wood-burner that doubles as a dehumidifier. We have planted a food forest with over 100 trees and a created a large vegetable and herb garden next to the kitchen and we can, salt, dry, freeze and ferment our harvest. We make most of the things we use from scratch including soap, cleaning and beauty products and keep livestock for fertiliser, pest control, garden services and eggs. Every day we learn something new, often the hard way, but we are happy and take great satisfaction from living a life connected to nature, knowing where our food comes from.
I set up ‘A Wild, Green Life’ at the end of 2013 because I figure the best way to encourage others to be more sustainable is to document our journey and share all of the resources and information that helps us on our way. I will admit, some of our attempts to become self-sufficient are a bit extreme and so may not be practical for most people. I’m certainly not suggesting you all suddenly start living off-grid in the wilderness or grinding dehydrated bananas to make flour! But, whether you are approaching this because you are concerned about your health, the environment, animal welfare, global food supply, living more frugally or even disaster preparedness I cover a whole range of topics from the general to the more specialist so hopefully some aspect of our journey will be relevant to you.