Forest Clump is our little patch of remnant old-growth rainforest in the hinterland of Byron Bay – or more accurately, Goonengerry.

It’s the place we are building our dream home and garden, exploring how we can move towards a slower, more sustainable, organic lifestyle compared to the fast-paced Sydney life we’re leaving behind. The city can be draining, even when that’s all you’ve ever known.

It’s not completely off-grid – we do have electricity, although we have installed 40 solar panels, so we do most of our power usage during the day, including charging an electric car. With no town water or sewerage, we rely on our water tanks and septic system. Everything has been designed to ensure that the rainforest behind our home is protected and encouraged to grow further.

We know that we’re lucky to be able to do this. That we were able to buy a block of land. Get a tiny house to live in while we built the main home. To be able to work from home for the same company I’ve been at for 15 years in Sydney. It wouldn’t have been technically possible without good internet – and even that has often been a measly 5Mbps over the mobile data network. We fluked into good phone reception by being at the top of a ridge. The bank loves me for my mortgage.

Between us we’ve had cancer three times, a heart attack, dodgy knees. So there’s a fair bit of carpe diem/seize-the-day/YOLO behind our decision. We built a house big enough to have our family stay for extended regular visits.

I have a mild addiction to building websites for any reason, so this one came into being. I’m particularly fond of the Bush Food Search – it’s a list of the edible plants I want to grow that are suited to the local sub-tropical climate. You can filter the search by things like whether it’s a native bush food, an edible flower, how you use it, plant height and more.

I also just built https://farmgatefoodstalls.com.au/ (while stuck at home with covid)

If you’re part of the local community and need help with your website, let me know. Maybe we can help each other out – particularly if you’ve got ediblegardening/rainforest/bushregeneration skills.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands, pay respect to their Elders – past, present and emerging – and acknowledge the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the community.