James Woodford’s grid-life crisis: one man’s journey to leave the city and live sustainably

James Woodford

Lots of people dream of making a ‘sea change’ to escape the rat race of the city. Some people even do it.

But how many leave with the intention of living sustainably? To live on the land, grow their own food, generate their own power and water, and even restore their new patch closer to its original, natural state. James Woodford and his family are working on just that.

Audio: Interview with James Woodford about his new book ‘Real Dirt’.

And no James, isn’t a hippy. He loves sushi as much as any inner-city dweller, and for a long time was an ambitious journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald.

Just how he came to be living on a beautiful stretch of the South Coast and slaughtering his own chooks is documented in his new book ‘Real Dirt: how I beat my grid-life crisis’. It’s a very personal account of “what you have to go through to get to where you want to be.”

I read it recently and got decidedly itchey feet myself. I then spoke with James by phone – at the place he now proudly calls home.

Useful links: This and other books by James Woodford are available through Text Publishing. There’s more of his James’s writing on his blog – Real Dirt. And here’s an excerpt from the ‘Real Dirt’ book – recently published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Photo: James Woodford, environment journalist and “footprint changer”, at his true home on the South Coast of New South Wales.

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