Photo courtesy Photos8.com
After seeing an established hazelnut, chestnut and NSW waratah farm on 25 acres advertised for sale, we had to visit. Even if it wasn’t suitable, it was good research, right?
So on Sunday we packed the kids, snacks, drinks and Jack in the car and headed 200km away along Tasmania’s north-west coast. The scenery was spectular through the fertile farmland around Deloraine and the coast past Devonport (before the extremely industrial Burnie). The trusty Navman guided us to the farm (which didn’t have a for sale sign) and we looked over the fence. We saw a caravan just past the gate so we thought we’d go in to ask the owners a few questions.
The elderly man who had been running the farm was happy to talk to us, but his idea of income-producing and ours was very different. The trees hadn’t been looked after and were in bad shape. Clearly he was ready to move on after 20 years. His wife, on the other hand, couldn’t get rid of us quickly enough. But that was OK – we knew it wasn’t for us.
As well as the trees being in such bad shape, this farm was at least 25km from Wynyard and not close enough to any major centre for my business. It was cold, damp and windy and the soil too acidic for truffles, which is something we’d like to grow if we find the right situation.
But all this is good research – we saw a new area, ruled out the area and learnt more about the soil type and farm conditions we were looking for. This weekend we’re going to look at properties closer to home at either Sheffield or Scottsdale, and go to the Taste of the Tamar food and wine event. Mmmm.