As many of you may be aware we have been making plans to wind down some of our activities. It would be a sad state of affairs if we had to move and at present this is not something we want to do.
Our exit strategy is not so much around the idea of exiting the farm but in revising what we do so that our time is more under our control. This farm still has so much to offer us . It is close to Scamander township , it is very private and scenic. We have all the water we need to grow what we want. We will always have an income via the accommodation we offer. To leave and buy elsewhere just doesn’t stack up financially.
So our present plan is to sort out the zoning on the three titles we hold. Somehow in the 2013 Break O’Day Interim Planning Scheme all three titles were rezoned to Rural Resource. The rationale for this happening without any form of communication we still find baffling. The fact that it even happened for a residential block and another similar sized small holding is further confusing. We are seeking explanations from the council. This of course also makes the other plans confusing.
We would like to consolidate the residential land which has a lot of our infrastructure. The land however behind the house is on a separate and much larger title. Part of this land we would like to have a boundary adjustment so as to put the infrastructure already established primarily into the one holding.Draft Boundary Adjustment Plan
There is a special need for this to happen as the consolidation of the property will provide added bushfire protection to our residence and the bulk of the infrastructure. In the 2006 bush fires it was the orchard behind the house on the larger title that saved the house from burning down. The water rights from our dam and the sprinkler system would also be part of this consolidated property.
The next two things we wish to do are to establish 3 up market glamping / farmstay type accommodation on the hill behind our house and below the cherry orchard. By upmarket they will be permanent structures and not canvas and will be suitable for holiday accommodation in the summer months only. Services such drinkable water, irrigation water and power are already established.
We also want to establish another house on the adjacent 5 hectare property where a tenant could live and at times when we are away keep an eye on the rest of the farm.
This year we had a severe drought in the summer and water levels in our dam became every low and water quality deteriorated. Wildlife incursions were escalated too as animals went to greater extremes to get into our orchards.
In spite of these setbacks our cherry crop was excellent. Good apricots and plums were also available but not in great quantities. A lot of the apricots dropped too in our top orchard due to the unavailability of water. The plums in the same area seem to come through the drought ok but in smaller numbers owing to the damages caused by the possums.
There is much more I could say but I think now I would like to write something about the Covid-19 virus.