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A real Tassie farm experience

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As I was at the bus station waiting to head to the middle of nowhere for a real farm experience I asked a fellow backpacker if it was the right bus and he flat out ignored me. Five minutes later he’s making conversation with another traveller who happens to also be male. Really?!? Not only was I insulted but you’re not going to get far with that attitude in one of the friendliest places in the world! Curious behaviour. Another thing I found interesting was when I was stuck on the first farm I was getting sucked into the infamous Aussie soap ‘Home & Away’ but when I tried to watch it again once getting back to civilisation I couldn’t sit through more than five minutes of it. I have always thought most, not all, people that watch soaps only do so to escape the mundaneness of their own lives and I think it’s a pretty accurate assumption. Anyway if you remember Dick Dundee from a previous post, well I called him and ended up spending a couple of weeks on his farm and loved it so much I’m going back again for another two weeks before I sadly leave Tassie and head to a new place. It will be nice to escape the cold though! Perth and I have a date and I can’t wait!

A lot of this is shorthand because I didn’t have much free time here but you’ll get the idea…

Day 1 on the real farm:

Dicks wife is lovely. I’ve already seen quolls, kangaroos, rabbits in four hours of being here. Dick ran the light over the field for me and could see masses of all different animals running for the tress. They have a cat, a dog, a cockatoo and horses and already she said she would take me out for a ride. I feel so welcome and relaxed and had a tasty meal. I’m sleeping in a double bed in a caravan which is warmer than the shack was or its because I’ve been sat by the fire inside all evening. Love it so far. Dick has a great sense of humour and they’ve had interesting lives and are so open and lovely. Was already dark when I got here so I can’t wait to see it in the daylight! They have poisonous snakes here, I’m hoping I don’t see one.

Day 2 on the real farm:

Had a horrible dream last night that I was going around shooting people for fun :/ Saw a mouse, add it to the animal list. Met the horses Nipper and Flo and chooks and of course the cat and dog Chan. Spent part of the day chopping firewood, a tonne of spiders crawled out one of the logs, eek! One of very few things that scare me! I am getting braver, I still picked up the pieces, with gloves on haha. The place is just beautiful. You can see billions of stars and the moonlight actually stops it from being pitch black. They’re keeping me busy which is great and the food is all homemade and tastes so good. Heaven. Turns out the first night was a fluke its very cold in the van at night but that’s the ONLY downside to this place. Don’t have time to miss not having Internet etc. It’s quite a nice break from the rest of the world.

Day out from the real farm – Day 6:
We’re heading out to go shopping which is like a two hour drive and of course when you travel so far you may as well visit some friends along the way.
I found out quite a lot about Dicks life today, I think I’ll leave this for a separate post.
We drove down a road with the same name as mine only in Tassie its a gravel track lined with trees compared to the row of houses in little India in which I live.
Driving along the views are just outstanding, tress and rivers and mountains. Listening to the radio talking about how to grow veggies. Everyone seems to have a dog. Got some lovely pumpkin soup and freshly made bread rolls from people with a lovely dog. Drove around he showed me all the sights.
The farmer and his wife are so sweet and loving. She saw chocolate on the TV and he bought it for her as a surprise. Wish she wasn’t ill cos she’s amazing. She was a nurse and loves riding horses but can’t really do it anymore which is sad.
People in the supermarket don’t know how to take him as he’s quite outspoken and no bullshit. I think he’s an amazing character. His most common phrases are bullshit and dickheads.
Breathing fresh air, eating pure fresh food, sitting by the log fire at night. Looking out the window to mountains and trees and paddocks. Walking ten minutes to fetch the mail at the gate by the road. Walking down in the evening to feed the chooks and the horses and the cat and the dog and let’s not forget Joe the bird. This is paradise.

Day 7:

Dog gets tied up every night and I didn’t know why until today. He hadn’t been tied up yet and it was already dark. We hear him barking and Dick grabs his gun and his torchlight and we head outside. The dog is standing by a tree and looking up it. The light scans across the tree and there staring back at us is a wide eyed possum. Dick aims the gun and pop the possum falls to the ground in an instant. The dog grabs it in his teeth and shakes it violently for a few seconds then already bored with this walks off with fur and blood all around his mouth. This dog is 17 years old. Pretty horrific stuff. Dick picks it up by its tail and drops it on the roof of a shed to sort out in the morning.
He baked two cakes and a homemade apple and rhubarb crumble today. We chopped wood. Ate three big meals and then crumble for dessert. Did some weeding and other gardening bits. Collected tinder for the stoves. They have an Aga in the kitchen. The whole house was built by him, it’s all wood apart from the brick walls. Amazing stuff.

It seems I stopped writing after this. They took me to the big annual farmers show called Agfest. Was interesting getting there as they only have the ute which has a teeny seat in the middle for a child with no leg room. Cramping was common. Dick shoots and skins and cuts up all his own meat for themselves and just for pet food. I watched him skin a kangaroo and it was quite an experience but not something I think I could actually do myself. I would like to know what it’s like to shoot a gun but I don’t think I could kill a poor defenceless animal. Despite finding kangaroo mighty tasty!

In a nutshell living on the farm and being almost completely self sustainable is an incredibly healthy and peaceful lifestyle. Away from stress. Going back to basics really started to make me think how ridiculous a lot of the things city people do are. Their winter is occasional overnight frosts and mild days. Tasmania has the worlds cleanest air. I miss the sun and will most probably come back in the summer because I love it in Tassie! I felt very sad leaving the farm as they took me in and cared for me like their own daughter. They are now friends for life and my mum wasn’t pleased to hear they want to adopt me. I knew I was pretty delightful but didn’t quite expect gaining an adoptive family here 🙂

This was pretty lazy writing and a rushed post as I have to go catch my bus soon and there is zero reception on the farm. Perhaps you captured a glimpse into the experience though. I would encourage everyone to try it sometime! Well done you if you got the end of this rather long post. Feel free to leave a comment.

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