Where to next………

16 07 2015

When I posted about land I had my eye on way back in May last year, little did I know how things would pan out.  A friend of ours in Geeveston who had contemplated buying this property with her partner but didn’t for personal reasons contacted me to tell me what an amazing block it actually was.  Then, out of the blue, she messaged me to say the owners had had an offer on this land……  NO! Not again……..  by this stage, we had seriously interested buyers for our place – who will now soon own it – so I just rang the owners for a chat.

Kari and I spoke over the phone for an hour, and I think the clincher was that I offered them more than their asking price (yes, it’s THAT good..) and my plans for the land were Permaculture, not the monoculture blueberry farm the other bidder was apparently planning. So we signed a 3 month contract, site unseen, thinking our place would sell before then.

arveroad

We broke all the rules we had set ourselves.  Buying before selling, and buying without ever having actually set foot on the place.  It pays to know what you are doing of course, because the internet is your friend, and pouring hours into google Earth and government data about land use etc (Tasmania has an amazing website for this if you’re ever contemplating doing this too called the List), and of course the sellers’ photos on their advert did indeed show an amazing piece of land.

Coincidentally, the woman who wanted to buy what is now our land, was an acquaintance of another friend of mine from Geeveston.  I didn’t know this of course, until I got an email from Craige saying his friend had rung him in tears asking did I know who this Mike bloke who outbid her was…… and that he’d seen our land and now had ‘block envy’….  a big deal from someone who thinks his land is perfect!

Because Glenda’s so busy with Uni etc, she could not come with me to see the land after signing the contract, so I took our son Alex with me, he’d never been to Tassie before.  The block turned out to be even better than I was expecting…..  what a find.  I have zero regrets.  I may shed a tear when I finally drive away from Cooran for the last time, but I’m certain that once I’m ensconced in Geeveston, I won’t miss Cooran one bit.  Though I’ll certainly miss the cozy house while I camp in the shed through what’s left of winter, but it will undoubtedly be character forming!

It’s 12.5 acres, an ex-apple orchard that was part of a 40 acre farm  cut up when the arse fell out of the apple market many years ago.  There still remains 2.5 acres of apple trees (about 1000 I estimate), trees covered in fruit when we were there.  I reckon there would be between 10 and 20 tonnes of apples hanging from branches!  Wherever the previous owners cattle had not been, the ground was covered in lush ankle deep clover…..  it almost made you feel like getting down on all fours and eating it!

arveroadcontourmapThen there’s the dam…….  it’s bigger than the block in Cooran!  One of my criteria for buying was water security, and boy have we got water security.  The panorama above, taken from the big hill on the other side of the valley, doesn’t give you any idea of the size or shape of the block because of telephoto foreshortening, but it’s actually twice as deep as it is wide.  I just love that shot though…  drop dead gorgeous.

The old farmhouse right on the road does not, unfortunately, come with the land.  I’m planning to build at the very back of the block, possibly looking over the dam and facing North.  Of course!  There are about 100 cypress trees on the dam wall, and I reckon I can cut down the ten biggest ones and mill all the timber I need to build with. There is already an all weather road going almost all the way to ‘the house site’.

It’s much bigger than I had originally planned to buy, but it ticks nearly all my boxes, the main one being that it’s all N facing, and trust me, we’ve now experienced it at sunrise in the cold, and as soon as the sun comes up, the whole block is bathed in sunlight bar the long shadows cast by the cyprus trees over the water.IMG_0219

The shed is cavernous…. the ute, which is currently securely parked there doesn’t even make an impression, and a quarter of the building is still behind me as I took that photo.  It could be 100 years old for all I know, but it’s solid as, all built out of hard wood.  The roof and gutters will need some attention at some stage, but right now we have other priorities.  It leaks like a sieve unfortunately, so whatever temperature it is outside, that’s what you get inside too.  It even fills up with morning fog Alex and I discovered!  The previous owners lived in it for a couple of years, and frankly, they deserve a medal.

There’s a lot of work ahead of me now.  I’ve already designed the house, and I’m pretty sure I know exactly where it’s going, subject to Glenda, who hasn’t even seen it yet, approving the final decision. I will no doubt yet again have to battle Council over my sustainability requirements, and my concerns about how much longer the global economy hangs together have not gone away.

Scott and Amanda are going to hit the ground running in Cooran, while I’ll be struggling in knee deep mud, metaphorically speaking.  Life isn’t worth living without challenges, and I’ll be living alright….!

Sunrise over the dam

Sunrise over the dam

Ankle deep clover

Ankle deep clover

IMG_0182a

Ute at the back of shed

View from the house site

View from the house site

More apples than you can eat...

More apples than you can eat…

Drop dead gorgeous

Drop dead gorgeous

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14 responses

16 07 2015
samsavvas

Hi Mike,
when you have time, I’d appreciate it if you would post a very brief list of your criteria in approaching purchase in Tassie – what you were looking for and what you were prepared to accept. I know it all probably appears pretty basic to you but it would assist me and maybe others of like mind…
thanks,
Sam.

16 07 2015
lemmiwinks

Very nice. I look forward to an interesting series of house building, land transformation and so forth posts.

16 07 2015
mikestasse

just watch this space….

16 07 2015
Rapideffect

Great looking block of land you got there Mike. I look forward to seeing the transformation of it into your own little oasis. Good luck with it mate.

16 07 2015
mikestasse

thanks…..

16 07 2015
Wick Burner

Congratulations, and good luck with all the subsequent on-block projects!

16 07 2015
richard3939

Hopefully one day I’ll be able to come and visit – sooner rather than later.

17 07 2015
Idiocracy

More apples than you can eat… the problem is the solution Mike… you can drink ’em as well! 🙂

Home made apple cider is great and apple cider vinegar is a virtual bloody super food… it’s great for your livestock too, just slip a bit into their water.

Congrats on the new block, it looks a right beauty! Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and I look forward to future posts.

17 07 2015
mikestasse

I know I know……… when I wrote that post I omitted to mention the neighbours on our Western boundary, who own 77 acres of apple trees. They are from Qld too, Ingham in fact, in the far N just down the road from Kimble, and they are organic too. Just 25 minutes N of Geeveston is this organic cidery called Willie Smith http://www.williesmiths.com.au/ who buy all (nearly all?) their apples to turn them into cider. They reckon they’ll probably take ours too, because whilst this new place of ours is not certified organic, I’m told it was never sprayed…

And as it happens, I’m a cider drinker already, I’ve even home brewed some here in Cooran….. cannot wait!!

17 07 2015
Diana Tod

Hi Mike,

Wonderful looking property!!! Congratulations to you both, you’ve definitely done the right thing!! It’s all about water….and now temperature …and low population levels…community….you’ll have it all!

I have lashings of water here, but the summers are becoming horrific with those soaring temps, which it seems, PO is not going to stop…

Love your posts on the Matrix too – the only one I follow now, so do, do hope you find the time to keep it going!

All the very best of luck with the move, you are a very courageous couple. I come down to Tas fairly frequently as my mother is here, also a sister in Hobart and I would love to drop out to see you sometime…

Cheers and warm regards

Di

Sent from Windows Mail

17 07 2015
mikestasse

G’day stranger, long time no hear/see….

Would love to catch up with you when you next visit Tassie….. Glenda and I both think we’ll have way more visitors down there than we ever attracted in Cooran!

Keep in touch…

17 07 2015
don

Hi Mike,
Great to see you have finally made it. Good luck in Tassie.

19 07 2015
Serge

Is it in Arve rd

19 07 2015
mikestasse

yep…….

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