I bought my farm now 45 years ago and it was in a seriously degraded state. It looked like an ecological hell, the house was dilapidated and looked like it was about to fall over from the leaning stumps. This is the story of my tree planting efforts and how it has been turned into a verdant paradise.
I host the occasional visitor who comes here to do some work in return for keep and to learn about growing trees on farms and while here they experience a full dose of rustic Australian and to participate with me in my charmed lifestyle.
This is a collection of essays that I’ve written over the last few years about my thoughts and experiences. I’ve even had the opportunity to have read and broadcast a seventeen of them over the radio on Radio National and they have even said that they liked my stories and to keep sending them in. Although the planting and growing of trees may seem ordinary, it seems to me, a former good Presbyterian, to have opened the door to things I could never have imagined. The stories are as they were written at the time and are all 100% true.
I believe that this book only came about “by the grace of the Pine Tree” (this is a quote from a visitor called Mieko, see later) and I need to acknowledge this. It has been my muse and guide probably ever since I was young.
I purchased my farm in 1975 in a devastating state and a new regime commenced with the planting of mostly the Hoop Pine Tree and now years later, it has been transformed.
My neighbor told me that his father told him that the Hoop Pine here was as “thick as the hairs on the cat’s back” and he could “throw his ax from one tree to the next” as he commenced to cut the trees down. Somehow a cycle seems to have been completed and my book has been the outcome of this.