Thursday, 19 April 2012

Looking back to the beginning

When we bought the land for our olive grove, almost exactly 12 years ago, it was pretty well a blank canvas.  The previous owners, we understood, had married into to the Dawe family, who owned a lot of land in the area. (hence Dawesville, an adjoining suburb).  These recent owners were earth moving people.  They dug holes and shifted dirt from one place to another.  In relation to our block, they had extracted limestone.  When they had finished, they filled in the quarry and decided to subdivide the land into 'lifestyle' blocks of about 5 acres (2 hectares).  Local mythology says that under the surface of our block lie many old car bodies and other undesirable objects.  (We hasten to assure readers that no evidence of heavy metals or other noxious substances has been found by our organic certifying body).  The subdivision didn't go well.  Some blocks sold but a big chunk didn't get planning approval.  The owners, in the meantime trying to make some money out of the block, ran sheep and planted lucerne.  But they apparently tired of the exercise, and at Easter, in the year 2000, I read an ad in the Sunday paper.  By this time we had been looking for a block for at least 5 years, and were becoming disheartened. I half heartedly made an appointment to have a look, and as soon as the estate agent drove over the hill got a frisson of excitement!  Could this be it? An almost bare lump of ground with a few clumps of trees (so no rubbish removal or clearing required).  Only 100 ks from our city home, on good roads close to major routes.  Power lines running through (but unfortunately not three phase). Reputedly very good quality underground water.  Soil free draining (olive trees don't like wet feet.)  And a very good price for 70 acres.  Husband was overseas then, so I (after a brief phone call)  took matters into my own hands and signed up.  (I did cop a bit of flack for this)  Then the fun began!!  More later

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