The Big Tree Change

Planning a tree change to the country, escaping the hustle and bustle of the city is something usually associated with retirees, so what were we doing? A young family with a successful business, a home in Sydney with a solid network of family and friends?

Well, maybe we’d watched too many episodes of ‘escape to the country’ but the rolling green hills of Berry were our version of the English countryside and where we decided to put down roots and start our next chapter.

Beyond the beauty of the area, we were craving our own piece of land, a place to raise chickens, harvest honey and plant rows, pots and boxes of fruit, herbs and vegetables. Far Meadow, just five kilometres outside Berry, was the “mystery house” we were searching for. A home for our family, surrounded by beautiful established trees and an out-building with huge potential that could convert into a venue for our next food dream.

Since moving in, one of our first investments, or should I say experiments, was our chickens, and we’re loving having fresh eggs every day. Next on the list was bees. Iain did a bee keeping course at South East Local Land Services through The Small Farms Network and soon after we welcomed our first colony of bees.

We’ve been collecting honey now for the past 6 months, it is pretty special seeing the bees around the garden knowing they’re making our very own honey, but not without the odd sting.

Now that we had some animals to tend to, we turned our focus to the garden and have planted about 200 new plants since moving in, to complement the existing trees which act as outside rooms. The lush landscape was a huge drawcard, feeling like you’re in a country setting but only five minutes to the beach was really appealing for us. I’d been holidaying in Gerroa for the past 15 years so it felt very familiar but still provided us with new challenges and our own little piece of land.

Our escape to the country is now complete and we’ve had a year to settle-in to the community and our surroundings which have been so welcoming. The sense of belonging you get in a small town and the ease of doing things is something we got used to pretty quickly. Plus, the area has a dynamic food scene which we’ve been slowly getting to know and love.

We’re now eager to begin the next phase of our journey and invite those who’ve welcomed us so warmly back to our table.


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  • Since we decided to make the big tree change to Berry, we’ve had a lot of time to figure out exactly how our south coast food dream would pan out and exactly what sort of food we wanted to grow and cook on our little piece of land.
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