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Why these tree-changers bucked the trend and left their Sunshine Coast unit to run a homestay in Tasmania



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Beachside residence residing is the polar reverse to operating a farm and homestay, however one 12 months after an adventurous couple swapped the Sunshine Coast for Tasmania’s lush Derwent Valley, life has by no means been higher.

Impressed by Tasmania’s Fat Pig Farm, Trish and Steve Davison are harvesting greens, elevating free-range pigs, making their very own specialist small items, and serving homegrown gourmand meals to friends.

Flowers in front of a cottage with a chimney.
Hamlet Downs Nation Lodging got here with a surprising backyard.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

Celebrating her household’s Myanmar heritage, Ms Davison ran a enterprise on the coast, internet hosting cooking courses and bottling a variety of Burmese-inspired sauces, relishes and mustards. Mr Davison owned a profitable metallic fabrication enterprise.

A photo of a couple's backs, looking out to the distance
Steve and Trish Davison moved to Hamlet Downs at Fentonbury simply over a 12 months in the past.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

It was on their first journey to Tasmania that they started craving for a unique life.

“We simply felt that there was extra that we might provide and extra that we might department out into doing and we had been completely smitten with the great thing about Tasmania,” Ms Davison mentioned.

A beautiful dam with trees and a mountain in the distance.
The dam comes with a resident platypus inhabitants.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

They began looking out and had been immediately impressed by the flower-filled gardens, orchards, resident platypus, and character-filled homestead at Hamlet Downs Nation Lodging. The kitchen, with its enormous stainless-steel bench high, sealed the deal.

“I am not going to lie.That is what bought this, I walked into this kitchen and I mentioned, ‘Purchase it’,” Ms Davison laughed.

Salami's hanging in a fridge
Trish and Steve Davison are making smallgoods.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

This month marks a 12 months because the couple made their tree change and their farm’s fridges are already crammed with curing ham, salamis, tacky cabanas and prosciutto.

“We began off with 4 pigs and determined to maintain the 2 sows and begin a breeding program with them. They’re a Duroc-Berkshire cross,” Mr Davison mentioned.

A cute black grey pig looks at the camera as another one has its bum to the camera.
These pasture-raised sows will probably be stored as breeding inventory.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

In addition to meat from their pasture-raised pigs, all through the seasons they’ve collected quail eggs and grown pears, persimmons, apple, silverbeet, beetroot, rhubarb, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, beans, lettuce, kohlrabi, kale, pumpkin, tomatoes and zucchini.

“Beside the kitchen that is my most favorite place to play, that is all grown from seed,” Ms Davison mentioned.

A thriving vegetable patch with a polytunnel next to it.
The polytunnel will probably be essential in winter.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

The couple are a part of the worldwide Slow Food movement, however when Ms Davison was first awarded a Snail of Approval from Gradual Meals Noosa in 2019, she by no means imagined that they might change into tree-changers, farmers and farmstay hosts.

The gifted prepare dinner’s Gold Aztec Inexperienced Scorching Sauce produced from farm-grown tomatillos, Zucchini Candy Mustard Relish made with farm-grown zucchinis, De-Vinely Purple Tomato Sauce and Coriander Honey Mustard gained gold, silver and bronze on the 2022 Royal Tasmanian High-quality Meals Awards.

Jars of relish and pickles and sauce on a table outside in the country.
Trish Davison’s condiments have gained gold, silver and bronze on the Royal Tasmanian High-quality Meals Awards.(Provided: Trish Davison)

“I might pinch myself to see that this dream has come actual, residing on 36 acres (14.6 hectares) within the Central Highlands’ Derwent Valley area of Tasmania — how does it get any higher than this?” Ms Davison mentioned.

College of Tasmania postdoctoral researcher Sebastian Kocar mentioned the Davison’s transfer from the Sunshine Coast to Tasmania didn’t mirror a wider development.

Dog looking lovingly at man.
Sunny the blue staffy with proprietor Steve Davison.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

Within the 12 months to September final 12 months, the island state’s inhabitants grew simply 0.03 per cent to 540,839.

Extra folks left Tasmania (689 folks) than arrived throughout that point, in contrast with a internet influx of (1,142) folks within the earlier 12 months.

Sheep and alpacas with an orchard behind them.
The farm got here with sheep and alpacas.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

“Throughout the pandemic, in comparison with earlier than the pandemic, arrivals and departures remained fairly regular,” Dr Kocar mentioned.

“It clearly affected [because of Australian border lockdowns] internet abroad migration considerably greater than interstate migration.”