We all have a place we call home, be it a house we grew up in, a family property, a business that has been in the family for generations and then there are those who feel home is where their stuff is, or where they carry it (I used to when I was in the Infantry). To many home is where a number of close family reside, perhaps it is a bach/crib or caravan/tent spot that is an annual pilgrimage.
To me home is our family farm in the Hunter Hills (inland 9km from the sea situated 40 km from Timaru and 27km from Waimate). The 1100 acre property has been in the family since my Great Grand parents started farming it in the early 1900’s. It is green rolling South Canterbury farmland with considerable stands of native bush and an 400 acre hill block called Mt Diamond. I know I am home when I hit this sign post and roar up the drive to my mothers house (seen to the left in amongst the trees in this pic).
As I get a bit older I find myself more interested in the history of the place and like most small New Zealand settlements there is no shortage of it. Over the coming months I intend to write a few blogs with some of the interesting stuff I have stumbled across in my own backyard and the surrounding areas.
Like most farming communitys there have been many changes over the last 10-15 years. There are still the shingle roads and an absence of Police, however gone too are party telephone lines, the local school that both my generation and my mothers attended, churches stand empty, community halls are rarely used and so the list goes on as the tendency for bigger farms alters the landscape. Add in the large number of dairy cows that now occupy an area once firmly sheep and beef country and you have a very different rural landscape.
There are still the local swimming holes (see my recent blog about Otaio Gorge), the local war memorials and farmers who enjoy the land and stock and all that the farming lifestyle brings with it so whilst not all changes have been positive on the local community, there is still a lot going on and it is a great place to call home.
I look forward to sharing a bit of local history.
Other blogs I’ve already written about my home that you’ll love;
The Great South…..Camping in Gods Own!
Burning Down The House…..New Year 2010