Sometimes life feels too aspirational, to the extent where everything we really want to do remain ideas at best. Whether it's the weekly exercise routine or the edible garden we're always planning to set up, life becomes saturated and can't hold anymore. This place however is different. Tasmanian forces a shift in speed that allows you clear out and then jump on, to experience all that it has to offer. You can't help but find people that are doing all the things that we only aspire to do, and sometimes without a very clear broadband signal. It's game changing.
After writing three of our books there, Tasmania is becoming more than just our favourite cool climate island, it is our spiritual home and a constant source of inspiration. If you're looking to invigorate your food growing aspirations - in fact those of your life in general - a journey south is a prerequisite. And while the whole island demands exploration (you will often find that the last place you visit in Tasmania becomes your new favourite) we have settled on the run-off of the Huon Valley which hosts the not so sleepy township of Cygnet. Around it are some of the country's best cherries, strawberries, apples, purple garlic, fish, oysters, pork, cheese, etc... all within an easy 40 minute drive from the capital and an even easier boat ride across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island.
There we have completely fallen for a property called Coast House. A curvy, coastal (and finally dusty) 10 minute drive from Cygnet, it sits on its own mini peninsula, surrounded by calm coast line teaming with fish and rock oysters by day and a wildlife sanctuary of wallabies and quolls by night. A minute down the road is the local blueberry farm - an abnormality amongst the dozens of cherry and apple orchards that have been a mainstay of the region for decades - and a minute up, more fertile farmland that share their offerings in unmanned, honour-pay fruit and veg stalls along the roadside.
The one thing you need to become used to in Cygnet is the idea that shops and businesses close down, often for days at a time. It strikes you that people rather than robots run this town and that for part of the week they may be tending to their own needs - of their families or friends or perhaps fishing or farming or just chilling the #%@$ out - rather than being available on the chance we're in the desperate need of a strong soy latte. In fact, from Tuesday to Thursday its pretty hard to find a coffee anywhere in town, so it means you have to entertain yourself with home brews and perhaps a project or two of your own.
A telltale sign of a good break is planning another immediately once you return. But every time we return from this place we're planning more than just a return. We become obsessed with a raw energy that wants to sow roots into north facing, fertile, rich soil. We want to grow more than just dreams here.
Here's a recent snapshot from our most recent trip;