Cristy Froehlich Photography
Kirsty talks to Daniel from Chicken Caravan
People often ask us where the name Terrewah Farm came from, so here's the story...
It took us over 2 years to find this place. We had a pretty clear picture of what we wanted but just couldn't find that special piece of land that ticked all the boxes. We needed somewhere fertile and uncomplicated so that as rookie farmers we stood a chance of actually making a go at small scale agriculture. No point buying land somewhere that was drought prone or had too short a growing season. We needed to idiot-proof this thing as much as possible. Tick. Secondly we needed somewhere that people actually wanted to visit. Somewhere beautiful, within an easy drive of a major population, preferably in an unspoilt mountain location. Tick, Tick, Tick. It wasn't hard to settle on Kangaroo Valley, let's face it this place is amazing. The village had everything we wanted, but it took time to find the right patch of paradise.
We had been visiting The Valley for the umpteenth time and in our desperation to get started with our new project, were just about to put an offer on a different block of land across the other side of town. Before ringing the agent, we decided to go for a drive to mull things over. We headed out towards Tallowa Dam simply because we'd never been there before and it seemed like a nice long road which would give us time to ponder. Little did we know that drive would change our lives. We happened across a little red and white sign hanging on a gate post. FOR SALE by owner. 100 acres. Inspection welcome. The gate was open, so we drove in and followed the track to what is now our house site, and parked the car. Wow. It was love. We had found it!
So that still doesn't tell you about Terrewah Farm does it?!
Well, once we had bought the property, we started looking for a name that suited us and the land we would now call home. We conjured as many descriptive and emotive words as we could come up with that encapsulated what we were trying to achieve. One of those words was terroir, a French word for land. But, like all things French, it's meaning goes much deeper. The word terroir describes the way in which the characteristics of an individual parcel of land manifest themselves in the produce it bears. It infers that the climate, topography, aspect, soil type, parent rock and the history of each individual piece of land will produce a flavour and quality all of its own. The word is usually associated with wine grapes, but can be applied to anything grown from the land, including us. So while our land may impart a unique flavour to my carrots and tomatoes, I also believe that the environment that surrounds us imprints its characteristics on our soul. We wanted beauty, inspiration, diversity, wonder, stillness, health, connectedness and abundance. It's all here, and now it is in us.
However, being Australian and not wanting to appear full of ourselves, we set aside the true French word 'terroir' for a bastardised Australian version. We wanted to retain the latin root Terre meaning of the land, but make it easy for Australians to say, so Terrewah Farm was born.
After settling on the name, we came across another definition of the word terroir which simply describes it as "A sense of place". Perfect. This is our place. The place that challenges and teaches us, grounds us and inspires us. We hope you feel that too.
What's in a name?