It’s not where you live, It’s how that matters.
I am aware that me saying that may seem privileged considering the property I live on today.
But Turra Lodge Farm wasn’t always the utopia it is today.
When my parents purchased the farm back in 2002, it was nothing but wasteland.
The biggest drag-liner in Europe worked on the coalmine at Turra before they hit a natural spring which flooded the mine. The spring was too strong for them to drain the mine so the entire site was abandoned leaving behind the foreman’s horsebarn and the landscape foundations of what is today Turra Lodge Farm.
The land was used for many years for cattle grazing and game hunting before being acquired by my parents in 2002.
The site consisted of two steep quarries, one smaller one which was filled in and the large one which has now been landscaped into the lake we have today.
For what might have seemed like a wasteland to many, looked like home to our family as they could see the potential of the land and the adventure that would be their next chapter.
As soon as planning permission had been granted for a house my family got to work on the garden. This may seem backwards to other people but to them it made perfect sense.
Invest countless hours in digging and landscaping the gardens before even laying a foundation for the house.
I have memories of planting trees along the hedge line even before they had broke ground for the house itself.
The reason it made perfect sense though, was not because the garden was more important but they knew Turra was about to become the place they spent every waking hour from here on out, so why not have a project to work on while the tradesmen were working on the house?
We set up camp in a shipping container which contained a patio heater, a kettle and a toasted sandwich maker.
It was simple, but it was perfect.
As kids, the countryside was our heaven. Even when we were living in the town, we would spend every weekend visiting the countryside and woodlands.
So, having a 17-acre field to run around and play in was the definition of a dream-life to us.
Over the years our weekends have been spent doing project after project. Adding little bits here and there.
Working together is my favourite part of the week, it’s a time to catch up, have the craic and also learn new things.
Its working together that has made this all possible.
Family has made this possible.