It takes a lot of faith to buy a property in another state over the internet when you haven’t seen it yet. But land in Gippsland was tightly held back then, properties were rare, and Tamsin Carvan was certain – more certain than she’d been about anything before – that Gippsland was where she wanted to live.
It wasn’t a totally blind purchase. Before she made the move south from her native Blue Mountains, up near Sydney, Carvan had worked in water resources, helping to set up the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (now the Authority). She spent years travelling up the Murray-Darling Basin during its worst drought period, looking at “salt pans, and dead trees… dead communities. Everything just dead,” she says.
“It was that moment that I decided I really wanted to grow things and be involved in some form or another with food – growing and producing it. But not in that context.”
As part of all the water work, Carvan found an old, hand-drawn map. On it were five or six little circles with ‘r’ exceeds ‘e’ (rainfall exceeds evaporation). She laid it over an atlas map of Australia, and saw that one circle fell around Gippsland.