We’re Moving!

Goodbye suburbia, hello open spaces.

Frank and I have accepted the role of caretakers for 18 acres of land owned by the Wheen Bee Foundation in Richmond. This property is about 1 hour west of Chatswood, where we’ve lived for the past several years. It’s still loosely part of greater Sydney but it’s a world away from the city-life we’ve been living. Out our back window in Chatswood, we can see the cranes of the new skyscrapers which will overshadow the old skyscrapers – we’re a 5 minute walk from a 42 storey building.

Skyline of Chatswood out my back window

Skyline of Chatswood out my back window

In Richmond we can see trees and grass and are a 2 minute walk from the Hawkesbury River.

Richmond, looking out over the land

Richmond, looking out over the land

This land is in a farming area but it’s not used for intensive farming – it currently is used for keeping 30 + beehives, raising a few acres of heritage roses and growing a few acres of pecan trees. There’s plenty of space left over for us to build a huge garden and install a first-class run for our chickens.

We’ve begun the transition but it’s going to take a while for us to get the house out there ready and to pack up and leave here. My blog will probably reflect this transition with topics and photos from both places as we bounce back and forth.

There’s no way I would have predicted this life for myself even 2 years ago, but, as Frank and I have spent more time in the garden, working towards simplifying our lives and enjoying the fruits of our labour (and that of our bees and chickens), we’ve been thinking about getting a bigger piece of land. This caretaking gig is perfect and an opportunity too amazing to walk away from. Time will tell if we love it as much as we expect.

Richmond Home

Richmond Home


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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37 Responses to We’re Moving!

  1. allarminda says:

    How exciting!! Karen told me the great news last week and I’ve been smiling for you ever since!

  2. Emily Heath says:

    Congratulations – sounds like a lot of fun!

  3. shadowlilies says:

    Wonderful! So happy for you!

  4. That is so great! I hope it ends up being a huge blessing.

  5. LuckyRobin says:

    It looks beautiful.

  6. Oh wow! who knows what bends there are on our future path through life. It sounds perfect for you!

  7. karen says:

    I’m so excited for your new adventure, and to hear about every minute of it. Congratulations!

    • Really, every minute? Well, lets see, in the first minuteI wiped rat poo off the old kitchen table.

      Uh huh, I see maybe you’re reconsidering and perhaps want to hear about every week of it 🙂

      It is an adventure – one that makes a bit of rat poo seem hardly worth a mention!

  8. Life is an amazing adventure; it does require that every now and then you take a leap of faith without really knowing the outcome. Good luck on your new journey.

  9. It sounds really exciting. It looks as if there are lots of opportunities there to spread your wings.

  10. What a fabulous opportunity, I ‘m sure you will love it. Yes, it’s a big hassle packing everything up for the actual move, but once sorted you won’t look back. We moved from urban life to country life 3 1/2 years ago and haven’t looked back. the chance to grow lots of fruit and vegetables and to have a flock of chickens ( we have 13 at the moment) was something we always wanted and to keep bees of course. The transition isn’t easy but it will be worth it.

    • Ugh – moving. I’m still more in the stage of thinking about packing than actual packing. We’ve been selling/giving away stuff we know we don’t want to take and a lot’s left the house that way – but there’s still so much junk, all for only 2 people!

      I can’t wait, I’m sure it will be worth it. My problem is going to be patience – something I sorely lack. I want to plant my fruit trees one day and make a pie from the results the next!

      • I’s a good idea to get rid of old stuff before you move. We ran out of time and ending up bringing stuff with us that we then had to get rid of. We also are only 2 people, its amazing how much stuff we have!! I think many of us are the same. Good luck with it all.

  11. Max says:

    18 acres of experiences and adventures? I can’t wait!

  12. vuchickens says:

    So great!!! Best of luck to you!!! I’d say I’m jealous, but I’ll wait to see how overwhelmed you are by the amount of work you have to do. 30 beehives!!!???

  13. Congratulations! Can you take your bees and chooks?

    • Definitely the chooks. The bees are more of a problem as there are already so many on the property and they used to be a special strain bred by the founder. We’re thinking we have enough on our plate helping the apiarist with the existing dozens of hive so maybe we don’t need 3 of our own.

  14. cohutt says:

    Awesome development. Looks like work though, (as if your current set up isn’t lol)

    • It’s as much work as we want to make it. If we’re happy with weeds and grass, that’s all it has to be. But, of course, we won’t be happy with that. I’m chomping at the bit to get to work – that’s the kind of work I like. Much better than a 9-5 desk job (which I suspect is why a 9-5 job comes with a salary 🙂

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