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An Opportunity To Use A Forgotten Asset

Farming has been a very important part of the South Australian economy, and much of the state's progress can be attributed to the development of agriculture. The story about this development is presented in Sustainable Space, and it's a story about massive land transformation - not all for the good - and the attempted conquest of the landscape and the environment by human endeavours.

South Australia is for the most part - at least 87% of it - an area of semi-arid, arid, and desert environments. The remaining 13% is the green fringe that extends from the coastline inland and sits uncomfortably on the doorstep of the desert. Within this land of seasonal green lie many stories of human conquest.

The legacy of agricultural expansion followed by changing economic times, is all too evident in the landscape today. Hundreds of ruins, derelict buildings, and vacant farmhouses attest to different times, or to foolhardy times, or perhaps just to an era of different economic circumstance. 

Today, these old stone buildings are, for the most part, disintegrating as each year passes, stone corpses in the landscape, crumbling back into the earth from which they came. 

Should yesteryear's heritage fall to nature's decay without a fight? Should these buildings be forgotten for all time without an attempt to resurrect a glimpse of their past? 

"FARMSTAY Proposal Using Vacant Heritage Farm Buildings In The Mid North Region Of South Australia" is a report that presents old and disused farm buildings as an asset with multiple benefits. Althoug I prepared this report in 2000, it is as relevant today as it has ever been. And the report can be applied to any agricultural landscape around Australia.

Twenty three stone buildings that were dis-used at the time of preparation of the report, were inspected and presented for their potential as farmstay accommodation. 

What is Farmstay?

Farmstay is generally known as hosted rural accommodation where property owners welcome visitors for an alternative holiday experience. If you search online, you'll find a number of bed and breakfast (B&B) establishments refer to their facilities as "farmstay". They really are just B&B's.

In terms of an almost forgotten opportunity of farm income, here's how I define farmstay around three core components.

   The use of existing farm buildings to accommodate visitors and holiday-makers seeking a rural living experience.

   The provision of home and rest facilities for the national traveller on an extended holiday. These travellers could be young families, younger retirees, seniors and older retirees (the "Grey Nomads"), who have no set agenda. 

   The provision of facilities for hikers, cyclists, backpackers, and other travellers who seek an alternative experience and accommodation in exchange for a contribution of labour. An example is WWOOF - Willing Workers On Organic Farms - which embraces the national and international tourist seeking a different experience.

The Farmstay Report

Some reports deserve another life, to be dusted off, and to be cast in a new light.  I have quite a few of those, and I believe "FARMSTAY Proposal Using Vacant Heritage Farm Buildings In The Mid North Region Of  South Australia" is one of those reports.  

You're welcome to pass the report on to anyone you think could benefit from its ideas.

Do you know a farmer or property owner with a derelict building that could be brought back to life? And to provide another income source?

DOWNLOAD the report here for ideas. It's free.

If you would like further assistance, or even an assessment of a possible project, go to the CONTACT form and describe your idea. 

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