In 2017 – 3 young kids in tow – we returned to Australia after 4.5 years living in California. Part of the reason for returning was a decision to make a huge lifestyle change – leave the corporate world, buy a few acres of land somewhere and do something entirely different.
However late in July 2017 Scott was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Statistically, there was a 90% chance he would be dead within 5 years. Treatment began immediately – radiation, chemotherapy and several major surgeries. You can read more about Scott’s ongoing battle with cancer here.
Suddenly the idea of buying rural acreage didn’t make much sense. But we were determined to not give up entirely on the dream.
By coincidence a house next door in Thornleigh (Sydney) came up for sale. On the spur of the moment we bought the property, renovated and rented the small cottage at the front of the land, and retained the large garden at the rear to create what we now call ‘Highland Farm’.
Why ‘Highland’? Not many people realise that Thornleigh is among the highest points in the Sydney basin. ‘Highland’ also conjures the idea of higher ground – a place of safety. And finally, ‘Highland’ was Scott’s grandfathers’ middle name.
We’re not doing it alone. The Highland team includes Greg (Scott’s Dad and a retired builder turned beekeeper), Gail (Scott’s mum) and Pippa (Amelia’s mum). And of course three enthusiastic kids.
We’re not trying to conquer the world here. Our goal with Highland is provide a channel to sell some excess honey and other produce from our ‘farm’, and gradually build a small second income in light of Scott’s precarious health.
You can see the garden on Instagram.