A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Have you ever wondered where Ross O’Meara makes his perfect pork products? Then head over to Bruny Island, where he has just put his small farm on the market.
Have you ever wondered where Gourmet Farmer’s Ross O’Meara makes his perfect pork products? Then head to Bruny Island, where he and his partner Emma Harley have just put their small farm on the market.
EAGLE-EYED viewers of a certain TV cooking show may have seen this classic Federation farm homestead.
Sitting on nearly 10ha of productive land, this unique property is the home of the artisan brand Bruny Island Food and the working pig farm of Ross O’Meara from the SBS series The Gourmet Farmer.
A variety of things attract interstate people to Tasmania. Fr Ross and his partner Emma Harley, it was our produce.
As a chef working in Australia and overseas, Ross was well aware of Bruny Island Cheese Co. It was part of the reason the family headed south after leaving Perth, Western Australia, and travelling around Australia for 18 months.
Fast-forward a few years and Ross has learned the art of cheese-making with Nick Haddow from the cheese company, made a hugely popular TV show with his mates Haddow and Matthew Evans, and he has also penned a book.
These days most of his time is dedicated to the pig farm at Lunawanna, a small township on the west side of Bruny Island.
Ross and Emma first visited what would become their home with Evans when he was property hunting.
When they moved in, the 1920s homestead was already comfortable, so the family set about pouring their heart and soul into their free-range, rare-breed pork business.
The three-bedroom homestead was built by one of Lunawanna’s pioneering families, the Conley clan, who cut timber and planted orchards on the area’s fertile slopes.
It has an expansive country kitchen with a slow combustion range on which Ross once cooked wallaby for Rick Stein during filming of the BBC series A Cook Abroad.
There is a large living area warmed by a wood heater, and the adjacent dining room looks out to a picture-perfect cherry tree.
Positioned off a wide hallway with timber dado, the master bedroom has views into the garden.
Also off the hallway there are two bedrooms, one with double bunks and the other with twin beds.
For Ross, Emma and their children — Felix, Finegan and Molly — selling the farm will be a sad day, but it will also be filled with the excitement of starting a new adventure.
Emma and Ross said they will dearly miss the community, their friends, and the wonderful island lifestyle.
Emma said Bruny Island was not just a pretty place to live, but was also “good for your psyche”.
“It’s so beautiful here, you can drive along the Neck and just sigh to yourself,’’ she said. “That sort of ‘moment’ is around every corner of the island. “It is a wild, beautiful place to live. “And for the children, it has been fantastic. It is so easy to pop into the bush or the beach to have fun and explore.”
For Ross, one of the tough things about selling the property will be missing the day-to-day running of the farm, which he is proud of and clearly enjoys.
“Even though the farm is a seven-daysa-week job, there has also been space for a wonderful family life here, too,” he said.