Our story of Jam Tree Hill

We like to think that this small property on the outskirts of York found us, not the other way around. We dreamed of owning some land one day, having both enjoyed growing up in big open spaces of WA’s north and Melissa having had a previous career working in agricultural production.

The first time we stepped onto Jam Tree Hill and explored what it had to offer, we felt there was something special about it. It had the makings of the perfect place to set up our future. With views to the east of Mt Bakewell and Mt Brown, rolling hills, natural bushland, and a creek line. This was our perfect place.

Since 2017 when we purchased the property, we have developed the property, whilst making plans. During that time we have shared our newfound perfect spot with friends and family, enjoying picnics, camping out and campfires.

Gratitude plays a big part in our daily lives, and we are so grateful to have a place to escape, to settle into the quiet of nature and enjoy the views. We also felt we wanted to share our place of solace, so everyone could experience the views, the soundless of nature and what York and beyond has to offer.

We also both have a strong interest in sustainability and living without being a drain on resources. So with those values in mind, we hatched a plan to purpose build an off grid sustainable tiny home, using an old 40ft sea container that was no longer fit for purpose. With Melissa’s interior design and construction knowledge we have created a beautiful space to accommodate 2 adults and 2 children, with everything that is needed for short stays on the property.

The building has purposefully been built small internally, but with an undercover deck area to sit, fire pit, 360-degree views and 100acres to explore there lots of reasons to be outside when visiting.

There is always something happening on the property, dependent on the time of the year. The property is run as part of a large neighboring farm, with grain production and livestock production part of the operation. Melissa’s knowledge of this industry is extensive, and she thinks it’s important for people to understand what is happening in food production in our region and she’s happy share this knowledge if visitors are keen to listen.

When we purchased the property, it had been neglected in areas, especially the waterway that runs through it, which is part of a bigger network of waterways that feed into the Avon River catchment. It had been grazed and many trees had been removed over time. The creek is permanently wet during the year, with a pool at one end. We decided that the creek needed to be brought back to its former self and to provide habitat for native wildlife. So we have worked with Wheatbelt NRM, to fence off the creek line so that livestock can’t enter the waterway and have planted over 3000 native trees and shrubs along the entire length of the creek line. This was no small effort, which required us to call on some community help to stand the fencing and then hand plant the trees. Our kids don’t appreciate that now, but we hope they will in the future. We hope this creek line will overtime look beautiful and provide habitat for lots of native animals.

When visiting the property, we encourage people to wander through the creek line to see the progress of the trees and what else might be happening amongst the trees. We have plans to work on the other areas of bush on the property, fencing them off and doing more revegetation work overtime. Our overall vision for the property is that it is in better shape when we leave it than when it found us.