Lavandula – the former Tinetti farm near Daylesford

lavandula-aerial-view-of-lavender-pattern-garden-barnFrom Carol White, Australia

20 years ago I bought a Swiss-Italian property near Daylesford in Central Victoria, Australia. It is a district that has a dense focus of Ticinese, and especially from the Valle Maggia. They came here because of the opportunities likely on a goldfield, and soon went into business or farming. Perhaps they liked the district’s mineral water and the fresh pasta from Lucini’s Macaroni Factory. They were comfortable farming steep hills in a cool climate.

Aquilino Tinetti of Pontirone/Biasca followed his brother Andrea to Daylesford in 1861 where he found that land was being made available. He leased a farm of hills and creek flats, and built a well-proportioned bachelor house of sandstone quarried on the site. The house, dairy and barn were just as he might have built them in Biasca, and he began to breed up a dairy herd.

In 1870 he returned to say goodbye to his parents and to marry Maria Capriroli (the daughter of Pietro with whom he had been in business. Maria spent the rest of the 1800s having her 13 children and managing an ever-increasing household. Aquilino extended the house to the shape you see today, which has now benefited from conservation.

Wanting to return its authenticity, around his rustica I planted a productive European garden, so it would look right. Seasonally we harvest vegetables, herbs and fruit, lavender, olives and grapes, and the farm is open daily for visitors. When they visit the farmhouse our tourists are told the story of Ticinese immigration. Our History Room in the Barn has many images of Ticino, some from swissinfo.ch thankyou.

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