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I dreamed of a rambling old farmhouse where I could grow my own food, learn how to bake cakes and make jam. I wanted to wear gumboots. Every day.

I dreamed of a rambling old farmhouse where I could grow my own food, learn how to bake cakes and make jam. I wanted to wear gumboots. Every day.

Organising cocktail parties at the Sydney Opera House sounds perfectly glamorous, and for a while it was for Michelle Crawford. But once she became a mother, the yearning to find her own little slice of heaven in the country could no longer be ignored.

For years she had daydreamed of a little farmhouse, with smoke curling out of the chimney, where she could slow down and grow her own food. Last but not least, she was hungry for a new adventure.

An old farmhouse nestled in Tasmania’s lush Huon Valley offered the chance to make that dream come true – and adventure in spades, from her first disastrous attempt at planting a vegie garden to raising a bunch of chickens with attitude, learning to love her wood stove and foraging for treasure to make sloe gin, jam and bake cakes. Lots of cakes.

Warm, down to earth and inspiring, and lushly illustrated with lip-smacking images and recipes, A Table in the Orchard is breathtaking proof of how seductive a taste of slow living in one of the most beautiful valleys in Tasmania might be.

Like Michelle, you might be tempted to make your own crumpets - or run away to the Apple Isle.

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