Postcards Winter 2019 | Page 27

S pend long enough in Tasmania, and you’ll hear stories about the people who live in its backwoods and how a combination of convict history and isolation leads to madness. But it won’t be until you arrive at Peter Bignell’s farm outside Hobart that you might start to believe them. First, there’s the industrial clothes dryer. Sitting at the edge of the 18th-century stable, it’s been jerry-rigged for malting. Vats of used cooking oil are scattered through the yard, waiting for their turn to heat the homemade copper still inside the barn. A repurposed Mixmaster acts as a fuel pump, while a meat grinder stops sprouted rye from growing further. WINTER 2019 // 25