EARLY in Sandy Osborn's life as a classroom teacher in Vic, she asked a relatively innocuous question about the origins of milk.
The answer, proffered by her young student, would, years later, manifest itself in a career change for her and husband Harry in a neighbouring state.
"I had a prep class and we would have morning talk. One day I asked them did they know where milk came from," Mrs Osborn said. "One child put up his hand and said 'yes I know Miss. It's out of a carton'.
"Some years we had our own family and moved to a small property with pigs and cattle and for six years or so our children grew up in that environment, learning about animals and agriculture.
"About four years ago we were talking with our children, who are now in their 40s, and they reminded us of how special those times were on the farm and how they appreciated growing up in a rural environment with animals around them.
"So it convinced us that we should set up a place like this."
The "place" Mrs Osborn talks of is Ossie's Homestead Farmstay at Gulnare on the southern edge of the Flinders Range where alpacas, sheep, geese, guinea fowl, chickens and ducks roam and grow
It has been established on a 16-hectare section of what was a far larger block settled in 1912 by three brothers with a pioneering spirit.
"Their descendants moved on 10 years ago but retained a strong emotional connection with the remaining home block of their forefathers," Mrs Osborn said.
"They, like ourselves, were very positive towards our plan to create a rural refuge from modern city life by re-establishing the homestead block to create a farmstay experience for house guests and travellers in their own self-contained caravans."
As well they offer a hosted bed and breakfast in which visitors share the main house, living in their own guest rooms with separate bath and toilet and joining the Osborns for breakfast.
To deliver their goal the Osborns called on more than 20 years of experience in tourism and hospitality in the NT, where they ran a boutique B&B as well as fully-escorted outback tours.
They rejuvenated the property, sourced livestock and opened to visitors.
"We want other families to come and experience if they want to. We have always had animals around us. In Alice Springs, NT, we ran a horse riding business and used to take people on trips," Mr Osborn said.
"We want to share the environment and rural life with others."
The property is close to the Mawson and Heysen trails as well as the Bundaleer reservoir and forest.
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