Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

A Piece of Good Land

Val Carter

A Memoir

Four Corners is a 3600-acre farm nestled away in the Shire of Dandaragan in Western Australia. When Ron and Val Carter first acquired it in 1955, it was virgin scrub land — no communication, no electricity, just acres of bush. They envisioned a viable farm where cattle grazed and crops flourished; a place where they could raise their growing family.

Over twenty-five years, they developed that land one small piece at a time, fighting against many struggles: droughts that almost wiped out their flocks of sheep and out-of-control bushfires that threatened to burn away everything they were working towards. This inspirational story is about family, community and hard work; but most of all, about never giving up on their dreams, no matter how many obstacles they faced, including snooty bank managers who told them, ‘You’ll never make it.’


"This is such a good read, chock full of facts, figures, anecdotes, humour and  hardship,  and significantly records much history of Dandaragan Shire." - Pay Paleeya, Book Reviewer





In the News

Book Review by Pat Paleeya

A memoir of life on the land in WA
IN 1955 Ron and Val Cart- er purchased a 3,600- acre block of virgin land 60 miles west of Moora. Travelling  from Meckering a couple of times ayear to fence, clear and crop they were living in a shed in the company of snakes, bushflies and centipedes. It was so hot that they buried their vegetables to keep them fresh. It took them 12 years before they moved permanently to the block which had now become their home, a farm called Four Corners in the Badgingarra district. This pleasing memoir chronicles the exper ence of the Carters and family over many years and their association with the land, the community, and some inter- esting characters along the way.

Frank Fragne and Fred Weston  became  friends stories are told in great details in chapters six and eight respectively. Fred was known as a hermit, he lived in the bush and had several huts dotted around the scrub. He had spent time with the Aboriginals and shared their bush knowledge with the Carters. He was a little eccentric and would often ride his horse bareback and naked through the scrub.

Frank was a Bindoon Boys Town boy employed by Ron in 1956 when he was sixteen. He had been a child migrant and entered Bindoon when he was ten. After being institutionalised he took a while to adjust to a great bond was formed and continues to this day. Val and Ron have their stories also in chapters two and three.  Ron recalls that as a child if he was sick his dad would shoot  a  parrot  for  his mum to make soup, if no parrot then a plucked plover did the trick (Heston is so passé!). Val recalls making her bridesmaids’ dresses and feeling very pleased with herself, but a week before her wedding  there  was  a locust plague and they ate holes in the dresses. She recovered them with broderie  anglaise  –  it worked.  This is such a good read, chock full of facts, figures, anecdotes, humour and  hardship,  and significantly records much history of Dandaragan Shire.

About the Author

Val Carter

The author was born in the wheatbelt town of Meckering, Western Australia, in 1935. Valma (Val) Shehan grew up on the family wheat and sheep farm with her parents and three brothers. Her education started at the small North Meckering School, where there were never more than fourteen students till the end of the Second World War. Her three years of secondary education were spent at a Catholic boarding school in Fremantle. In 1956, Val married a local farmer, Ron Carter. Together they raised five children while they spent many years developing and moving to their property Four Corners, twenty -five miles west of Badgingarra. Val was widowed in 1996 after she and Ron had retired to Mandurah. Since then Val has doggedly stuck to the task of finally completing this publication, A Piece of Good Land.










A Piece of Good Land by Val Carter
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ISBN: 978-1-925515-16-9
Format: Paperback C 229mm x 152mm
Extent: 512 pages
RRP: $32.95
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Non-Fiction -- Memoir