The old house was built around 1850's as a wedding present for a bullock driver and his young family. Changes have been made to the working class dwelling over the past 150 years by many owners but it still has character. The haphazard plan for the garden comes from the artist Renoirs garden in Cannes in the south of France. The Renoirs had a nine acre terraced site with ancient olive trees and were organised to provide all the families fruit and vegetables, flowers and herbs, meat and eggs plus a surplus to sell as well as a place for peace work and play and personal growth into old age. A constant re reading of the book "Renoirs Garden" by Derek Fell has been the inspiration for Tree Crop Farm. The original historic Tree Crop Farm cottage dwelling with its wattle and daub walls (clay, mud and horsehair over a light timber frame) is heated with the major new wood burner in the library if needed, and the interiors are reminiscent of the "Lord of the Rings" film sets. The film crews staying as house guests during the South Island filming claimed that Tree Crop Farm could easily be set in "The Shire" in "Middle Earth!"