Spring lambs are taking wobbly steps and fat brown chickens are picking their way over the brilliant green paddocks of Anne McGrath and her son Freddie McGrath Weber.
It's a glorious September day in the Majura Valley. On the McGrath lamb and egg farm, the to and fro of Canberra seems another time, another place.
In reality, the Majura Valley has Canberra Airport and a military training site on one side, a major parkway running through its middle, and the seat of Australia's national government just 12 kilometres away.
It's a most unexpected slice of bucolic paradise. And many want to keep it that way.
Since the $288 million Majura Parkway opened in 2016, Majura Road has been left in relative peace, thousands of cars and trucks taken off the old single-lane route and the properties lining it left to farm.
Plenty of people still find reason to drive past the McGrath property and stop at its roadside stall to buy some free-range eggs or a bag of chicken compost, all still paid for through an honesty system.
Few would understand the pain that has unfolded behind the farm gate.
The family, led by father and husband Nick Weber, had been fighting for 15 years to have the lease on the property renewed after it expired in 2005. Without a lease, they could be removed from their property with just 90 days' notice.
A lease gave them certainty, and the security required to get a bank loan. It helped them got on with their plan to develop the property into a sheep milk dairy and a farm tourism business, complete with a cafe, produce shop and even a distillery and micro-brewery.
But without a lease, the banks didn't want to know. And no one in the ACT government could properly explain why they couldn't get a lease. It's a scenario being played out on farms up and down the valley.
Then, on Anzac Day this year, Nick Weber suffered a cardiac arrest brought on by an asthma attack. Eleven days later, he passed away in the Canberra Hospital. He was 71.
Mr Weber was the third farmer in the Majura Valley to pass away in the last 18 months, still fighting to have his lease renewed.
His family says it's difficult to know for sure, but the stress of fighting for their farm and home may have contributed in some way to his death. "It was always a cloud hanging over him," son Freddie, 27, said.
The farmers' deaths - and the fact that in the last 12 months another farmer, Paul Keir, has had the sale of his Majura Road property effectively blocked by the ACT government - have brought the issue to a head, and just before the October 17 election.
The leasing issue may seem remote, but it potentially affects all Canberrans. Residential land in the ACT is Commonwealth-owned and most residential leases are granted for 99 years. The Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate says the first 99-year residential leases will start to expire in 2023, with more running out around 2025.
Reminder letters will be sent to residents and renewing a lease for most people will simply be a matter of paying an administration fee. A new lease should be granted "provided that the land is not required by either the territory or Commonwealth".
And therein lies the rub for the Majura Valley farmers, who are, albeit, on broadacre farms, not residences in the suburbs. The frustration for them is no one will say for sure if their land is required or not required by the territory or Commonwealth, so they are left to live for years in limbo, never knowing when they might be asked to leave.
The farmers fear the ACT government wants to do away with the rural land use in the Majura Valley, and replace it with light industrial use, creating an avenue of warehouses, freight hubs and bulky goods retail.
That scenario was canvassed as far back as 2010 in the government's Eastern Broadacre study, which seeks to find new areas for industrial development. And which the government is not done with yet.
The directorate said this week when asked about the future of the Majura Road area that Canberra "has a very limited supply of industrial land, and this area has long been identified as a location for Canberra's future industrial and employment growth".
"It is proposed that parts of the Majura Valley could be used in future for industrial and employment uses and development, and that this might also require other areas as conservation areas to offset the effects of that development," the directorate said.
"Consultation on the draft Eastern Broadacre Strategic Assessment report is expected to occur in 2021. A range of Commonwealth and ACT statutory processes will be required as part of any proposal to change the use of the land and develop there. The ACT government is working with the Australian government to progress this work."
Further, the ACT Planning and Land Authority "alone has no mechanism to renew leases that are owned jointly by the ACT and Commonwealth, such as the split leases in Majura Valley", the directorate said.
The notion of the potential industrial development of the Majura Valley has left Canberra Region Tourism Leaders Forum chair Dr David Marshall aghast. He says it would be a tragedy, and an opportunity lost for regional tourism.
The Greens are also against it, saying the Majura Valley should be left to develop as a farm tourism and food trail.
Long-time Planning Minister Mick Gentleman has said for the first time publicly he has "no intention of moving the farmers on" and "we're not opposed to 99-year leases for those leaseholders".
Mr Gentleman suggested the ACT and Commonwealth ownership complicated the matter, and authorities "just need to work through the process to get it organised".
The farmers are left wondering how much more time than 15 years is needed for governments to "get it organised" and return some certainty to their life.
Fred McGrath Weber said the family has been on the farm since 2000, living in an 1840s stone cottage, the land part of the original Duntroon property. They want to share it all with the Canberra community. He wants to be the next generation that keeps farming going.
"For me it's more about providing an experience for Canberrans and visitors to Canberra so they can say, 'Wow, this is actually the bush capital here'," Mr McGrath Weber said.
"People driving down the parkway on their commute to work or to the snow if they're driving through Canberra - do they want to drive through Hume? Or would they like to drive through a picturesque valley with sheep and cattle grazing and experience farm-gate experiences where they can stop and buy fresh produce and know exactly where it came from?"