Navigation Menu
This website aims to develop case studies of the development of farming practices and attendant transformations of local ecologies of defined blocks of land. Through these biographies of particular plots of land we are developing localised analyses of the wider historical trends in the political economy/ecology of the Northern Rivers.

Go to: Family history | The Farm | The River | David, Jenny and the Farm | Self-sufficiency and Aquarius | Cattle and floods | The landscape | Other on-farm agriculture | Buying and selling land | Poor economic times | Family partnership on the farm | Mill politics, harvesters and cane cutters | Changing methods | Chemicals | Market impacts and government subsidies | Generational change and succession | Impact on cane growing | Environmental issues | Politics of cane and the mill | Neighbours

Poor economic times

Jenny: when Andrew was at boarding school at Scots, we were so poor, the cane was so bad, that we couldn’t even, all the other kids at Scots were rich and Andrew was on a sort of part scholarship. And he went to Glengarry, which is like an outdoor campus, for six months and all the other kids had Nikes and Reeboks and fancy shoes and he had Dunlop Volleys and they had to go on this long run, 120Kms and run all night. And when he got there the skin was off the bottom of his feet from running in the bad shoes and we just couldn’t afford anything. It was really hard wasn’t it? I was back teaching a bit, not full time.

David: 1991 might have been.

Jenny: yes probably 91, early 90s, 89-90 the cane was very, very bad and we just couldn’t afford anything. (chuckles) I can remember another time we were quite poor was when Anna was in year 4 so she would have been about 10 so that would have been 1986. That must have been a bad ten years I think because I was teaching a bit, and I came home one day and it was at the end of the year and I was really fed up and tired and worn out and I said to David “we need a holiday”. So I rang the travel agent up and I said “we’d like to go to a nice Barrier Reef island.” And when she told me how much that would cost we nearly collapsed, we just couldn’t afford to go to a Barrier Reef island and she said “why don’t you go to Bali?” “Oh” I said “we couldn’t afford that.” She said “yes, yes it’s really cheap” so and it was, so we had about three weeks in Bali for about a quarter of the cost of going to a Barrier Reef island with the children and that was lovely it was just what we needed to rejuvenate us.

Print Friendly