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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

The landscape

Could you describe the landscape – where this farm is; how it’s related to the river and obviously we’re talking about a rise – land that’s higher than…

Jenny: this land is …the bulk of it goes along the river flat from the Richmond River and then it spreads east out towards the border of the National Park [Bundjalung], which wasn’t a National Park even in 1971 and they were sandmining out there and as it goes further out towards the sea it gets sandier and sandier and turns into a sort of coastal heath. But on the southern end of it there’s what’s called Langs Hill which is quite high isn’t it? It’s probably um….

David: 20 metres, 25 metres.

Jenny: oh… I think it would be higher than that, I think it’d be about 40 or 50 metres high and it overlooks the whole thing. And if you stand on the top of Langs Hill you’ve got a 360 degree view all down the coast. You can see Mt Warning, you can see over west to Lismore, you can obviously see Woodburn and all the forests down south of Woodburn and all the Tuckean Swamp to the west. Mm. That’s how it looks and our house is on the North Eastern slope – both the houses on the property are on the North Eastern slope of Langs Hill, down on the lower slope.

David: it’s sort of a triangle, the river’s the hypotenuse and sort of goes ….

Is there any tea tree swamp or anything left or is it..?

David: yeah, we’ve actually sold a bit up, up the other end of the swamp has not been cleared; oh it has been, but not so much.

Jenny: and there’s a nice pocket over the back of the hill, a small piece but it’s quite intact of very nice tea tree swamp and a lot of the coastal heath area. It’s had things done to it but it grows back very quickly so it’s quite intact out there.

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