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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: Early family history | Involvement with the Catholic Church | History from the 1950s | Dairying | Frank’s education | The history of the Bridge and naming of Boyle Road | Changes in the local area from the 1970s | Frank and Andrea meet | Moving out of dairying | Farmers’ markets | Rice | Raising awareness of food production | The future and the food movement | Farm forestry | Work ethic | The House

Changes in the local area from the 1970s

Frank: I went to Goolmanagar School, in the ‘70s and it was still just all the same families, like the McNamaras and the Boyles and the Shermans. There were very few outsiders. There were no other people who had moved in with a hobby farm, or anything like that. It was sort still all the traditional families, farming families. But when I was at school the farms were not viable so they went, like dad’s generation of fathers, went to town to jobs, to get jobs, as labourers.

They still lived here, but they didn’t dairy. They still had beef cattle but they didn’t have a dairy running.

Do you remember the Aquarius festival?

Frank: I would have been in primary school then. I remember dad and all the men went up the road there one night for a sticky beak. And I remember us kids all went along and hanging outside of one of the shops up there eating chewing gum. We were oblivious to what was going on really. We had no idea.

Did you go shopping in Nimbin? Or would your family have gone to Lismore?

Frank: Always Lismore. We didn’t have a lot to do with Nimbin. We’ve had a lot more to do with Nimbin in the last 4 years since we’ve been sort of selling our products. But then again as a teenager, we used to go out in Nimbin a fair bit. See bands and stuff at the pub.

As a kid there was always dances and BBQs at Goolmangar Hall, school BBQs and there was lots of things happening but its declined a lot now; the hall as far as social sort of hub.

Was that a butcher shop next door? Looks like a butcher shop.

Frank: that was a butcher shop, until not that long ago, probably only ten years, at the most, since it was a butcher shop. A great butcher shop. But just one of those country butchers that probably went the same way as the dairy, you know, the health regulations got so tough, they just sort of couldn’t compete.

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