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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.
Pam and Dino Coiacetto

Pam and Dino Coiacetto

By on Jun 7, 2013 in The Coiacettos' |

Go to: Dino and Pam: family backgrounds | The original farm | From dairying to mixed farming | Weeds to lifestyle blocks | Beans, cucumbers and a lot of bananas | Cyclones and the Tornado | Resumed land, sales and policy changes | Peas, lychees and pumpkins | Bananas in the 1930s | Neighbours | The Future? | Working the farm today | The changing community | Italians and Australians | The growing family | A partnership

Weeds to lifestyle blocks

And how have you managed to keep that from getting weedy?

Pam: The cattle keep it down and we do have to spray the weeds up here it’s very …Crofton Weed and that, it grows, and lantana. We have to spray to keep the weeds down, cattle keep so much down but not ….

Dino: Couldn’t get into it the last two or three years, it’s starting to get away, hopefully next year.

Pam: It’s a big expense.

Dino: I’ve got all the stuff here ready to go. See the best time to spray is about April, May til June. The last two or three years – disasters! Well a neighbour of mine’s got a sprayer for me, he couldn’t even get up the hill, he’s got a big tractor, he couldn’t even get up the hill with the tractor.

Pam: It was so wet.

And is that good growing weather for the weeds?

Pam: Oh yes, they’ve always got the energy the weeds.

Dino: They’ll grow in sand! (laughter)

So where are the patches that end up being the worry for you?

Dino: Down over this hill here…

Pam: And there’s the house is it?

Yeah that’s the house.

Pam: Down here, it’s this bit.

Dino: This stretch here.

Pam: You can go out and have a look later – it’ll give you some idea. But it’s actually all over the farm that the weeds grow and you have to spot spray to keep it clean.

And one of the things, we were looking at photos before we started the tape, on the hill across that hill – so when you came first that was cleared was it?

Pam: Mmm.

Dino: Well they were dairy, they were milking the cows, they were milking oh… something like this they were milking a hundred and forty cows.

Pam: It was a good farm that one.

Dino: Now you wouldn’t fit twenty goats on it.

Pam: It’s a shame.

And when did that start to happen?

Dino: Once the farmers left some people just bought …

Pam: When did Frank and Mary leave? That was the last time it was really used as a farm wasn’t it?

Dino: ’73? Nah, ’74 after the big floods, after the ’74 flood might of been about ’75.

Pam: Yeah that was when it was last actually farmed as a farm that block over there.

And had it become too much for the family that had it – that they didn’t keep it as a dairy?

Dino: No they were into beef too.

Pam: They’d actually left dairying.

Dino: All these farms all went into beef you know. Dairying, it was either get big or get out and now everybody’s out.

Is that what happened to the Everinghams?

Dino: No, because they only had a five year lease and that was that. From here they moved up to Terania Creek, the Everinghams, they’re still there.

And now this other land across from you is sort of more just lifestyle is it?

Pam: Yeah we don’t know the people – it’s changed hands again. But you only have to look out, you don’t see any work going on, no coming and going. I think they probably adjist cattle, just a few because there’s no feed, it’s all rubbish. It’s all camphor trees.

Dino: The only farm that’s cleaned up beside me now is this one here. Next to me ok?

Pam: That’s this hill.

Dino: You can’t see it from there but that side, you just, you know (goes to open a door). This side here but the rest he’s got it spotless this farm.

And does he farm cattle?

Dino: Yeah beef.

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