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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: Starting the community | The history of the land | The Cow Department | Changes | The spiritual role of food | The future

The history of the land

This particular area previous to us coming here; that was all kind of, well, it went through a stage of cattle country. Before that it was dairy country. There used to be like twenty or twenty five dairy farms all through these valleys and… ah whatever happened, the milk market, the small.. the bigger ones kind of overtook the smaller ones. And now there’s probably only three dairy farms that are all, they’re all cattle, cattle farms now, beef farms. Prior to that it was all logging. Previous, you know before they really kind of… all these hills here were full of cedar logs, cedar trees, all that mountain. I’ve seen, there’s picture of, when you go into Murwillumbah I’ve seen, there’s a cultural historical place there; and they’ve got picture of that hill completely logged. There’s not a tree on it.

So what they used to do is they’d get, they’d go in there with bullock teams, with about twelve bullocks, with a big trailer and they just go up and wind their way all through there and they cut the trees down and pull them out; and they’d put them on the river and they take them up to Tweed Heads. That was in the early, early days.

This place was beef cattle when we moved on. Their names were Kelly and the Kelly’s still live over the road. There’s lots of people, in this area, there’s the Everests, the Kellys, there’s like, generations of them, you know, and extended families all throughout these areas. So, yeah, old Ma Kelly used to own this place and she was related to the Kellys that live over the road now. So they know a fair bit of history about this place, more than I do.

One day we’ll go over there…

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