For 12 years when our family was growing up we had
For 12 years when our family was growing up we had a small acreage on the banks of the Rouse, a small fresh water river which flows into the Tweed, 15km west of Murwillumbah. We were fortunate to have a large swimming hole right at our back door, which had fish and platypus. We built our own house with the help of a bush carpenter friend.
While we were camping on the block before we started building, and as there were six of us to feed, we thought food production was of prime importance, so we planted a large vegie garden and about 100 fruit trees and vines. Eventually we extended the vegie patch to small market garden size and we had excess to sell to tourists on our Numinbah Road frontage. The chooks came about the same time as the garden and a little later I built a 20-foot by 12-foot shade house for propagating our plants.
After we settled into the house we started on the landscaping, which included two 40-foot fish ponds and a small earthen dam. From this sprang a small ornamental fish breeding project. The sale of fish and vegies supplemented income from my town job and helped pay school fees for our small children.
Possibly one of the last projects was planting lots of Australian native trees and also a rose garden. Those were precious years and to list our many experiences of country living would fill a book. Many would envy our experience, but many who have experienced country living would tell you its jolly hard work, although most would also say but it was well worth it.
The most valuable thing both of us took away from the experiences of those years was that it put us in touch with the realities of life that tend to mould characters for the better and help us become better human beings.
The Lismore Garden Club June social outing is on Tuesday, June 3, for a country garden visit and morning tea in the garden of Rosemary Dalton at Rock Valley.
The Lismore Garden Club Annual Spring Garden Competition will be judged this year on August 29 and 30. The club is most grateful to our generous sponsors and each week we will mention a different one. This week we want to send special thanks to David and Anna Manby of The Seedling House Nursery in Union Street, South Lismore.
Finally: Go to the ant, O sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief officer or ruler, she prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest. Proverbs 6:6