My time as a farm worker in Queensland

“Girls, you’re working too hard ! Time for the smoko”. These were beautiful words, heard every day on the farm. The smoko was this tradition, once during the morning shift and once during the afternoon one, to sit down with the boss, drink hot tea and eat cakes and biscuits. Ah. Life on the farm.

I think I’ve already mentioned my glorious arrival in Yallaboroo (here).The bathroom, the meal, the goddess. Well, things were pretty much at the same level of perfect and fuzzy the whole time I was there.

I was hired as a farm helper and I loved the whole experience. The place was about an hour away from any kind of civilization. You had this gorgeous view of the valley from the kitchen and the back porch, nothing but fields and mountains in the background. After the massive yummy farm breakfast, I would get into the door-less car (my favorite ever), the dogs would jump in with me and we would drive to the teenage cows. Hungry little fellas, I would give them seeds and molasses, which smelled disgustingly sweet and always ended up all over my clothes.

After that it was driving the land mower, trying to do straight lines, then picking it all up with the wheelbarrow. I remember one time when I unloaded some of the grass by hand, a little baby snake sneaked out between my fingers. I was ecstatic “oh look, how cute and adorable !”. Turns out it was a brown snake and even at that age it could done some serious damage. Oh well. What doesn’t kill you.

The day was filled by fetching the chicken’s eggs and feeding the ducks. Painting the house, cleaning the cars, moving the cows. It was 11 o’clock smoko where we talked about life and travels and adventures. It was afternoons spent at the beach where my coworker would go for a jog while I would just lazily sit in the sun, reading my book and chasing little blue crabs. Evenings by the fire with the weird neighbors, petting their enormous puppies. Or at the table with the boss and her husband, sweetly annoying their teenage son who tried to be tough with his cowboy boots.

I loved the job, the remoteness of the location, the simple lifestyle, the beauty of the nature and being able to work outside all day.

And I really enjoyed the time spent with my boss. I was full of admiration and awe. She grew up on a farm even more remote than this, at about 4 to 5 hours from the next town. She was homeschooled by her mom and yet she was so social and curious about everything. She was living in the middle of nowhere yet had pretty clothes for the evenings and she took care of herself. She read, she was always upbeat and she treated me like the best of friends.

I loved the sense of community that you could find there. They all were very good neighbors, even though it was a 20 minutes’ drive to get to the next house. They were there for each other and made time and had drinks. It was such a different kind of life. And yet the bonds were deeper and the need and willingness to get human contact was that much stronger.



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