Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Every man needs a shed

Ever since the first man decided to settle in one place, and farm an area of land, he's needed a shed -- somewhere away from his wife and family where he could hammer and saw; measure and construct; have time out to think and dream. The men who farmed Churchill Island were no different. All of them needed a shed in which to do all manner of manly things.

Lieutenant James Grant -- in 1801 -- recognised the rich fertility of the soil and the sheltered position of Churchill Island. Consequently, he planted seeds for Victoria's first vegetable garden, and also planted the first crop of wheat. In addition, he planted corn, oats, barley, onions and potatoes.

Original farm sheds on the island have been restored and now contain vintage farm machinery such as ploughs, water carts, horse-drawn hedge cutters - - -.

A flock of Suffolk sheep provide sheep for demonstration shearing, as well as sheep for the working dogs to show their herding abilities. It was Ranger Scott Campbell who, with his Jack Russell terrier 'Jack' and a team of ferrets, finally rid the island of introduced rabbits.

Churchill Island shows how a farm environment can coexist with the natural environment, without damage, and without demanding too much from the land itelf.

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