Our last post was in November 2015 when baby Luke was born – not far off a year ago.
It seems like just yesterday.
Life in the caravan continues to be a fascinating and fun journey through these our later years.
We’ve had the pleasure of helping run our boss’s business for a few months while he took his caravan away on a trip north, and spent time between Brisbane and the farm (Koramba Cotton Farm), all the time working every possible hour on the suite of Operations Management programs that’s become our life’s work.
These programs would have been long finished had it not been for a disaster last year.
We were relying on a third party programme that was incorporated into our product and as we neared completion the third party software company closed their doors.
We were in a dilemma. We could either release the programme without the ability to make significant updates in the future or start from scratch or rewrite everything. After a lot of deliberation we went with the latter.
It’s taken a year to get back to the point we were at before but the suite of programmes is so much better for it. I’m glad we made that decision.
So where are we now?
Three weeks ago we got the call from our boss Martyn that Koramba Cotton Farm was starting up again in full strength.
The farm has been growing greatly reduced acres of cotton because of a three year long drought. We watched the water storage reservoirs dry up till there was nothing but dry cracked dirt in them. There was always a large winter crop of barley and favor beans planted in the dry land areas. These crops didn’t rely on water storage and irrigation and thankfully enough rain fell in those winter months to produce bumper crops, especially the barley.
Most of the work required to plant and maintain those winter crops was performed by the skeleton crew of staff who live on the farm permanently.
Now it’s time for cotton again!
Water has now returned to Koramba.
Two dams are responsible for feeding water down the MacIntyre River to the hundreds of farms along its banks. These are Pindari Dam near Inverell and Glenlyon Lake near Yetman.
Pindari is up from 31% earlier this year to 100% with rain continuing. Glenlyon is currently at 62% but Toby, the Farm’s General Manager, is confident it will be full by Christmas.
In addition to the dams capacity there has been flooding on these black soil plains of Goondiwindi and Moree where Koramba is located.
This has meant large volumes of water have cascaded through the country filling local dams, creeks weirs and rivers.
The farm’s five huge diesel pumps that move the water from the river inlet are running 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the water storage facilities are now at capacity yet still the water comes. The MacIntyre River has now broken its bank right at the pump station and is pouring in as fast as the pumps can get it out.
This means that every available field is being prepared for cotton.
This also means workers are needed.
Toby placed a call to Martyn for 10 workers and Kerrie and Martyn went into action finding and vetting about 200 applicants.
All this was done on our Labour Management Application by the way!
It was then up to us to “rescue” the quarters where those workers will be housed. After about 2 ½ years of non-use there was a lot to be done.
We purchased from Brisbane a lot of new equipment, mattresses, new table tops and a host of other stuff, hired a truck and drove it all out to the farm. We drove back the same day after unloading with help from Ashley, our son, who is now living and working at Koramba as a Mechanic’s Assistant (a job he loves by the way).
A couple of days later we moved the caravan from Redcliffe (where we had stayed for 5 weeks) to Koramba.
So here we are at Koramba again.
The 10 workers will arrive in two days and the camp needs to be completely ready so my darling and I are working to achieve this.
Trees are being cut down again, gardens refreshed, grass cut, slashing, painting, moving furniture, gurneying and the never ceasing cleaning.
It’s been about 2 ½ years since we did any serious physical work so the old bones and muscles are screaming in protest but it gets easier each day.