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4-396 (Text)

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author,male,Maxwell, Hugh,41 addressee,male
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
O'Farrell, 1984
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4-396-plain.txt — 2 KB

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 We have determined to go in for a little cultivation, so with that end in view we started grubbing a piece of ground of the ridge that runs in front of the old hut, only about a quarter of a mile further back in the paddock. We have about 5 acres now grubbed and the posts for the fence up, and expect soon to have all ready to plough. We shall put part of in early potatoes and the rest in oats for hay. The piece we have chosen is a nob with a broadspur running north from the main ridge which runs east and west. As it was one of the highest points in the front block it was a very favourite camp of the sheep so it should be fertile for a few years at any rate and being on high ground all we have to do is open the gate, when crop is taken off, and the sheep will again make it a camping ground. We bought a little one horse plough, strong built but handy, which we work with 2 horses. James went down to the sale at Bairnsdale and bought a useful half bred mare unbroken, fit for saddle, buggy or plough work for £9. She has turned out very well and now works very quietly in plough or harrow (we also got a light harrow).
The grubbing was very slow, tedious work as the ground was very heavily timbered. However, I think it will give a good return for labour and expense. The ewes are nearly all lambed. They are earlier this year having started lambing 10th July which is at least 3 weeks earlier than is usual in this district. That I hope will have the effect of giving a better grown crop of lambs, as heretofore the later lambs were somewhat weedy and small. The lambing I think will be very fair. 
We have had a wet winter which keep us back in many ways. Dingoes have been very bad in the district for the last 12 or 14 months. We had one visit from them in April but have got off much easier than any of our neighbours. On the whole our paddocks are considered the safest in the group, but at the same time we are all liable to a visit from the dingoes at any time.  Again the heavy rains have risen the river several times so that we could not cross for a few days at a stretch. This is a great bother to us. If we can manage it after shearing we will try and build a four roomed house in our own paddock. Then we will be nearer the stock in case of danger and also handy to our work in the way of cultivation. All being well we intend doing some more clearing as there are two more favoured spurs with the north by east aspect.