May 27 – Allie & Noah

Woke up and left Caleprum Station and headed to Mallyons on the Murray, an organic fruit and vegetable farm. Nick and Rita are the owners of the property. They purchased a house on the land in the 1980s and decided to remain disconnected from the grid relying on solar energy through solar panels. The panels are adjustable for the season, increasing the angle of the panels for the winter. Also, he planted 100-150 trees each year to protect the land from the wind and to produce fruits. After a couple of years, he realized that growing Lebanese cucumbers used less water and produced the most amount of product with the least amount of resources to be sustainable. He used drip irrigation which watered the crops every hour on the hour using solar energy. Twenty tonnes of Lebanese cucumbers are produced and sold to a whole sale market in Melbourne and Adelaide.

Adjustable solar panel
Group picture with Nick, Rita, and Flick

The first navigational lock on the River Murray was completed in Blanchetown in South Australia in 1922. The weirs and locks were constructed to provide year long navigation for commercial cargo and passenger paddle steamers. Today, there are 13 navigation locks on the River Murray weirs and two locks on the barrages at the Murray mouth. 

Lock 1 of River Murray Lock System

After visiting the Blanchetown Lock, we met with Ivy and Anita who are both members of the Ngaut Ngaut tribe traditionally located along the Murray River. The mother and daughter pair walked us along the cliffs that line the river and talked to us about their tribe’s traditions and culture. We visited both the Men’s shed and the Women’s shed where their ancestors lived; there were carvings on the walls of the cliffs that detailed how their people sustainably managed the land. The carving of a spear and boomerang symbolizes the Men’s shed, while the carving of the sun symbolizes the Women’s shed. Their land was the site of the first archaeological dig in Australia in 1927, where artifacts and remains were carbon dated indicating aboriginal occupation around 8000 years ago. Anita and Ivy taught us about how their ancestors lived entirely off the land and used the entirety of every animal they hunted, which included fish, kangaroos, echidnas, turtles and more. This visit gave us all greater insight into the lives of aboriginal Australian’s and how they lived sustainably before white occupation.

Spear and boomerang carving
Walk along the cliffs to the men’s shed
Listening to Ivy speak in the men’s shed

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