Sep 8, 2019 · 8:11 pm
It’s been a tough past few days for those facing bushfires and an incredible effort by people banding together to fight fires and help people and animals. The resolve and grace of those who have lost so much is extraordinary.
Among the fires still burning are those at Stanthorpe and Applethorpe where, as many of you will know from my books, my Dad was born and three generations of my family previously lived at their Applethorpe farm.
According to QFES, firefighting is currently focused around the very roads bordering the farm. I can’t help but feel the area has had enough to deal in recent times with their water supply almost gone due to drought and now must face unprecedented fires. Really hoping for a reprieve all round very soon.
(Nanna Francesca beside the packing shed her father built and Nonno Anni pointing to the farmhouse – so him to get up on the fence!)
Update: While nearby paddocks got burnt out, relieved to say the house and sheds have survived thanks to the fantastic firefighting crews. That said, when an event like this occurs , it’s often a long time for things to return to ‘normal’, particularly for those who’ve lost much and especially an area already doing it tough and almost out of water. Really hoping for some decent rain soon.
Jan 2, 2018 · 12:18 pm
Buon anno a tutti and warmest wishes!
The new year was generally start of harvest time at my family’s Applethorpe farm, with various fruit and vegetable picking over the first four months or so. Seeing photographs of that time, I’m taken by the generous camaraderie that comes across among the hard work and summer heat, especially knowing family and friends came from near and far to help my great-grandmother, Cesca and her youngest two left alone on their farm after her husband Mico’s sudden death at fifty-three.
At my desk again for the first time this year, while I await the next step on book three I am making a start to some research, a bit like ‘harvesting’ snippets and stories, that I hope (and I can’t believe I am writing this) will become book four!! Again, best wishes for the year and tante belle cose. xx
Filed under books + writing, inspiration + history
Tagged as Applethorpe, family stories, farm life Australia, harvest time Australia, Italian family stories, Italian migrants Australia, migrant stories, old photographs Stanthorpe, Solano farm Applethorpe, Stanthorpe
Sep 14, 2017 · 5:12 pm
Came across this photograph of my family’s Applethorpe farm in the 1950s with the orchard in flower and realised when I was there doing research for Mezza and Joe’s, I happened to take a picture from almost the same spot 60 years later.
Filed under art + photographs, inspiration + history
Tagged as 1950s orchard, apple orchard, Applethorpe, family farm, farm life, Italian migrants, Italian migrants Australia, Solano farm Applethorpe, Stanthorpe, then and now