The first week on the cherry farm was tough. On a hill that used to have grapes, the farmer is planting cherry trees. They are growing quickly, so an irrigation system has to be made. For about 60 long rows, that is not an easy job. At 7 o’clock the day starts. We drive to the field, where the kangaroos seem to be waiting for us. You are working your ass off and all they can do is stare at you with that typical kangaroo grin.
First we had to change the height of the wires. After hours of doing that we had to strip off the leaves from the bottom of the plants. It was called rubbing back the plants. This is done so the plant and fruit doesn’t get in between the weeds. We also had to hammer the wires onto wooden posts. And then there was the watering of the plants. A long black tube, stuck to a wire, had to be attached to every post.
I didn’t’need a gym. This was my own bootcamp. All day I was hammering and walking up and down a hill, stumbling over old grapevines. The sun was stinging in my neck. I had to kneel and get up again, kneel and get up again. And then there are the spider webs and little insects that are stuck to me at the end of the day. My hands feel like sand paper and are covered in blisters. Country life is not as glamorous as in the magazines. This is fighting, fighting to stay in the country.
If you want to stay in Australia for a second year working holiday, you’ll have to do your 88 days of regional work. In the 88 days diaries I tell the story of my three months of farm work. Read about what I think, experience and explore, from eccentric farmers to new skills.