If the title wasn't clear, we've wrapped up our NZ travels (all too soon) and headed to Sydney for a couple days before we return home. It's immediately apparent a different climate and lay of the land means very different management and style when it comes to agriculture.
We're only here a couple days, but strive to make the most of it. This morning we spent it at Hurlstone Agricultural High School, which is well served by its name.
This high school sits on a several hundred acre farm that has beef cattle, a dairy with nearly 100 head, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, greenhouses, animal facilities, paddocks, and a pool. I don't think the pool is there for stockwater.
This school is right off the train in one of Sydney's outlying suburbs. According to the conversations we had, the only reason the farm is still in existence is because of the alumni of the school who have gone on and been people of influence, as the farm is right in the middle of prime development land.
The other side of the conversation was most interesting. The feeling was that the school had moved to a much more academic focus, and as such much less was done by students with the farm, and the students weren't necessarily there because they wanted to be in agriculture. Ag courses are compulsory in years 7-10, and electives in 11-12. Students do such activities as chick trials, lamb marking, plant plots, and cattle showing, but don't do anything with the dairy and some of the other farm activities.
It was an interesting visit, albeit one without any students - the term starts tomorrow. As such we didn't get to speak to as many people as we would have liked but appreciated the chance to visit with the ones we did. It's a unique setup and apparently fairly unique for much of the surrounding area and maybe even the state. It'll be interesting to see how long it survives before urban sprawl wins out.
Otherwise, it's been very cool to be Down Under, and see the sights of the city before we head back. The Royal Botanical Gardens are exquisite, with plenty of excellent views of the harbor and other landmarks.
And you spend 10 minutes trying to get a picture of the first cockatoo you see...until you keep walking and realize they are not much more than pigeons down here in some areas.
Still looking for shrimps on barbies. Haven't seen one yet, but it is winter, mate.
Road Report: since we're only here a couple days, no more driving! Thank goodness, because I think I would have died three times over in this town. As it was we've stuck with public transportation, which has been good, minus the fact that all the downtown trains were closed this weekend for maintenance work. Of course.
Here's to a lot of walking.