Once Was A Garden
I found these pix of the Anna Creek fettlers camp ruins near Williams Creek, in outback South Australia.
I actually lived and worked there as a 19-20 yr old, for about 18 months. 10 Fettlers, a Ganger and a Cook lived in this, and one other building that was the kitchen and Gangers rooms. That was 1968-69 and this old building was about 100 yrs old, and had been well maintained all that time. It had a steep corrugated iron roof , There were also several outbuildings and machinery sheds. We fettlers maintained a fifty kilometer stretch of rail track on the old Ghan line. The line closed up a couple of years after my stay, and dozens of these old camps fell into ruins.
While there I created a small market garden out back, and grew shrubs and flowers around the buildings, watered from a deep hole in the mostly sandy, Fink River, only a few hundred metres away.
Mulch was hard to come by but essential to keep the beds moist. I found a large pile of old railway blankets in one of the sheds and promptly put them to work as mulch, it worked a treat. I never had to fertilize as the desert soil was very rich already, evidenced by the thick blanket of desert flowers that popped up in the short wet season each year.
The garden produced more than enough for a dozen men so the excess was swapped for meat at a nearby cattle station ( The Anna Creek Station) about an hours drive away.
I took hundreds of photographs while there but unfortunately, a girlfreind years later threw them, and all my belongings to the tip in a jealous rage.
(I’m still cranky about that, Lillian)