24 December 2022

Festive season fails to dampen farmers' creative spirits

| Edwina Mason and Chris Roe
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Christmas decorations on farm

Despite a year of challenges, the region’s farmers have managed to find time to spread the Christmas spirit through various competitions. Photo: Elders Adelong.

If you were wondering how the farmers were doing right now, you only have to travel the backroads in the Riverina or head to Murringo in the NSW Hilltops or over to Adelong, just off the Hume Highway in the Snowy Valleys, to see what they’re up to.

As pics of heavy machinery bogging and Christmas haystacks proliferate on social media, it is perhaps the surest sign what the skies have thrown their way has failed in dampening their spirit.

For the most part, it’s full steam ahead with the harvest and GrainCorp recorded its biggest day of receivals for the season on Sunday, 18 December, with more than 300,000 tonnes of grain delivered.

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But somewhere between shifts, farmers and their families have used their tractors to create some spectacular Christmas creations.

“They’ve had a hard year. Had two years with fires, COVID and the mice plague and now flooding, losing the fencing and stock all gone,” said Emma Reynolds from the Tarcutta Hotel that has become an unofficial pit stop for families enjoying the trail.

“It’s just such a good vibe for everybody showing the Christmas spirit and the kids that did it with their parents absolutely loved it from the design process through to spray painting.

“So it’s quite clever what they’ve done.”

Elders in Adelong have gone so far as to sponsor a Christmas sculpture competition that results in an astonishing array of brightly lit, colourful, cheery-as-Santa Claus haybale creations.

Three sections – the Children’s Choice, Most Unique and Grand Champion – are all vying for prizes, with entries now numbering 22.

“Elders Adelong has done an amazing job promoting it, so much so that they have extended the voting to New Year,” Emma said.

Here’s a small selection of entries, but we encourage anyone with the time and will to head out to Adelong to have a look. The entries can also be accessed via the Elders Adelong Facebook page.

Each year around Young, small pockets of rural residents give in to what could be a contagion effect in that once one farmer builds a shrine to Christmas, the neighbours go one better until what results is a Christmas lights spectacular adorning the country roads.

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The Moppity Road is renowned for it, as is the Temora Road. But there’s nothing like Murringo to bring out the farming artiste.

Each year their mailbox competition – which raises funds for the Murringo Community Association – attracts scores of entries and this year is no different, except poor Santa seems to find himself in a whole lot of trouble out that way.

Murringo is about two hours northwest of Canberra, between Young and Boorowa. Show the farming community your support by coming out to have a look!

For more details, go to the Murringo community Facebook page.

Original Article published by Edwina Mason on About Regional.

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