It was a question by my co-worker Cameron after another long long tough day on a broccoli field at Wesley Vale, just over 3 months ago during my farming work in Tasmania. “Bottle-O” in case you’re wondering, is a brand name for off licences here in Tasmania, as is the “Thirsty Camel.” The Australians call them “bottle shops”, the Northern Irish call them “offys.” Their drinks are “a few tinnys” ours are “carryouts.”
Wesley Vale is one of many like it in Tasmania. Its definitely NOT a town, it’s barely a village. Though it is a community. A farming village maybe. Perhaps a hamlet. Possibly a countryside dwelling place. Definitely it’s a settlement east of Devonport, in Tasmania.
How I ended up there I’ll never know…one sunny Saturday back in February I began my quest for a visa extension in the land of Australia. Once I had emigrated to Australia, I didn’t quite imagine I’d want to stay here for longer than a year. But there I was slogging away in Wesley Vale (amongst other places that I’ll mention) on a broccoli paddock on Pulp Rroad/Mill Road.
In those days I got a lift to work, from the Work Direct Bus and the driver, and our supervisor Hayley Becker. At Wesley Vale I worked on about 3 or 4 different broccoli paddocks. I worked with mainly Australians, which was good, because I like to work with the locals and get to know the culture and become a part of it. Two of the guys I worked with at Wesley Vale, Greg and Sean are still working with me, now based at Ambleside, East Devonport where we cut cauliflower together. I have also worked with local lady Christi on both broccoli and cauliflower.
Wesley Vale is a tiny community area, with a few farms, houses and one shop. It was the area for which a Pulp Mill was once planned, hence why one of our broccoli paddocks was nicknamed “Pulp Road.” There is a horse racing showground at a roundabout nearby, and a large football ground (for Aussie Rules football).
There is a local church and a local park there. It’s typical of a Tasmanian country farming settlement. Wesley Vale lies east of Devonport and west of Port Sorrell, close to another small village known as Moriarty. I may not live there or visit there again, but a piece of my heart will remain there. Somewhere on a broccoli paddock.
And for the record, there ain’t no “Bottle-O” in Wesley Vale.
Bottle – O:
Who I worked with –
Cameron, Sean, Greg, Simon, Tyson, Tycho, John, Curtis, Alison, Christi, Hayley, Janice, Sharon (all Australian)
Phil, Paul (English)
Jenny, Daniel, Mango, Leona, Jay, Felicity (Taiwanese)
Tractor Drivers – Simon, Steve, Bruce, Alvin
Hours spent cutting broccoli at Wesley Vale – 68
(For no reason whatsoever):
VIDEO FROM THE FARM AT PULP ROAD/MILL ROAD, WESLEY VALE:
(For no reason whatsoever):
Wensley Dale [cheese]
A VIDEO I MADE OF WESLEY VALE:
A VIDEO I MADE OF US GETTING A TRACTOR RIDE AT PULP ROAD, WESLEY VALE: