Cudgen life tied to the land

Ross and Frank Julius are hard working produce farmers from Cudgen.
Ross and Frank Julius are hard working produce farmers from Cudgen.

"MORE than meets the eye" is one way to describe the little village of Cudgen.

Cudgen is the Aboriginal word for the red ochre used in body decoration on ceremonial occasions.

Used as a trade item throughout Australia by indigenous peoples, the word comes from the Bandjalung-Yugambeh dialect.

Although Cedar felling was the original industry brought by white settlers to the region, the rich, red volcanic soil soon proved to be perfect for crop production.

The first settlers in Cudgen were the Guifoyles who selected in 1870.

Just a little later came William warren who built the first sugar mill.

"We've been here around 120 years," said farmer Ross Julius.

"I guess in about another 20 years we'll be locals," he laughed.

Ross and Frank Julius are hard working farmers, growing and selling everything from avocados through to sweet potato, pumpkins and sweet corn.

"We're the biggest pumpkin growers in Cudgen," Frank said.

Over the years the family has grown sugar cane and bananas and has run Jersey cattle.

"You can grow anything in this soil, as long as you've got the water," Ross said.

"It's a great life here in Cudgen.

"I love the place.

"The lifestyle on the land is brilliant."

A hundred years ago, the now sleepy village of Cudgen was the busiest place on the Tweed River.

Over 500 men were employed at a sugar mill built in the 1880's and the Tweeds first church, St Marks was built in 1882.

Memorial Lane, an avenue of pines and fig trees, has each one named in memory of a soldier who did not return from war.

Anzac services are held each year at the cenotaph made from the bricks of the original school and dedicated to the Cudgen veterans.

Topics:  community cudgen farming land

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