Letho's Blog

Work and life at Mount Pleasant

by on Apr.02, 2011, under Traveling Australia

Friday, 20th February 2011 – Saturday, 2nd April 2011

(To be very precise, we already arrived in the area (after our driving marathon down from Cairns in three days) at the 20th January and repaired our car and reregistered it, went to Kangaroo Island and the Fleurieu Peninsula and looked for jobs which hasn’t been entirely easy. After a few days in a hostel we stayed with a couple of couchsurfing hosts for example with Sam whose house we could sit during her holiday.)

We are about to leave the place where we spent most of the time in Australia so far – Mt. Pleasant or jokingly Mt. Used to be pleasant : )
You may ask why the h*** have you spent so much time there if it isn’t that interesting in that 500 soul village? To work and earn money of course!

So what did we do for work?

I worked at the Blumberg flower farm where they produce Chrysanthemums. Here a short description of how this works:
First you start with the cuttings that is you cut off the tops of the plant (not yet a flower):

Next is propagation where the cuttings are dug into some growth liquid and put into soil cubes:

Into the wet room to grow:

And out of the wet room to make the soil a bit drier before planting:

Now it’s time to plant the flowers with the planting machine that drives backwards while you put the flowers on the ground:

The next step needs a lot of patience – the flowers grow…

and grow…

When the flowers are almost blossoming the main bud is taken off (the one in the middle) to give the other flowers more energy:

Several weeks later (2-3 months) the flowers are ready to be picked that is cut and put together in fives and put into buckets with water in which they stay when they are in the coolroom at 3 degrees Celsius:

Finally the flowers are put into boxes to be sent to flower stores in Australia or overseas.
Empty flowerbed:

People at the flower farm:

Frank took part in a sleep deprivation experiment where they tested the effects of sleep deprivation with driving simulations and reaction and memory tests. The experiement lasted 9 days and started with two nights of 10 hours to get used to the environment and then the next four days of incredible four hours of sleep (and no nap in the afternoon). Furthermore, some blood samples had to be given, a glucose monitor to be worn and lots of fun things like that. The last night was 10 hours again to make sure that the participants had a chance to go a bit back to normal. For more detailled information feel free to ask Frank about it : )

What was our home like during this time?

We sometimes camped…

… camped at the Mount Pleasant Caravan Park most of the time during the 2 months…

…but had a house to sit in Adelaide for 2 weeks – so great to have a real house to stay at over the weekend!

and a caravan to stay at when our tent got flooded one night and it wouldn’t stop raining. Not the best weather this year for camping…

What else did we do?

Well, it wasn’t all work but also some sightseeing,fun activities and spending time with friends.
At the beginning in Adelaide:

Watching Australia Day Parade in Adelaide:

The so called Whispering Wall is actually the Barossa Dam and supplies the area with water. When you stand close to the wall you can talk to a person on the other end in a normal speaking voice – amazing!

Scuba diving at Noalunga Beach:

Visiting Inga at Aldinga Beach – see the connection? ; )

Spending some time at Adelaide’s beaches:

Having the Mount Pleasant Fair almost in our backyard at the Caravan Park:

Costume Land in Adelaide:

The Marion „Festival“ in Sam’s neighbourhood:

And having dinner with some friends, for example at the weekly Schnitzel night in Mount Pleasant’s pub or one time an all you can eat in 2,5 hours at Charlie’s in Adelaide:

As well as campfire and other entertaining things – for example spiders…

By the way, where are all the postcards and parcels in Perth that we were expecting? ; )

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