Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Self Sufficiency Just a Way of Farm Life; Rural Couple Live like Kings by Doing It All Themselves

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Self Sufficiency Just a Way of Farm Life; Rural Couple Live like Kings by Doing It All Themselves

Article excerpt


TIM Ryan is, rather fittingly, standing in a pigsty on his Goomburra property when he offers his take on self sufficiency.

It's a new-fangled term for what was once just the way a lot of rural people lived, the former butcher explained.

Making something new out of something old, making their own, making it work and some tough years just plain making do are the way it has been for Mr Ryan and his wife Pam. Not that the farming couple would have it any other way.

C[pounds sterling]We live like kings. We eat better than almost anybody,C[yen] Mr Ryan said. C[pounds sterling]We have a glorious life. We're definitely the lucky ones.C[yen]

This exuberant country bloke is a third-generation butcher Co his father owned a butchers' shop in Yarraman (and for a short time in the 1950s in Allora) and his grandfather operated the butchery at Wondai.

C[pounds sterling]So for us it was very much in the family,C[yen] Mr Ryan explained.

It was in Laidley that he developed his own reputation as a meat man. In 1957 he went into business with his father and three brothers.

Later Mr Ryan went from butchering to specialising in making smallgoods such as salami and frankfurts.

C[pounds sterling]In truth I never really did an apprenticeship. Like my brothers, we just worked alongside Dad and learnt the trade,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]Although I did have one lesson in smallgoods-making from a very well known Chinchilla butcher called Joe Gleeson.C[yen]

That single lesson left him in good stead and his smallgoods business at Laidley was as successful as it was demanding.

C[pounds sterling]The shop was open five and a half days and then on Sundays we would go in and pack orders, so it was fairly constant,C[yen] Mr Ryan said.

C[pounds sterling]But Ryan's Bacon was pretty well known. It was a good business. And being able to make our own smallgoods was a marvellous thing for a butcher.

C[pounds sterling]Back then we wrapped meat in greaseproof paper, then newspaper and it could breathe, not like today when they stick it in a plastic bag.C[yen]

While he ran the business his wife Pam was equally busy raising the couple's seven children Co six boys and a girl.

As much as they loved Laidley, in 1972 the couple made the momentous decision to go bush.

C[pounds sterling]I'd always loved the land. When I was growing up in Yarraman, my first job was getting in the cows,C[yen] Mr Ryan said. C[pounds sterling]We used to run house cows on the common and I'd get them in.

C[pounds sterling]One lady paid me one and sixpence and another gave me two bob to get her cows in.

C[pounds sterling]Talk about lollies. I spent all my money on them. I was a terror for eating lollies.C[yen]

The Ryan family left Laidley, buying a 1300-acre mixed farming operation on the north branch of Dalrymple Creek, east of Allora. …

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