Photographer's Note

The ruins of Lake Harry Station, an abandoned date palm plantation found 31km north of Marree in central South Australia along the Birdsville Track.
The experimental date palm plantation was planted in 1895 and two years later had over 2,500 palms. The palms grew very well in dry hot environment and a nearby well ensured they were well watered. Unfortunately, there were no native insects in the area that were able to successfully pollinate the flowers and so the palms had to be hand-pollinated. This was a very labour intensive process that was not cost effective and the resulting crops were poor. Drought in the early 1900s saw an influx of thousands of crows and cockatoos to the plantation and they ate the fruit even when green.
Eventually, the lack of a good harvest, remote location of the property, the well drying up and continued drought saw the station abandoned and eventually all the palm trees died. The property was finally abandoned in the 1940s after another long drought.

I put a b/w shot of the property taken in 1930 in the workshop.

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Additional Photos by Chris Chafer (sandpiper) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 767 W: 87 N: 1198] (6788)
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