These photos of our farm were taken exactly a year apart – 24 December 2018 and 2019 respectively. The only green you can see on the farm now is where crops are being directly irrigated, and the sky is filled with haze from the fires burning across the state.
Ask a farmer at the moment how things are going for them and you are likely to get a pretty sombre response. Even if they haven’t been impacted by fires (and so many have), they are still struggling with the drought and uncertain weather patterns like late frost (some friends of ours lost most of their tomatoes in November) and the dry wind that sucks moisture out of the soil almost as soon as crops are watered. Some farms have already run out of water and have shut down or are minimising their crops to survive on reserves like bore water. Others, like us, are fortunate enough to still have water and not be directly impacted by fire, but are struggling with producing good crops and dealing with higher production costs due to issues like the above.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do. I admit I’m sometimes struggling with that at the moment.
And the reality is, there is no quick fix for climate change; but I still think we can all do things that make a difference, like going back to the basics of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to limit our impact on the world.
In terms of supporting farmers through this really tough time, there are also some things that help, such as:
1. Continue to care and take the time to ask us how we’re going (like so many of you have been doing). It really makes a difference.
2. Keep buying our produce from places like farmer’s markets or Community Supposed Agriculture (CSA) schemes – these are generally the only way farmers can connect directly with the public (see point 1 above) and also earn retail prices for their produce which helps a lot with viability. Although it’s worth checking if a stall holder is the producer or an on-seller…
3. Support local businesses who support their local producers.
4. Don’t feel bad if you can’t afford much – we totally get living on a budget and every little bit helps.
Thanks for your support and for reading this!
Ruth – Banjo’s Paddock