At the moment our city is flooding severely. People are evacuating, packing up their things, thousands of homes have been filled with water and some have even lost their lives. On our side, we are lucky as we are on high ground. Many people have been “panic buying” supplies in preparation for isolation and lack of transport. Our CSA (community supported agriculture – see this post for information about CSAs), Food Connect, are having difficulty delivering fruit and vegetable boxes as their drivers can’t get through flooded roads. We have bought some fresh provisions we could carry from a nearby store (we don’t have a car) but we already have loads of grains, pasta, lentils and the like in our home to feel secure. Not to mention small gifts from our dwindling boggy garden like these shallots…
But these are just the problems for now. The farms in our local areas have all been hit hard (thankfully at this stage everyone from our farms are OK). Damage to infrastructure and crops are still being assessed – not to mention the amount of precious topsoil they have lost. These farmers’ livelihoods and futures are looking bleak… in the last 10 years alone they have survived a long drought, cyclones, dust storms, locust plagues, and now this.
As one resident, Charlie Green, told the BBC: “It would be ironic if it wasn’t so tragic,” he said. “Toowoomba sits in the cradle of an extinct volcano about 2,000ft (610m) above sea level, and we have just endured 10 years of drought, unable even to wash our cars with town water for the last several years.”
Unless we continue to support our local farmers through this tough period, they will struggle even more and may not continue. Then we will have to rely on imported goods in supermarkets. There may be less produce and it may look less than perfect, but we’ll certainly endeavour to continue buying local and helping them get back on their feet again! We’ll support them through our CSA, and our local organic farmer’s market at our city farm.