‘Mother Nature a heartless b****’: Growers try remain upbeat
GROWERS across the Granite Belt are trying to remain upbeat after Mother Nature dealt them another cruel blow.
On Wednesday night, scattered hail, some the size of cricket and golf balls, battered up to 14 farms around Stanthorpe.
Millions of dollars worth of damage to infrastructure has been reported.
Having already faced drought and fires, the joy at long overdue rain soon dissipated when hail began to fall.
"We've been handed a crap sandwich on top of everything else," Leah Costanzo from Glenview Capsicums at Glen Niven said.
"Mother Nature is quite the heartless b**** at the moment.
"But you know, it is what it is.
"Yes, we lost netting. But we had nothing planted though as we have no water.
"It was a bit of a kick in the teeth to lose net that had been replaced two years ago, from another hailstorm, and no income to replace it.
"But we had 34mm of rain … yay."
Despite witnessing hail, like they'd never seen before, Eastern Colour's Nathan Baronio is trying to remain positive.
"The hail was unlike anything we've ever seen. We've been on this farm here for 48 years and never seen anything like it.
"But thankfully we've got our tunnels and that crop was luckily protected.
"We'll still have a crop that will be available in the lead up to Christmas.
"What do you do? Roll over, kick and scream, or do you keep going?" Mr Baronio said.
Not everyone in the Applethorpe area was impacted though.
Pinata Farms only received 4.5mm and suffered no damage.
Granite Belt Growers Association secretary Justin Heaven said what they need now, more than ever, is consumer support.
"There will still be top quality produce from the Granite Belt this year and what we need is consumers to support us," Mr Heaven said.
"We want our supply chain partners to know that there will still be plenty of produce coming from our Granite Belt growers."