Hello there beautiful backers and campaign followers!
Over the past 2 weeks our GGF campaign has been ticking along nicely.The past week with not as much momentum as the 1st week, but that's not unexpected. We are genuinely humbled by the generosity offered us in all its forms. We continue to be amazed by people's loveliness in general and some very thoughtful, touching contributions to the comments section on this campaign page.
We have extended the campaign dates by a couple of weeks by request from a few folk and also to coincide with a fundraiser some of our hospitality mates are putting on for us at Annam restaurant on Sunday 19 August.
The hardest thing for us in the present is being in 'limbo land'...planning for the new season ahead BUT not knowing if we'll be able to continue in to it (or beyond) at this stage?
Here's some of what your generosity has helped our farm cover over the past week to keep us going through this challenging period:
🐝 Overdue irrigation equipment bills
🐝 Overdue seedling bills
🐝🐝 Tractor and equipment finance payments
🐝🐝 Farm land lease/rent
🐝 Staff wages
....it is not easy to make so public what we are facing let alone ask for and accept $$ (being the particular help we really need to get through to new season income with significant farm/biz remodelling in place) BUT here we are AND we are grateful for the various kinds of support this public campaign is bringing our way. Every little bit of $$ and moral support is a big help. THANK YOU
If you haven't read this article already https://sustainabletable.org.au/angelica-organic-f... by our long time farmers' market customer become friend, Cassie Duncan, of Melbourne's Sustainable Table, it is a worthwhile read. Inspired by our current plight and associated fundraising campaign, Cassie articulately and poignantly delves further in to the broader food system issues which are why our campaign and willingness to open ourselves up is NOT just about us. Several of our small scale, regenerative farmer friends (from various areas around the country) are struggling and it is not uncommon for any of us to be hit by circumstances out of our control or that push us too far (and I am not just referring to weather impacts) - small or larger farms. In our case we are "all in" farmers, meaning we have no off-farm employment, as many others do (mainly because mixed veg farming is very labour intensive and there's not that many hours in a week...we already do around 60 +/- hours/week 10 mths of the year up to this point in our farm's establishment) or family members &/or volunteers/WWOOFers to help run the 'show' as we can't accommodate that.
Another local (to us) friend and small scale regen farmer, Tammi Jonas put it like this the other day in a repost on FB regarding our campaign..." I'm pretty worried to see how many small-scale farmers are still struggling to make enough money to live on while working tirelessly to provide their communities with nutritious,
delicious, clean food - nature, labour, input costs, and people's
unwillingness to pay what food is worth all contribute to the problem.
Look after the farmers you know while we work to resolve as many of
these issues we can that are in our control!"
The thing is, if people (eaters) REALLY want the kind of food farms like ours produce, then it is our collectivism as a community that will ensure these farms survive and prosper. It has to be this way. ONLY TOGETHER do we have this - really!
One of the reasons that we have needed to seek help via a public/supporter fundraising campaign is because traditional forms of finance are not set up for us. Contrary to (often) popular belief, we get no support from financial institutions (even an overdraft is not a viably affordable option for us) and virtually nothing from our governments. We are too small to access what resources may be available, which are pretty limited and most often not attached to a suitable criteria for our needs anyway. The only thing we get is a small 'fuel rebate' on diesel at tax return time. We are registered Primary Producers but there are no 'low interest' or 'no interest' loans available and not much in the way of other capital investment opportunities going around. A few farmers we know of personally who have in the past been lucky enough to find financial 'backers/investors' have been left in the lurch at some point not too far down the track when basically the novelty has worn off for those investors and they've decided to pull out - no qualms, no discussion entered in to.
In any case, our community's food sovereignty is NEVER going to be looked after by government, other business, finance institutions or industrial agriculture with the due diligence and respect it deserves and needs to grow, prosper and become sustainable in perpetuity. If it is to be, it is up to US - the eaters who want food sovereignty and diversity, who want traditional produce and food processes supported and conserved and want it grown and made in the most healthy, clean and regenerative ways possible for the best stewardship of our natural resources as well as the highest well being of farmers and all eaters.
On that note, THANK YOU ALL AGAIN! Until the next GGF Angelica-style update.
Deri-Anne and Tim