“It’s Getting Harder with Every Crop We Lose,” An Aussie Farmer on Finding Hope - 96five Family Radio

“It’s Getting Harder with Every Crop We Lose,” An Aussie Farmer on Finding Hope

Farmer Trent’s reality is one of thousands across the nation - finding a way to face the consequences of floods, droughts and a pandemic.

By Georgia FreeMonday 19 Sep 2022NewsReading Time: 3 minutes

Trent Greentree is as Aussie as they come. As a fifth-generation farmer from Freemans Reach, he spends his days growing cauliflower and cucumbers for Australian pickle company Three Threes.

Trent loves being a farmer. It’s in his blood. But the last few years haven’t been easy.

Just months ago, Trent’s family farm flooded for the third time in a year. The most recent flooding put the farm eight metres under water – leaving debris and destruction in its wake. The damage is almost inevitable, but lots of preparation goes into trying to save as much of the farm as possible.

“We’ll keep an eye on the rising floodwaters,” Trent told us.

“We’ll start moving all of our machinery… up to higher ground. [But] to watch the water go over the crop is the hardest thing. With vegetables, once the water goes over the top of them, there’s no coming out of it.”

Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Once the floodwaters start to recede, the long clean-up process begins. The farmland has to be reshaped after each flood. Currently, Trent’s farm has craters that are six feet deep, exposing the irrigation mains.

“It’s a nightmare. The mud keeps coming out of every crevice it can settle into,” Trent said.

Despite the challenges he’s faced, Trent’s passion and tenacity is infectious. However, his resilience, understandably, is waning.

“It’s getting harder and harder with every crop we lose,” Trent admitted.

“To be able to pick yourself back up, wash everything down, reshape the ground and get another crop in, you’ve got to have a lot of drive.”

“To be able to pick yourself back up, wash everything down, reshape the ground and get another crop in, you’ve got to have a lot of drive.”

Although there is still recovery to come, Trent keeps one thing front of mind – the reason that he’s a farmer in the first place.

“To be able to provide Australian grown quality vegetables to an Australian company, I get a lot of satisfaction,” Trent said.

“If Australians could support support Australian made and Australian manufacturing, it will all help.”

“If Australians could support support Australian made and Australian manufacturing, it will all help.”

Plate for a Mate

Heartbreakingly, Trent’s reality is one of thousands across the nation, as farmers everywhere face the consequences of floods, droughts and a pandemic – 68 per cent of farmers in rural and regional areas have experienced anxiety or depression in the past two years.

Black Dog Institute’s Plate for a Mate campaign aims to shine a spotlight on farming communities doing it tough, encouraging people to share a meal together and talk about their mental health.

Now in its third year, Plate for a Mate is focusing on the mental health of farmers, and raising funds to better support rural and regional communities.

Headlined by an array of famous Australian chefs including Manu Feildel and Jason Roberts, Australians are encouraged to get involved by inviting their loved ones over for a meal – and share it on social media using the hashtag #PlateForAMate.

Black Dog Institute's Plate for a Mate tackling mental health issues

To get involved in Plate for a Mate, use the hashtag #PlateForAMate on social media and visit the Plate for a Mate website for more details.


Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

Feature image: Provided

About the Author: Georgia Free is a broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.