A few of you may know I grew up in Narrabri, north west NSW, and my family are still there on our family farm. I may be biased, but I think it’s the best town in the world!
You would also know that there is a shocking drought throughout NSW, and our regional areas are really bearing the brunt of this.
I have been going up to Narrabri as much as I can, and work has also led me to other parts of NSW in the last few months. Each time I leave Sydney, I am just shocked. It is drier than I can remember in my life, not just in Narrabri, but all over the place. Not only is it really dry, but there are terrible dust storms almost weekly, and even the most airtight of houses can't escape layers of dust all over the place. Not to mention of course, the terrible bushfires in some regional areas. Farmers have been unable to grow any crops to speak of, and many have had to seriously reduce stock levels, and this has had massive flow-on effects throughout whole towns. It is very depressing, and they are living and breathing it EVERY DAY.
Source: @locallovely A duststorm rolling into Coonamble in September, when Lucy from Mink and Me organised a long lunch in the Combara Hall.
What strikes me as amazing, is that through all of this, they stay so positive. I guess it really is the only way to get through it. But one thing that has made a MASSIVE difference to the positivity of small towns, and in particular small business, is the AMAZING movement on social media, known as #buyfromthebush.
Started by Central West girl Grace Brennan, @buyfromthebush has grown to a huge following of 146k followers, and counting!! It would be hard to have missed this campaign by now, featured on 7.30 Report, Mamma Mia, and Channel 9 to name a few. The Instagram and Facebook pages post photos of products that can be bought from small businesses in drought affected areas, and in turn businesses can include the #buyfromthebush tag in their own posts. This encourages followers, especially in the lead up to Christmas, to quite simply, buy from the bush!!
Source: Marval Designs in Gunnedah and Narrabri, sending off so many parcels!
This has had an amazing flow on effect to country towns, with local shops needing to employ hundreds of extra people to help manage sales. But not only that, it has also brought much needed consideration to our friends in the bush doing it really tough, who certainly aren't looking for attention or sympathy, but do really appreciate the understanding that their city friends are showing.
Source: Farmgate and Twine in Adelong checking out at the local post office.
Buy from the bush are having a market in Martin Place on Thursday from 8am to 8pm, so it is the perfect opportunity for people in Sydney to see these beautiful products offered by these fantastic shops, and also meet these great people first hand. Please come in to visit and meet them on Thursday, and #buyfromthebush!