$50,000 worth of damage in just 40 minutes
A NORTHERN Rivers farmer has pleaded with the community to support local farmers' markets after a severe storm wrecked most of their crop and those of other producers last week.
Lani Shedden, 36, and her husband Jake, 39, run Hanging Rock Farm at Barkers Vale, north of Nimbin
On Wednesday the couple's .8ha mixed market garden was pulverised by hail during a severe thunderstorm, ruining six months of hard work in just over half an hour.
While the photos Mrs Shedden posted on social media looked as though a light dusting of snow had fallen, the reality was far more devastating, with the farmer saying it looked "like someone had put it through the blender".
Mrs Shedden said the storm had set them back many months financially and agriculturally on the property where her husband grew up.
The couple, who have four boys aged two to 10, have been operating the farm for the past six years and are a key stallholder at the weekly Nimbin Farmers' Market.
"It's probably cost us around $50,000, not including labour. It's a conservative estimate on our small and intuitive business," she said.
"But we will salvage what we can."
The couple, who don't have a cool room to store their products, have been fortunate to have family come to their aid in the aftermath of the storm.
"My brother-in-law has a sauerkraut business and the family came down from Brisbane with their machinery and spent a day in our our shed," Mrs Shedden said.
"We made around 200kg of sauerkraut, which sounds like a lot but it's only a drop in the bucket."
Mrs Shedden said they had sorted through the affected vegetables, placing most of them into a ruined pile, some into a usable pile for sauerkraut, and the remaining few were saleable.
"We will be back at the Nimbin Farmers' Market with a smaller range, but we will be there," she said.
"People have asked me how they can help and the best thing people can do is to keep on supporting their local farmers' market - we are not the only ones affected."