AT SWEET Water Farm, we grow certified organic garlic on the Macleay River and every year friends and family come to help us with the harvest.
Last year at the end of harvest in November, our town and many nearby, were tested to our limits with unprecedented bushfires forcing so many people out of their homes.
Our god-daughter, Georgia Graham, who had worked with us for the harvest, was compelled to do something from London for the volunteer firefighters who saved our lives.
The upshot is that this week - with the the help of local Rural Fire Service Superintendent Lachlann Ison - Georgia donated $600 she had raised to our local Captain's Fund for Kempsey RFS.
Georgia takes up the story: "Having spent about nine years of my life living in Australia, I consider it a place I call home. I studied at Sydney University, and would spend every Christmas with Sally and Marcus at Sweet Water Farm, swimming in the river and taking cringe-worthy city girl snaps of wallabies on my phone.
"When the bushfires hit Australia I knew I had to do something to help.
"I decided to organise a fundraiser sale, so I contacted all my most fashionable friends and pleaded with them to donate what they could. By the time the sale rolled around, I couldn't move for bags of donations - people were so generous.
"As for a venue, a space called The Fisheries next to my house agreed to lend their beautiful location free of charge. My team from work, Browns Fashion, were especially supportive - with many donating dozens of items for the sale, turning up on the day to help, and plugging me into their network of contacts to collect more donations and all other necessary accoutrements to pull off my endeavour.
"I made a flyer, spammed everyone I knew and asked them to spam it forward, and crossed my fingers people would come.
"And they did! I hadn't had time to price anything so quotes were made in split-second decisions in my head - luckily most of the time no one seemed to notice or care that I'd made up the price on the spot. I always watched intently for their reaction to measure whether I'd accidentally extorted them or perhaps given them a ridiculously good deal. I'd say it ended up being a healthy balance of the two.
"By the end of the day I had a shoebox brimming with more banknotes than I'd ever seen in my life.
"I decided to split the winnings between five charities, giving 500 pounds each to the Red Cross, NSW Fire Service, WWF's Bushfire Appeal, Firesticks Alliance and the fire service supporting my beloved Kempsey. Meanwhile Mother Nature answered my prayers and spared Sally and Marcus' beautiful Sweet Water Farm."