It’s been 3 months since Shane returned back home from fighting the bush fires to find his own home burnt down to the ground. Miraculously, his two dogs, seven puppies and the garlic business survived.
The last few months have been very challenging with a few hours of sleep and endless work from dawn til dusk. However, now things are starting to get slightly brighter. The new home is being built and hopefully will be ready before the cold gets here.
Thank you for all your support during these tough times!
3 Months Of Tireless, Back Breaking Work At KI Garlic!
It’s now been 3 months since that fateful night Shane returned home to find his whole future in the balance. His home was burnt down, but by some miracle, the garlic shed (and his beloved dogs) had survived the bushfire devastation.
At that point, there was no time for farm work or rest as the bushfires were still raging, and Shane returned to playing his part in fighting them. Reflection and worry about the consequences of the fire on his home, business and life just had to wait until the immediate crisis had passed. He found a spare bed with friends or slept at the Parndana CFS station, and carried on working. From dawn to dusk, they battled the furious blazes and tried to protect property and livelihoods across the western half of KI.
Finally, after over a month of active firefighting, the fires were under control with just some smouldering hotspots. Then the hard work on the farm really started. These last months have been both frustrating and challenging with not enough hours in the day and just a few hours of sleep!
A Harvest Of Hope For The Future
All of this year’s fresh garlic had already been harvested, luckily, and was packed in wooden boxes in the sorting shed. Because the garlic field was left barren, it seemed like it provided a natural fire break when the blaze burst through. It raged around both sides of the garlic shed before converging to raze Shane’s home, which he had spent many years renovating, to the ground.
So, on top of trying to prepare the harvest of fresh garlic, Shane has been living in a caravan alongside his crop in the garlic shed. With a little help from the army, the immense task was reduced, but otherwise, it’s been all hands on deck. Every other spare moment has seen us trying to clear the land of fire debris and clean up the farm; a never-ending and laborious task.
Life Is Rising From The Embers Of The Fire
The KI Garlic business idea resulted from a good few beers with two good mates, who sadly later both died before they could realise their dream. Shane eventually decided to push ahead with the enterprise in their honour. It’s been a long, hard slog and Kangaroo Island Fresh Garlic had finally earned the reputation for high-quality, pesticide-free products. We can all understand how this made the destruction on the farm so much more emotional and harder to bear.
However, you will be glad to hear that things are now slowly starting to get brighter. The garlic crop is finally ready to roll, and plans are now on track to begin building a new home for Shane. We all have our fingers crossed it will be ready before the cold, wet winter rolls across Kangaroo Island.
We can’t thank the local community and loyal customers enough for all your support during these pretty tough times!