Bligh checks up on Grantham growth

THE first true sign of Grantham's rebirth began this week with the first crop ready to be harvested.

In the past few months there have been reconstruction efforts to bring the town back on its feet but the final step has begun with producers helping the town of Grantham return to its Salad Bowl roots.

Premier Anna Bligh visited farmer Derek Schulz and his family's property in Grantham and inspected cabbages, the first crop to be harvested in Grantham.

Ms Bligh said no-one would have thought this feat was possible 11 weeks ago after the wall of water came smashing through this farm and others like it.

“Lockyer Valley cabbages are a sight for sore eyes,” she said.

“Nothing says as clearly that this valley is getting back on its feet to see farms like this with crops in the ground ready to harvest.

“It is terrific and it is a great hopeful feeling.”

Derek Schulz has been living in Grantham all his life, making a living from the land for more than four decades.

“It has been difficult to be able to get out and do what we do best,” Mr Schulz said.

“Farming is a tough profession and when you get a kick like that, you think ‘what have we done wrong'.

“The market may not be really good but we do our best to produce the best we can.

“At this stage, for the elements that have been thrown at us, it's coming up all right.”

When asked whether he'd thought about giving it up, he was defiant and said he had “too much dirt under his fingernails” to give up his lifestyle.

“You often think about it, and two to three weeks after you couldn't get back on the ground because there was silt and debris everywhere, and you think ‘why'.

“But you try to put that behind you and get back into it.”

He said not too many others he'd talked to had thought about giving up.

“Everyone has been hit in different ways and we were resilient enough to get back and have a go at it.

“Everybody is feeling better.”

Premier Bligh said some of the best vegies in Australia were grown in the Lockyer Valley.

“The Lockyer Valley is the salad bowl of the south east and by supporting locally-grown produce it will help people get back on their feet even faster,” she said.

“Look for Lockyer Valley vegies, and ask your green grocer for them to support us,” Mr Schulz added.

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