Climate and the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market

Harvest Volunteer Meghan Bond (c) Matt Dennien Examiner Launceston

The first Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market of Autumn this year was the hottest market of the last seven years. The impact of this on stallholders was financially significant as by 11 am the number of people in attendance was down to a trickle. Produce was left over and food wasted.

Volunteer, Meghan Bond was on duty at the Harvest stall and as we huddled in the shade of the marquee commenting on the heat, we started talking about the weather and its impact on events such as local farmers’ markets. Over the next few weeks Meghan will be writing about how she sees …

Meghan recently returned to her home state of Tasmania and is working on her farm to put her ideas about sustainability into action. Meghan has wide ranging experience in climate change, action, innovation and mitigation.

 

 

For some people the extended Tasmanian summer seems a bonus. Yet this is just part of the reality of climate change. This summer has been marked by record hot days and horrific fires damaging Tasmania’s unique ancient forests and surrounding settlements. Recently traveling through the

Central Highlands the damage wrought on the natural landscape was undeniable. The human cost incalculable as even those far from the fires talked of the smoke, people they knew impacted and the eerie sunsets and rises.

The mainland has fared no better. This summer from Queensland to Western Australia to Victoria there has been bushfires, crippling droughts, heatwaves, fish kills, as well as massive storms and floods. Overall, this summer has been one of the hottest on record with a string of temperature records being smashed in multiple locations. The changes in climate and associated impacts are only set to exacerbate.

Each Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report pools the latest available research building the evidence base and the urgency to respond. The impacts are predicted to reach every facet of everyday life – including what we consume. The relationship between agriculture and climate change is complex. Agriculture both directly contributes to climate change, is impacted by climate change, and has a role in mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Over ten years ago climate change was described ‘as the greatest moral challenge of our generation’. That was over ten years ago and what has changed? The next article will look at the links between agriculture and climate change. Following articles will examine what can be done, everyday actions that matter and those that are acting now.