We still haven’t found a farm but we’ve definitely found the community. The value of that community has been proven again and again through friends helping out with our children, the beautiful conversations we have with producers at our local farmer’s markets and the families who attend our boys’ school. However, I have never felt prouder to belong to this community than in the past few weeks when we all banded together to help someone who is important to all of us.
I’ve followed chef Steve Cumper on Twitter for years now, I’ve cooked his recipes from Country Style and we’ve visited his iconic restaurant, the Red Velvet Lounge, several times so when I discovered it had been gutted by fire a fortnight ago I felt like I needed to do something to help. I wasn’t the only one.
Within days of the disastrous fire more than 50 of Tasmania’s top chefs, food, wine and cider producers, farmers and Steve’s friends had planned an event (#assistRVL) and collected an amazing array of money-almost-can’t-buy items to auction. I offered to help spread the word to the state’s media and less than 24 hours after announcing the event the 250 tickets were sold out and newspapers, radio and TV were contacting me for interviews. So many people missed out on grabbing a spot that we’re trying to organise another event!
This is why we love living in Tasmania. The commitment to help each other is felt every day. I know others would help me if I were in trouble (and have readily done so). This state may be small, but it’s full of heart.