Our nearest little town (Baralaba) is only 10 minutes away and it has a grocery store, newsagent, cafe, pub and rural store. We are lucky to have a great hospital, an ambulance and police on call, so we have all the services we need. When I went to school in Baralaba, 40 years ago there was about 200 kids in the school. I'm not really sure how many now but probably not more than about 50. That's an indication how the town has shrunk.
Farms sold out to other farmers and this was an economic necessity as you just can't make a living off a small farm like ours using the traditional farming practices of beef or grain. This is why we started our free range pig farm. This is one of the reasons that I like our kind of farming - it's a way of building communities again. That is, if more people did it, it would build resilience and support those small communities. Farmers support their communities through their buying choices so it's a win win for all people. The likes of Monanto, big food corporations and Colesworth would ultimately like to get rid of small farmers like us - they want monocultures that they can control. Some farmers actually believe that it's "get bigger or get out", or that we can't financially survive without GM.
Rockhampton is our nearest regional centre and it's two hours drive away. This is where we go to conduct our banking and other "business stuff". Also where I go once a month to the markets. In fact when I go to the markets I have to drive to Monto first - that's 3 hours in the opposite direction! So we do have our fair share of challenges.
I was supposed to be at a trade exhibit at a paleo workshop today, but at 7 am, when I would've had to drive away, I still had a dreadful headache. So, I'm missing it, which is a bummer because it's a great way to network with some of my customer base. Sometimes living in the bush is a pain and you can't just duck down the corner or across town to something. You need to plan ahead!
To give you some perspective, our farm is the little blue dot near the town of Baralaba on the left hand side, Rockhampton is at the top and Monto at the bottom.