GROWING STRONG: Louise Wilson, from Cap Coast Vegies, says the business has turned a corner with the help of friends, family and BlazeAid volunteers.
GROWING STRONG: Louise Wilson, from Cap Coast Vegies, says the business has turned a corner with the help of friends, family and BlazeAid volunteers. Chris Ison Rokcfarm

BlazeAid gets vegtable farm back in business after Marcia

TEN days before Cyclone Marcia hit, local growers Louise and George Wilson repaired and built new structures for their vegetable plants.

All that work was for nothing when Marcia hit.

Their business in ruins, the couple were at a loss and didn't know what the future held for them.

"In 2013, a mini tornado came though here and badly affected us too, so we were saying before the cyclone hit that this will be our year," Louise told the Capricorn Coast Mirror last week.

"It's been a rough four months."

But with the help of some kind strangers known as BlazeAid volunteers, in a few weeks the farm repairs had progressed more than they could have hoped.

"There were 80 people in front of us in the queue for BlazeAid's help but we weren't worried, whenever they could get here was fine," Louise said.

"But as we got talking to them, they realised this was our livelihood and got straight down here.

One of the hot houses that were completely destroyed by Cyclone Marcia.
One of the hot houses that were completely destroyed by Cyclone Marcia.

"Before they could even get out of the car, they were pulling on their gloves, asking what they could do to help.

"You don't realise how much something like this affects you. George and I weren't eating properly.

"(The BlazeAid volunteers) are almost like psychiatrists - they talk to you and cheer you up.

"They were absolutely amazing to us and we wouldn't be where we are without their help."

The couple run two businesses from their farm - Wilson Roses and Cap Coast Vegies.

Louise said BlazeAid helped rebuild two hot houses where five varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas and lettuce were grown.

"One good thing that's come from this is that it's changed our direction as a business," she said.

"We've got seven hot houses now and we grow a lot more.

"We've got ginger, garlic, eggplant, capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes, table grapes, and we've also planted banana and citrus.

"We've had a lot of community support as well. Our customers have been asking how we are going and are glad we're back.

"There's still a lot of work to be done but we're back on track."



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