A toast to farming communities

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Tina and Trent Parsons celebrating the Biosphere Brew – Bay to Bush.
Camera IconTina and Trent Parsons celebrating the Biosphere Brew – Bay to Bush. Credit: Supplied

The Great Southern town of Jerramungup wants to give regional people something to look forward to and be positive about in a time when unfavourable farming conditions are taking a toll.

The new Dancing in the Dirt Pre-Harvest Gala Ball is organised by the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group and is meant to be a night of fun to get people together.

The event is open to anyone, and people from towns far and wide are welcome to come and let their hair down.

Local produce will be given its time to shine, with local barley brewed into a special beer for the night named the Biosphere Brew – Bay to Bush. The brew represents people from Bremer Bay throughout the district and has been brewed by Lucky Bay Brewery in Esperance.

The chefs at Museum Cafe in Bremer Bay will prepare local lamb, yabbies, fish, abalone, and cured meats.

Organiser Jess Bailey said the ball was being held in response to the difficult seasonal conditions our community endured in 2018.

“While our farmers bore the brunt of the low rainfall, several severe wind events and loss of stock, the effect of this ripples through the community, affecting everyone including small businesses, family members, and those living in the community along the way,” she said. “The effects of last season continue to be felt this year. We are again dealing with lower than average rainfall as well as some recent widespread frost events, impacting on both the financial and emotional state of farmers in our community.

“Farming can quite often be isolating work with farmers working on their own, day in day out for weeks on end and the opportunity to catch up with friends and family not always an option. We are aware that feeling isolated during difficult times can have a adverse effect on our wellbeing and as a farmer group it is our role to support our farmers and we hope the ball will provide a space in which everyone can reconnect.”

She said they wanted to bring a sense of optimism and cohesiveness to the community — a way to come together, enhance the feelings of social inclusion and community connectedness. To reiterate that you don’t have to endure the difficulties alone, there is support out there,” she said.

“To get in touch with your neighbours if you haven’t seen them in a while.

“We hope that by brewing our own beer from locally grown barley, and serving locally produced food, it is a way to showcase our industry and celebrate what we do, even though there are tough times.”

Comedian Peter Rowsthorn will do a stand-up segment and Perth band Big Horn Productions will play live. The Dancing in the Dirt Ball will be held on Saturday, October 12 at the Needilup oval.

Buses are available from Bremer Bay, Pingrup, Jerramungup, Ongerup, Borden and Jacup.

The event is 18-plus and dress code is black tie. Tickets are available online at trybooking.com.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails