Georgia Powell was destined to become a farmer. It wasn’t just the influence of growing up on a farm at Burringbar – it goes much further back than that. In fact, almost nine generations.
Her ancestor, Edward Powell, came out on the First Fleet and started farming at Parramatta. More than 200 years later, the farming gene still runs strong in the Powell family.
‘Dad said I didn’t have a chance to get away from farming,’ says Georgia.
While Edward’s focus was grain and cattle, Georgia’s grandfather and father moved into banana farming when they bought a property in Burringbar in the late 1940s.
Georgia works on the farm full-time, but she says despite what her dad says, it wasn’t always a given that she would end up on the farm.
‘[Farming is] a good life, but a hard life. [Dad] gave me the choice. I went to uni for a year, studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Victoria. However, I only ended up staying for a year before coming home.
‘I missed being outdoors and on the farm and at that point Dad was wondering if he should bother to continue with the farm, particularly if there was no one to take over. He thought it might just be easier to get a job.
‘Seeing all that effort Dad had put into the farm, I couldn’t live with myself if nothing came of it – I wanted to be a part of it and to ensure the farm had a future.’
Since then, Georgia hasn’t looked back. As well as working on the farm, which converted to organic in 2000, and now grows avocados and pawpaws as well as bananas, Georgia attends Byron and Bangalow Farmers Markets. In fact, her father, Lance, was one of the original members of Byron Farmers Market when it first started back in 2002.
‘I’ve been coming to the farmers markets at Byron and Bangalow since they first began. I would come and help Dad at Byron [market] during the school holidays. I’ve almost never missed a market at Bangalow, except [because of] sport when I was a kid, because it’s on Saturday.
‘Many of our older customers have watched me grow up, and I’ve watched customers’ kids grow up. The markets have always felt like my second family. There’s such a great sense of community and everyone supports each other. I always go home with a buzz.’
Byron Farmers Market is held every Thursday 7–11am at the Cavanbah Centre, and Bangalow Farmers Market is every Saturday morning 7–11am behind the Bangalow Pub.