One of Queensland’s favourite stone fruit growers the Francis and Dugdell families encountered a horrific super cell storm last week in Kumbia, only 10 days after they launched Kumbia stone fruit at the Brisbane Markets. Over 18,000 peach and nectarine trees were affected and much of the crop completely destroyed by cricket ball sized hail at the Francis orchard. The Dugdell’s had 2000 stone fruit affected by the storm. This is truly something no grower needs during harvest and especially while the crop was looking magnificent. We are deeply saddened by this disaster.
Over 12 hectares of flat hail netting was shredded beyond repair and some parts of the pitch netting sustained a lot of damage at the Francis’. Some of the hail netting at the Dugdell’s needs major repairs. The families appreciate everyone’s support asking to buy the fruit for jams and conserves etc, sadly the fruit is beyond rescue and will be mulched.
It will take several months for the orchard to be restored with much of the hail netting requiring manual labour. The growers are heartbroken as many of their team members caravans and homes were terribly affected. Shane’s home sustained broken windows along with hail damage to the roof and the sides.
We paid a visit over the weekend to offer moral support. We know that this natural disaster may have affected the crop but it certainly didn’t dampen their spirits. They continue to harvest delightful Kumbia peaches and nectarines for everyone to enjoy over Spring.
The growers are overwhelmed and express their gratitude to all Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory residents who sent messages of support through Facebook and Instagram. We are truly grateful that you care about the growers and they would appreciate your support in buying directly from your local greengrocers. There’s more amazing delicious Kumbia stone fruit coming. Stay tuned as we will share a list of the stores this week.