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The blue farmer stands a reminder to look out for one another


It’s really interesting, the minute I say to a person, “we are knitting with blue baling twine”, people instantly make that connection with farmers. And what really amazes me is how many people are aware of the issues to do with depression and suicide in the farming community. And what I’m hearing all the time is people saying, we don’t talk about this enough. When you’re a farmer, you waste an awful lot of blue baling twine. It’s just plastic, rubbish. But it’s beautiful plastic rubbish, you know? And so my partner Keith is a farmer on Bruny Island, he came up with this idea of making a ball. So he made himself a machine. And then he rolled this ball on this rolling machine. And it was fantastic, bright blue. And we thought we can really do stuff with this blue baling twine. And then we had my sister in-law come and stay with us. And she said, “I want to knit with that blue stuff”. And then I thought, I want to a knit blue farmer. Because my partner’s family has struggles with depression and suicide, over four generations now. And I would really like to knit a blue farmer to put on the farm, and I would like him to be big, and I would like him to stand there with his hand above his eyes looking out. And I would like him to say to people we all need to look out for each other. And so that was the start of it. So I, I’m furiously knitting away at this whenever I can, and I invite people to help me knit. And I was getting some very interesting responses from people when they were knitting. They would tell me things that they said they had never spoken about before. And it really hit me that having something to do with your hands while you’re talking, it’s like something releases in here and you can allow things to just flow out. And it is such an important process to let things out. And it’s not up to the listener to solve the problem, And I’m really hoping that people will think, hey, I can do that, I can listen. So this waste product that every farmer throws away, is now suddenly out there giving a message to people saying, “Hey, we need to look out for each other”. And I’m really really, really hoping that there will be other people around Australia that will look at their baling twine and say what a fantastic use of this baling twine. Rather than throwing it away, we can knit it. And while we’re knitting, we can talk to each other.

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