Farmer Brian Burton is donating something extra special to those afflicted by the drought.
Farmer Brian Burton is donating something extra special to those afflicted by the drought.

Gympie region farmer’s incredible gift to the drought afflicted

“I’VE got 2300 trees and about 100 mangoes on each tree, so I reckon that’s about 200,000 that I plan to give away,” said Anderleigh mango farmer and owner of Lake Barra Cottages, Brian Burton.

Registered charities are to be the recipients with some, such as the Rainbow Beach Drought Runners already keen to get their hands on some of the delectable fruit to go to drought stricken farmers doing it tough in the west.

Tony Stewart from RBDR was excited by the offer.

“Rainbow Beach Drought Runners have had a wonderful offer from local grower Brian Burton... There are around 200,000 mangoes on the property and picking will be a mammoth task,” Mr Stewart said.

Farmer Brian Burton from Lake Barra Cottages.
Farmer Brian Burton from Lake Barra Cottages.

This isn’t the first time Mr Burton has offered his Kensington Pride mangoes up for free, having done so in the 2017/18 season, after which he was inundated with calls.

“I would have done it last year too, but I didn’t have a crop last year,” he said, the wild storms at the start of summer 2018 stripped the buds from the trees so the trees didn’t fruit.

Mr Burton is keen to give away the bountiful crop he has this year to any registered charitable groups that care to come and pick them.

He also doesn’t want battlers to miss out and is offering mangoes at $10 a bucket.

“I don’t want to take away the livelihood of other growers in the area, but I want people who normally couldn’t afford mangoes at $3 each to be able to get some, like the elderly. Their carers can come and grab some,” Mr Burton said.

Marlene Owen, Farmer Brian Burton and Ruth Tramacchi. Marlene and Ruth are representatives of the Rainbow Beach Drought Runners.
Marlene Owen, Farmer Brian Burton and Ruth Tramacchi. Marlene and Ruth are representatives of the Rainbow Beach Drought Runners.

Mr Stewart has already put out the word to his network of volunteers.

“People have already offered trailers and vehicles for cartage and we will supply some fuel for this exercise,” he said.

“Other organisations have offered to make chutney to be sold later for drought funding rather than see these mangoes go to waste.

“If anyone can help in anyway by either giving a day of their time to help pick or maybe make chutney can you please get in touch by phoning either 0402 286 571, 0428 937 005 or 0404 191 933 as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr Burton said giving the fruit away is something he plans to do evety year because it helps him to feel like he is making a difference.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy a juicy, ripe mango,” he said.