Easter is nearly over and it has been a great break. When you run a small nursery it is hard to get a decent holiday. Christmas can be a good one but it is usually hot which means watering and it is Christmas with all the activity that generates. Easter is four days but the weather is cooler and there is a lot less happening. This year we especially appreciated the rest as it is the week after our fifth Herb and Chilli Festival.
This year’s festival was another successful one. We had 37mm of rain on the Friday and then 4 hours of solid drizzle early Saturday morning. What is normally a dry area with lots of green grass became a mud bath. However our soil dries out quickly and by lunch it was looking better and by Sunday it was all good. We still had a good turnout on the Saturday and a massive one on the Sunday.
We really enjoy running our festival and it is a great buzz to see thousands of happy people walking around the festival sampling all the tantalising food and drink. More than 5000 people attended over the two days and everyone seemed to en joy themselves. I managed to sample a few food styles and try some nice beer. Our artisan beer company, Moondog Brewery even made a special festival brew with chilli and coriander. Unusual but enjoyable flavour.
Back to work and time to pay for the four days off. Of course a four day weekend means two four day weeks where we have to get the same amount of (or even more) stock out in less time. This puts pressure on us, our staff and the transport companies as we all try to get those orders delivered. It doesn’t help when some of the big companies have strict delivery times that they just don’t adjust for the short week.
The big interest at the moment is the US election. Yes we have one this year, probably in July but the Liberals are most likely to win and life will go on much the same. The US is a messy situation with one of the widest divides between the two main parties for many years. Normally there is little difference between Republican and Democratic presidents but 2016 is different. It looks like Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination and Hilary Clinton the Democratic. She is quite left wing (for a US presidential candidate) and her opponent is even more left. Trump is quite conservative and one of his opponents is even more so.
I suspect that Trump will be the Republican which will generate a lot of support for Clinton. They don’t have compulsory voting so when the candidates are a bit ho-hum they have a low turnout. 2016 will have some very strong rhetoric which will bring a lot more people out to vote. I suspect this will mean that Hilary Clinton will win which will give the US its first Female president – who is also the wife of a past president. If she wins or Trump does it will mean an interesting four years and we can only hope that neither of them does too much damage to the international economy. We need to also hope that if Trump wins he doesn’t engender a volatile situation between the middle eastern countries and the western regions.
There is little we can do to affect anything in the US and not much more we can do to alter our politics here. All we (small businesses) can do is find ways to deal with what we are dealt. Turnbull has decided against increasing the GST to 15% which is fortunate as I suspect we would have been forced to absorb it by the big end of town. We already have wages, power, water and rates going up at a far faster rate than the sell prices of our plants. There is little relief in sight as governments keep spending more and promising the masses reduced taxes which means they have to find other ways of growing their income. It can only come from small business through taxes, charges and less direct means like utilities etc.
There was a hope that either Tony Abbot or Malcolm Turnbull would have found ways to cut expenditure. Abbott didn’t have the mandate and Turnbull doesn’t seem to have the will. The press and the minor parties are unwilling to advocate reduced spending so we can assume an ongoing deficit for many years to come. There just doesn’t seem anyway either party will really address the issue of over spending.
We are now in the second month of Autumn, passed the equinox and things are cooling off. If the weather gods are kind to us we should have a busy few months and then need to hope for a mild winter. I hope you all had a great Easter break, ate lots of eggs (but not too many) and are ready for a busy few months.