Hot, humid and horribly dry.
That's the challenging mix of conditions farming stalwart Harry Harris has been battling on his small farm in Medowie.
The big dry has forced him to abandon his wide range of summer produce and focus on two crops - tomatoes and Chrysanthemums for Mother's Day.
He doesn't have the water to nourish anything else.
The tomatoes are already a miracle crop. They would not grow without irrigation, and with his dam depleted he was out of options.
A deal with a generous neighbour granted him access to a spear point, which has allowed him to drip irrigate up to 4000 tomatoes. It's the only thing keeping them alive.
Mr Harris, who owns the The Little Tin Shed, has been forced to close his roadside stall and pull out of the twice monthly Slow Food Earth Market Maitland in The Levee. But, he will send some of his tomatoes to the market on Thursday and hopes shoppers will support him.
"It's extremely dry, we have received a small amount of rain but it came too late - after we stopped planting and closed our fruit store," his daughter Sarah Mulholland said.
His fruit trees were coping well with the drought. But then the bats moved in to eat the fruit and the fruit fly arrived for the leftovers.
"The bats are eating all of the produce because it is so dry and they are hungry," Mrs Mulholland said.
"There's hardly any farmers left because it's such a hard life. We need people to get behind all of the farmers and shop locally as much as they can.
"We need the younger generation to come out and continually support our farmers. Everyone is supporting our rural farmers at this difficult time but they're forgetting about all of the farmers who are on the coast and also doing it tough."
Mr Harris won't return to The Levee at least until June. He is praying for a decent deluge so he can plant his usual range of winter vegetables.
The Slow Food Earth Market starts at 8.30am and finishes at 1.30pm.