|Produce from Sue Bedford at the market stall.|
Dennis Mann from Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Launceston shares his story of how the parish has found a lucrative way to raise money for ABM.
"Every year I always grow too much fruit and veg and there really is a limit as to how much you can eat, freeze, dry, preserve or just give away. Those of you readers who grow zucchini will know how rapidly this tender, green vegetable turns into the monster marrow ultimately destined for the compost. No-one likes throwing food away, especially if you have raised it.
"However a few years ago at a country market in Victoria, I saw a stall dedicated to selling excess community product. This was a 'light bulb moment' - I can do this at Holy Trinity. So I asked parishioners to put in an extra row of potatoes, plant another tomato, and dedicate a fruit tree branch for my Garden Stall.
"We started in a small way, but like my monster marrow it just grew. I have a stall every fortnight and raise between $200 and $350 each time. This year, we are using the proceeds to support ABM's Northern Territory Discipleship Track (click on link to find out more).
"On the Friday I will go round to collect, although some people drop goods in to me or at church. Saturday morning I will pack the car and set up the stall.
"Now here, we are very lucky as Holy Trinity lies within a tomato’s throw of the Farmers’ Market, so many of our customers pass us en route.
"It is an excellent 'Outreach' as we can tell people about Holy Trinity Church services, etc. It is all very pleasant and friendly. People like what we are doing, they appreciate the really fresh organic produce and the price. We set our prices at about half of what Coles would charge.
"For a while we were known as 'the lemon people' as we had a real glut and were selling them at four or five to the dollar, while the supermarket had them at $2 each. We also sell potted plants and herbs, as well as homemade jams and preserves. Unusual fruit like Cape gooseberry, mulberries and greengages are snapped up. Lately I have started selling kindling for summer BBQ.
"It’s all easy money and there isn't much that does not sell - monster marrows have a limited market. Perhaps I need to put out a few recipes with each sale?"
Thank you to Dennis from all at ABM for such a warm and encouraging story about how your parish is working together to further God's mission, and we hope this will inspire others out there to do likewise!