The staging in the Polytunnel has been full to bursting for weeks now because for every set of plants we put into the ground, there was a propagator full of seedlings impatiently awaiting their turn to be potted on. Even the growbag staging has been covered in a huge number of pots, housing various brassicas, beans and assorted flowers and with Melons, Tomatoes and Cucumbers needing to be set up in the growbags I bought several weeks ago, I needed to clear out the surplus plants and fast.
I don’t like to compost viable seedlings if I can get away with it and so I had a think and decided that I could, potentially, use the great polytunnel clear out to raise more funds for the club by offering the surplus plants to parents on a donation basis. This would also give me a good indication as to how successful the proposed gardening Club stall would be at the school summer fair in a few weeks, for which we have already sown some more beans and lettuces.
So last week, I made a list of all the surplus plants we had, typed up the details of the Friday plant sale and what was on offer, sent it through to the school office and this was sent home on Monday of this week, to give the parents and carers plenty of advanced notice. I wasn’t that optimistic about our chances of clearing the ranks but I figured we had nothing to lose.
Even before the ink had dried, one parent had approached me, explained she wouldn’t be here on Friday but could she please have some of the plants because she was well behind on her own planting due to work commitments. As it turned out, by some she meant all 6 of the beans, the remaining 2 courgettes, all 10 cabbages and 10 of the Kohl Rabi. Wow! That was almost half the list wiped out in one sale. Excellent.
Just before the end of school on Friday, I set up a stall in the middle of the playground, where I would be in full view of all the parents. I used a table borrowed from the school and set up the plants in some of the left over boxes from the Container Garden Project.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I was blown away by the response of the parents because by 3.40pm, after just 30 minutes of being ‘open for business’, I only had 3 pots of lettuce and 10 pots of Kohl Rabi left! Between them the parents had bought:
- 9 Moneymakers tomatoes;
- 7 Gardeners Delight tomatoes;
- 3 Winter Squash;
- 6 pots of Green Hearting Lettuce mix; and
- 3 pots of cos lettuce (2 or 3 seedlings to a pot).
I really am speechless. The club took just over £20 in that half hour, with further donations from 5-6 parents due at the start of next week. Together with the donation from the parent earlier in the week a grand total of around £35 has been raised which may not seem a lot but remember we are a small school and this amount is very nearly the same as the entire amount raised last year!
Now that’s what I call a result.