Monday, May 11, 2020
Social distancing at the Whinnies
The Whinnies Community Garden in Sunniside has been closed since the start of the the pandemic lockdown. The garden survives entirely on the work of volunteers and local fundraising. Last month I came up with the idea of having a pop up shop in the Whinnies car park to sell plants grown in the garden and jams made by volunteers. We decided to go ahead with the shop on Saturday and I gave them my entire stock of eggs and half my rhubarb crop from my smallholding to sell (the farm shop to which they normally go is currently closed). The car park was measured out and marked up for social distancing and we opened the shop for only 2 hours on Saturday. I agreed to be in charge of crowd control though we had no idea whether anyone would turn up to buy the produce.15 minutes before we opened, the first customers arrived. And then the floods came!
People fully cooperated with the grid system we had marked up in the car park to ensure social distancing took place, and when that filled up, we ended up with queues along the access lane. Within half an hour of opening, the eggs had sold out. After an hour, all the rhubarb had sold so I had to pay a quick visit to the smallholding to pick another barrowful, which sold very quickly as well.
The pop up shop took over £800, a great boost to the funds for the garden. And Sunniside was able to enjoy rhubarb pies and crumbles this weekend!