Nanoose couple sells surplus produce for charity

Collingwoods to donate funds to Nanoose Bay Catspan Society

Deb Collingwood and her husband, Ken, love gardening. They’re doing it for the sheer pleasure of seeing what they planted blossom into beautiful flowers, and produce sweet tasting fruits and vegetables.

The Nanoose Bay couple has a small sized garden — 15.2m by 9m — but they produce a lot more than they need for their own personal use.

They decided to build a produce stand in front of their house and sell their excess freshly picked fruits, vegetables, flowers as well as home-made jams. Whatever they sell, they decided to donate a major portion of the money to a local charity.

“We were surprised at the number of people that stopped by to buy our produce especially the bouquets,” said Deb. “All of a sudden we had $150 and my husband said we should donate $100 to Nanoose Bay Catspan Society because they do a lot for feral cats, kittens and it’s a local charity. I also love our Nanoose Bay food bank and they will be the next one we will donate to.”

Deb said they’re not commercial farmers. They are just passionate about gardening and simply want to make good use of their surplus raspberries, flowers and other vegetables, which Deb said are organically produced.

“We take a little bit of the money we earned to pay for the seeds next year and some stuff,” said Deb. “We are contributing to our community. And before the season’s out we hope to give another hundred to Catspan.”

The Collingwoods use an old-style payment method — the honour system. They’re not worried about being cheated.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been ripped off,” said Deb. “What Ken has done is to actually bolt the money box to the stand so nobody can run off with it.”

The Collingwoods would like to challenge all roadside produce stands and local producers to match or donate to a local charity of their choosing.

“It has been such a community experience starting our little stand,” said Deb. “We even had a thank you note put into our cash box the other day which meant a lot to us.”

Anyone wishing to stop by to check out the Collingwood’s produce stand can head to 2516 Richard Place, Nanoose Bay.

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