Not to be discouraged by all their projects being curtailed at the beginning of the year due to Covid, the Hoedspruit Rotary Club diligently brainstormed other options and decided that one of the fundraisers for 2021 should be a Plant Sale. After the initial scepticism, as most members were not so sure that they were the “green fingers” type, we started growing seedlings and plants in earnest and lovingly nurtured them through the rough and dry winter months. At our fortnightly meetings members talked about the progress of their respective baby plants with growing enthusiasm while swopping all sorts of nurseryman advice at the end of the evening from fellow members.

It was decided that the plant sale would take place at the monthly Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of November and as the date drew closer preparations started in earnest.

Days before the agreed Saturday market, we seriously debated whether our precious bounty would be safe standing in the market precinct over night – not sure whether the people of Hoedspruit are such keen gardeners that they would grab a plant when leaving the restaurants in close proximity.   We even considered having a sleepover and braai on the premises on the Friday night while guarding our treasured individually nurtured plants but luckily one of our members agreed to check in on the precious bounty at intervals right through the night.

On the Friday afternoon before the sale, members started arriving with bakkie loads of plants to our allotted site at the Market precinct. As luck would have it, it was a scorching hot afternoon and by mid afternoon the plants were starting to wilt sadly in the fierce sun but a Rotarian always has a plan and twice in the course of the afternoon, all the plants were carefully hand watered to prevent them from wilting and dying.

All the above JUST to see the heavens open at 9 pm to soak them thoroughly……..to be lush and perky ready for the sale in the morning. Sales were brisk from the very start and by mid-morning almost half the plants were sold. We could not hide our pride and excitement.

 One Rotary member generously donated a valuable cycad which was auctioned after some highly competitive bidding.

At the end of the day, the last few plants were sold to a local nursery and to our delight a handsome amount was raised for us to pursue further projects.

The Rotary Club of Hoedspruit has initiated and completed a number of projects which have greatly impacted the lives of many people in and around Hoedspruit in the last 5 years.  However, to launch and complete projects requires funding and the cancellation of our main fundraiser for the last couple of years, the Rotary Hoedspruit K2C Cycle Tour, as a result of the Covid pandemic and lockdown was considerably depleting our reserves. Having this new intake of funds will give us the ability to continue our aim of serving the community.

Rotary would like to thank the people of Hoedspruit for so enthusiastically embracing our new fund raising project which will certainly become one of our successful annual events so watch this space next November.