St Mary's Church branches out into fresh produce

A Maitland church hopes to hold another fresh food fund-raiser after their pumpkin stall was an overwhelming success.

St Mary’s Anglican Church sold 300 pumpkins earlier this month after hearing about the plight of two Morpeth farmers, who would have been lucky to break even with the 40-tonne crop at the Sydney markets.

Church volunteers sold the pumpkins whole and cut them up for people who could not use a whole pumpkin.

It comes after 20 tonnes of pumpkins were sold in 12 hours at an impromptu stall in The Levee last month.

The church raised $175 from its stall, which will be put towards the maintenance of the church, parish hall and the rectory.

Parish priest Father Chris Butterworth said the church held the stall to help the farmers.

“The people who came didn’t care that the pumpkins had imperfections or dirt on them, they just wanted fresh produce,” he said.

“We don’t care if the produce isn’t perfect, we just want to support our local farmers.”

The interest in fresh produce has prompted Slow Food Hunter Valley Leader Amorelle Dempster to call on Maitland City Council to support a regular market in The Levee.

The council is developing strategies to determine how the space could be used.

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