Online plant sales – a COVID response by Central Coast Group

By Pat Carlton, Central Coast Group

Like many APS Groups, Central Coast has long propagated native plants for sale.  We are a much smaller operation than many groups, as we do not have our own nursery, and propagation occurs in members’ homes.  However, it has still been an important activity for us, and we have relied on the income generated, particularly from the annual Plant Lovers Fair, usually held at Kariong in September.  It was a major blow to us when the Fair was cancelled for 2020, owing to the pandemic.

Central Coast Group volunteer Steph with plants for sale

At first we thought we’d hold our own plant sale to the public at our meeting place, but soon realised that the rules and regulations relating to COVID-19 made this impracticable.  So – what to do?  Heads were put together – and the outcome is that we are joining the rest of the world and going online!

We have launched an online shop on the APS NSW website.  We put together a list of 26 species, to be offered in large forestry tubes.  Photographs and descriptions have been sourced and entered on the website.  We decided to make this project time-limited, ending on 16 October 2020.  Plants must be collected from our usual meeting place, Phillip House, in Kariong, and we are offering two dates for pick-up:

  • Sunday 4 October, for orders closing 2 October
  • Sunday 18 October, for orders closing 16 October. 

During pick-up days, usual COVID-19 precautions will apply, and purchasers will not need to exit their cars.

This is a pilot project.  If successful, we will consider further online sales, possibly in autumn next year.  We hope that the Plant Lovers Fair will happen in 2021, but who knows?  In the meantime, we must think laterally.  We will report our results, good or bad.