Amid the dangers and restrictions of Covid 19, the 5th annual Tomatoes for Tanzania sale held in Saskatchewan, on May 15 was an outstanding success, but a very different occasion from the sometimes boisterous social affairs of previous sales. Set-up along the driveway, the sale was carried out by a host of volunteers the evening before. But because of a frost warning, the plants themselves (many going on two feet high and with flower buds) only got as far as the garage and were placed on the tables the morning of the sale.
Over 80 tomato lovers were slotted into pre-determined 15-minute slots, only four folks at a time. The “charming but steely-eyed” gatekeeper, David Miller, did an amazing job of keeping people on-time, socially distanced, and happy. Robert Clipperton, David Meyer, and Bernadette Vangool kept the tomatoes coming from the greenhouse to restock the empty spaces, and Dorothy Bird was the keeper of the coin (a coffee can delightfully repurposed for the occasion).
The largely unsung hero was Willie Alexson who managed to grow over one thousand plants of 30 varieties. Two weeks after the main event, sales continued, and we were able to mail a cheque to CHES for $4,479.40.