For more than 30 years, Endeavour Foundation has harvested a field of dreams – row upon row of flowers that grow more opportunities for people living with disability.
After the 2020 COVID setback that hard work is set to bloom – in the form of tens of thousands of brightly coloured chrysanthemums which are being picked and made into more than 7000 beautiful bouquets just in time for Mother's Day.
Endeavour Foundation employees, at the Bundaberg farm, have spent the past few weeks preparing for the massive harvest to ensure it was ready to sell to the public for Mother’s Day.
Production Manager Mark Elliott said it was all hands on deck at the moment.
“The harvest is looking fantastic. It’s one of biggest and best crops we’ve had,” Mark said.
“We have multiple colours and about 45 different varieties this year to suit every mum.
“We started preparing the land in October last year and planted during the first week of December, then it was just a matter of looking after the plants until it was time for picking.”
Mark said farming flowers at the site on Fitzgerald Street had been going for more than 30 years, with all funds raised going back to the organisation.
“All proceeds go towards our essential programs, supporting people with a disability to find meaningful employment, learn new skills, access the community and live more independently in a home that meets their needs,” he said.
When it came to the actual flower harvest, Mark said volunteers had been the backbone of their workforce.
“We had to do our best last year without volunteers due to COVID-19 restrictions, but I’m pleased to say this year we have welcomed them back with open arms,” he said.
“It’s such a manual job that we just can’t physically do the work without their help. We would not be able to pick and pack the flowers required for orders and sales without our volunteers. Their help is very much appreciated.”
Blake Kummerow, a supported employee with Endeavour Foundation, said the harvest was a yearly highlight for him.
“I’ve spent the past three years helping with the flower harvest and love working outdoors,” he said.
Fellow supported employee Wayne Horton has spent 41 years working for Endeavour Foundation and equally loves the tasks required during the yearly flower harvest.
“I enjoy cutting the strings so we can trellis the flowers in the paddock and stripping the waste leaf off the stems when we start harvesting,” he said.
Volunteers are still welcome! Bundaberg locals interested in volunteering should call 07 4155 5701 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Endeavour Foundation flowers cost $15 a bunch and will be available at 1 Fitzgerald Street in Bundaberg at the following times:
• Tues 27 – Fri 30 April (7.30am – 3.30pm)
• Tues 4 – Fri 7 May (7.30am – 3.30pm)
• Sat 8 May (6.00am – 4.00pm)
• Sun 9 May 6.00am – 12-noon)
In addition, bunches will be available in Bundaberg at Bunnings on Fri 7 May and at the Early Holden Car Club Show on Sat 8 May.
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