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Monday, October 20, 2014

All Free...But We Couldn't Give It Away!

Last week I was very excited to be a part of the Colony 47 Spring Share Market.
Colony 47 works for the community and their mission is
"to create a fairer community, eliminate disadvantage and improve the lives of Tasmanians" 

A share market was organised to coincide with fair food week and timed for encouraging spring planting.

All the seedlings above
A picnic blanket to sit and read gardening magazines and maybe take one
The seed box with hundreds of seeds

A speaker about compost making
Just look at that great teaching tool created from half a bin and some Perspex. Learning about nitrogen and carbon layers and the additions like comfrey (bottom right).

The Tasmanian community food garden group were there with activities for kids

A demonstration showing fun with food and how to be creative with it.

I drove from Launceston and did a talk about beans, how to grow, how to harvest and how to use dried beans.

I talked about nutrition and feeding through the "hungry gap" and had made baked beans from scarlet runner beans, a bean salad in seconds and a white bean dip even faster! Note the Good and Cheap book- I was so excited, it turned up just the day before. It's a not for profit book that aims to teach people how to eat well on $4 a day. I love it!

Trestles under blossom trees and little marquis 

And the Colony 47 garden putting on a good show and even mushrooms coming up from the compost!
Being a typical spring day it was a bit breezy and cool and clouds were scudding across the sky. It was beautifully organised. About 60 people had rsvp-ed to this all free event...

But we were lucky to have a dozen people show up I reckon.
I'm starting to wonder,
if you make something free, is it then perceived as valueless?
Is something only worthy if it has a dollar value attached?


  1. Hello Tanya,

    What a wonderful event, the range of freebies is amazing, especially the collected seeds. To those who replied and didn't attend they now will see what a amazing day was put on. I would love to go to something like this.

    Happy days.

  2. Where was this held Tanya, I had no idea this was happening?
    Your story reminds me of the story about a person putting an old fridge in good working order out on the front lawn with a free sign on it, people looked but it sat there all day. At the end of the day the sign was changed to $50, someone stole it from the lawn within the hour. Not sure about the truth behind the story, but maybe if it was advertised with a pay what you can/ think is fair logo more people might be inclined to participate and then you can easily say no charge or let them donate money to the organisation if they really want to give something. I know that my mum would never take anything like that offered for free because she always believed that she could afford to pay so she should leave the free things for the people who would otherwise go without. Perhaps there are still people who feel that way. I'm trying to find other reasons than the obvious one that keeps popping into my head, that we becoming so distrustful of each other that we won't/don't participate for fear of there being some kind of 'catch'.

    cheers kate

    1. Even a gold coin donation. :)
      I don't believe the "free stuff is for those who can't afford it otherwise" ethic is entirely dead. I've come across it too. Then again there are those who also believe if it's free they can take it all!

      Tanya, I'm sorry the day didn't attract more people. I wish I could have gone but crossing the Strait is a bit far, even for such a wonderful event.

  3. I dont know what to say other than im feeling sad and frustrated for you. It looked like an amazing event. Perhaps it needs to tag onto another event eg school fete to have a guaranteed audience. Im sure once it was seen it would have been well attended.

  4. Those who did attend should have left with some wonderful information and goodies. My Fiber Guild hosted an educational event a few weeks ago - free demonstrations on various crafts and lots of information - very few attendees. It is discouraging.

  5. Oh Tanya, what a shame.......all that organising and effort, it looked like it was a great event. I can imagine how deflated people would've been.
    I hope it won't deter everyone from having another go.....:)

  6. My goodness I would have been there in a shot! What a shame you had so few people turn up. Better luck next time.

  7. What a missed opportunity for all those who didn't turn up. The ideas and activities on offer sound inspirational!

  8. I would of loved it. A day of gathering information from people who practise it is priceless, all that knowledge and seeds and talks I would of made a day of it. What a shame people did not bother to come.

  9. I am shocked and dismayed. It makes me upset to think that so many wonderful people worked hard to put on the event and people could not be bothered to turn up. I wish I could have been there it sounds amazing. I think many people in Australia like to complain about how hard things are and how everything costs so much but at the same time are not willing to learn the skills they need and that would enhance their lives and are happy to justify paying for things like new gadgets and tattoos, up to date fashion trends and other non value adding items. I hope all of the stall holders had a nice day enjoying each others company.


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