Thousands of dollars have been raised for the community by a Greytown subdivision developer and real estate agent, all by digging up what’s already there.
Every autumn for the past two years, developer Murray Searle and Property Brokers agent Benn Milne open up the 5.4-hectare new subdivision on Westwood Ave for the public to buy peony plants.
The subdivision was originally an apple orchard, which was then converted to peony crops for export, which are now in the way of the infrastructure development.
Rather than dispose of the profitable plants the pair came up with an opportunity for community fundraising.
Milne estimates the campaign has garnered more than $18,000 for Greytown Primary School and $10,000 for Life Flight Trust.
“I’ve come a long way from when we first started – I thought peonies were a type of fruit. It’s raised a lot of money for the community though.
“The developer has a very good social conscience and it’s in line with Property Broker’s values as well.”
Searle wants the plants to go to good homes and is offering the community peony plants from $30 to $50 depending on size.
“We don’t want them wasted,” he said.
“It’s an exciting type of project and we get to meet people at the same time.”
Over the past two weekends alone, they’ve sold about $1400 worth of plants.
This will be the last year of peony plant sales though, as the development hopefully moves forward.
“We are running more [collection weekends]. We’ve still got another 250 plants,” Milne said,
“The plants are all pre-dug so it’s come and collect.”
Colour varieties include coral, sunfed, red charm, buckeye’s bell and bowl of cream.
Those interested in purchasing peonies should get in touch with Benn Milne on  526-5026 to arrange a time to collect them.