Just north of Manjimup is a fresh produce stall with a heartwarming tale.
Growing up on acreage, where their parents run a hydroponic vegetable and herb business, siblings Bella Ryan, 9, and Bryn Ryan, 7, are right at home in their vegie garden.
But when the coronavirus pandemic closed restaurants — their parents’ Matt and Michelle’s main clientele — there was a lot of produce and nowhere to move it. Enter the children. “When COVID hit we had all this produce ... we weren’t moving it,” Mr Ryan said. “We had a surplus and the kids had been asking me for ages to build a stall for them so we thought ‘this is the perfect time to do it.’”
With their help, Mr Ryan — who is also the agriculture teacher at Manjimup Senior High School — built the wooden stall, which has since been decorated by the kids with help from the local art teacher and a kind stranger who gave them the patchwork flags that line its eaves.
“Once after school we found the (flags), so someone had given us it and we decided to put them up,” Bella said.
“We thought it was for the jam, fabric for the top,” Bryn added.
After first selling hydroponic herbs and vegetables their parents were unable to shift, as well as a produce from their vegie garden, the aspiring farmers began adding different produce — Bella’s lilliums and Bryn’s potatoes — to their repertoire. “We grow them in our vegie garden,” Bryn said.
During winter, Bryn also made firelighters out of recycled woodchips while Bella made strawberry jam and pasta sauce.
The siblings also stock produce from other growers in the region and are often out greeting people before and after school and during their holiday breaks.
While always popular with the locals, Bella and Bryn’s stall has also become popular with people passing through the area.
“They’ve got their regular customers that come — the pensioners like coming out,” Mr Ryan said. “But we have noticed quite a few more tourists coming out now.”
We like selling stuff and giving it to people to make them happy,” Bella and Bryn said.
Their work ethic has been great... I’m very proud of them.