More than £100 was raised in a few hours through an ‘alternative’ plant sale for a west Dorset food bank.

Mid-May is usually the time when the Uplyme and Lyme Regis Horticultural Society holds its spring plant sale. The show was cancelled this year, but society member Bob Mercer had plenty of his tomato and vegetable plants already well underway by the time of the cancellation.

His plants are always very popular at the plant sale, so Bob decided to sell them from his home in Yawl as an alternative. A range of tomato varieties, cucumbers, chillies, aubergines, squash and salad leaves were available.

Bob said: “It really started when a friend moved into a house locally and the previous owner had left a small tomato crop in the greenhouse. We never managed to identify the name, but it produced an extremely sweet small plum in copious numbers. We renamed it JB after our friend and saved the seeds. Six of the plants grown in isolation then produced seeds for subsequent years and they seem to come good each year.”

The plants sold out in just a few hours and a total of £120 was donated from the plant sale to Lyme Regis Food Bank.