BEFORE: Fifteen-year-old Chris Axford of Korumburra South leased an acre of land from his parents to set up a market garden business in November last year.

A LOCAL high school student has taken a unique approach to fundraising for an overseas volunteering trip, setting up his own small business selling sweet corn.
Aiming to raise enough money to travel to Africa with Newhaven College and the World Challenge program in June, 15-year-old Chris Axford has spent the summer turning an empty paddock on his family’s Korumburra South dairy farm into a thriving 0.75 acre corn crop, now ready to harvest and start selling at the farmgate and at local markets.
He’s had a good run in terms of rainfall and avoiding any pest infestations, but has had to work hard to keep on top of weeds, sometimes spending up to four hours weeding on weekends, amidst a busy schedule of sport and study.
While it’s “very vigorous and tedious” work, he’s learnt a few tricks to speed up the process, including the use of a rope wick to apply herbicide, which “still isn’t that fast, but it’s faster than weeding by hand,” he said.
It’s a far cry from the fundraising efforts his year 10 classmates have taken on in preparation for their World Challenge trip.
While most students are working conventional casual jobs, Chris decided to take a more entrepreneurial route, creating his own product, and a new hobby at the same time.
Growing corn seemed a good bet, he thought, as relatives have had success with the crop (albeit on a bigger scale) on their farm in Canada.
He was able to draw on their knowledge throughout the process of setting up his own market garden.
“We visit about once every two years and I saw my cousin got a fair amount of profit doing corn. They helped me out when I had any questions, I could just message them.”
Chris is now taking orders for his fresh corn, with delivery available to Korumburra and surrounding towns, or the option to pick up from the farm at 800 Korumburra South Road.
Selling for $1 a cob or $10 for a dozen, Chris hopes to raise at least $2000 to get to Africa, where a group of 24 Newhaven students will spend a month sightseeing and helping out on humanitarian projects in Swaziland and Mozambique.
If you’d like to help Chris reach his goal, and enjoy some local produce, fill out an online order form at https://bit.ly/394nEUu or send Chris a direct message via Facebook.