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Central Otago residents are continuing to keep themselves busy on the home front post-lockdown.

As restrictions eased at Alert Level 3 to allow purchases via click and collect, people ventured to local stores for garden supplies, home-decorating paint and home-brew ingredients.

Now, as the nation waits patiently at Level 2, much of those products are still in demand.
Bin Inn Alexandra owner Rebecca Barrie-King said organic baking supplies, particularly for bread, and home-brew kits and ingredients had been popular and that trend had not slowed.

She said people were spending more time thinking about what they wanted to buy and sticking to their lists.

One of the store’s product lines that had attracted more demand in recent weeks were the home-brew kits and ingredients.

And that growing trend was among both men and women, she said.

While men were typically drawn to the beer, women were trying their hand at gin making.
Kombucha-making kits and ingredients were also popular.

‘‘I think [people are] just trying different things and a lot of people seem to be sticking to it.’’

Central Colourplus also welcomed an influx of people who wanted to shop once click and collect was allowed at Alert Level 3.

Owner Dawn Sutherland said many people had been painting prior to lockdown, but not everyone had quite enough to get their projects finished.

Once click and collect was allowed ‘‘it was manic’’, she said.

‘‘We just about ran out of the main sellers.’’

She said their paint suppliers, Dulux, ‘‘were really good’’ at replenishing stocks.

Central Colourplus’ curtain and blind installation service was on hold during lockdown and people were keen to get their windows covered now nights were cooling down.

Mrs Sutherland said it was great people did continue to shop local and hoped that would continue.

Dulux, in conjunction with Colourplus, will soon have a promotion to benefit a local project. The promotion, called Colour Your Community, allows customers to nominate a project online during June and July.

The winning project will receive 100 litres of paint.

Warm autumn weather during lockdown also had people tending to their gardens.

Mackies Garden Centre owner Barry Mackie said once people could buy again, spring bulbs were a popular drawcard, along with shrubs and trees.

Planting them now as the weather cools off meant the root system would get a chance to establish, before the plant ‘‘takes off’’ in spring.

Mr Mackie said now was the time people should also start thinking about their spraying projects.

‘‘There’s a big problem in Alexandra, in particular. A lot of maples and silver pears are being attacked by a bacterial disease. It just attacks the stem. The tissue goes black and anything above that just dies.’’

He has had ‘‘countless’’ inquiries regarding the issue, particularly people who have maple trees dying.

‘‘I’m recommending people spray with copper. It’s important to get that on now and one or two sprays in winter.’’