School Gardening on Waiheke Island

The gardening team at Garden to Table school Te Huruhi Primary School on Waiheke Island share their latest gardening projects and the garden harvests they have been using in their kitchen to make delicious recipes! The school has a fantastic team of teachers, parents and volunteers who are motivated to help the children learn the joy of 'growing their own' and teach them how to turn their harvests into meals.

Te Huruhi School are fundraising at the moment and working on producing a lovely calendar for sale in November, in time for the Jassy Dean Garden Festival which they are going to have a stand at.

School garden update

  • School name: Te Huruhi Primary School
  • Region: Waiheke Island

Planning

Our garden was already established before we started as there had been some gardening by a garden/enviro club before we joined the Garden to Table programme. New planting is discussed with students and planned based on season, space required, time to harvest, crop yield and crop rotation.

Planting

This spring we have loads to plant in the garden! In the vege garden we are planting potatoes (thanks to Tui!) broad beans, carrots, lettuce, beetroot, peas, radish, runner beans, chives, basil and spring onions. We are also planting fruit trees and a variety of flowers including alyssum, corn flowers, sunflowers, poppies to make our garden nice and bright.

Spare seedlings are sold at a small market stall outside the school office on Friday mornings along with excess produce. Basil plants are grown by the children to give as gifts for Christmas.

Harvesting

We have been harvesting lots of yummy greens including kale, broccoli, pak choi, spring onions and lettuce and fresh herbs including coriander, parsley, dill, mint, and rosemary. The children have also been harvesting young beetroot leaves and edible flowers to add to our salads.

Maintenance

Our new seedlings are protected by milk bottle protectors (cut up milk bottles), snail bait and netting for the birds. We are using our potting shed to establish seedlings before we plant them into the garden. A watering plan has been discussed to ensure our plants are well watered.

We are digging over the gardens ready for more planting and laying paths to protect the soil and help children know where to stand. There is limited space so we are being creative with our planting (see the pic of the rubbish bins!).

Sustainability

We try to reuse and recycle as much as we can, we also compost and have worm bins. We have created a pallet strawberry guttering garden (based on ideas from Tui!) and have planted potatoes in old rubbish bins that were destined for the tip.

Top garden tips for spring:

  1. Watch out for hungry pests! Protect with milk bottle protectors by cutting up 2 litre milk bottles.
  2. Get lots of seeds growing (you can always sell extras).
  3. Help establish the young plants with worm tea.

Tui products used in the garden this month:

  • Tui Seed Raising Mix
  • Tui Potato Food
  • Tui Strawberry Mix
  • Tui Vegetable Mix
  • Tui Potting Mix
  • Tui Compost
  • Tui Quash slug and snail control

Check out Te Huruhi's yummy Silverbeet and Feta Pies

Tui & Garden to Table

We are excited to be supporting Garden To Table as our school programme this year. Garden to Table is a trust, which runs a gardening and cooking programme in schools across New Zealand. As participants in the Garden to Table programme, seven to 10 year-old children spend time in a productive vege garden and home-style kitchen each week. There they learn skills that will last them a lifetime, and discover just how much fun it is to grow and cook their own seasonal vegetables and fruits.

Tui is providing starter packs to each of the new schools, and seasonal packs during the year.

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School Gardening on Waiheke Island Comments

  • Awesome idea

    Margaret Goldsmith

  • I am a member of the Cheviot Garden Club and have just started a garden at the Cheviot Area School. resurrecting existing raised bed gardens. can we hook into this gardening programme? or does this need to come from the school. I get them for 30mins at lunchtime once a week.

    Denise

  • Hi Denise, thank you for getting in touch, it's great to hear you are helping the children at Cheviot Area School get involved with gardening. To join the Garden to Table programme the school would need to contact Garden to Table, you can find their details here: http://www.gardentotable.org.nz/ Thanks, Jenna - Tui Team.

    jenna