Two green thumbs up for De­clan!


Bay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Car­men Hall

De­clan Lang is in his el­e­ment. He has a spade slung over his shoul­der and is kneel­ing next to a na­tive tree he has planted.

This spec­i­men is on a slope bor­der­ing the fam­ily home but the 13-year-old has also worked along­side his par­ents clear­ing gorse to plant trees on an­other plot of land.

He is in cel­e­bra­tion mode af­ter jointly winning the Cen­tral North Is­land Bud­ding Young Gar­dener com­pe­ti­tion and says his phi­los­o­phy was sim­ple.

“I just like watch­ing things grow.”

Now he will com­pete for the na­tional ti­tle and says he enjoys be­ing out­side and look­ing af­ter the en­vi­ron­ment.

De­clan caught the judges’ at­ten­tion­with a veg­etable gar­den he started from scratch by clear­ing out a por­tion of over­grown gar­den, weed­ing, dig­ging and set­ting down edg­ing be­fore com­post­ing and plant­ing.

The tal­ented teenager recorded it on a time-lapse video over the course of a day.

“This was a new project for me and my first solo at­tempt at gar­den­ing.

“I have al­ways pot­tered inmy grand­par­ents’ gar­den and helped out my par­ents but I just de­cided to do this my­self this time.

“I’ve planted radish, beet­root, rocket, car­rots and sil­ver­beet and am look­ing for­ward to har­vest­ing them.

“I’m not the av­er­age sort of kid

who is fussy about eat­ing veges,” De­clan says.

His­mumViki said her son was a thought­ful kid who was pas­sion­ate about the en­vi­ron­ment. “I am very proud of him. He is a great boy.”

Fiona Arthur from Yates says the Bud­ding Young Gar­dener com­pe­ti­tion aims to cel­e­brate a

love of gar­den­ing and en­cour­age chil­dren of all lev­els of ca­pa­bil­ity to fur­ther de­velop their pas­sion.

“Get­ting our kids out­side and into na­ture is one of the best things we can do for them.

“We want chil­dren to not only learn how to grow food, flow­ers and trees but to have fun and un­der­stand thewider bio­di­ver­sity.”

De­clan has won a Yates ham­per­worth more than $300 and is lin­ing up along­side seven other re­gion­al­win­ners for the grand prize of a trip to Aus­tralia, be­com­ing a Yates Am­bas­sador for a year and spend­ing time in his gar­den with a Yates hor­ti­cul­tur­ist.

Dis­trib­uted to Tau­ranga, Beth­le­hem, Pyes Pa, Wel­come Bay, Mount Maun­ganui, Pa­pamoa, Te Puke, Te Puna, Omoko­roa, Katikati, Waihi Beach, Waihi and Whanga­mata

Photo/John Bor­ren

De­clan Lang is in the run­ning to be­come the first NZ Yates Young Gard­ner of the Year.

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