Lit­tle school makes big im­pact on the gar­den­ing scene

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

May Road School may be small, but that hasn’t stopped it from tak­ing out the first com­mu­nity project ti­tle in the Great New Zealand Grow Off.

Tui Gar­den Prod­ucts launched the com­pe­ti­tion in Au­gust to mo­ti­vate and en­cour­age peo­ple to get out­doors and grow their own veg­eta­bles.

The Mt Roskill pri­mary school beat more than 900 en­trants to win a gar­den shed and gar­den­ing prod­ucts worth $1000.

Teacher Re­becca Hay­don says the four large gar­den beds were built last year to pro­vide stu­dents, teach­ers, par­ents and the com­mu­nity with veg­eta­bles through­out spring and sum­mer.

“We are a health pro­mot­ing school and part of that in­volves run­ning weekly cook­ing classes for par­ents.

“Be­cause it’s a com­mu­nity gar­den we use pro­duce from the gar­den in th­ese classes and en­cour­age peo­ple to take things as they grow.”

Ex­cess pro­duce was also sold to teach­ers to raise money for school events.

Ms Hay­don says there are plans to ex­tend the gar­den and set up a worm farm.

“We’ve got a lunchtime gar­den­ing club and our com­post must be good be­cause the gar­den is grow­ing says.

Tui’s mar­ket­ing man­ager Katie Ryall set up the com-


well,” she pe­ti­tion in Au­gust and says May Road School im­pressed judges be­cause it showed a con­sid­er­able amount of teamwork and col­lab­o­ra­tion.

“They in­volved a broad spec­trum of peo­ple.

“From stu­dents it flowed on to teach­ers which flowed on to par­ents and the wider com­mu­nity.

“Re­becca’s en­er­getic use of the gar­den in cook­ing classes was also a clear win­ner.”


Good growth: May Road School teacher Re­becca Hay­don with pupils Tir­site Tesfaye, Joe Fakafanua and Kasim­ili Fe­t­u­a­nai, all 10, pitch in to help their gar­den grow.

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