Cre­at­ing or­chard for kids

Eastern Courier - - OUT & ABOUT - LIU CHEN

Paku­ranga Bap­tist Kinder­garten is well-pre­pared to turn one of the kids’ dreams into re­al­ity.

Chil­dren, fam­i­lies and com­mu­nity mem­bers are go­ing to work to­gether and plant mul­ti­ple fruit trees, in­clud­ing plum, peach, ap­ple, nec­tarine and Nashi pear, to cre­ate a com­mu­nity or­chard this Sat­ur­day.

The idea of be­ing able to pick fruit off trees emerged a year ago when the young ones were talk­ing about what they want for the en­vi­ron­ment, kai­whaka­haere (team leader) of the kindy Jac­qui Lees says.

‘‘We hope to build a sense of com­mu­nity and en­able fam­i­lies to learn about grow­ing their own pro­duce and also pro­vide the re­sources to sup­port fam­i­lies to feed their chil­dren fruit and vegeta­bles.’’

The project is sup­ported by teach­ers and churches that share the site, and also a grant from the How­ick Lo­cal Board.

The kinder­garten would also like to plant a com­mu­nity veg­etable gar­den, and some na­tive trees along the es­tu­ary by the kindy in the fu­ture to sup­port bio­di­ver­sity.

‘‘Main­tain­ing the or­chard will in­volve long-term com­mit­ment. Mov­ing ahead with other plant­ing will pos­si­bly re­quire greater com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and sup­port,’’ Lees says.

The plant­ing is on Septem­ber 30 at 9am. Peo­ple can reg­is­ter on Paku­ranga Bap­tist Kinder­garten’s Face­book page to join in. There will also be a bouncy cas­tle and sausage siz­zle.

SUP­PLIED

Kids weed­ing with Lees are, left to right, Ash­ton, Jeremiah and Ben.

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