Learn­ing through na­ture

Go Gardening - - Editorial -

The other day I tasted for the first time a de­li­cious fruit that I’d never seen grow­ing in a gar­den be­fore. It was the Mex­i­can Casimiroa edulis or white sapote and it re­minded me how we gar­den­ers, no mat­ter how long in the tooth we get, never stop dis­cov­er­ing some­thing new.

This is­sue of Go Gar­den­ing brought us into con­tact with lots of won­der­ful peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about the en­vi­ron­ment and learn­ing. Ed­u­ca­tor Deb­bie Davies at Otara’s Daw­son Pri­mary teaches sci­ence through hands on ex­pe­ri­ence in the school’s ex­ten­sive gar­dens and kitchen. Meet­ing the likes of Deb­bie gives me hope for the fu­ture of sci­ence ed­u­ca­tion in pri­mary schools, which sadly has been lack­ing in re­cent decades.

At this year’s Eye on Na­ture ex­hi­bi­tion at Auck­land Botanic Gar­dens we met some of this coun­try’s most com­mit­ted en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, com­ing to­gether with the com­mon goal of pro­mot­ing ways of liv­ing well with­out harm­ing the planet. This year’s theme was Edi­bles with strong mes­sages around healthy eat­ing and where food comes from.

As for my own vege gar­den, well that’s on my to do list. For me, win­ter is a chance to fo­cus on a gar­den that pretty much had to look after it­self for the first half of the year. It’s time now for the three P’s - plant, prune, plan.

There’s a plus side to mak­ing June, July and Au­gust all about the out­side jobs. That sim­ple act of get­ting out­doors for a healthy dose of sun­light and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity keeps life look­ing rosy when the grey sea­son is upon us. And it’s amaz­ing how quickly win­ter passes when you have spring as your dead­line! Happy win­ter gar­den­ing,

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