Looking for NZ’s young gardeners
‘‘Results can be achieved by taking children out of the traditional learning environment.’’
Students in the country have been learning how to grow their own produce and cook their own meals too.
And now, a few lucky green thumbs stand to win over $300 in prizes.
The inaugural T&G Garden to Table awards is encouraging children and schools to sign up.
The Young Gardener of the Year Awards is on the hunt for five young gardeners who are passionate about growing fresh produce and cooking it up.
Schools can sign up for the School of the Year Award. Only schools that incorporate the gardening programme are eligible to enter the competition.
Papatoetoe West School has been reaping the fruits of the Garden to Table programme for two years.
Principal Diana Tregoweth loves the programme because ‘‘children learn skills for life’’.
‘‘They take home what they’re learning at school.’’
Looking at the school’s healthy garden of silverbeet, she says the students get a variety of foods to taste.
‘‘They make kale chips, a lot of broad beans recipes. We’re also growing blackberries and strawberries,’’ she says.
‘‘I’ve got excited since the programme and actually like kale chips myself.’’
Five budding young gardeners will each receive a prize package worth $380. This will include a certificate of achievement, a voucher to buy a glasshouse or garden bed, a trowel, a voucher for fertiliser, compost, soil, tools and accessories.
The winning school will receive a trophy, $1000 glasshouse or gardening vouchers, a wheelbarrow loaded full of Lotatoes (low-card potatoes), a voucher for fertiliser, compost, soil, tools and accessories.
Chef and restaurateur Al Brown is one of the judges of the competition.
‘‘I wasn’t an academic student at school and I am a firm believer that results can be achieved by taking children out of the traditional learning environment,’’ he says.
‘‘I’m proud to be helping kids develop a greater understanding of food, nutrition and sustainability and make better decisions when it comes to eating a balanced diet.’’
‘‘Together with T&G, we are on a mission to change the way children approach and think about food.’’
Applications for the awards close on September 29. To enter go to www.younggardenerawards.co.nz.