The art of grow­ing gar­dens

Piako Post - - FRONT PAGE - SHIRLEY COOMBES

From an in­au­gu­ral meet­ing in August 1915, Mor­rinsville Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety mem­bers have met on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to share knowl­edge and ex­per­tise about the art of grow­ing veg­eta­bles, flow­ers and keep­ing gar­dens and lawns healthy and at­trac­tive.

A book­let pro­duced for the So­ci­ety’s Golden Ju­bilee in 1965 notes: ‘‘In 1915, it was ev­i­dent that with the rapid growth of the town, the num­ber of farms be­ing sub-di­vided, new homes be­ing built in the town and gar­dens be­ing es­tab­lished, the dis­trict should be able to sup­port a flower show. With few mo­tor cars in the area, the First World War and the de­sire for folk with a like hobby or pas­time to get to­gether with the flow­ers they had and the more for­tu­nate ones with some­thing that was new, the for­ma­tion of a Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity to ex­hibit pro­duce from the farm, or­chard, flower and veg­etable gar­den, cook­ery and fan­cy­work.’’

Mem­bers of the So­ci­ety meet reg­u­larly on the first Fri­day of each month and wel­come any­one in­ter­ested in learn­ing about hor­ti­cul­ture – a some­what for­got­ten art in this in­creas­ingly tech­no­log­i­cal age.

How­ever, as more and more peo­ple are turn­ing to home grown and sus­tain­able food prac­tices, the Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety is a great start­ing place for those who want to in­crease their knowl­edge of grow­ing veg­eta­bles, flow­ers, fruits and cul­ti­vat­ing plants in con­tain­ers.

The So­ci­ety also holds flower shows three times a year - Daf­fodil, Rose and Dahlia - where peo­ple can ex­hibit their home grown pro­duce and flow­ers ac­cord­ing to the show sched­ule and time of year.

Th­ese pro­vide a good op­por­tu­nity for the public to have a go at grow­ing flow­ers and veg­eta­bles as well as try­ing their hand at the art of flo­ral art and ar­range­ments.

Hor­ti­cul­ture So­ci­ety meet­ings are held at the Lyceum Clu­b­rooms, Moor­house St, Mor­rinsville, start­ing at 1.30pm.

The chal­lenge is on for pairs of year five and year six school pupils to grate, slice, cook, cre­ate and plate a veg­etable­based meal from ‘root to tip’. The Root to Tip Com­pe­ti­tion has stu­dents all around the coun­try, put­ting their tasti­est kitchen cre­ations to the test, us­ing as much of the fruit or veg­etable as pos­si­ble, and leav­ing lit­tle or no waste. En­tries will close on June 12 and the Waikato re­gional fi­nals will be held on Satur­day, June 23. Visit www.root­totip.org.nz to en­ter.

Join Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil and lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple to dis­cuss ideas on how to cap­i­talise on busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties re­gard­ing the Te Aroha to Mata­mata Hau­raki Rail Trail Ex­ten­sion, fol­lowed by a short pre­sen­ta­tion from the CEO of Hamil­ton Waikato Tourism, Jason Daw­son. Light re­fresh­ments will be pro­vided. Held June 12, 5.30pm at Mata­mata Civic Cen­tre. Re­serve your spot by phon­ing Rachael on 07 884 0060.

ALEXAN­DER RATHS

Mor­rinsville Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety is still go­ing strong 103 years on, but would wel­come new mem­bers.

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