Veg­etable grow­ing ta­lent recog­nised

The Southland Times - - Front Page - Jamie Searle

Award win­ning gar­dener Finn Meijer likes grow­ing kale and turn­ing it into crispy chips.

Grow­ing veg­eta­bles and fruit at Wai­hopai School and at his home in In­ver­cargill is an in­ter­est that has led to him win­ning a na­tional award.

The 11-year-old is one of five through­out the coun­try to be hon­oured with the Young Gar­dener of the Year Award, run by food ed­u­ca­tion char­ity Gar­den to Ta­ble and in­ter­na­tional veg­etable and fruit sup­plier T@G Global.

Yes­ter­day, Finn was pre­sented with the award tro­phy, fea­tur­ing an ar­ti­fi­cial let­tuce; and a cer­tifi­cate signed by the judges in­clud­ing well known chef Al Brown and land­scape de­signer Dan Mackay. The prizes he won were $150 voucher, gar­den­ing tools, a box of ap­ples to share with other pupils at Wai­hopai School and a worm farm, val­ued at $375.

‘‘I’m re­ally ex­cited and happy [to win] . . . and a bit sur­prised,’’ Finn said.

His en­try had to have pho­tos of veg­eta­bles he grew and an­swers to three ques­tions – why he en­joyed gar­den­ing, what he learned from gar­den­ing and his best tips for suc­cess­ful gar­den­ing.

Finn said wa­ter, sun and ma­nure were im­por­tant fac­tors to grow­ing good veg­eta­bles and fruit. As well as be­ing one of the school’s gar­den man­agers, he is in a group of pupils who look af­ter the bee­hive ac­tiv­i­ties.

Act­ing prin­ci­pal Sarah Gibbs ap­plauded Finn’s ef­forts to win the award. ‘‘We’re re­ally pleased and proud of him . . . hav­ing him right up there [with the best] is cool.’’

ROBYN EDIE/STUFF

Young Gar­dener of the Year Finn Meijer in Wai­hopai School’s veg­etable gar­den in In­ver­cargill yes­ter­day.

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