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