Titahi Bay school employed a local to come in and work with Year 1 students to grow seeds, plant them, look after the gardens and, when the vegetables were grown, to pick them.
This program allowed the children to take seedlings home and plant their own garden. Children were given plant mix and taught what they needed to do.
It was really interesting how many of the children did not know the vegetables grown, nor had they ever eaten them. A really great crop of broccoli and silver beet was produced and children were taught how to make a creamy soup.
Every single child had soup that week for lunch and loved it, largely due to the fact that they had grown these plants from seed and looked after them. Each child had a book of recipes for the produce grown and it was lovely to get feedback from parents about how amazed they were that:
- their children actually knew how to make the soup
- they were keen to eat the soup at school for lunch
- they wanted to make the soup at home
This programme was just amazing. All the children had little wheelbarrows and spades and they did all the work themselves. It was funny how poor behaviour goes out the door when you are doing something outside that is fun, challenging and interesting. Twice a week, all year, groups were out in the garden in the rain, wind and sun.
The school specifically thanks the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust for supporting this programme as many of the community’s households, who did not have their own gardens, now know how easy it is to set one up.