An environmental project has enabled the children at Upper Hutt School to learn about maintaining a fruit orchard throughout the seasons and about producing their own food.
During the project, the children learned how to prepare the soil for planting. They also learned how to plan out where to plant the trees, and how to care for them.
A small enviro group started working in the autumn to prepare an area of the school gardens for planting. The teachers then taught the children how to weed out the large weeds using garden tools and how to use compost and pea straw to suppress the smaller weeds.
In the winter, the children pulled out any large shoots that had got through the pea straw. In spring, the students removed half of the pea straw into compost bins and dug the other half into the gardens. With the gardens ready for planting, the children then planted four dwarf fruit trees into the garden boxes.
During the summer term, the group learned how to continue to care for their trees by keeping them watered during the hot weather. The long-term plan is that when the trees start producing fruit, the orchard will become an integral part of learning for all students throughout the school.
Upper Hutt School would like to thank the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust for helping them to purchase compost, pea straw, garden utensils, and four fruit trees.