It’s turning into summer

As the weather warms, we are getting some hints of the summer season ahead.  School gardens have been preparing and planting out the essentials.
We have a fair bit of thanks to give out.  Over the last month many generous souls have donated their time and seedlings to the Kids Growing programme.
from Otemata donated many tomato plants.  Kat Mac from Kophai BnB in Duntroon donated strawberry plants and goji and raspberry plants. St Vincent de Paul donated a big beautiful blue teapot for the communtiy gardens so we can make herb teas to enjoy.
Project Oamaru have donated a cast iron pan for us to cook in the school gardens. Think vege and herb omelets and berry pancakes!
Also Topflite seed company have generously donated a big bag of sunflower seeds that have made there was into many school garden, pockets and plots at home.
So a very big thank you to the generosity of our community members and businesses that have donated to the Kids Growing Project.
In Kids Growing news.  Duntroon School Garden Club students have been making seed containers so seeds are dry and safe from mice in the shed.


Students enjoyed soing home with a selection of seeds and the latest kids gardening magazine

Students have been enjoying taste testing the purple broccoli

Lou lou staring at St Josephs school



Fenwick’s TLC Garden

We planted sunflowers. First, we weeded the area. Then, we put soil in a bucket because it was too hard where we were going to plant sunflowers.

We planted herbs in a class garden bucket.

We worked as a team to weed and water the garden.
We planted potatoes inside tyres. In the tyres with potatoes already growing, we mounded one with soil and two with straw. We planted potatoes with the sprouts up.
The weeding team picked the weeds and put them in a bucket, then in the compost. It was easy!



Spring in full swing

Spring is here as we are enjoying some beautiful days, frosty starts and spring flowers.  The gardens are getting planted out with seedlings and seeds.  Duntroon School is still buzzing from it’s great Bee Aware day and this week Garden Club Kids made Buzzy Bee’s with the help from one of the Duntroon School Garden Co-ordinators, Janet Brown.
The bee bodies are made by twisting the pipe cleaners around your finger.

The students buzzed off to the flowers to test their bee pollinating powers on the school fruit trees
Bees like daffodills too
Equipt with wings the bees could sting too!!

Aren’t they cute bee’s.  Nice work Janet Brown and students


Teams also got weeding

GREAT to see more parent help come to have fun in the garden 🙂

Teams got planting.  Here is Mischa and Sophia
Of special mention is the feijoa shrub that Duntoon School have proudly bought with their proceeds they made from their soup day last week.
Here they get planting with Duntroon other School Garden Co-ordinator Mischa Clouston

And it got watered.  What a neat way to spend their soup money

Duntroon School have a shed and Mischa has designed these neat hooks and trays for the students to have good access to the tools and it looks so cool and tidy.
  Great ideas for others schools
Waitaki Valley School Garden Club students had Ella McKelvey parent help bring along some raspberry cuttings that the students planted out

Katie dug a good hole

Katy did a goo job watering
Students got to pot up some currant cuttings to take home.  Katy Tyrrell suggested the berries are delicious on pancakes! Thanks for the tip.
This week students weeded the garlic patch and dug in some of the green manure plants we planted

The late harvest garlic should be read to harvest and plait up when the students return from their summer holidays.  It is looking good.

Students dug over a new garden bed and planted sunflower seeds

Students also potted up some paper pockets with a few sunflower or collard seeds to take home

Fenwick school have been busy in their lovely garden, weeding the garlic.
 Digging in the left over cauliflower leaves

They have some exciting news, that their hanging garden is now up and ready for planting!!
Made wtih the help of Hoete, a grandparent help, it looks AMAZING.  Complete with carpet lined growing shelves the children enjoyed planting strawberry plants. YUM


And also in great news, a new parent help in the Fenwick School Garden! Welcome Alice

Sorting out the strawberry plants and weeding

It is always fun for the students to be able to take home plants, seeds, seedlings.  Last week they got to take home whole silverbeet plants


Something nice we have started at Fenwick School is ‘Mindfulness in the Garden’ at the start of every gardening club we have a sit down around the herb tyres and go through a mindfulness exercise.  The children have responded well.  It is nice to have a calm start to all the gardening activity and for students to draw their attention to the peace and sounds in the garden.
At St Joseph’s School there has been some awesome parent help.  Louise McDougall continues to inspire the students with her creative ideas.  Nice work Louise.

Whilst removing the parsley that was bolting the team found a few tasty carrots that EVERYONE was keen to try.

Another great thing for the School Garden’s is when grandparents visit and impart their wisdom.  Here Grandfather Morris visits and plants potatoes with the students.


We had some left over bird feeder mix that we placed into the trees for the birds to find

Lots of weeding was done, pulling out the last of the kale

Some mizuna seedlings were raised that the Waitaki Community Gardens glasshouse.  Students got to plant out the seedlings.

Having fun in the process and getting hands a bit dirty.
And last but not least Pembroke School have been having fun in their lovely garden.  More and more student’s seem to come each week.  So a call out to more parent and grandparent help!
Here our only parent help Jade gets planting with the keen gardeners

Students LOVE taking trays and pockets home to get their home gardens going.  It’s great to see

Student’s getting paper pockets to fill with flower or sunflower seeds

Putting seeds their paper pockets

Grace is a keen gardener and is watering the strawberry patch!

Eating, and harvesting and weeding the broccoli patch that has gone to seed

It is great when pre-schoolers come along to Garden Club with their parents.  They get to hang out with the big kids and in this case plant some sunflower seeds along the way 🙂


Time for School holidays.  Try and visit your local school garden or offer to help out on Garden Club day next term. Get planting.  Sunflower seeds take 100 days to mature so now is a good time 🙂

Duntroon School’s Bee Aware day was a real Buzz

Duntroon School put on a beeutiful day on 15.9.15 as part of the Bee Aware September, a National Beekeepers Association of New Zealand initiative.  Duntroon School is well aware of the importance of Bee’s and wanted to show their full support and educate the students in a fun way.

Delicious honey and bee themed treats were made by their school garden club team.  Janet, Mischa and Leanne.  Leanne made Annabel Langbeins lemon. honey and cream puds with an edible borage flower.  They were so delicious I had two!

Mischa made this amazing Bee hive cake

I made bee bickkies~~and some flowers

Janet made these great bee’s as well as earrings 🙂

A local beekeeper Richard Aarts gave the students a talk about the importance of bees.  He brought bee keeping gear that the children could handle to see where the bees live and make honey.



Some student’s got the opportunity to dress in a bee suit.


Student’s learnt bee facts. Here are some.

”We need bees, more than you might think. Bees pollinate one third of the food we eat, and life would be a struggle without them. It’s a two-way street, though – bees need us to plant food they can eat, to keep them buzzing and doing the awesome stuff they do for us.
Over $5 billion of New Zealand’s agricultural exports also depend on bees. Bee numbers worldwide are in decline and we must do all that we can to save them before it’s too late – some of the main factors causing this are nutritional stress, lack of food compromising the bees’ resistance to pests and diseases, and pesticides and sprays.” N.B.NZ website
Also Richard Aarts told the students that spring and autumn are high pollen times, which the bees collect on their legs, and the height of summer is more a high nectar time that they use for making honey.  Bee’s favourite flowers are white clover, vipers bluglos and scottish thistle.
Students had a bee themed mufti day and a soup lunch made from the school’s edible garden.  Funds raised go towards the school edible garden.  All the soup SOLD OUT. There was a veggie and a potato and leek soup. 


The bee cake, bickkies and bee treats were enjoyed by all. the long line for bee cake!


Bee and flower bickkies
Most student’s got a face paint too

Flower face paint and bickkie

The great team at Duntroon School, teachers and staff in colourful support of their School edible garden bee day  The garden co-ordinators past and present. Miscah, Leanne, Megan and Janet
Way to go Duntroon sschool  Best of luck for the National Beekeepers Association New Zealand photo competition being run this bee aware september month.


                                        Congrats for a great event Duntroon School. Very inspiring.
                              Check out the link to learn more about Bee aware month.                            

Kids Growing Fundraiser

We have had a few busy weeks in the preparation for our Kids Growing Fundraiser held on the 4th September at St Kevins Auditorium

It was a wonderful evening of talks, daffodil giveaways, lucky tickets and raffle winners.
A huge thank you to everyone for your support.  Thanks to our generous raffle prize sponsors.  Udder Success Cheeses, Kate Watts Gloves and funky tea towels.  Four Square Kurow, Charity Shop Oamaru, Helath 2000. the Organic Larder and Bobbing Creek Wines Waitaki Valley.
The Gardens are showing some nice sign of growth with warmer days.
St Josephs School have a cool project going on with recycling willow prunings into neat tee pee shapes for the peas
Parent help Louise McDougall has great ideas


Bird protection was made for the strawberries

With the help of a visiting Father
Children learnt about pricking out and potted up some lettuces in punnets


The Tui product has been so great
Pembroke school have been making many paper pockets and the students have loved taking them home filled with sunflower or tomato seeds to germinate.
Paper pockets have been very popular.
Fenwick School have been doing some great jobs in recent weeks in preparation for spring.
Weeding to prepare for daffodil bulbs

Cleaning up the silver beet patch

Weeding the tunnel house

Planting out some hardy kale with Hoete

Planting the daffodils

Waitaki Valley School have continued with their late harvest garlic planting and preserving heritage NZ seeds


Seed Saving

It has been neat working with Duntroon School in recent weeks, planting spuds and they have exciting plans for the Bee aware September, watch this space!!


Hints of spring

There have been some nice hints of Spring this week, with beautiful warm days for the children to garden in.

                                          Fenwick School prepare the soil for spring

Young Archie tills the soil

                                                                      Layla and Archie strikes a pose

Weeding round the peas that are growing well
Digging in ans preparing the soil.  This will be one well dug over bed ready for planting.

Waitaki Valley School continue their late harvest garlic and shallot sowing

This week we learnt about ‘seed saving’ and had some lovely New Zealand Heritage tomatoes and chillis to cut up.
Finding the seeds

                                       Spacing them out on a handy towel for drying.

Max did a great job watering and other students used recycled spray bottles to water

Students learnt how to make newspaper pockets
Filling the newspaper pockets with New Zealand Heritage tomato seeds that they just harvested
St Joseph’s School have been enjoying their new watering system, which will make for a great growing season
St Joseph’s continue to inspire with their harvesting for school events and social services through St Vincent de Paul.  Here they harvested bags of lettuce and kale
Student’s learn how to make newspaper pockets


 Filling the pockets with Tui vege mix and with some tomato seeds from the Waitaki Community Gardens

 Pocekts filled with Tui mix and seeds and ready to go back to various classrooms to start them growing on sunny windowsills.

Pembroke School have been busy making more tins for our fundraiser!!!
Our exciting news is our upcoming fundraiser.  An evening with two inspirational speakers.  Friday 4th September at St Kevin’s auditorium 7pm
Simple Truths for Complex Lives (Chris Skellett)  and 

                                     Peaceful Mind, Compassionate Heart (Annwyn Hanham)

Tickets are only $20 and all proceeds support the Kids Growing School Gardens Initiative. Enjoy two informative & inspirational talks, and support a good cause too!

To buy tickets, go to Health 2000, Oamaru Farmers’ Market, Found, Kurow Museum and Info Centre or contact Anisha at or 

It’s so frosty but the gardens still grow

It has been soooo cold recently but yes the School gardens still grow.  Students have been busy at Fenwick School, digging, planting and weeding the emerging garlic this week.

Weeding the garlic
Celebrating the Tui products gifted to their school. Thanks Tui

 Hanging the bird feeder

 Digging in the autumn leaves

Pembroke School students have been helping make ‘thank you tin’ that we will use for the upcoming School Garden’s Fundraiser.

Waitaki Valley School are planting some more garlic to harvest when school returns after the summer holidays.  They got to use some of their Tui mix so generously given by Tui to our North Otago Schools.  Thanks Tui.  Students used the mix when planting their black currant plant gifted by the Waitaki Community Gardens.

Planting the garlic

Preparing the soil for some brassica seedlings raised in the glasshouse at the community Garden’s

Planting some broccoli seeds and I’ll take it to the glasshouse at the Community Gardens for some warm time

Thanks Tui

St Joseph’s School have been busy planting seedlings we raised in the Waitaki Community Garden’s glasshouse.  They also planted pea seeds and will to continuous planting of them over the next few weeks to see which ones do best.
Suzi, St Joseph’s School Garden Co-ordinator shows the student’s how to prepare the soil for sewing the pea seeds

 Planting the peas

Planting the seedlings

Our exciting news is that there is an upcoming Fundraiser for School Gardens in the Waitaki District.  It is an eving with two guest Speakers.  It is on Friday 4th September at St Kevins School Auditorium tickets are $20 and goes towards funding my role as School Garden’s Co-ordinator.
Tickets are available at Health 2000, Kurow Museum and Information enter