Monday, 24 April 2017

Oamaru North School gets hunting in the garden

It’s Term 1 in the Kids Growing programme--an innovative initiative to teach kids life skills in gardening, cooking, science and nutrition and at Oamaru North School, the students  have been bug hunting!
Many beneficial bugs were found.

We got to look at a bee up close. Looking at it's amazing eyes, wings and nectar feeding tounge which was visible.

Magnifying glasses were great to see eggs and close up details. 

 Students have been learning about worms and got to overhaul their worm farm and feed it.

A special thanks to our local sponsors who made Kids Growing possible at Oamaru North School this year:

Fenwick school get growing

Fenwick school has been getting busy in their school garden in Term 1.  First and foremost, they have been taming the weeds this first term and finding some edible treasures. 
 Teacher Ali Stock is the new school garden co-ordinator and has made a wonderful outdoor classroom near the garden.  The class has been learning about tools, bugs, and have set up a great worm farm.  

Fenwick school have a lot of blue borrage in their garden.  It is a wonderful bee food and the flowers are edible. Students cooked apples with honey and borage flowers. 

Students have been remaking their compost heap. 

In the process, lots of spuds were found and they were used as the school's big breakfast event.  

A special thanks to our local sponsors of Kids Growing at Fenwick School:

St Joseph's get gardening

The wonderful autumn bounty had been cooked up at St Joseph's.  Their school garden grew some cool yellow squash that was cooked up with teriyaki sauce. 
Their school garden has needed a lot of taming. 
These kids have been wedding machines! !

This part of the garden is very barren and dry.  
The students have been digging in manure and leaf litter to improve the soil.  

Last year we planted some apple trees. This year we harvested some DELICIOUS apples and cooked them up with honey.  The students are making an infused oil with marigolds aka calendula.  They are making herbal infused honeys too. 
They cooked up Apples with the infused honey.  YUM

The worm farm has been getting some TLC and a good feed. 'Worm farms love horse poo and banana peel, they eat out up like it's their favourite meal'...words from the worm song that we have been learning.  

A special thanks to our school garden sponsor at St. Joseph’s School:

fungi fun

It has been such a great autumn. The large amount of rain  has meant so many fungi have popped up. Waitaki Valley school have had the chance to learn about Porcini and try them.
We got cooking. 

We tried Porcini and horse mushrooms. Cooked In  butter with some Himalayan pink salt the children thought they were so delicious. 

We also tried black boy peaches.  Some students took the stones home too try their luck at getting the stone to grow. 

Waitaki Valley Porcini

Monday, 3 April 2017

Hampden School Junior Class

Kids Growing at Hampden School
Wow! What an amazing term it’s been with Miss Spiers and the Junior Class! They are such an inspired and enthusiastic group. As part of the Kids Growing programme at Waitaki Community Gardens, we have been working together to learn about how plants grow, gardening, beneficial bugs, compost and cooking. This is one of our first sessions together after we weeded and planted our raised garden bed:

As you can see, we have a wee puppy named Figo as our garden mascot at Hampden School. The kids have been helping to train him and teach him good manners while he’s at school through positive and negative reinforcement. 

After learning about compost, the Junior Class decided that Hampden School needs a compost bin and asked Mr. Bosker if we can build one. Mr. B brought 4 pallets to school and Sophia helped the class to build it. The children collected layers of brown (dried leaves, straw and sticks) and green (grass clippings, food scraps, and weeds). Then we added some tiger worms as helpers. Here is the team hard at work... C is for Compost!

Another highlight from Term 1 was going on a bug hunt around the school grounds. “We went finding bugs.” --ZJ We found lots of spider webs, 3 earwigs, 2 butterflies, 4 spiders, 5 slaters, 3 honey bees, and 2 bumble bees, as well as lots of flies, 1 wasp, 5 moths, 1 wood louse and 4 white butterflies. As Ra said, “we found some interesting bugs... good ones are spiders, caterpillars, butterflies, bees, and slaters.”
“We learned that honey bees have pockets for pollen on their back leg.” –Maihi

For one of our final sessions in Term 1, we cooked beetroot zucchini fritters.  Here’s the recipe: 1. Grate 3 zucchinis and 1 beetroot. 2. Beat 6 eggs and add salt. 3. Mix veggies, eggs, and add flour until it gets gooey and thick. 4. Add some grated cheese. 5. Spoon patties into the fry pan and turn over to cook both sides.

Kids Growing sessions are 11:30-12:30 on Thursdays. Parent and grandparent helpers are always welcome to join, help and share in the garden or in the kitchen. To volunteer, please contact Sophia at (03) 434 1508 or email A special thanks to Miss Spiers and the Junior Class for sharing their enthusiasm and love of learning!

Also thanks to our sponsors for supporting Kids Growing at Hampden School:

Garden Club at Totara School

Kids Growing at Totara School
 A group of enthusiastic student gardeners have volunteered to be part of Kids Growing in Term 1—a programme facilitated by Waitaki Community Gardens to teach gardening and cooking skills.  They have really whipped their raised garden beds into shape, harvesting goodies from summer growth, pulling weeds, and replanting the beds with winter crops like broccoli, garlic, onions, rocket, carrots and potatoes. One highlight from Term 1 was saving the worms from drowning at the bottom of the worm farm and refurbishing their home with luxurious layers of newspaper, leafy greens and food scraps from the classroom buckets. In this photo you can see the new class buckets and freshly layered worm farm: 

Another highlight from Term 1 has been our cooking activities: broccoli soup and delicious apple crumble. Both the broccoli and apples were harvested from the school garden and orchard. We had a special guest chef, Danielle, come to make apple crumble. She recently graduated with a degree in Nutrition at the University of Otago and she answered some of our questions about a balanced diet and healthy eating.

In Term 2, each class will do a 5 week block of Kids Growing and learn about the science of germination and how seeds grow, beneficial bugs, compost, gardening and cooking. It is going to be a lot of fun, so stay tuned to what’s happening by subscribing to our Kids Growing blog at

A special thanks to our sponsor for supporting Kids Growing at Totara School in 2017:

Kids Growing with Room 1 at Glenavy School

Miss McLellan and Room 1 have spent Term 1 cooking and learning about how seeds grow, compost and beneficial bugs as part of the Kids Growing programme facilitated by Waitaki Community Gardens.  Some highlights included going on a bug hunt to find out what bugs are living on campus, cooking kale chips for a healthy snack, planting veggies and flowers (a great habitat for beneficial bugs over winter).  A special thanks to Miss McLellan for her innovative learning tools and books that she has created and have now been shared with garden kids at Kakanui, Hampden, Totara and Maheno Schools. 

Just look how big the sunflowers from Room 1 have grown since they learned about germination in Term 4 last year! Here is a photo of the class with their next experiment to find out if broccoli seeds will grow better in a pot of compost or garden soil. 

Room 2 with Miss B has just begun the Kids Growing programme and will continue into Term 2. 

Thanks to our Kids Growing sponsor for Glenavy School for making our work possible: