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A wonderful morning spent with fantastic students from Mrs Wilson’s room 7. It was windy and cold but the rain stayed away which I was super happy about. With an amazing team of volunteers – including 2 of our friends from Bunnings Palmerston North – we got stuck into the garden and cooked up a storm!

It made me very happy to see how productive and healthy the vegetable gardens were. Many of the seedlings we planted in term 1 were ready to harvest and that we did! In our haul was zucchini, lettuce, bok choy, beetroot, radish, rainbow silverbeet and a few funny shaped purple carrots :) 2 big boxes full!!! I hope everyone got to take something home and anything that was left over was shared amongst the school community. Ka pai Parkland senior team for growing such amazing kai!

There was quite a bit of weeding that had to be done before we could plant anything. Weeds grow fast in autumn as the soil is still warm and we get more rain, making it perfect growing conditions for nearly all plants. Weeds are anything that we don’t want in our garden, they take up space and steal food and water from the plants that we do want. It is important to keep taking them out of the garden so they don’t take over! Thanks to our friends at Awapuni Nurseries we were able to fill the gaps in the garden with more vegetables, which will be ready to harvest in the winter. Remember to keep checking on the garden in the meantime and deal with anything that shouldn’t be in there.

Some outstanding cooking skills were shown in the pop up kitchen. Obviously some of the students had cooked before at home – this makes me happy too! I love seeing a group of people working together to produce a meal. It is a great chance to learn new skills and share with each other. The recipes made were some of the P2P old favourites and it showed when it came time to scrape the plates – There was nothing left on the serving table (i’m sure everyone had seconds of something) and the students plates were almost all empty! I hope that you will try your favourite recipe at home with your whanau. (recipes to the left) Favourite for the day was Feijoa and Cream Cheese Muffin (7 votes), Carrot and Banana Bread & Green Salad (6 votes each) Creamy Potato and Rosemary Bake (5 votes) Rhubarb Spritzer (4 votes) and Kumara and Corn Cakes (1 vote)

Room 7 I hope you had a fun morning and I hope you learnt some new skills. Thank you for my lunch, the potato bake warmed me up after a morning out in the cold wind :) I look forward to seeing you all again at some point.

Until then, happy gardening everyone! Jacinda


Grow an Avocado Tree

Growing an Avocado tree is so much fun! It does require quite a bit of patience – they can take up to 8!!!! years to produce fruit, but they are lovely trees and a challenge is good!



Autumn is the time to harvest the last of the summer produce, clear and prepare for the winter garden planting. I find the garden starts to look a little rough around the edges in autumn. Pruning fruit trees, pulling out the old zucchini plants and spent tomatoes to tidy things up is a great plan. Remember not to put your tomato plants in the compost bin as they can spread any diseases this way.

Once the garden has been tidied you can start to replenish the soil with compost, sheep poo or whatever you usually use. once worked into the soil get your winter  vegetables in. Sow carrots, radish, swede and turnips directly into the soil and keep the soil moist. Brassicas – cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale – but make sure to watch for slugs and snails. Also, white butterfly caterpillars can destroy your crop in a few days. Kiwicare has a great organic spray you can use which won’t hurt our bees and other beneficial insects. Lettuce, silverbeet and spring onions are also great to plant this time of the year – Red lettuces grow better in the winter than green ones do, so they are a great option.

Gardens can be mulched after planting which will help to keep weeds done over the wetter months. It’s a good idea to turn your compost bin before it gets to cold and if you get frosts cover the bin. I use an old piece of carpet and some black plastic to keep the heat in.

Most importantly, enjoy the warm evenings outside before the cold sets in – walk around your garden and pick the last of the cherry tomatoes and strawberries.