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Our Plant to Plate team had an amazing morning with the students from Room 1 at Te Kura O Wairau. It was a cold but fine morning so we got moving quickly to warm ourselves up.

Some yummy food was being prepared in the hall and it was wonderful to see all members of the class working hard together to get get the job done. I saw some fine cutting and grating skills and I was happy that you listened when I said to “take it slow and keep paying attention to what you are doing”. All fingers were still in place at the end of the session. I hope that you liked the meal that was cooked! By the looks of the nearly empty plates at the end and the number of “second helpings” that were had I think I can confidently say the menu was a hit. I hope that you try the recipes at home with your whanau (Recipes on the left!) The favourites for the day, in order of preference, were: Feijoa muffins, Banana bread, Potato bake, Green salad, Rhubarb spritzer and the Kumara and corn fritters. You did a fabulous job room 1 and I went home with a very full puku!

The new garden beds built by our wonderful friends a Bunnings Palmy already had lots of vegetable and herbs in them, but we were able to loosen up the soil and plant a few more that we can hopefully use when P2P is back at the end of June. We planted Carvalo Nero (Kale), Beetroot, Rocket, Lettuce and Rainbow silverbeet seedling from our friends at Awapuni Nurseries. We also had a chance to discuss different types of plant food that we can add to the soil. Compost (cocoa), lime (icing sugar), general garden fertiliser (sprinkles), blood and bone (cinnamon) and sheep pellet (chocolate chips). Gerald the coconut also made an appearance and wowed everyone when they learnt that the coconut is the second largest seed in the world!

Remember to take care of your new gardens by checking if there are any weeds and watering if there is no rain for a few days. Also check to see if anything is ready for harvesting, and if you are not sure you can always take a photo and send it to me to check. Room 1, thank you for having us and making our Wednesday morning such fun. Don’t forget to come and say Hi to us all when we are back at the end of June!

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.