From little things, big things grow
Sunnyhills School has broken ground for their new Big Garden after being drawn as the winner from hundreds of consumer entries across New Zealand.
The Pakuranga school has had its own edible garden for a few years and was already planning for growth. Now after winning the Mother Earth “Big Garden” promotion they have the cash they need to get their plan off the ground.
Today the school is buzzing with the arrival of 12 big new planter boxes, lots of plants and a commercial scale worm farm to keep it in good health. Along with many New World Little Garden seedlings, children will be growing over 20 different vegetables from scratch. Each year group will be responsible for maintaining a section of the garden.
With a focus on garden to plate learning, Sunnyhill’s Middle School students are fortunate to have an interactive and inspiring learning environment in which to get their hands dirty.
Sunnyhills principal Justine Driver says she is delighted to see the garden grow so that the students can learn more about their environmental footprint and harvest a new way to learn, along with lots of fresh vegetables. Mrs Driver says that the new Big Garden will ensure gardening activities can be integrated into all areas of the school curriculum, including science and nutrition, and to connect with the wider school community.
It was an entry into the Mother Earth Big Garden competition from local mum, Lilli Wang that kicked it all off. Ms Wang entered the promotion which ran in conjunction with New World’s Little Garden campaign last month.
Sue Venville, a Senior Leader at Sunnyhills School, understands the importance of providing children with a place to grow. “Thanks to the Mother Earth Big Garden promotion, our children now have a garden substantially larger that the whole school can be involved in”.
As for the benefits, Mrs Venville says, “until now we have only harvested peas, broad beans and radishes that the students have eaten. We will now be able to grow a variety of vegetables and tackle projects such as cooking, supplying the lunch room with produce and selling the excess to our local community with all funds going back into keeping the garden well stocked.”
“This garden is a lasting legacy from current students for future generations of Sunnyhill learners”.
Caroline Potter from Prolife Foods says, “The team at Mother Earth was thrilled to be part of New World’s Little Garden campaign. We wanted to find a way to ensure a school community could put their collectables to good use, growing and eventually harvesting their vegetables.
“With Sunnyhill School’s constant commitment to gardening and sustainability, we believe the Big Garden upgrade from Mother Earth is in safe hands”.