Grub's up at the heritage gardens
People on struggle street will soon benefit from Charlie Pirini's keen green fingers.
The eager gardener has brought life back to the heritage gardens after months of neglect.
Mr Pirini needed a home for all the kumara plants he had left over after digging up his friend's backyard.
"One day I came shopping and went for a walk through the gardens and when I saw this spot I thought, ‘oh, there it is'."
Mr Pirini got permission from the Riverside Gardens Trust and grabbed his rake, his spade and was away.
It took him and his friend Eve one day to plant about 50 rows of kumara, potatoes and corn.
Families struggling to put food on the table will have the pick of the bunch at the end of February, he says.
"I did it for the needy," Mr Pirini says.
"That's why I was so interested."
He says he would love to see more young families growing their own vegetables and says the onus is on the older generation to show them how.
Riverside Gardens Trust chairman Graham Kidd is extremely happy to have someone like Charlie utilising the space for its original purpose.
The site opened in 2003 as part of the Riverside Taha Awa gardens.
It was designed for growing heritage vegetables for the community.