Lumsden food forest leading the country
Lumsden School is leading New Zealand - and possibly even the world when it comes to sustainable food sources.
The school has become the first in the country to plant a permaculture food forest complete with pears, plums, apples, currants, feijoas and many more.
Permaculture is the design and maintenance of a multi-layered garden focused on producing food in a sustainable way.
Teacher Judi McMillan said the idea came about after Riverton-based permaculturalists Robert and Robyn Guyton came to speak at the school about what it was like living in a food forest.
''The students got really excited about the concept and really embraced the idea,'' she said.
A student-led initiative to create their own version blossomed from there.
The planting took place this month with the help of parents, teachers and the Guytons, who came along to offer support and guidance.
Mr Guyton said he admired Lumsden School for being first in the country to adopt the food forest idea.
''The food forest concept is really taking off,'' he said.
''The Southland district in particular are very proactive.''
There are about 42 different schools in Southland who have smaller orchards on site.
However, Lumsden was the first nationally to plant a fully fledged multi-layered forest, he said.
''I really admire them for being first up. They get the hands-on experience of starting one up and they'll get to reap the benefits.''
As the trees were already two to three years old the school would see the benefits sooner rather than later.
Robert's wife Robyn said the concept of a food forest had existed for about 20 years and had made international headlines.
Lumsden School was potentially the first school in the world to take on the concept and see it through, she said.
''It's very cool, we're very innovative down here,'' Mrs Guyton said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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