Kindy has the knack of cultivating success

19:31, Nov 28 2012
Frankleigh Park Kindergarten
GREEN FINGERS: Frankleigh Park Kindergarten teacher Trish Crawford with Lukas Harding, 4, in the kindergarten’s award-winning garden.

Beetroot, blueberries, leeks and tamarillo are just a handful of the produce Frankleigh Park Kindergarten pupils have carefully tended in their award-winning fairytale garden.

The kindergarten won the pre-school category of the national 2012 Tui School Garden Challenge from 12 other finalists.

The garden includes a number of potted herbs and vegetables and different landscaped sections - the sensory garden, kitchen garden, Dr Seuss garden, galaxy garden and bush garden.

Most of the plants were bought with a $1000 grant from Healthy Eating Healthy Action and $150 from Mitre 10. Some were also donated by families.

The landscaping was done by the Bellamy family whose son has recently left Frankleigh Park to go to school.

Teacher Trish Crawford said the input from the children was huge, with 3 and 4-year-olds helping with the watering, weeding and tending to seedlings.

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She said kids could learn a lot from getting their hands dirty in the garden.

"They need to know food comes from somewhere, not just the supermarket.

"Things don't just happen. You need to water it and care for it."

She said the garden was sustainable too.

"The children recycle the scraps from their morning tea into the worm farm, and we use the juice from the farm on the garden and sell the rest to the community for $2 a bottle to buy more plants."

The kitchen garden also got plenty of use.

"We've made a frittata last term; we make pizza using the herbs and scones with crabapple jelly."

Taranaki Daily News