May 3rd 2011

We came back from the easter holidays this week to find about 40 – 50 beautiful big Wiki Tu feijoas and a few Appollos aswell, all laying ripe on the ground and unmolested by the insects. So into a bag they went and Mr Coleman’s class were the lucky recipients this week.

Hopefully it won’t be too long before we start making more use of our produce through cooking classes because after lots of meetings and talking and waiting we are finally officially involved with the Garden to Table programme, which is great news for our school. If you want to know more about this, they have a website here.

We did apply to be one of the fully funded schools, which would have meant having specialist staff for cooking and gardening classes and also money for infrastructure development. We didn’t get to be fully funded (we might next year) but they have funded us into their subscription  programme which gives us project officer support, implementation manuals, training and professional development and access to sponsors.  This will help us get started with the programme. They will help us find more volunteers and mid May a trainer come over from Melbourne to run workshops on program implementation, curriculum integration, kitchen and garden lesson planning and a team building session for teachers as well as a networking dinner for principals.

So that’s lots of good stuff to help our teachers and kids involve our edible gardens into their lessons. We have two teachers currently organising the gardening and cooking programmes; Natalie Hick (who teaches Special Needs) is doing the gardening and Michael Bell (who teaches Year 2, Team Kabila, Room 11) is going to be doing the cooking side of things as I believe he was a chef in another life, and therefore perfect for the job.

This morning in the orchard we set to more weeding and mulching. We are always short of mulch and so generally apply it thinly to cover a greater area, but today we started putting a good 10cm layer over certain areas to try and keep the weeds down a bit better. I need to find more mulch so if anyone reading knows where we can can get more – ideally it would be donated – then please let me know.

Our bananas are growing well so I’ll finish with a few pics of them, plus the blueberries we transplanted a few weeks ago.

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