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Support through the Earthwise action fund has made a significant contribution to the sustainability initiatives at Waikirikiri School in Tairawhiti, growing the opportunities for learning in, about and for our local environment. It has helped towards the setting up of an irrigation system that covers the vegetable garden beds, the seedlings and also the shade house, used for propagating native plants, and the hardening of area for trees prior to planting. Propagating native trees has also been assisted with buying of potting mix and planter bags.

The fund has been instrumental in engaging students, whānau, and the community in growing kai and learning about propagation of native trees for the protection of our waterways.

At Waikirikiri they cook lunches on site and produce from the garden is regularly used in these meals – so fresh and locally grown. Surplus is also available to take home.

There have also been workshops on site on “How to Grow Your Own Kai” with Nuhaka–based Nutopia Greenhouses. Students and their whānau have been learning valuable skills around composting, growing food and nutritional values of these vegetables and ways of preparing and cooking them. The learning has been collaborative and cooperative.

Growing vegetables alongside companion plants to help control pests.

Learning together about ways to grow food.

Yummy cauliflower.

Garden maintenance.

Broccoli ready to be prepared for lunch.

Maintaining plants in the shade house area.

Shifting the mulch.

A mountain of mulch to shift.