Wednesday, 21 May 2014

TREEmendous School Makeover Application

 We have a TREEmendous NEED for Trees!
The 16th April at Westport North School is the Day the wind blew so TREEmendously...we lost 75% of the trees...
 ... BIG and small trees, old and young trees...
 ...mostly our favourite climbing trees, forts, space craft, a whole "Forest of Imagination" LOST!
 ... leaves stripped off everything not uprooted or snaped into two!
 Replanting and regeneration of our "Forest of Imagination" will start here with this enormous pile of mulch...
...a mural of native birds along the fence of the "Mother Earth Orchard"...
  ...mulch around the orchard, then the remainder for regeneration of our "Forest of Imagination"...
Stumps will be left in place to become catalysts of imagination...
DOC will be re-enlisted once again to help collect seeds and seedlings...
 ...for more potting up and propagating.
 Books will be consulted ...
 Our 2014 Tui School Challenge products...
 ... all the nutrients a Forrest needs for growth!
 A "TREEmendous School Makeover" would allow us to purchase larger trees for our "Forest of Imagination", supplementing our seedlings.
At Westport North School we are regenerating our "Forest of Imagination", a TREEmendous Team effort is required but the seeds are already sown.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Day the wind kept blowing...


 ...and blowing and BLOWING!

For over 12 hours with unrelenting ferocity, the wind howled down the entire length of the West Coast...transforming our landscape over the course of one day.
So how did our school garden cope...time for a look...
 Not too bad actually, quite a bit more light coming in from the Buller High School side, with a few less trees to offer shade...
 Nothing to really loose your head over...
.... was there Darth Vader!
 Sadly NO Tamarillo this winter...but at least we still have our trees!
 Not a single blade of pea straw left of the pea straw bale retaining wall, and not a single leaf left on the pumpkins.
As for the Jerusalem artichokes...not a trace left.
I guess we won't need to weed this corner!
 Only two casualties in the Mother Earth Orchard...this apple and our avocado tree.
 Nothing left of our bean and sunflower tee pee...but only the lid missing from our orchard worm farm!
 So how did the rest of our school grounds fare?
Looks like the view has opened up a bit on the north boundary...
 Possibly 70% of our mature trees uprooted or snapped off...
 ...some of them not so small either...
 ...we calculate over 52 years of playground sentry duty!
 The loss of EVERYONE'S FAVOURITE climbing tree is going to be a bit hard to take when school arrives back after the Easter break!
 Just as well we are embracing Autumn, and we have time to find some new shade sails...
 ...and pole!
 Literarily ripped to shreds!
If only these were Phohutukawa stamens...
 Just as well we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon in December last year, collecting self sown native seedlings from our front Gardens!
A HUGE Thank you to Natasha our Community DOC Ranger for spending the afternoon with us potting up our finds...we'll need you back this term!
We have a bit of work ahead of us, we'll have all the mulch we need to mulch the Mother Earth Orchard and re-plant the northern boundary with natives!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Twilight Gala Seed Bombs

 After seeing how popular the "Sensational Seed" activity was last week in the garden ...we decided to carry on with more seeds this week!
 Seeing how much our Garden Warriors enjoyed making up sachets of seeds to take home we decided to get some seeds ready for a "Make your own Seed Bomb" activity at our Twilight Gala this Friday (that's tomorrow)...
 More sunflowers were harvested and prepared for the "Sunny Sunflower Mix"...
 Sieves were out rattling out every last poppy seed for our "Perky Poppy Mix"...
 More sieve shaking was required for the "Glamorous Natives: Ringaringa Lillies"...
And the hammers were out for our "Salad enhancing Mix" of coriander, radish, parsley and calendula! All that's left is to make up our special clay bombs tomorrow at lunch time!
Should be a fun evening Garden Warriors...see you there!

Sensational Seeds!

With the last weeks of summer upon us we have been very busy in the School Garden harvesting "Sensational Seeds"...
Our Garden Warriors have enjoyed collecting seeds from our coriander, parsley, calendula, radishes, poppies and sunflowers...
...we have been looking at the amazing engineering that Mother Nature has designed to disperse all the different types of seeds! Some seeds shake out of their little rattles on the breeze, some are heavy enough to just fall down, some attract birds to eat them and take them further a field, and some pop open with such force they "ping" all around, and some come with their own little parachute system to ride the wind to far off lands!
A wonderfully busy time was had carefully selecting seeds to put into creatively decorated envelopes to take home. It was great hearing at yesterdays garden session about how a lot of these seeds have already been planted!
Last week we were all amazed to find quite a few Garden Warriors Featuring in Aprils edition of "NZ Gardener" ...and that McGregor's had a wonderful garden pack of essential Garden goodies heading our way! THANK YOU "NZ Gardener" & Mc Gregor's, you know we will put these to good use!
Our "NZ Gardener" article will no doubt be on the main foyer notice board in pride of place.
The Good news is that Whetu Te Weka has been cohabiting reasonably well in the garden of late...although we must say he has thoroughly destroyed the pea straw bales hunting out tasty critters!
While we do try and have a different activity every week in the garden, our Garden Warriors still just like to wander around just enjoying the garden environment, and taking turns at watering...
...tasting & smelling what is growing...
...but most of all they really like to take a bit of colour home with them!
Another fun afternoon hanging out with a cool bunch of kids...always a privilege!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Family Garden Challenge ...The Gardens!

Earlier this year we sent out 30 of these "Garden Start UP" packs of the following seedlings from Awapuni Nurseries:
Chives & parsley for salads and omelettes through the year
Rainbow beet for all year round greens
Yellow cocktail tomatoes for a bit of salad fun
zucchini for summer grilling (great finely grated in the Edmonds 1 egg choccie cake too!)
Lettuces for all summer long crunch!
 It was great to receive the following photos of some of our Garden Challenge families':
 The flowers give this garden away!
LOVE the use of egg shells "Flower Fairy" for keeping away any hungry slugs!
 Tetch grew a Garden as part of her William pike Challenge...the green house has really given everything a HUGE head start!
 Our resident "Handyman" Garden effort Rhys!
 Another of our regular Garden Warriors...nice work!
 Looking fabulous, loved the pictures of your beautiful chooks too!
 Very tidy... effort Hearne family, you can be very proud of your efforts in such a short time!
 Interestingly ...most of our gardens are coastal, and thriving!
 These yellow zucchini look destined for a frittata! Nice work Jordan.
 Love the use of broken flower pots to edge your raised Garden, and add a coloured boarder. Great to see one of our "Compostbots" residing over everything!
 WE really loved this garden housed in a DSM screen form the Holcim cement works!
Everything looks to be growing really well too Anika & Caleb!
 More West Coast ingenuity...a few sheets of clear light around the edges to trap a bit of heat, protect form the wind and...stop those pesky Wekas form pulling everything out!
 plenty of summer salads here Anderson family!
 Another beach side garden...this one made very creative use of already potted plants!
Our head Garden Gnome likes to mix up rosemary with her roses...she may try tomatoes now!
 Standard roses under planted with lettuce...tasty!
 absolutely stunning effort Barrell family!
This photo was too cute not to include...great to see EVERYONE enjoying gardening!
 Thank you for sharing your garden with us Micah, these potatoes, beans and sweet corn are probably ready to eat by now seeing as this shot was taken about a month ago!
Just as well Awapuni Nurseries have given us a little something for every family that has put in a "Mint" effort this spring, and really hit the "Bulls eye" with their gardens!
Be sure to come along to final assembly tomorrow afternoon to find out who takes home the beautiful Tui books above!
The Tui NZ Fruit Garden book can be found in our school library to help out with our new orchard, as can a complete set of the other 3 fantastic Tui books!
Every family who registered for the Grow Fresh Garden competition will be heading home with a packet of giant pumpkin seeds to grow over summer...weigh in is early April at the school Gala!
Each family will also receive a certificate of achievement for their efforts ...and either a "mint" plant or a "Geranium Bulls Eye" flower bush, courtesy of the very generous folk at Awapuni Nurseries.
Delivery is free to non-rural addresses, and for orders of more than 6 grab a neighbour and share some bundles!
Thank you to ALL our families' who took up the has been a lot of fun & inspiring!
See you at the gala with your pumpkins!
It was our intention to give everyone an apple cucumber plant to add to their gardens...but alas one of our very helpful Garden Warriors kindly gave them all a generous handful of fertiliser each...such wonderful observant helpers we have in our garden!