26th May 2015.
Today a group of students made it their mission to finish weeding the vege gardens and get a cover group planted. The soil in the vege garden has been heavily cropped for some years. Planting a cover crop (sometimes known as a green manure crop) and then chopping the crop into the soil will help add nutrients back into the soil instead of take, take, taking nutrients from it in the process of harvesting vegetables to eat.
This group of students absolutely went for it for the whole afternoon. It was beautiful weather and it was a huge pleasure for us all to be out doing something active, something with a purpose, something we could do together. It was a BIG job to get all the weeding done both inside the gardens and around the barked area and then sow the seeds but this group of students from Te Puna showed extreme perseverance to get the job done. They also negotiated who was to use which tools and who weeded which areas and worked really well together as a team with a shared goal. We had lots of learning conversations about soil, plants and creatures. We compared and examined each worm that was discovered. We potted up the strawberry plants that needed to come out and they were moved to the shade house. We moved the weeds to the compost pile and transplanted some small self-seeded vegetable seedlings that had come up in the garden.
Lucky we had parent helpers Roshelle Dangen and Josi Riddle to help us. We found out that Roshelle is extremely handy on the end of a fork! Roshelle did most of the forking over of the soil and didn’t even seem to break into a sweat. She said the soil in our school gardens is a pleasure to work with compared with the soil in her garden at home.
Lots of korero and even waiata in the raised bed garden area. Meanwhile some students had a chance to do some weeding in the sandpit garden where it was a lot quieter!
Finally it was time to sow our cover crop seeds. This was the best bit and luckily we just got finished before the bell rung. The seeds we planted were oats, mustard and lupins.
Well done team!
P.S Students got to enjoy barefoot gardening due to the cunning design of raised beds allowing sharp tools being used on the inside of beds while the bare feet were on the ground outside the bed.