Revitalised kai garden encourages hands-on learning in Kerikeri

Kerikeri Kindergarten recently completed a new edible garden as one of ten winners in this year’s inaugural Keep New Zealand Beautiful Kai Garden Competition.

The competition gives schools and ECEs from across the country the opportunity to create a small kai or rongoā garden to help their students develop a greater understanding of the natural world and to gain hands-on experience gardening for their school.

Teacher Kim Hall says, “we are so proud of our newly revitalised garden area that now not only produces an abundance of healthy kai, but has also become a welcoming, engaging, sensory space where tamariki can take the lead and enjoy authentic hands-on mahi and learning.” 

“Funds from winning the kai garden competition have afforded us new pathways, an up-cycled greenhouse, three new compost bins, revitalisation of our Pataka Kai, a new herb garden and lots more planting, in line with our original plan and ongoing suggestions from our tamariki.”

2022 was the first year of the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Kai Garden Competition, and over 80 design submissions were made. The competition aimed to benefit students through academic achievement, healthy eating concepts, environmental kaitiakitanga, and building a connection with nature and cultural roots.

Ten winning schools were selected to each receive $1,000 to put towards building a garden that beautifies and enhances their grounds, with a further $500 for those gardens completed by the end of Term 4 to put towards its ongoing care.

“We have loved seeing our tamariki, kaiako, and whaanau come together in many ways to support and work on this project.” says Ms Hall. “Such an amazing transformation and we are so grateful!”

More info about our Kai Garden Competition can be found here.

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