Every class has just participated in their first GTT session for 2019 and there was plenty of enthusiam from all! Great to see the new fresh faces of the Year 4's and the experienced Year 5's. Welcome to the new volunteers and welcome back to those who have helped before.
It is great to be back in the gardens with lots of fruit ripening and herbs and vegetables ready for picking. Quite a few plants have gone to seed over the hot summer break but those are being put to good use for food and learning. We are saving seeds and studying different ways that seeds are dispersed. Some are being stored for use as spices ( fennel, coriander and coriander) as well as for growing new crops( sprouting broccoli, Cavelo Nero etc)
Jacqui Knight of the Moths and Butterflies Trust NZ is excited to hear that classes have collected swan plant seed heads and these will be sent to other schools to grow food plants for monarch caterpillars. One swan plant has been wrapped in shade cloth in an experiment to see if we can save the Monarch eggs and caterpillars from the hungry wasps. Next step will be to make some wasp traps and collect net curtains to try to cover the plants in the Butterfly Meadow.
We have also discussed the difference between pest and beneficial visitors to our gardens. From insects who eat our plants to people who harvest our nectarines; we are exploring ways to protect from the bad and encourage the good!
Watering is a top priority and the worm tea from our worm bins will be appreciated by the thirsty and hungry plants throughout the gardens. Mrs Masters is looking into setting up some drip irrigation systems to try to cope with the drier and drier summers. Any experts out there?? In the meantime the fantastic new retractable hose reel from Gardena and lots of happy waterers with some new watering cans are helping until our rain dances get a result!!
Corn, silverbeet and feta muffins. We used the corn husks as the muffin cases.
Making homemade tortilla chips and a fresh tomato and corn salsa
Fresh nectarine and basil cordial with mint iceblocks