Awapuni Community Gardens is the heart of Palmerston North for green Kiwis.
The garden caters for about 80 families and was created by people who could not have a garden at their home, Environment Network Manawatū co-ordinator David Mollard said.
"It was born out of the desire for people in the community to grow their own vegetables that they knew was going to be here long-term," he said.
With Mollard's help, alongside others, the gardeners created a welcoming environment where people of all ages and ethnicities could meet.
Palmerston North has welcomed refugees into the area and the garden is serving as a welcoming environment.
"It's been particularly popular with the Nepalis and Bhutanese refugee community that have come to Palmerston North," Mollard said.
"It's a place for everyone to share and be connected.
"Food is a great way to connect people together."
The Awapuni College special needs class visits the community garden once a week. Students have built their own garden bed with beans, peas and all sorts of veggies that they have raised from seed.
Teacher aide Lee Anderson said students love getting their hands dirty.
"It's a lot of tactile stuff in the dirt, among all the plants," she said.
"It's been so therapeutic for them".
The students split the harvest among themselves for family and friends.
Mollard supplies plants for the students, growing native spinach, silverbeet, lettuce, celery and spring onions in the winter.
Anderson has only good things to say about the garden and the commitment that the students have shown for their garden plot.
"It's just the best thing out.
"All weathers, they come down here, they are so committed.
"It's just fantastic, absolutely fantastic and I think all schools should do it."