A local woman's vision to help feed others is starting to bloom into fruition - and has secured an award for her efforts.

Ngongotaha's Tracy Howitt entered garden product business Fiber Earth's online Facebook competition, where the prize was a consultation with gardener Pete Stewart.

She says they had tried to grow fruit trees in the past, but "epically failed" every time.

Part of her winning comment included, "I need lots of help. I'm great at growing weeds and killing trees. I am over buying fruit trees with the view to help feed the kids whose families use our local food bank, as obviously I have no idea what I am doing".


Tracy's vision when they moved into their property was to grow fresh fruit trees and vegetables to feed others in need, she says. They currently have just two peach trees.

She says the consultation was awesome - "I learnt heaps I did not know previously".

Pete came down from Auckland and helped Tracy to work out why growing the trees had not been working.

One of his tips from the consultation was to build a 15cm tall box to plant the trees, which would help with drainage in the backyard.

His tips suggest planting a range of fruit and vegetables, including plums, nectarines, passionfruit, lemons, blueberries, guavas, pears, feijoas, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and beans.

"We actually had the spacing well and the right idea of where to go, it was just down too low and getting water-logged, and killed the trees."

Fiber Earth was so impressed with what Tracy is doing for the community that it is going to provide her with a team of workers for a day's labour and buy the fruit trees she needs.

This will be in June/July when it is the right time to plant them.

Tracy says she was blown away when she found out they would be coming back to help.

She says being able to feed people is important and she would love for local children and community members to be able to come in and grab some produce.

"Some children don't get fresh fruit and vegetables. We are really thankful they are wanting to come back and give us a hand to get the ground ready for the trees."