With up to 10 million vegetable, herb and plant seedling kits being given away as a part of New World's Little Garden, it's likely this year's planting season will be New Zealand's busiest ever.
The seedling kits come in 24 varieties including carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, beetroot and edible flowering plants like pansies. All of them have their own personality and character attributes to help would-be Little Gardeners connect with the fun that can be had from growing a seed into something that's delicious and nutritious.
Little Garden extends beyond the New World supermarket and into the community with all 143 New World stores throughout the country donating at least one kit set garden - made up of a full set of Little Garden seedlings, Tui vegetable soil and an engraved Little Garden stake - to a local school in their area.
One store owner keen to roll-up his sleeves is Te Kuiti New World owner-operator Mark Brittenden, who has donated a Little Garden school kit to Te Kuiti Primary School. Planting the seeds is just the first stage, and he intends to stay involved as the school garden grows.
He has also established a garden in store, so all his customers can watch it flourish and hopefully get some inspiration to get growing themselves.
"There is something really special about Little Garden," he says. "It's great New World store owners up and down the country are all working with their local schools and community gardens. I know I'm not the only store owner looking forward to temporarily swapping my trolley for a trowel and doing a bit of veggie gardening.
"It's so rewarding to be part of the next generation's learning experience."
Te Kuiti Primary School principal, Melissa Anderton was delighted when Mark and his wife Heidi approached her about donating a Little Garden to the school. "It's such a great opportunity for our tamariki," says Anderton. "We already have an established school garden that we're really keen to build on and Little Garden is a perfect opportunity for our students to take a learning from our school and try it at home with their whānau."
Room one teacher, and assistant principal Monique Needham, knows the children in her class will get so much from the Little Garden gift. "Many of the children in our school know Mark and Heidi as they're really active in the Te Kuiti community, so they are keen to have them visit," she says.
"Little Garden fits so well into our curriculum, and helps bring lessons about how precious our environment is to life.
"We know that children get so much from a hands-on learning experience. Everyone in room one is really keen to find out more about how their vegetables are grown, and some have already decided what new veg they want to try."
As well donating Little Garden's to local schools, teachers in over 3000 classrooms of 5-8-year-olds across New Zealand have signed up to receive a Little Garden curriculum-based classroom kit, helping 125,000 young Kiwis learn first-hand how to be good kaitiaki (environmental guardians) and to take pride in their own vegetable patch. It is also designed to make familiarisation of vegetables and their benefits fun.
Customers also have the option of donating their seedling kits to a local school or community garden by placing them in the special bins at each New World.
Little Garden has always had a strong focus on sustainability and this year they've taken it to a new level. The seedling kits and accessories are 100 per cent plastic-free, the seedling fibre pottles are home compostable, the collector tray is made of sugarcane pulp and all paper packaging is recyclable and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified."
Customers can also be in to win in the Big Little Garden prize draw by purchasing participating products and scanning New World Clubcard. The overall prize pool is worth over $350,000, each prize has been specially selected to be clean and green, with a grand prize of a brand new MG electric vehicle.
Spend $40 at New World and get a FREE seedling kit with Little Garden, while stocks last.
For more information on New World Little Garden go to: newworld.co.nz/littlegarden