Te Awamutu green thumb, Jamie Frost (10) has won the Central North Island Budding Young Gardener title as part of the nation-wide search for the Yates Budding Young Gardener 2019.
Jamie's love of gardening started when he was around three, with his Granny Di being a major inspiration and with guidance from his mum and dad.
"My favourite part about gardening is pulling off the sweet spring green peas from the peapod, eating them fresh, then planting more," said Jamie. "I also grow a lot of New Zealand spinach, the only vegetable native to New Zealand, as that is the main ingredient in my favourite meal — Saag [an Indian dish]."
Jamie also has a penchant for pumpkins.
After seeing a photograph of his one-year-old self beside a giant pumpkin, he insisted on entering the Hamilton based Great Pumpkin Carnival growing competition every year.
"For nine years in a row I've been entering the pumpkin growing competition and I've got extremely good scores. I have made pumpkins into all sorts of things — caterpillars, cats, eyeballs and even a sun-bathing ninja.
"I've also entered the pumpkin baking competition and I'm getting really good at making pumpkin muffins as well as our favourite family pudding, pumpkin pie."
Jamie said he feels very lucky to live in the country and have a big backyard with a big garden.
"Our garden grows enough food for the whole family so we don't have to buy it and we can have fresh vegies all year round."
Jamie has won a huge Yates hamper worth over $300 and is lining up alongside six other regional winners for the grand prize of a trip to Hawaii, becoming a Yates Ambassador for a year and spending time in their garden with a Yates horticulturist.
Fiona Arthur from Yates said the Budding Young Gardener competition aims to celebrate a love of gardening and encourage children of all levels of capability to further develop their passion.
"Learning how to garden sets children up for life," said Fiona.
"We need to make sure the art of gardening is not lost.
"Producing food is just one benefit.
"Caring for a plant can teach children about responsibility, resilience, science, nature and nutrition.
"Getting our kids outside and into nature is one of the best things we can do for them."
The grand winner will be announced next week as part of National Gardening Week.