Southend School in Carterton has won the 2016 Gardening Challenge Shield that over the past century has passed through numerous South Wairarapa schools.

Coral Aitchison, convenor for the Rotary Club of Carterton, said the trophy had been unearthed at the Wairarapa A&P Society showground offices and had been awarded annually for the Best Agricultural Plot to any school in South Wairarapa.

She said W.C. Buchanan and H.R. Bunny had donated the shield to the then Wairarapa & East Coast Pastoral and Agricultural Society.

The inaugural 1907 winner was Gladstone School and over the years the trophy had been won by Clareville, Greytown, Belvedere, Featherston, Parkvale, Carrington, Dalefield, Longbush, Hinakura, West Taratahi, and Ponatahi schools, Mrs Aitchison said.


The shield was contested from 1907 until 1954 and then again in the late 1950s until 1965, she said.

"The shield is magnificent with beautiful workmanship in silver that includes a miniature watering can," Mrs Aitchison said.

Many of the schools named as winners on the trophy no longer exist but Carterton Rotarians revived the contest and sponsored seed supplies.

Southend School won the $500, which was donated by John Bunny on behalf of the Bunny family, while second place and $100 went to Pirinoa School and third place and $50 was awarded to Greytown School.

The Rotary Club of Carterton "were delighted to act as the convenor in this competition and to encourage the pupils in their gardening achievements" as were representatives from the Carterton Garden Group that judged the efforts of contest entrants.

"They were most impressed by the pupils with their acquired skills in planning, preparation of sites, record keeping, knowledge of plants and harvesting," Mrs Aitchison said.

"Journals, created by the pupils, showed photographs of cauliflower being harvested and cauliflower cheese prepared, baked and eaten. Vegetable soup was also on the menu along with cucumber and tomato salad plus roasted cauliflower. One of the schools even prepared Ribena from blackcurrants grown in their garden."

Mrs Aitchison said pupils "love this competition and it is great to see them enter into the spirit of the Shield Challenge Gardening Contest in learning and experiencing enjoyment in their achievements".