Today we begin profiling the six Whanganui schools that have spent the past eight weeks growing a garden for the Springvale Garden Centre School Vegetable Garden Competition.
To kick us off, Logan Tutty visited Mosston School.
The pupils of Mosston School have embraced their newfound passion for gardening, and see this opportunity as the start of a greater mission.
This is the first garden Mosston School has attempted to grow, with students rallying behind the project.
The Springvale Garden Centre dropped off seeds, plants and supplies to the school in March, with New Entrants teacher Aimee Loveridge saying the students were immediately fascinated.
She said the students had loved learning about gardening and how to take care of crops, but were taught a small lesson on their first attempt at growing it.
"Unfortunately, rabbits got into our first garden so this is actually our second batch," Loveridge said.
With silverbeet, lettuce, cauliflower, beetroot, broccoli, celery and more all now prospering in their newly fenced garden, Loveridge said it has been a nice introduction teaching kids how to grow their own food.
"We've been picking a bit otherwise it is going to waste, so they've been taking them home to use. We are looking into what we can make with them, it would be cool if they could make something at school and share."
They have started their first garden in the middle of the school alongside their administration block, and hope to expand it in the future.
Loveridge said the school's Green Team, a group of 17 students across various year groups, had been leading the way with the garden's management.
"They've been amazing. We have monitors. They come and water this every day and pull out the weeds. We are also growing trees for Gordons Bush, which they water as well, and also feed our birds.
"They are really good at it. We are really lucky with our caretaker too."
Loveridge said competing in the challenge has tied in really well with the school's education and ethos around being environmentally conscious.
"We have just started bringing in rubbish bins for our pens and what not, it's kind of making it school-wide."
Setting up the garden and getting it under way was also transformed into an educationally-driven activity.
"They had to do all the maths on how much soil they needed for the garden, so it turned it into a big project. Starting small was good in that sense."
Loveridge said many of the students had taken home some of the knowledge learned and implemented into their own gardens.
"In our hub, we grew beans and they've taken them home and grown them, and we had a bit of a competition."
She said if the school was to finish in the top three, the voucher prize would go towards developing their native areas.
"We are hoping to get some plants for our native area on the other side of our school. We just need some more trees because we want to develop that so they can build huts and things, and hopefully a bigger garden."
• To vote in the competition, go to www.springvalegardencentre.co.nz