Local primary schools are about to start competing in the Springvale Garden Centre School Vegetable Garden Competition, and if you think that's a mouthful, wait till the harvest is in!
Thanks to sponsorship and support from Tui, Yates, Eastown Timber & Fencing, Sealandia, Ican, Whanganui Chronicle and, of course, Springvale Garden centre, schools will receive a starter pack which includes timber for a raised garden bed, along with stakes (Eastown); 10 vegetable seedling punnets (Zealandia); six packets of vegetable seeds (Yates); five bags of vegetable potting mix (Tui); a 2.5kg bag of Ican vegetable food; and one Natures Way Organic Vegie Spray (Yates).
Six schools took up the offer when Whanganui Chronicle asked for interest from 22 schools in the district. The competition starts this week with all the products dropped off at the schools on Monday.
"Schools can take photos, updates, and fire them through and we'll put them on the web page which is being built," says Gareth Carter, general manager of Springvale Garden Centre. "On that page you'll be able to click a link to take you to each school."
Each school is expected to keep a log of gardening progress.
"It's running for about 13 weeks, so your broccoli and that should be ready, but cabbages and cauliflowers will come later. Lettuces will probably be harvested but those grown from seed will be coming on. There's enough there that they probably wouldn't need to sow all the seeds and they could keep it going through the year."
Judging will be by public vote through the Springvale Garden Centre website.
"There's a move toward more enviro schools and focusing on green issues."
Gareth says they want to make this an annual event, and the sponsors are keen to stay on.
"We'll see how this one works and we'll keep refining it." He expects more schools to take part in the future.