Waimate Centennial Gardening Club
Students from the middle school at Centennial have been learning about gardening in the best way possible. That is by getting their hands dirty. An enthusiastic group of students have learned how to plant, care for, and harvest produce and seeds from their efforts in the garden. One very important outside expert is Mr Lex Young of Waimate. He has visited the class regularly giving instructions and teaching skills that could only be gained from a lifetime of gardening experience.
Mrs Constable has managed the team of enthusiastic Kakapo and Piwakawaka gardeners. Each week over the school year students take on responsibility for aspects of the garden project. This is a very big part of the Play Based Learning that goes on in the middle school.
Since the start of the year the garden produce has been harvested and celebrated. Last week the Centennial School gardening produce featured in the Waimate Garden and Craft show. Several of the entries won awards and the children received a book on 'How to Grow Vegetables'. This was in part due to Jacky Keen who picked and entered our produce last year when she was also visiting and helping in our gardens. Our enthusiasm is growing and we are becoming more adept at growing and caring for our gardens.
During the year as our produce becomes ready children also cook and sample the wide variety of vegetables grown. Last year the cauliflower cheese went down a treat. This week we are making coleslaw with our prize winning cabbage, our own red onions, tomatoes and some donated carrots grown in children's home gardens. It is amazing what children will eat when they have grown it themselves.
Sharing is a big part of our learning and children take home produce, share it with the teachers, staff and their peers. Gardening and all it has to offer is a very big part of everyone's well-being which is a focus for our school students this year.