Wakari Kindergarten children (from left) Samuel Glover (3), Poppy Deaker (3) and Harry Hore (2) try some of the produce from the school's vegetable garden. Photo by Craig Baxter.
For quite a while, the teachers at Wakari Kindergarten
thought they had a problem with bugs eating the leaves off
the vegetables in their garden.
It turns out it was the children who were eating the leaves,
and glass container manufacturer O-I New Zealand hopes that
will continue after allocating a $1096 study grant to help
the kindergarten establish a new, larger garden, which
includes a variety of fruit trees and vegetables, along with
native shrubs to encourage native birds to return to the
Teacher Kate Couling said the project would create many
learning opportunities around biodiversity, ecology,
ecosystems, understanding the relationship between living
things and their environments, and working together as a
''The children have learnt that vegetables don't come from
the supermarket, and parents don't have as much trouble
getting their children to eat their vegetables now.
''They eat out of the garden. We've taught them what they can
and can't eat.
''We thought we had a white butterfly problem with all the
holes in the leaves.''
Miss Couling said the garden produce would be distributed to
all kindergarten children and their families, which would
encourage healthy eating and give children the opportunity to
try new foods.
O-I New Zealand allocated $25,000 to schools around the
country this year, to support projects that develop skills in
identifying, investigating and finding solutions to
O-I New Zealand sustainability manager Penny Garland said
since 1983, the fund had provided almost $645,000 in study
grants to more than 400 schools.