Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spud-In-A-Bucket: Queenstown Primary

Spud-In-A-Bucket is a project run by Tāhuri Whenua, the National Māori Vegetable Growers Collective. It's aim is to
  • Stimulate critical questioning on resource use and lifestyle
  • Expose children to a sense of responsibility and ownership
  • Encourage parental interaction with children about their learning
  • Foster positive relationships between schools and their communities
  • Promote the relevance of tikanga Maori in modern horticulture
One of my colleagues, Ben Elms, or Dr. Compost as many of you Lakes Districts residents will know him, volunteered his time to help Hawea Flat and Queenstown Primary along with this project. Wastebusters Kindly volunteered some of my time to help him out.

So how does it work? Schools apply to be part of the program, so if you're interested in being involved next year go to the Tāhuri Whenua website and find the application form. Buckets and compost are supplied by local sponsors, a big hand goes out to Dave Hannon from Delta for very kindly donating the compost, thanks guys!

We were supplied with a few bag fulls of Maori potatoes to use as seeds, we had a few varieties, one of them was purple, yes I know, who's ever seen a purple potato before? All we needed now was the children, and we had quite a few of them.

The children fill the buckets about a third full with compost, place the potato in the middle and then add more compost until it is about three quarters full. Fairly simple really. All they have to do now is remember to water them and make sure they get access to sunlight. The other trick with potatoes is to realise that we may need to add more compost as they grow. Keep your eyes peeled here for some updates on how they are coming along.

You can check out Room 17's blog for their take on the project.

If you'd like to see some more photos from this take a look at Room 17's Blog.

I knew that Queenstown Primary had been looking at growing things but I'd no idea how much work they had done, I visited a few classrooms and there were growing experiments everywhere, as well as the beginnings of some fabulous vision maps. Well done everyone! I'm looking forward to coming back in a week or so to do some Enviroschools work with you all.

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