Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spud in a Bucket Results

Yesterday was weigh-in day and of the 80 buckets sold, 41 were returned for the judging!
Overall the plants looked small, and this may well have accounted for the less than expected turn out, however the proof would be in what lay beneath!
The Green team leaders from Room 10, Hanna, Sean and Amber, weighed and counted potatoes from each bucket.
The competition was close, however the following two entries each won a family meal (leg of lamb, spring carrots, cauliflower and/or chocolates) to go with their potaoes:
Heaviest Crop -Chris North (Ngaire's Dad Room 7)
Most Potatoes- Serena Boeyen-Stowers Room 9
Chocolates went to the following winners:
Orana Park Award(Potatoes Look Like Animals) Mrs Holland
Potato Most Resembling a Bottom (this replaced the Most Romantic category as there were no entries!)-Daniel Hawkey D'aeth Room 7
The Best Decorated Bucket (As judged by Mr Wood!)- Shiann Scobie Room 8

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all those who had a go!
A huge thank you to Bunnings who had supplied us with the seed potatoes and buckets and therefore allowed us to spend up on the prizes! Rose and Penny met up with our winners and also had some Bill and Bruce Bunning's teddys for those who entered.
Next year we intend to start earlier and will be quizzing Chris and Serena on their secrets!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Official Opening of the Addington Potting Shed

On Tuesday the Green Team officially opened the freshly built potting shed. Designed and built by our lovely caretaker Vic Phillips with the help of Michael, Jakaia, Souvichea, Josh, Daniel and Seamus, the shed will be used to sow, and plant out material for around the school.
Ms Heath formally cut the ribbon with secateurs and we tried to fit as many Green team members as possible, into the shed! Thank you Vic and team for all your hard work. Time to get sowing!

Greening Spaces

Last week the children of Addington school, staff and friends of the school planted out 250 flowering plants, and sprinkled wildflower seeds on part of an empty site on Selwyn St. The row of shops had all been removed after damage during the earthquakes. With the land owners permission and as part of Greening Spaces, the children had spread compost the previous day and then were able to walk down from school class by class to each put in a plant. A path was put in to allow access to the road crossing, and the children used the rubble on the site to mark out the garden area. The children had a ball and were very enthusiastic planters! Everyone got stuck in. Passersby would stop and add their encouragement, some were reduced to tears, they were so happy to see the children working at making a difference. Many cars waved and tooted their encouragement. It was a very special day. If you get a chance, go past to have a look at this piece of magic!

Greening Spaces is an organisation that allows schools in Christchurch to bring colour to sites in their neighbourhood. Andrew Drummond is the coordinator and with the help of Meadow Mushrooms, Frews Transport, and the people of Ashburton, has been able to work with schools on several sites around the city. The flowering plants for the Selwyn St site are from the same people as the hanging baskets in the new Pop Up Mall in town and look fantastic!

Monday, September 19, 2011

University Team Adds to the Green Team

A new raised vegetable bed and four fruit trees have magically appeared in our gardens over the last few weeks! This was the work of Mark Meaclem and fellow students from the University of Canterbury Management department. Mark and his team, Dave, Jarrod, Dea, and John are doing a paper called Principles of Leadership and as part of the course, have to design a community project. They chose Addington school and expanding our garden area as their project. The team had a budget and sourced some of their materials from Oderings Nursery.
On Friday afternoons, the team have come in and worked with our children planning, building the bed, and planting trees. Last Friday, Mark, his team, and the Green Team planted out the new bed with potatoes, and weeded and put onions, cabbage and spinach in the existing beds. It was a great team effort. A concrete pad was prepared and the children left their hand prints and initials there for future generations to look at!
A huge thank you to Mark, Dave, Jarrod, Dea, John for the wonderful work they have done! The beds and fruit trees look amazing and have added a wonderful new dimension to our garden area. The children thoroughly enjoyed working with you, and especially learning the carpentry and concrete making skills. Thank you for your patience!!! Watched concrete never sets!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Potatoes in a Bucket Competition

In an effort to raise more money for our native garden and specifically raise funds to build a concrete path to allow access into the garden for all our children, we are running a potato in a bucket competition! Entries for this have now closed and with almost 80 buckets ordered the competition is going to be hot! It would seem that many inter and intra family competitions are also underway, and there have been hushed potato growing conversations in some corners of the staff room!

A huge thank you to our friends Rose and Penny and the team at Bunnings Riccarton who have kindly donated not only the buckets, but also all the Jersey Benne seed potatoes!! Fantastic ! Thank you Bunnings Riccarton!
As some of the teachers have ordered a bucket for their classroom, we will be able to follow the growing progress of a plant on this blog.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Native Planting Underway

Today four children from Room 7 planted out 10 of the first trees to go into our new native garden. Seamus, Miracle, Serenity and Josh dug the holes and planted out the totara trees. The trees will form a boundary hedge down one end of the garden. During their digging they discovered treasures including old bits of pathway, ‘prehistoric’ tree roots, and an eraser that must be ‘from children that went to school 50 years ago. Was Ms Heath here then?”. Great fun! A huge thank you to the Christchurch City Council who donated the Trees for Canterbury(TFC) voucher that enabled us to get the first of our many plants.

As well as the totara, we were able to buy 5 matai, and then TFC donated 15 lancewood seedlings. We hope to plant these out soon once the planting plan is finalised. It is all very exciting!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Worm Farms Underway and Future Kowhai Forest Sown!

Yahhh! We have finally achieved one of our goals set last year and with the help of Rose, Grant, Errol (and Carlin the Seeing-Eye-Dog) from Bunnings, we have our worm farm, and another one, all set up and in place.

On the Wednesday afternoon, before the snow, Rose and her team, taught the Green Team leaders how to put together the layers of a worm farm, using coconut fibre, then the worms, and then the damp shredded newspaper. Grant demonstrated the layering process, while Errol explained the purpose of each step.
On the Friday we added the first small handful of food scraps.
The children learnt that some scraps such as orange peels, bread, meat and dairy can not be added. Some foods take a long time to break down and may start to mould off and smell bad! (We don’t want that as both farms are wintering in a work room!!!!)

Bunnings very kindly donated a worm farm box, two bags of worms, and some coconut fibre to get us started.
So its all go!!!
The next project was the sowing of kowhai seeds! The children filled yoghurt pottles with seed raising mix and planted their seed. The pottles will sit in their classrooms and should germinate in the next few weeks. We will then have a lovely kowhai forest to plant out next year, once the plants are big enough!! That mass of yellow is going to look fantastic!

Thank you again to Bunnings for donating the seeds and mix to get this started, and for allowing Rose, Grant and Errol to spend the time with us. We really appreciate the wonderful contribution you are making to our school environment, and our sustainability goals.