Mary McTavish, our national councillor for Bay of Plenty Coromandel, recently presented a cheque for $2000 to Te Ranga school – the first of 10 gardening grants being given to rural schools this year with funds raised from the Farmlands Ladies Nights.
Acting Principal, Janet Blaauw, said, “I would just like to say a HUGE thank you for the gardening grant that our school received from Rural Women NZ. You all do a fabulous job of helping out rural areas!”
Mary told the pupils at a special assembly, “I am most impressed with what you have already achieved in your school garden. Clearly there are some expert gardeners among you and I’m very pleased Te Ranga School won this year as you are already demonstrating your keen interest in growing and harvesting your produce.”
The school will purchase new irrigation equipment and gardening tools with its grant.
The gardens will also get a boost thanks to sponsorship from Agrisea, which is contributing a generous quantity of their organic fertiliser product to the winning schools.
There’s a real focus in schools on children learning the value of eating fresh food and understanding where it comes from, and we’re very pleased to be able to support this, especially as we celebrate the UN International Year of Family Farming.
This is the fourth time Rural Women NZ and Farmlands have worked together to distribute the proceeds from the popular Farmlands Ladies Nights.
Other successful schools this year were Swannanoa, Waitahuna, Waihao Downs, Hororata, Mangamuka, Te Ranga, Kimbolton, Ahititi, Tahuna and Papanui, chosen from 58 applicants.
Projects lined up range from building a tunnel house to constructing a hen pen, buying equipment such as rakes, spades, seeds and plants, and building a permaculture edible food forest.
Farmlands’ Events and Sponsorship Manager, Helen Shrewsbury says the company is proud to continue its support of Rural Women New Zealand and the rural school garden grants.
“As a rural co-operative, it just makes sense for us to support the schools that make up the hubs of the rural communities we service.”