Farmers market launches garden initiative

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Encouraging children to grow, buy and eat fresh produce is one of the aims of a new community initiative being implemented in schools, with a launch planned for this Sunday’s Oamaru Farmers Market.

Market manager Lucianne White said they had been jointly trialling an idea called The Living Classroom, or TLC at Fenwick School, with the help of representatives from the Waitaki Community Gardens.

The initiative encourages students to plant and maintain school gardens with the help of teachers and volunteers, which Ms White said had been very successful.

“The feedback we have had from the school is what drove us to keep going,” she said.

Waitaki Community Garden volunteers will act in a support role and provide schools with seedlings, advice and practical help as needed. The produce will either go to students and their families, or any surplus produce can be sold at the market.

This Sunday, the initiative will be launched to the community and Dot Smith from Riverstone will be working with children to restore an overgrown vegetable garden down at the Oamaru harbour to productivity. The raised garden is on the sea side of Housekeeping Design and was originally established by chef Fleur Sullivan.

Ms White said anyone was welcome to come down and help or could show their support by purchasing a small bunch of pledge daffodils at the farmers’ market.

Reinventing Sundays so that the harbour area was “the place to be” was all part of an ambitious plan to make the Oamaru Farmers’ Market an event of national significance, Ms White said.

Music and entertainment were all part of the plan, she said.

By LINDA MCCARTHY

PHOTO: LINDA MCCARTHY

TEAM EFFORT: Pictured (left to right) at the site of the weekend’s garden project down at the Oamaru Harbour is Jill Bayley (Oamaru Farmers’ Market coordinator), Gloria Hurst (chairperson of the Waitaki Community Gardens Trust), Lucianne White (Oamaru Farmers’ Market manager), Nicolas Durand (a visitor from France staying with the White family), and Sophia Leon de la Barrra (Waitaki Community Gardens coordinator).