Growing young minds and nurturing the future of the horticulture industry are the aims of Gisborne Intermediate School’s horticulture club. EIT’s Rural Studies Unit supports the club with tutoring and lessons.The budding gardeners are laying the ground for the future of horticulture with help from EIT’s Rural Studies staff.
Gisborne Intermediate School horticulture club members, from left, Amy Adcock, Anna Manuel, Mark Day
and Cooper Moore, with one of their garden creations.
The club consists of 20 young gardeners who travel to the Rural Studies Unit every second Friday for classes taught by horticulture learning facilitator Guy de Lautour.
Then the students go back to school to apply their newfound skills on the school grounds, planting vegetables for community use as well as sensory and native gardens.
“We need growers for the future,” says Guy.
“We need these young ones to grow food for us as there is going to be a huge global food shortage. We need these kids to come up through the ranks.”
Having learned the gardening basics, the students are progressing to more advanced processes like grafting in the Rural Studies Unit’s greenhouses.
“They now have a much better understanding of plants and how they grow, factors that influence them and the importance of plants.”
Anna Manual, 13, is a member of the horticulture club “One of the main reasons I joined,” she says, “is because you are only at intermediate school
for a short time and I wanted to make sure I left something positive behind.”
Anna has enjoyed learning about horticulture so much she can see a future for herself in the industry.
“If we all got together and planted gardens the earth would be a better place.”
The students have also learned how use complementary plants in designing gardens,something club member Manon Rogers took a particularly shine to.
“EIT taught us how to plan and design gardens properly. I like the design aspect and being able to give back to others,” the 12-year-old says.
The club plans to take EIT’s teaching further by creating a large scale community garden on the school grounds.
A technology teacher at Gisborne Intermediate School, Tina Swann oversees the club. She is currently completing her master’s degree in
service learning in a māra kai context,exploring how horticulture can help develop key student competencies