Harvesting kumara at Te Hiku Maara Kai

Volunteers at Te Hiku Hauora Maara Kai Community Garden recently harvested a great crop of kumara. George King was especially happy as he has been involved from the beginning, helping to set up the tipu bed, preparing the soil and planting the tipu, watering and weeding and finally taking a lot of pleasure in uncovering and digging up the kumara. He proudly took home a bag of kumara for the whānau.

The gardens, between Te Hiku Hauora and Kaitaia College, came back under the care of the Far North Environment Centre in March of last year and we work alongside Ruby Anne Reihana, Korikori a Hauora Kaimahi at Te Hiku Hauora, managing the various beds. The 5 volunteers pictured have been involved regularly since then. Others have joined us from time to time and all are rewarded by freshly picked vegetables to take home. Excess is also given to Te Hiku Hauora to be shared with patients and to a local Foodbank.

Volunteers have the opportunity to learn gardening skills through being actively involved in the process of building healthy soil, raising and planting out seedlings, weeding, mulching, watering and finally harvesting. We have constructed several compost bins and made compost using a variety of materials. A worm farm has been set up in an old bath and has just received a lid made from recycled wood by new volunteer David Darker.

Several successful well attended workshops have been organised on composting, worm farming, riwai and kumara growing and seedsaving.

If you would like to be involved as a volunteer, contact the Coordinator Cheryl Toka,  027 4305840, or Nancy Gregory, 09 4081266 or 021 02378117

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