Food forest transformation

Ngataki School in the Far North has made impressive progress after being awarded $3000 through the Northland Regional Council’s Environmental Leaders Fund (ELF).

After receiving the money at the end of 2023, Ngataki School didn’t waste time getting stuck in to creating a kura with a thriving native area and food forest ecosystem.

The first step for Ngataki School was to identify the food forest space, measure out the perimeter and work out how many stakes and metres of shade cloth were required. The Wharekura class worked together to place stakes in the ground and attach shade cloth to form a solid boundary for the food forest.

Next on the to do list was mulching. This was another hands-on activity for students who soaked cardboard in water before placing it around the existing fruit trees before adding buckets of woodchip mulch on top. Lastly, logs around the kura were collected to border the newly formed planting beds to support the breakdown of organic matter and aid insect and microorganism habitat.

Not only were the fruit trees given some love, so was the native area with the same cardboard soaking process used to establish new garden terraces to join trees together for more planting.

As well as physically being involved with the establishment, nuture and care of the food forest, Ngataki School used the opportunity for all classes from Year 1 -8 to observe the equinox and the placement of Tamanuiterā (the sun) in between Hine Raumati and Hine Takurua.

Thanks for the amazing reporting on your project so far Ngataki School, there is no doubt you are well on your way to achieving your ELF goal!