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Edible organic gardens in every school

7 September 2005

Edible organic gardens in every school

From left Back row, Fardeen Saghar, Bonnie Garton Stack, Czarlee Jade Paniora-Prescott and Daniel Park, front row: Councillor Penny Hulse, Principal Michelle Bacon, Jane Henley of the Sustainable Business Network and Chris Morrison of Phoenix Organics.


The Organic Gardens in Schools programme aims to provide practical support to establish an organic garden in every Waitakere school.

The programme is the fruit of a community-business partnership between Waitakere City Council, the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) and Phoenix Organics.

“It’s fantastic that businesses want to help their communities but they say they need well managed ways to do that which is where partnerships like these are keys to help implement gardens that will be sustainable for the long term. We are confident that this project has the right framework for success,” says Councillor Penny Hulse.

Rutherford Primary is the first school in Waitakere to become involved in the Organic Gardens in Schools community-business relationship. Principal Michelle Bacon says that having organic gardening on the environmental education curriculum “with the help of Enviroschools and the Organic Garden Programme, we have a long term vision that our school will look amazing and produce fruit and vegetables that we can enjoy,” she says

Sustainable Business Network project manager Jane Henley says that “business wants to be involved in developing healthy sustainable communities beyond sponsoring the local sports team.

“The level of involvement is up to each business. By becoming involved in this project, businesses directly support the schools in their area to start the programme and the establishment of a long term edible organic garden in the school grounds. The brokering of these relationships is managed by the Sustainable Business Network. Also, we want to encourage businesses to get active and involved.

“Some schools plan to invite the businesses to share a lunch with them when products of their efforts are ready to be eaten,” says Ms Henley.

Founding supporter of the programme Chris Morrison of Phoenix Organics says “once the children learn how to do this at school I hope they then go home and start their own gardens.”


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