Children Get Their Hands Dirty to Grow Their Own Food
Children From More Than 500 Schools Get Their Hands
Dirty to Grow Their Own Food Public Invited to Get
Public Invited to Get Involved
Alert to gardening gurus: Your opinion is wanted. The annual Tui School Garden Challenge is underway, and while the nine finalists and three ultimate winners will be decided by a panel of judges, 2013 marks the introduction of a new category where one school will be crowned the ‘People’s Choice’, based on public vote.
What’s more, a Points Competition has been introduced to the 2013 garden showdown giving the public an added opportunity to get involved. The school that collects receipts recording the highest number of Tui Products purchases will win a prize pack including a Duratuf shed, a selection of products from Tui, and a personal visit from acclaimed TV cook and food writer Annabel Langbein. Those who hand in their receipts (with their name and phone number written on the back) to their local school could be rewarded for doing so, by going in the draw to win a trip for two to have dinner with Annabel Langbein at her Wanaka cabin.
Annabel Langbein says the competition is a fantastic initiative by Tui to get kids into the garden. “Aside from all the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors and getting your hands into the soil, gardening is a valuable lifeskill. It's wonderful that this competition introduces children as young as pre-school age to gardening, and through it they are learning how fruits and vegetables are nurtured, grown and harvested. These experiences help foster an understanding and appreciation of the natural environment and it's amazing how much more enthusiastic kids are about eating vegetables they've grown themselves!”
All pre-schools, primary and intermediate schools are eligible to enter, and contestants will be judged on criteria including environmental features (recycling, water conservation, composting, worm farms), innovation (vertical planting, space utilisation, decoration) and well-thought-out designs.
Tui Products managing director Don Forgie says, “This is the fourth year in which we’ve run the Tui School Garden Challenge, and we’re thrilled that participation continues to grow each year. The increase in interest we’ve seen in the past few years made us want to offer the biggest competition yet, so we’ve added the People’s Choice Award and the Points Competition. They allow school supporters and Tui customers to play a big part and the wider community around each school to get involved.”
There’s a lot at stake for the more than 500 schools that have so far registered for the contest run by Tui Products, which is offering a $1,000 Tui voucher to the People’s Choice winner. To cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award, members of the public need only visit the webpage and click on their favoured school. Each competing school has a blog on the competition site in which they demonstrate the fruits of their labours.
Also at stake is a $500 voucher, a Can O Worms worm farm and Grow Fresh vegetable seedlings for each of the top three schools in the Best School Garden category, and a $250 voucher and a set of books from Tui for the nine finalists.
Spot prizes will be doled out throughout the 12-week competition, which wraps up on 25 October and is followed by a two-week judging period before the announcement of the winners on 18 November.
The Tui School Garden Challenge is Tui Garden Products’ annual competition to find the best school gardens in New Zealand;
All pre-schools, primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand are eligible to enter, and competing schools are judged on criteria including environmental features (recycling, water conservation, composting, worm farms), innovation (vertical planting, space utilisation, decoration) and well-thought-out designs;
For the 2013 Tui School Garden Challenge, the competition period is 29 July to 25 October, with judging taking place from 29 October to 12 November and the winners announced 18 November;
This year’s participating schools can be seen here, with a national spread from Northland to Southland;
For more about the Tui School Garden Challenge, visit www.tuigarden.co.nz/school-garden-challenge.