Entries officially opened last week to the Young Gardener of the Year Awards and Kiwi kids nationwide, along with their primary schools, are encouraged to enter!
The awards, which attracted nearly 70 entries for the first time last year, are supported by T&G, New Zealand’s largest fresh produce grower, and Garden to Table which enables and encourages primary schools and children to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh food.
A new category this year, called the T&G Passion for Growing Award, means that any primary school can enter the awards even if they aren’t part of the Garden to Table programme yet.
The 2018 edition will mark the first official campaign for Garden to Table’s new landscape and gardening ambassador, Dan Mackay who owns and operates his very own local Auckland landscaping solutions business, Ministry of Ground. Mackay joins fellow Garden to Table ambassador, chef and restauranteur, Al Brown on the judging panel alongside T&G’s executive general manager New Zealand Andrew Keaney and Garden to Table executive officer, Linda Taylor.
Prizes include: a garden design from landscape and garden designer, Dan Mackay, along with a year’s online membership to the Garden to Table programme. This gives students at the winning school the chance to continue their passion in the garden with greater curriculum support, child-friendly recipes using produce from their garden, kitchen skills instruction videos and support material for gardening through to cooking.
“I’m stoked to be involved with the Young Gardener Awards,” says Dan Mackay, “it’s such an awesome way to show our school kids that success doesn’t just lie in the classroom and on the sports field and anything that gets kids excited about exploring what they can do in the garden is a win by me! It’s also great to help kids see that fruit and veggies don’t just magically appear at the supermarket!”
There are four categories for budding primary schools and students to enter:
- The T&G Garden to Table Established School of the Year Award for schools and students that have been gardening for more than two years through the Garden to Table programme.
- The T&G Garden to Table Emerging School of the Year Award for primary schools who have been gardening through the Garden to Table programme for two years or less.
- The T&G Garden to Table Young Gardener of the Year Awardswhich recognise the efforts of five passionate young gardeners who have planted a seed, watered it, made sure it’s getting the right amount of sunlight; even jumped up and down when the first leaves sprouted. Five very special young gardeners will walk away with the coveted title of 2018 Young Gardener of the Year.
- The T&G Passion for Growing Award– this first-time award for 2018 is open to ALL primary schools nationwide that aren’t already part of Garden to Table. It recognises the passion many Kiwi schools and students have for growing and preparing healthy produce even if they’re not part of the Garden to Table programme.
Last year’s winners were:
T&G Garden to Table School of the Year:
- Haumoana School, Hastings, Hawke’s Bay (click here to read Haumoana’s full application)
T&G Garden to Table Young Gardeners of the Year:
- Emma Walsh, age 7, from North Loburn School, North Canterbury (click here to read Emma’s full application and view images)
- Qwincey Mennell, age 10, from Dominion Road School, West Auckland (click here to read Qwincey’s full application and view images)
- John Lundy, age 7, from North Loburn School, North Canterbury (click here to read John’s full application and view images)
- Maima Ieru, age 10, from Cannons Creek Primary, Wellington (click here to read Maima’s full application and view images)
- Freddie Meere, age 10, from Te Huruhi School, Waiheke, Auckland (click here to read Freddie’s full application and view images)