School plants garden for SPCA pets
A small rural school is doing its bit to help feed the vegetarian animals at the SPCA.
The pupils have established a large raised garden bed in which they have planted lots of vegetables to help feed the rabbits and guinea pigs kept at the Whangerei Branch of the SPCA.
Becky Overeem, who is the principal's release teacher at Kokopu School, had earlier in the year seen a Facebook post asking for any spare fresh vegetables to help feed the four legged creatures.
Kokopu is an "Enviroschool" and Overeem, who started at the school at the beginning of the year, is a keen gardener. She had taken over the responsibility of developing and growing the programme towards attaining a Green-Gold level award.
"I inherited some fabulous things that the school was already doing which also included four raised garden beds," she says.
But it was on the way to the SPCA with her family to drop off some carrots and parsley, from their home garden, that Overeem suddenly realised the wonderful opportunity she had to encourage the children to learn more about sustainability and also help the SPCA.
The school's student garden club helped clear out the garden beds, prepare and plant the first round of seedlings in the garden bed which has been dedicated to the SPCA.
"We are currently growing carrots, kale, parsley, silverbeet and broccoli."
"I love that the garden has a purpose and the children can't wait to make our first delivery to the SPCA," she says.
"We already have a nursery of seeds growing so we can have the next round ready to plant once we harvest this crop."
The gardens has done very well - so well in fact, that a couple of wild rabbits decided to help themselves to the well- tendered delicacies.
The pupils have made a temporary fix - a netting fence - until they can some up with something more permanent.
"The kids love the garden idea and we have had some lovely feedback from the parents," Overeem says.
An SPCA spokesperson is thrilled with the concept saying the "kids are awesome."