Calling all Kiwi kids who dig gardening

29 June, 2018 by
FMCG Business
Celebrity chef Al Brown is on the judging panel for the Awards.

It’s time for budding young gardeners across the country to get their green fingers dirty again, as the Young Gardener of the Year Awards returns for a second year.

Entries to the awards open Monday 2 July and recognise the passion, talent and gardening achievements of primary schools and their students who use their gardening prowess to grow and harvest nutritious, delicious, food.


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 healthy food.

The 2018 edition will be judged by Garden to Table ambassadors, chef and restauranteur, Al Brown and gardening guru, Dan MacKay along with T&G’s Executive General Manager New Zealand Andrew Keaney and Garden to Table Executive CEO, Linda Taylor.

In total there are four categories for budding primary schools and students to enter:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The T&G Garden to Table Young Gardener of the Year Awards which 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.
  4. 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. The top prize is a free year’s online membership to the programme so students at the winning school can 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.

With plenty of incredible prizes up for grabs, schools and students are urged to start digging into the entry website now and taking pictures of their garden before the winter really sets in and the greenery fades.

Last year’s winners included T&G Garden to Table School of the Year: Haumoana School, Hastings, Hawke’s Bay and T&G Garden to Table Young Gardener of the Year: Emma Walsh, age 7, from North Loburn School, North Canterbury.