This past year, kids at Manakau School swapped their iPads for gardening tools as the much-loved New World Little Garden returned to stores nationwide. Now, six months later with the school’s Little Garden produce ready for harvest, Manakau School celebrated by hosting a one-day, community cafe event with a menu featuring their homegrown veges and herbs.

Deb Logan, Principal at Manakau School says, “As a school we’ve been looking at ways we can contribute and give back to our local community. Driven by a creative teaching team and with an abundance of fresh vegetables on hand, the children started experimenting in the kitchen, creating healthy and delicious meals out of their Little Garden produce. This experimentation led to the idea of hosting a one-day cafe event, giving the wider Manakau community an opportunity to come into school to learn and taste for themselves what the kids have been up to, and growing, over the past year.”

Yesterday, the school opened Korimako Café and invited the Manakau community to taste for themselves what the kids have been learning, and growing, over the past few months. From pizza slices served with salad, to zucchini chocolate cake and chilled lemonade, the Manakau community were spoilt for choice with a range of Little Garden veges making an appearance. The day was labelled a roaring success, with people leaving with full bellies and a deeper knowledge of how fresh produce is grown.

Learning about food provenance and healthy eating is only one aspect of what the kids have learned over the last few months. The students were the creative minds behind the one-day community cafe event, creating the menu and meals leveraging what’s ready in their harvest and creating posters to get the word out to their community.

To ensure Manakau School had an abundance of Little Garden seedlings when they were first getting their garden growing, New World Otaki stepped in to top up the school’s seedling stash to increase the size of the school’s garden…and harvest.

“It’s been great seeing the kids in our wider community get excited about growing their own food and learning about nutrition,” says Steven Cole, owner operator of New World Otaki. “New World’s Little Garden campaign has reaffirmed kids’ love and curiosity for the outdoors, and it’s great to see both parents and kids getting stuck into their own gardens.”

New World’s Little Garden campaign ended in October, but New Zealanders are continuing to reap the benefits of the campaign in their home gardens and for seasons to come.

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