“Vege Garden to Plate” experience at Papakura Early Learning Centre Last week, our tamariki noticed that our vege garden at the Papakura Early Learning Centre was fruiting with tomatoes. It’s also timely that the carrots were also ready for harvesting! Tamariki with her harvest With thanks to the Papakura Local Board, we set up a vege garden at our Papakura Early Learning Centre for our tamariki in December last year. “From time to time, there are some keen young gardeners among the ELC's children. Having the vege garden at the centre supports our tamariki in engaging in meaningful and educational outdoor and hands-on learning activities.”, says Margaret, Family Service Centres Manager. The vege garden also has a worm farm, compost and recycling system to teach the children sustainability and use the produce from our garden for morning tea. Tamariki collecting carrots "This is a great opportunity for our children to learn about different types of vegetables and fruit, weather and the environment and some basic sustainability concepts. I’m also glad to see our tamariki enjoy watering plants, fertilising soil and harvesting!", says Margaret. Tamariki picking tomatoes Tamariki slicing tomatoes and preparing for morning tea Emily, Team Leader at Papakura Early Learning Centre says, "Our tamariki did fabulous teamwork to collect the carrot and pick the tomatoes carefully from the garden. They also felt, smelled, and tasted the food during the morning tea sessions. The "from our vege garden to plate” experience was an awesome experience for them!" "We hope our children will have a sense of accomplishment tasting the fruit and vegetables that they grow and take them home to share with their whānau.", says Emily. Great Potentials Papakura Early Learning Centre, located at our Papakura Family Service Centre, provides free early childhood education for 30 hours per week for children aged from 2-5 years.