|For several years, Year 12 Horticulture students have been working with a community group Thames Be Fruitful (TBF) to get fruit trees out into the community. The idea is that the community gets free fruit, students get credits for their NCEA qualification, and TBF gets free labour for the planting.
Each year, TBF selected the area needing planting having checked with TCDC that there were no roadworks scheduled, surveyed the residents as to what sort of trees they wanted, and supplied the trees and fertiliser. Thames High School supplied the tools, stakes and labour.
At last count, over 400 trees have been planted around Thames, including Rhodes Park, Thames South School, Hauraki Terrace, and Heale Street, where these photos are from(see right). Perhaps surprisingly, there has been little to no vandalism over that time. What there has been, as these photos show, is the production of free fruit (apples, pears, plums, feijoas, and several types of citrus). Given that the trees in these photos were only planted in 2017, the students clearly did a good job.
Not only did students have to plant the trees, they also had to care for them for the whole of Term 3 in order to get the credits, keeping a logbook in the process. It has been pleasing to see that our students were prepared to plant more than the one tree required for assessment, and were happy to assist with the planting of all trees.
Click here to see the original September 2017 Facebook Post of our students hard at work.