By Amanda Dobson, Enviroschools Facilitator
On the 23rd of February the Little Earth Montessori community celebrated their annual Harvest Festival.
“The intention of the day is for the community to come together to share kai grown in both the preschool and family gardens. Giving thanks and acknowledgement to Papatūānuku for the harvest from the gardens is also a tikanga that is a significant part of this celebration.” explains Mayie, one of the teachers at the preschool.
“It is also an opportunity to showcase the healthy eating practices of everyday preschool life to the parent community. Conversations about preparing for the Harvest Festival are initiated at the beginning of the Spring season, when the children are asked to contribute to planning which crops to sow, that will can be harvested for the Summer Harvest Festival.”
This year the children be harvested apples, corn, cucumber, kale, silverbeet, tomatoes, parsley, basil, strawberries and blueberries from the preschool garden.
With growing and sharing kai being an important part of their journey as an Enviroschool, Little Earth saw this as a good opportunity to reveal their new Enviroschools sign. Amanda Dobson, the Enviroschools Facilitator in Kāpiti presented the sign to the community, with two children Finn and Hayley helping to unveil it. After an Enviroschools karakia in both Māori & English, that acknowledged all the Atua and natural elements contributing to the harvest bounty, everyone enjoyed the kai. It was a beautiful summer day for picnicking in the preschool garden, enjoying the fruits from the labours of nurturing the crops through the months prior.