Heritage Orchard 2012 - 2014

At  Toko School we are working in partnership with some keen parents and people from our community to create a Heritage Orchard.  Please visit this page often to keep up to date with our journey.

May 2014 
Our feijoas are growing.  They are really big and really yummy.  Each day a different class collects the feijoas.
Monday  Room 5
Tuesday  Room 2
Wednesday  Room 1
Thursday  Room 3
Friday  Room 4

This month we have sprinkled sulphate potash around the fruit trees.  This provides good nutrients to the soil and encourages good growth for our fruit trees.

February 2014 

 We have lots of bees and bumble
 bees feeding off the flowers in
our orchard.

 Thanks to our parents who
donate lots of sheep poo.
This keeps our orchard
We have discovered that
our Greengage Plum has
Silver Leaf.  We now need
to pull the tree out and
get rid of it.  We don't want
our other trees to get

Look how big some
of our
apples are!

Winter tidy up . . .
 Thanks to Pascoe's wonderful 
parents who donated bags
and bags of sheep poo to 
put on our orchard.  Sheep poo 
is really good fertiliser.

 We spent some of the time 
weeding.  We also put more straw
 around the feijoa trees.

 We made sure that we had
gardening gloves on.

 Now the orchard looks really tidy!


 In the Garden with Gwenda
WEEK 4 & 5We have been planting seeds in seed trays and planting sedlings in the garden.

WEEK 3The Garden and Orchard group went to visit Hollard Gardens to learn about composting and worm farming.  Hollard Gardens

Our first week in the garden included creating a design so we could walk around the garden without standing on the plants.
Here is our Garden Group.

 In the Orchard with Mrs Waite
WEEK 5We built 3 compost bins.

We also planted some lavender plants below our fruit trees.
WEEK 4This week we put in some of the new signs one of our parents has made for the orchard.  They look great.

We all set up our dutch leg in preparation for learning about grafting fruit trees next year. We had to get on ladders to bang in the large stakes that we placed a metre apart.  We then planted the root stock in front of each stake - 24 in total.

The Garden and Orchard group went to visit Hollard Gardens to learn about composting and worm farming.   Hollard Gardens

We spent this week planting onions under all our apple trees.  We planted these so we repel slugs, cutworms and mites.
We also planted some more comfrey and weeded around our fruit trees.  Composting is going really well, everyone is using the bin.

Our Orchard Group spent our first session making a compost bin for our morning tea and lunch scraps.  We made a video of the process and uploaded it onto You Tube.  Each week we add paper, leaves and water and turn the container over to mix the scraps.  When it turns into compost we will put the compost around our fruit trees.


 All of our classes went out and helped
plant the fruit trees.  We had a planting
plan to follow.  We had to put
compost and straw in the holes first.
When we put the trees in we had to
make sure they were straight and not
too low down in the hole. 

 Then we put in more compost and
spread straw around the top of the
ground.  We also put in stakes on
either side of each tree and tied string
around  each tree to keep them
straight.  One of our Mums is
designing signs for each of our trees.

 Our feijoa hedge is planted.  We planted a variety called Unique.
This is what we did:
We put straw in the hole.
Then we put compost in the hole.
We squeezed the bottom of each plant to loosen the roots.
Then we put the feijoa plant in.  We had to make sure that it was straight.
Then we put in soil and some more compost.
On the top we put newspaper and some more straw.
To view more pictures please look at the media gallery.

Our planting plan:

Our plan includes planting a feijoa shelter hedge, lavender hedge (for bees) and a variety of heritage fruit trees.  We will also be setting up a dutch leg system.  We will be learning how to graft our very own fruit trees from other heritage fruit trees in our community.  We are all very excited about this project.
Over the winter we have worked hard to prepare the soil.  The soil was very, very hard and we couldn't find any worms.
Each class has:
  • Helped mark out the site in preparation for planting.
  • Tried to dig the holes.  This was too hard!!  We had to get Conor's Dad to come in and dig the holes with his post hole borer.
  • Spread and dig compost into the soil to make it healthy.  We have had lots of compost donated from parents in our school.
In Term 2 some students from each class went to Mrs Walters place to look at her Organic Heritage Orchard.  Mrs Walter is one of our school bus drivers and she is really keen to help us with our Orchard.  She talked to us about companion planting, organic fertilisers and how she trained her trees so they didn't grow to tall.  She gave us a whole lot of comfrey to plant in the corner of where each fruit tree is going to be planted.  Look at our media gallery to see photos of us planting the comfrey.

We were also really lucky to have the team from the Stratford BNZ Bank at school for the day for their Closed For Good Promotion. They spent quite a bit of time helping with digging up the soil and putting compost on the ground. We would like to thank them for all their hard work.

We are getting really good at taking photos from different angles to show what we have been doing.

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