Sharing and kindness

Our little project is starting to feel like something quite special indeed, as we have started receiving envelopes and handfuls full of koha for the children at Epuni School. We’ve also received envelopes with financial donations and bank payments as well – and so far we’ve fundraised over $100 to go towards beehives at the school.

Wow! Thank you everybody – this means so much to us, and really shows the children that acts of kindness do go a long way.

We thought you might like to see some of the lovely things that people have posted, delivered or handed to us to give to the Project Sunshine children:

Sam_pumpkin_seeds

Sam from Hamilton grows giant pumpkins. He has an awesome website full of growing information and tips and tricks on how to grow the biggest, fattest and best giant pumpkin! In exchange for a packet of sunflower seeds, Sam sent a packet of giant pumpkins seeds for the children to grow, along with some good planting information.

Diane_seeds

Diane Turner gave us a selection of bean seeds she has saved from her own garden. Some of the beans are heritage varieties and Diane also sent some lovely stories about the history of the plants – where they came from, who introduced them into New Zealand and how the beans are best eaten.

Tutaekuri potatoes from Rob

Rob gave us a handful of purple tutaekuri Maori potatoes. These look and taste different to the sort of potatoes you usually see for sale in markets and the supermarkets. Rob says they grow really well and are beautiful in salads. They’re also bright purple on the inside and we can’t wait to see how they grow.

Envelopes and stamps from Kara

Kara gave us a large amount of envelopes and a box of stamps, so we can keep sending out packets of seeds around the country. This has helped us immensely – thanks Kara!

Jam from Kelda

Kelda is an awesome chef at Nikau Cafe, jam maker extraordinaire, and a gardener at the Brooklyn Community Orchard. In exchange for a few packets of seed for the orchard, Kelda gave us these beautiful jars of jam and marmalade for the children and other helpers at Epuni School. We think it will be absolutely delicious on the Purebread that is frequently gifted to the children at Epuni School. Such a treat 🙂

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What’s the buzz

We’ve had a great week here at Project Sunshine headquarters and have been busy planting and posting lots of sunflower seeds. Check out what we’ve been up to below:

This week we’ve been really excited to send ‘seed mail’ to some of our supporters. We’ve posted seeds to the Food Forest in Waiheke Island; Waipu Primary School up north; to Sam the giant pumpkin grower in Hamilton; friends in Featherston, Waipukurau and Blenheim; locally in Wellington to friends in Khandallah; to an apartment dweller who maintains his apartment community garden in the central city; and the Brooklyn Community Orchard.

It’s great to see our sunflower seeds travelling so far, and we’ve added many of these locations to our distribution map.

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We also visited the Brooklyn Community Orchard on the weekend, to have a look at their amazing garden and orchard. We gave orchard gardeners Kelda and Mel two packets of seeds – and as well as sharing them with other people locally in the Brooklyn area, Sunday’s working bee saw Mel, Kelda and other garden volunteers working hard to prepare a special garden bed for the sunflower seeds to be sown into directly.

The orchard is springing into life at this time of year. Self-seeded borage, calendula and alyssum flowers wander prettily down the stairs, providing food for the bees, which are vital to the pollination of many of the trees in the orchard. The espaliered pear trees are covered in white blossoms and Kelda pointed out the almond tree that is already bearing fruit. We hope that our sunflowers thrive in this beautiful garden space and are keen to report back on their progress at a later date.

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On Tuesday morning, the Project Sunshine Team and an awesome band of volunteers met up in Epuni in Lower Hutt. Our focus was on a particular street, which is having a hard time because of its many boarded-up Housing NZ homes. Because we know that beautiful environments can increase our sense of well-being and create abundance in our communities, we thought we’d do a mass planting of seeds and seedlings in the area, with our volunteers and many of the local children.

We planted in the front gardens of residents, as well as in the gardens of the empty and sad houses. It was a warm, sunny day and we spent a gorgeous morning planting sunflowers, talking to our happy volunteers and hanging out with our little farmers.

You can check out more photos from the morning here. And a huge *thank you* to everyone who turned up to help on Tuesday.

We look forward to the next planting day in a few weeks, where we will add veges to these new plantings as well as more sunflowers around the neighbourhood. Keep an eye on our blog or Facebook page for more details.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to get involved in our special little project, or if you would like some of our seeds sent to you!