Our local sunflower hero

Today’s DomPost features a lovely article about our local hero Julia, the Commonunity Project and Project Sunshine. You can see some of our sunflowers peeking through in the background already!


Christmas Feast 2013: shiny on the inside!

This week we danced to the sweet tunes of MC Babysteppers, we dipped candles, we ate sweet food cooked by Rachel Priestley, and we face-painted and ate ice cream from CommonSense Organics. We celebrated our Christmas party in style with our hard-working little farmers at Epuni School!

Julia has written a ‘thank you’ list over on our Facebook page here, where you can also see more pictures from the day’s events.

Here are a few other photos from our AWESOME Christmas party:

Rachel Priestley from Prodigal Daughter prepared 25kg of potatoes, 10kg of pork, 16 chickens and fed everyone an incredible meal.

Jacqui and Sue, the green forest angels from CommonSense Organics in Lower Hutt, donated ice cream for each of the children. I’ve never seen ice cream disappear so quickly before!

Sue from SuperVery generously gave us all of these beautiful Winnie-the-Pooh badges that she offered as a koha in return for sunflower seeds. We handed them out to all of the Epuni School children as an early Christmas gift:

Our farmers had sunflowers and other beautiful motifs painted on their faces:

And they dipped candles and made stunning colourful Christmas gifts, which they could take home.

Our feast featured in the DomPost the next day too. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this day super special!

Wishing everyone a very sunshiney Christmas season – we’ll be back in the New Year with more sunflower updates, and hopefully lots more photos that show how everyone’s sunflowers are growing.

What’s the buzz

Our little farmers’ seed packets will be available at the Riverbank Market in Lower Hutt tomorrow morning (from very early ’til about lunchtime). We will also have sunflower seedlings for sale, and a limited amount of heritage tomato seedlings. All proceeds received will go towards funding a beehive at Epuni School. We’d love to see you there – come say hi!


This week has been an awesome arty week for Project Sunshine. It’s been really wet and windy here in Wellington, so instead of spending lots of time in the garden, we’ve snuggled up inside with lovely art supplies and decorated lots of seed packets.

This morning we had visitors from Epuni Kindergarten. The gorgeous little people turned up to the library for a book reading session and saw us painting seed packets. Julia told them all about the magic sunflowers and asked them to choose a packet of seeds. They chose the rainbow packet, which they have taken back to plant at their kindergarten.

Here are some of the beautiful seed packets that the Epuni School children decorated today. Check out the clever collage!

Beautiful bright colours here too!


This afternoon Project Sunshine was mentioned in the NZ Gardener Magazine‘s email ‘Get Growing’ newsletter. It gets emailed to lots of people around New Zealand and is full of interesting gardening tips and tricks, and advice on how to grow things like fruit and vegetables.

When the newsletter was emailed out, we started receiving lots of emails from people wanting packets of sunflower seeds. We posted out 14 envelopes this afternoon to Carterton, Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Ngaruawahia, Porirua, Blenheim, Northland and Gisborne and we have many, many more to send out over the weekend!

Project Sunshine in the Gulf News

Thank you Phil and Tanya from Waiheke Island, for featuring us in the amazing children’s page ‘Imagined Worlds’, in the Gulf News. You can read the full text of the children’s page below.

It is pretty special that our seeds have travelled all the way up the country to Waiheke Island, where they’ll be grown in the community¬†Food Forest. We hope the sunflowers bring a golden glow to the garden there, and look forward to hearing how they go.

Grow well little seeds!

What’s the buzz

Here’s the buzz from this week. Keep reading below to see what we’ve been up to!

Our ‘Sunshine Day‘ got a mention in the Hutt News newspaper, thanks to reporter Karoline who joined us for part of the morning. (You can check out more photos from the day here). We’re hoping to do a few more community plantings like this at some point this term, so watch this space for further information.

We’ve posted out many, many envelopes full of sunflower seeds this week. It has been bloomin’ lovely! Please get in touch if you’d like a packet, or if you know someone in New Zealand that would.

We’ve also updated our map – it’s really cool to see the little trail of flowers spreading around the country and we think our little farmers will be really surprised when they come back from the school holiday break and see how far their seeds have been sent.

We’ve been decorating more seed packets – trying to keep up with the demand! It has been fun watching my six-year-old paint these seed packets with watercolour and acrylic paint, and this morning we experimented with some hand-made stamps.

And finally, we want to say a huge sunshiney *thank you* to everyone who has given us financial donations, or other forms of koha this week. We’ll do a separate blogpost about some of the fantastic things that we have received in return for packets of seed, which will all go to the children at Epuni School. And the financial donations mean that we’ve been able to buy lots more stamps, so we can post out more envelopes! We’re a little bit in love with these gorgeous bee stamps, which just go so well with the aims of our project.

Weekend Gardener Magazine

Hooray – we’re mentioned in the Weekend Gardener Magazine!

Many thanks to Diane Turner for her beautiful article and photos about Project Sunshine. Diane is one of our star supporters and we’re extremely grateful for all of her hard work.

Look out for the October 3 – October 16, 2013 edition of Weekend Gardener, which you can buy at good gardening stores!