Waitomo News : 30 October 2014
WAITOMO NEWS Thursday, October 30, 2014 5 FROM P5 “We’ve had good growing weather – plenty of sun and rain – so the plants are doing well and we should have plen- ty to give away this season. “Pretty soon people will be able to drive in and cut themselves some silverbeet, a cabbage, or whatever they need.” He says the raised planter boxes are great for vegetables because you can fill them up with good soil, compost and mulch and they are easy to weed. RECYCLING He got the idea for recy- cling wooden pallets several years ago after buying some orchard bins which he set up as raised garden beds for his mum. The outdoor furniture idea grew from that. “The main thing is to trans- form the pallets so you can’t tell what they once were,” says Mr Searancke. “It’s good to be recycling old stuff – we even use the off cuts for firewood and recycle the nails.” Some paint has been do- nated so the men can give their products a nice finish. The planter boxes are sold, by word of mouth and on Fa- cebook, with the money going back into the project for tools, nails, paintbrushes, seeds and plants, and come with some free plants. “I’d love every struggling family in Te Kuiti to have a planter box so they can grow veges to help feed their fam- ily,” says Mr Searancke. DAY TRIPS As well as growing veges and making outdoor furni- ture the men mow lawns and do odd jobs in the community. However, it’s not all work . . . they go on occasional day trips to Ruapehu, Waitomo Caves, Marokopa, Kawhia and visit whanau out of town. He says the men are enjoy- ing outdoor work and show- ing a lot of pride in their achievements. “Their communication is great; they’re sharing ideas and working well together as a team. “There is also some good spinoffs health wise from working hard in the garden. “Everyone benefits from the project really.” NAILING IT: Ngati Maniapoto Marae Pact Trust outdoor project workers Matty Williams (left) and Manira Punga enjoy building raised garden boxes, vertical planter boxes and garden furniture from wooden pallets. They also grow free vegetables for hungry families in the com- munity.
23 October 2014