Kia ora koutou!
A key part of the vision of Te Ika Unahi Nui is for our boys to learn practical skills that will support them through life. No doubt challenges will come their way in the future and it is our responsibility as a whānau to equip them with the necessary skills to succeed and in some cases perhaps to survive.
This month the boys are learning knowledge and skills associated with the maara kai. At the end of last summer I harvested my potatoes and stored a few leftovers in the garden shed. These have since sprouted and I thought this was an ideal time to show the boys how to prepare and plant them in the maara. We have a large garden located at the rear of our house containing a combination of green vegetables and root vegetables. Adjacent to these gardens stand three raised boxed gardens I built a year ago for growing garlic and Māori potatoes. Māori potatoes are easy to grow and great when eaten fresh in salads or as a side dish with melted butter, fresh herbs and seasoning.
Before the boys started to prepare the maara, I introduced them to various tools required to do the job. They photographed these and then created a vocabulary list on Bitsboard to help them learn the names in te reo Māori.
The first stage was pulling the weeds out of the maara.
Next the boys dug out any remnant potatoes that had grown over the winter.
Manawairua poured compost into the maara.
Daymon collected our taewa which consisted of two varieties, tutaekuri and parera.
The boys then completed the final task of planting them in the maara.
Next week the boys will choose an iPad app to describe the process of planting taewa in the maara to share with their whānau and their classmates.