Orchards in Schools Podcast

Schools involved in the Orchards in Schools Programme recently featured in a podcast episode on Plains FM. The episode will air on Thursday December 19th at 11am and 7:30pm on Plains FM 96.9. Listen Here

Latest Newsletter - Autumn 2020

This year we welcome Belfast and Knights Stream Schools, Kirkwood Intermediate and Hilmorton High School.

Our trees have been growing while we were in lockdown. They shelter birds and provide them with a place to roost. Piwakawaka flit through their branches catching insects. On our return to school the apple, pear and plum trees will have dropped their leaves and entered winter dormancy. Lucky children may find feijoas ready on the ground under their trees - delicious!

Covid-19 has taught us the urgency of taking better care of the planet and ourselves. The orchards provide a wonderful place for children to learn about the birds and insects which live in plants.

This newsletter focuses on the 12 schools I was able to visit prior to the lockdown. I am looking forward to working with all schools during pruning time this winter.

Canterbury school students are swapping screens for spades and learning how to grow and care for trees.

Listen to the article on Radio New Zealand from Country Life9:45 pm on 7 September 2018  - Let's get planting: school orchards for Canterbury's junior gardeners

The CHS recognises its unique position to assist and guide a rapidly emerging trend to home or community grown produce, especially with children and youth. We want to transfer our knowledge and expertise and imbue youngsters with passion for growing their own fruit and vegetables. To this end, we extended our Orchards in Schools programme in 2014 to 5 Christchurch schools – Oaklands, St Martin’s, Gilberthorpe, Northcote and Addington.

The brainchild of long-serving CHS member Carole Anderton, the CHS engaged two mature Canterbury University and Food Resilience Network members to manage the project which involved liaison with schools, identification and purchase of fruit and berry trees followed by the construction of the orchards with the children in each school. As much as possible they selected fruits and berries to ensure a long harvest season to help maintain the children’s interest.

The project is now coordinated by Mary Tingey from A Place of Learning who has made great progress and is rapidly expanding across Christchurch.

It’s very exciting to be part of the Orchards in School project and to see so many children enjoy being in the outdoors growing food.  Mary Tingey

Planted 2020 Knights Stream School, Kaiapoi North, Hillmorton High, Kirkwood Intermediate, Belfast Primary School

Planted 2019 Breens Intermediate, Bishopdale School, Wigram School, Marshland School, South New Brighton School.

Planted 2018: Burnside Primary School, Hornby Primary School, South Hornby School, Russley School and Avonhead School.

Planted 2017 Isleworth School, Haeata Community Campus, Fendalton Open-air School, Elmwood Normal Primary School, Wairakei School, Chisnallwood Intermediate.

Planted 2016 Waitakiri, Rawhiti, Wharenui, Cobham Intermediate, Casebrook Intermediate, Kaiapoi Borough.

Planted 2015 St Martins, Gilberthorpe, Northcote, Addington, Oaklands.


Canterbury Horticultural Society would like to thank the Rata Foundation for their project grant and CHS Members for their donations. A project like this wouldn't be possible without volunteers, teachers and support staff, who all help to make the project successful.

Southern Woods & Waimea Nurseries supplied the quality trees.