Southern Cross Horticulture has a huge community focus. With this in mind we are sharing our knowledge and taking our skills to schools within the community. Our SCH Construction Team built a mini orchard at Pukehina School and Mount Maunganui College alongside the SCH Hort team who assisted with planting and providing sessions to the students to learn about kiwifruit. These orchards have different varieties of kiwifruit such as green, gold, and red; along with their corresponding male variety to provide the pollen to achieve fruit.
These orchards are modified to cater for the age range of the students. For the Primary aged students, the orchards stand roughly 1 metre tall. This design uses a vertical growing style compared to a traditional lateral canopy growing style. The High School aged student’s orchard stands at a standard 1.8 metre height. SCH will provide Pukehina Primary School with 7 lessons spanning over 7 weeks about looking after the orchard and what happens to the plants during a season. The sessions will range from frost protection, fertiliser, bud-break, thinning, canopy management, and pollination. The students will apply fertiliser throughout the season along with other inputs to ensure they get the best fruit possible.
Well done and thank you to everyone involved in building these orchards.