Aid for Riley’s extra rows
Young Riley Walton has the backing of the community in his efforts to help feed families in need by growing an extra row. The Tikokino 10-year-old is embracing National Gardening Week’s theme of Grow to Give and is doing his bit to help local families by donating his surplus veges to the CHB Food Basket in Waipukurau. His mother, Cheryl, said Riley’s love of gardening developed after he started home-schooling at the beginning of last year. “With more opportunity to spend time outdoors, Riley gravitated towards the garden and started not only growing veges for the family but he really wanted to give some to families in need,” she said. His Food Basket Garden really took off when New World Waipukurau gave him a big box of Little Gardens seed pods and gardening products to help build his garden. Ashby’s Mitre 10 in Waipukurau also supported him, donating other gardening products. After his greenhouse blew away, they also secured a donation of a garden shed and greenhouse from Garden Master Sheds in Napier. “They have been really great and are continuing to help me with products and equipment from time to time,” Riley said. His crops are extensive. “I have broccoli, cauliflower, brocoflower, potatoes, silverbeet, lettuce, spring onions, leek, spinach, curly kale, red Chinese cabbage, garlic and brussels sprouts.” He has also made planter boxes from recycled pallets for herb and vege gardens to give away to encourage people to start growing their own food. The Food Basket, which was established four years ago, operates throughout the whole of Central Hawke’s Bay, distributing more than 400 food boxes a week, feeding around 1500 people. In addition to the food boxes people can pick up what they need from the free store. Founder Mel King said she was right behind National Gardening Week’s grow-an-extra-row initiative. “It is great as it gets people thinking about the food rescue space and growing their own food. Popping a few more seeds in the ground and donating that extra produce could make all the difference.” “Riley has been a champion at regularly dropping off his surplus veges for our families in need. He is basically growing to order as he often rings up to see what he needs to grow for the food boxes. He will share his successes and disasters. He is truly inspirational and the community has been following his progress ... with a huge amount of interest.” To help get your extra row underway, Yates is lending a helping hand. Just register online at https:/ /www.yates.co.nz/ national-gardening-week/ this-year/2021/ before October 25 to receive a free packet of vege seeds.