Small Farm to be Built within NZ South Island School Grounds

Plans are under way to establish a farmlet at Waimate High School.

An area of land, estimated to be 5ha, that backs on to the school's playing field has been earmarked for the project, to be developed gradually throughout the year.

Agriculture teacher Stu Albrey instigated the concept, which aims to teach pupils a range of farming disciplines.

''We've already made a small start on it,'' he said.

Animal health was among the aspects pupils were already becoming familiar with, thanks to two resident alpacas, named Wai and Mo. The alpacas, which were given to the school, were shorn on site by Mr Albrey this month, with the assistance of his pupils.

''The kids love them,'' he said.

''It's all about fostering that relationship (between children and animals).''

Some trees on the block of land have also been cut down to allow for further development. A family member of one of the school's pupils has offered to mill the logs.

''We want to use the timber to upgrade the sheep yards and perhaps do some post and rail fencing,'' Mr Albrey said.

''There's a lot more trees there that will need to come down eventually, but we are just doing it in small stages.''

Pupils have applied to the school's head of science for permission to build a worm farm as part of the overall initiative.

''If successful, we'll develop that to make it bigger.''

The school's farmlet and agriculture sector would complement the horticulture block already established at the school, Mr Albrey said.

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