Kia ora koutou katoa,

8Fl Science class have three main areas that we are investigating for the Urban Farm.

Our groups have just started preparing presentations about alpacas, fruit trees and worm farming.

We have been researching the costs and consequences of bringing these onto our Urban Farm and look forward to sharing our project presentations on June 16.

Some of our questions are:
1. What types of fruit trees do we want to grow? We need lots of feedback for this one!
2. What size of fruit tree would be best to plant?
3. What companion plantings are needed next to trees to attract pollinators?
4. Who will look after the alpacas? during the school holidays?
5. What will we do with shorn alpaca fleece?
6. Where could the alpaca go if the Kaikorai Stream floods?


  1. Great to hear 8FL are working hard!
    Ms Flett

  2. Kia Ora katou katoa 8FL! I like the idea of fruit on the farm and I enjoyed being with you all the other day in class. Just a thought about the fruit. What will we do with it? For example, how do you preserve fruit for later? Could we use it somehow in the school canteen? Dr McMillan

  3. Thankyou for your comments. We are thinking that we can use the fruit in the Foods room, so that our school spends less money! Or the fruit could be used in smoothies for a fundraiser. We could learn how to make jam and sell it at the Farmer's Market.
    Ngā mihi 8Fl Science

  4. Kia ora koutou - I'm interested to see your final presentations next week. I think the idea of using produce at school is great. Hopefully students will think about applying their ideas to home as well, and get some berries/veges going at home too. I love blueberries in my smoothies - yum!
    Ms Flett

  5. Jennifer Balaclava School
    Great work! Our class may be able to resource some compost for your group.Keep the work up!
    With the alpaca fleece you could find a farmer to spin it into string to make a woolen hat or a jersey. GOOD LUCK!

  6. Darcy Balaclava school.Great work we may be able to resource some of are on compost when we come up with a topic.good Luck.Darcy

  7. Hi 8Fl. I really enjoyed your practise presentations today. I'm looking forward to what your end presentations look like. Go for it! Dr. McMillan

  8. Sean & Annalise (Kaikorai) Well done - your presentation was really enjoyable! We would really love it if we could come back and look deeper into our subjects to see if we could work together as we looking at bees for our project.

  9. Lucy,Balaclava.Hi! I think that fruit trees are a great idea!You can grow apple trees,peach trees,and maybe blueberries!Good luck!

  10. Hi Lucy. Good idea about the apple and blueberries. They can grow easily in Dunedin. I'll also talk to the students about getting heritage apple varieties. Can anyone tell me what heritage varieties of apple are and why they might be better than common ones like say braeburn? Dr McMillan

  11. I have found that early varieties of apples are much better in Dunedin. Apples varieties can fruit from February through to May. Get varieties that fruit in Feb and March if possible. This way you know they will ripen before cooler weather comes.
    Do you think you will buy eating apples or cooking apples? What will you do with the fruit? How exciting to pick an apple off the tree and eat it! YUM.

  12. Hi Dr McMillan - I'm looking forward to someone answering your question.
    What is a heritage apple??
    Why might they be better than commercial varieties of apple?
    Can anyone think of reasons?

  13. Hi 8Fl,

    I have just heeled in some of the large fruit trees that Mr McMIllian has bought for us to plant in the Urban Farm. Heeling in is to protect their roots until we have the holes ready to plant them. Hopefully a digger will be here to dig 14 large holes for us before the end of the month.
    Some of the varieties that were bought are:

    Buerre Hardy BA29, Liberty 106, Egremont Russet 106, Merton Russet 106, Discovery 106, Bos Koop 106, Epicure 106, Fortune 106, Kidds Orange 106, Prima 106, Hetlina BA29, Jargenlle 106,

    The numbers tell us the rootstock type that the apple variety is grafted to. 106 is an Medium Rootstock - 4.5x4.5m apple that grows well in heavy soils.
    All of our pears are grafted onto BA29 Quince rootstock (with Beurre Hardy interstock) is a semi-dwarfing rootstock (55% of full size), producing a tree of about 4-6m (depending on soil, climate, fertilisation, irrigation and pruning).

    We bought the trees from heritage fruits in Waitati, they have a great website that details what we need to do to plant out the trees. There is also lots of information on this web site about the trees.


    Looks like we have a lot of work to do to prepare the holes for the trees!

  14. Henry Balaclava for question 6 there should be another paddock next to the main one so they can go there.

  15. I was impressed with the recounts 8FL wrote about their work so far on the Urban Farm project. A highlight was clearly all the different activities we took part in on the field day last term. Also, I was understandably proud of their research and presentations too - several students who otherwise find literacy/numeracy difficult made a big effort to research and showed a lot of confidence speaking in front of a large audience. Well done 8FL!

    1. I agree Ms Flett I was very impressed by the presentations.
      Mrs Eley

  16. Hi 8Fl

    We need to plant the fruit trees before the end of winter and the start of spring growth, which means they need to be planted out next week. We need to figure out which trees should be planted together. If anyone wants to help out or has ideas about the trees please let me know. I look forward to hering your ideas.

    Mrs Eley

  17. I saw some of the pictures from students doing some of the fruit tree planting - well done. How did people feel about the planting? Have you been recording any entries in your reflection notebooks? I know Ms Eley, Ms Campbell, Dr. Tyrrell and Ms Flett are looking forward to you helping looking after the trees until the end of the year; and making your reflective entries - go for it! Please send me a message and tell me how you are going with your project. All the best, Dr. McMillan