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Some things to do this month
- If you have a Plant Growing Unit or shade house you can organise your plants which are ready to be planted out, by putting them outside on the ground to harden off for two weeks prior to planting; taking care not to expose them to the frost.
This month’s plant is the Puka (Meryta sinclarii). You can read about one of New Zealand’s rarest plants in its natural habitat but one which is now widely established in cultivation. Find out about some of its more interesting features on http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/table-1/puka-meryta-sinclairii.html
Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. The picture shows the male flowers. Find a Puka tree in flower and work out if it is a male or female tree!
- Learn new plant-related words by creating a GLOSSARY. Make some cards and put one word on each card. You can use a shoe box to keep cardboard cards. When the word relates to a particular part of a plant, collect and dry a piece of a plant which demonstrates the word’s meaning. Here’s a few words to start your glossary: axil, bud, leaf, stem, root plus a few harder ones – biodiversity, endemic, habitat and succession.
Need help? Go to http://www.babylon.com/define/18/Biology-Terms.html or http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary
- Celebrate Matariki by planting a tree! As well as marking the start of a new year, Matariki also signals other new beginnings. Traditionally Matariki was the time to plant trees, prepare the land for planting crops and renew associations with whānau, family and friends. The New Year is also a good time to reflect on your place in the world – what better time to plant trees!
- Join the Living Legends such as Buck Shelford, Sir Brian Lochore, Sir Colin Meads, Bryan Williams or Todd Blackadder on a planting day near you. Check out scheduled events on http://www.livinglegends.co.nz/ or check out your local TfS school planting on the TfS Calendar
- View a thought provoking discussion on the ‘State of the Earth’ in three sequential programmes in short segments on You Tube, produced by the Dancing Star Foundation on http://www.dancingstarfoundation.org/environmental_education.php