NZ: Foodbank benefits from university glasshouse

A gardening "wizard" and a self-proclaimed "diseased plant lover" are teaming up to provide fresh produce for a foodbank and are encouraging others to do the same. 

Associate Prof Paul Guy and his colleague, Susan Mackenzie, from the University of Otago botany department, have used a glasshouse to grow a variety of fruit and vegetables to give to people in need over the summer.

Mrs. Mackenzie, a technical assistant in the department, said she spent only about an hour a week looking after the plants in the glasshouse, but her colleagues raved about her gardening talent.

The fruit and vegetables were grown in one of the university's two glasshouses, usually used for student projects, but with spare space over the summer and plenty of donations from the wider university community, the pair decided to turn it into a way to combat rising food prices.

A variety of capsicum, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplants, and more have headed to the St Vincent de Paul food bank each week since September, depending on what they could pick at the time, Mrs. Mackenzie said.

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