Food knowledge pays off for young Banana gardener
YOUNG six-year-old William Kurtz is a busy bee in the garden.
The Banana State School student was eating one of his very own home-grown tomatoes when he spoke to The Central Telegraph.
Based on his family's property outside Banana, William's parents, Nadine and Aaron Kurtz, have instilled in him a love and knowledge of knowing where your food comes from.
Earlier this year, William approached his mum saying he wanted to have a farmers' market stall at the markets in Banana in May.
Mum agreed on the terms that he had to do most of the work himself and think about giving back to someone. A keen William agreed, planted his seeds, watered them every day and spread horse manure over the plants. At the markets, William was able to sell a range of vegetables, along with pumpkins donated by his neighbour.
From the money he earned, he paid his stall fee to the Church and his sister for her work in the garden. He also donated almost half of his profits to Compassion, to go towards buying garden plants for communities in Africa.
"We are so very proud of his efforts, and the kindness in giving to others he has demonstrated," Mrs Kurtz said.
With the rest of his money, William is saving up to buy a big ticket item - a motorbike. When asked how much money he would need he said "$9002".
In his garden now, William said he had very, very big zucchinis, silverbeet, spring onion, potatoes, mint, oranges and bananas ("but they don't work now, the cows ate them"). He also has a very, very big patch of pumpkins that the milking cow liked to eat.
William has many jobs in the garden which he does most afternoons after school.
"I plant the seed and put horse poo around them, mulch them and water," he said.
Digging the hole and getting into the "mucky horse poo" is his favourite part, he said. Mrs Kurtz recently put in a native bee hive. William plants the flowers and the bees "come suck it all up".
Mrs Kurtz said it was an important part of growing up on the land to understand the food cycle.
"For a lot of kids they don't know where it is grown... our kids have always appreciated having fresh stuff from the garden," she said.
It's a family affair for the mother of three with younger girls, Genevieve, 4, and Cecilia, 18 months. Genevieve likes to get involved too, planting flowers. And as for the money for the motorbike, Mrs Kurtz said "he has a long way to go yet".