Our 2019 Yates Budding Young Gardener is… Jamie Frost!

Te Awamutu green thumb, Jamie Frost (10) has won the Central North Island regional title (from 7 regions around NZ), and then the overall National Budding Young Gardener title as part of the nation-wide search for the Yates Budding Young Gardener 2019.

Jamie’s love of gardening started around three years old, with his Granny Di being a major inspiration and with guidance from his Mum and Dad.

“My favourite part about gardening is pulling off the sweet spring green peas from the peapod, eating them fresh, then planting more,” said Jamie. “I also grow a lot of NZ Spinach, the only vegetable native to New Zealand, as that is the main ingredient in my favourite meal – Saag.”

Jamie also has a penchant for pumpkins. After seeing a photograph of his one year old self beside a giant pumpkin, he insisted on entering the Hamilton based Great Pumpkin Carnival growing competition every year.
“For nine years in a row I’ve been entering the pumpkin growing competition. I have made pumpkins into all sorts of things – caterpillars, cats, eyeballs and even a sun-bathing ninja.”

Jamie said he feels very lucky to live in the country and have a big backyard with a big garden. “Our garden grows enough food for the whole family so we don’t have to buy it and we can have fresh vegies all year round.”

Jamie has won a family trip to Hawaii and becomes the Yates Kid Ambassador for a year.

Meet Jack, our Budding Young Gardener 2018 winner…

Te Atatu Peninsula (Auckland) young green thumb, Jack Hughes, won the inaugural Yates Budding Young Gardener 2018 competition.

Seven year old Jack comes from a long line of gardeners. His great grandfather established an orchard in Henderson in the 1950s, and later a vineyard and orchard in Kumeu; Jack’s grandfather has an expansive vegie garden and father, Mark, is now sowing the seeds of gardening passion with Jack.

“I like gardening with my dad because he teaches me how to grow things. I plant all sorts of fruit and vegetables and love watching them grow. Then I get to eat them. My dad learnt how to garden from my grandad when he was my age,” said Jack.

Mark said Jack’s enthusiasm for gardening started at an early age.

“Ever since he could walk, Jack has loved being in the garden. It started with just digging holes but now he regularly plants and tends vegetables. It has been wonderful for encouraging him to eat his greens – everything he grows gets eaten which wouldn’t be the case if we bought a bunch of vegies from the supermarket,” said Mr Hughes.

Jack has a particular bent for beans. “I like growing beanstalks because my name is Jack. They also make a really good jungle to play in.”

Here’s a pic of Jack’s super cool Bug Hotel he built all on his own.


Here are some pics of Jack’s Bug Hotel one year on, and if you look carefully you can see his hotel has been well occupied!  Jack has kept in touch with the team at Yates, and was chuffed to find a praying mantis and nest (& many other bugs) in his homemade hotel.

The funny white pod thing in the bottom right of this photo is a praying mantis nest, keep an eye out for them at your place too!