Green-fingered pupils grow their own fruit and vegetables

From seeds to produce, children at St Barnabas Primary School in York are being given the chance to grow their own fruit and vegetables from scratch.

As well as coordinating the school gardening club, Sewell Facilities Officer Adrian Tooley has provided every class with a different type of seed, along with compost and all of the tools they need to grow their own produce.

The children care for the plants and are helping to transfer them into raised beds outside before they are ready to be picked ahead of the summer holidays.

Adrian said: “The children are split into groups in each class and I show them the seeds, as well as pictures of what we are going to grow and how it will look when it’s ready.

“They plant the seeds in compost and help to move them into the raised beds in the allotment area. They absolutely love it.”

Peas, beans, peppers, sweetcorn, melons, root vegetables, tomatoes and potatoes are among the fruit and vegetables currently growing in the allotment.

Adrian, who also carries out programmes of statutory checks, assessments and maintenance at the school, said: “We’ve done this in previous years, but the children missed the fruit and vegetables coming out in the summer holidays.

“Now, we’ve started it early to try and push it on a few months and they can see the end products, sell them to their parents in the summer holidays, or take them home. I think it’s important because it encourages healthy living. They are more likely to eat it if they have grown it.”

Six-year-old pupil Brandon said: “Vegetables are healthy for you. They make you big and strong. Planting vegetables helps us to learn how things grow.”