Green-fingered Ilford students harvest vegetables “the size of footballs’

Vanessa Madu 13 harvesting

Vanessa Madu 13 harvesting - Credit: Archant

A team of so-called “busy bees” are about to harvest a crop of vegetables grown at an Ilford school.

Vanessa Madu 13 harvesting

Vanessa Madu 13 harvesting - Credit: Archant

The green-fingered pupils at the Ursuline Academy, in Morland Road, have nurtured a “tropical oasis” of plants, including a giant 10ft high sunflower and yellow squashes “the size of footballs”.

Teacher Ed Reilly said the small vegetable patch in the school courtyard had thrived over the summer to produce beetroot, lettuce, garlic in an abundance of fresh food.

She added: “The main team aptly call themselves ‘Beauty and the Bees’ and have worked tirelessly with the planting.

“Students in school are delighted with the colourful display and have commented on how it has improved the seating area.”

They will be using the squashes in cooked food to sell at school for charity of their choice.

Specially selected plants beloved by bees are also attracting the industrious insects, which are threatened by declining numbers.

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The project is part of the “Grow Wild” scheme, organised by Kew Gardens to encourage young people to grow their own.