Front row, left to right: Dominic Brindley, Lewis Cannings and Luke Barker. Back row, left to right: Sheldon Connell, Andrew Pover and Naomi Horton

Young horticulturalists at St Joseph’s College in Staffordshire want to make Stoke the garden of England.

The Catholic high school in Trent Vale has created its own vegetable and flower garden, digging up a grass verge at the side of the school’s chapel to produce God’s own bounty.

Now eager Year 8 and Year 9 pupils are busy tending to their ever-burgeoning array of leafy goods, working as a team to water and weed their crop.

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Among the harvest will be runner beans, broad beans, coriander, lettuce, radish, cabbage, sprouts, onions, rhubarb and sweet peas.

Lesley Robinson, a learning mentor at St Joseph’s, said: “The next six weeks are going to be very busy, when our young gardeners will really begin to see the fruits of all their hard work.”

Mrs Robinson added: “It is a cross-curricular project with relevance to our science, design technology, cookery and even English lessons.

“Pupils see the practical benefits of composting and fertilisation, learn to construct their vegetable plots, use what they have grown in a range of exciting dishes and even see how nature has inspired so many writers.”

Ultimately the boys and girls will share and take home their harvest of goods, leaving the plots ready for planting and the next season.

Naomi Horton said: “It’s wonderful to get out of the classroom, work in the outdoors and get some genuinely practical experience.”

Andrew Pover added: “You have got to be patient, but you soon realise that in hardly any time the garden grows and changes almost every day.”

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