A SCHOOL turned into a farmers’ market as green-fingered children sold the vegetables they have been growing this year.

St Mary’s Catholic Primary in Portslade transformed the playground into a market selling organic vegetables grown at the school.

Parents and pupils at the Church Road school lined up to get their hands on carrots, beetroot, courgettes, runner beans, potatoes and lettuce fresh from the vegetable patch.

St Mary’s pupils have been planting seeds and bulbs and watering the patch through the spring term.

Children tended the patch as part of enrichment afternoons and at a gardening after-school club.

Teaching assistant Lorraine Scott, who spearheaded the initiative, said the children really enjoyed getting their hands dirty.

She said: “We got the bed in January and grew the vegetables through the spring so it hasbeen nice for the children to see the progress from bulbs to the the beautiful patch we have now.

“We have also used the veg in our after-school cooking club, spinach and courgettes.

“It has been really good and beneficial for our school.”

The money raised from the honesty pot will go towards buying more seeds and bulbs for the next school year.

School bosses hope the initiative will inspire their pupils to eat more fruit and vegetables and go some way to educating them about food.

A survey conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation last month revealed children have some serious misconceptions about food.

The charity spoke to more than 5,040 children across the UK, who found children thought cheese comes from plants, tomatoes grow underground and fish fingers are made of chicken.

Assistant headteacher Hannah Hooper hopes the market will encourage pupils’ families to grow their own vegetables and eat more healthily.

She said: “When we spoke to our children, we found they didn’t know where certain vegetables came from.

“So we thought it would be great to get them to actually go out and plant vegetables.

“It all ties in with St Mary’s being a Sugar Smart School.”

The campaign is part of a Public Health England initiative to highlight the high levels of sugar found in children’s food and drinks and to encourage parents to take control of their children sugar intake.