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Illinois students enjoying the fruits of their labours

Students at two schools in Illinois are enjoying the benefits of growing their own produce.

Washington Elementary and Thomas Metcalf schools in Bloomington have both started their own fruit and vegetable gardens, Pantagraph reports.

In May, Washington students and volunteers built 12 raised beds and filled them with tomatoes, watermelons, basil, apple and peach trees, green peppers, cucumbers and corn.

A similar scheme has also stared at Thomas Metcalf and principal Amy Coffman said planting the crops and then harvesting them is fun for everyone.

Some of the crops will appear this fall in the salad bar, under the direction of food service director Heather Marshall.

Julie McCoy, director for Bloomington District 87, said the food grown at Washington will also end up on kids' plates and can teach them valuable lessons along the way.

"It gives students a good opportunity to see fruits and vegetables outside a grocery store," she said. "It helps bring local produce further into the community."