Last year, pupils from St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary, in Bedhampton, got hands-on experience in learning how plants grow by growing fruit and vegetables throughout the year.
Recently they were visited by Patrick and Isobel Flynn, volunteers from the aid agency CAFOD, who spoke about how the charity is working with farmers across the world to help them grow more food.
Patrick said: ‘Mr Flanagan, the headteacher, began the assembly by reminding everyone that we are embarking upon harvest and what a special time of year it is.
‘He asked members of the school’s garden club to stand up so that he could acknowledge their hard work in growing some excellent produce.
‘He then offered a sample of raspberries and tomatoes to children from across the school classes.
‘His prize exhibit was a giant snozzcumber, which started life as a modest courgette.
‘He went on to explain that snozzcumbers were eaten by Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant and that this, in fact, was a large marrow.
‘Mr Flanagan then lit the school’s candles and we lit ours alongside to unite our prayers to God for a fruitful harvest across the world.’
This year, CAFOD is working with communities in the South American country of Bolivia, where in the Altiplano region nearly 60 per cent of the rural population are living below the poverty line.
Unpredictable rains and frequent hailstorms are destroying the crops which the communities rely on.
The charity’s partners are working to provide greenhouses to protect crops and train communities with new farming techniques.
Schoolchildren are fundraising to help CAFOD’s projects in Bolivia.
You can donate at cafod.org.uk/harvest.