CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The end of the school year may be here for schools across Central Illinois, but for one classroom, the learning continued through the last day.

Students in Mr. Ponder’s 3rd grade classroom at Bottenfield Elementary School have been using a tower garden to grow fruits and vegetables since the winter.

That tower garden has had things like spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and more growing in it.

Now that the end of the school year is upon us, the students were able to harvest some of those plants and use them to make smoothies.

The smoothies had strawberry and banana bases, but some of the plants harvested were blended in. Students could also choose other fruits and vegetables to add to their smoothies.

Other plants growing are able to be taken home and planted by students, and the teacher will maintain some of those plants through the summer.

Because the tower garden is indoors and has a watering system and special lights that help plants grow, the classroom can grow plants and herbs all year around.

The Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation has 3 tower gardens in use by educators in schools around the county.

Ag in the Classroom Director Sarah Kaper says they are a great way for students to learn about agriculture in the classroom.

They hope to raise enough money over the summer to get at least 10 more tower gardens into classrooms in Champaign County.

Learn more about the Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation’s Ag in the Classroom program here.