Gardens & orchards at local schools

Cat’s Apple Tree in Bloom

by Catherine Haug May 19, 2012;

Update log:

  • June 23 update: Kalispell won the orchard!
  • Oct 31 update: D. Morgan provides photo of young orchard blanketed by early October snow storm. See below.

The main tenets of the ESP mission are: building community, and learning to live sustainably. What better way to live up to both of these, than to help our local children learn about growing their own food. Especially in urban communities, most children have no concept of where food really comes from. We see this even here, when children (and even some adults) see our Community Cider Press at Tamarack Time! and exclaim, “I didn’t know that’s how you get apple juice!”

We would love to see gardens and/or orchards at local Bigfork area schools as well as elsewhere in the valley. We would love to have our teachers embrace the importance of such a project, but so far have met with resistance – mostly due to shortage of time and prior commitments.

An expression of support for this project from parents and the general community would be welcome! Meanwhile, we have an opportunity to provide an orchard for Kalispell Middle School. Update: this competition called Communities Take Root, and sponsored by Dreyer’s Fruit Bars is over; Kalispell won!

Update: Here’s photo by D. Morgan, of the young orchard at Kalispell Middle School, blanketed by our early October snow.

Middle School Orchard, under October 2012 Snow

The Flathead Beacon article: Kalispell Middle School Hopes to Get Fruit Orchard has more information about the project. See also Edible School Yard Project and Whole Kids Foundation: School Garden Grants for more about gardening in the schools.

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