Students in Draper’s Alternative Education Program stepped up to help harvest a bountiful apple crop at DeVoe’s Rainbow Orchards in Clifton Park – and in the process had a fun learning experience.
During the service learning field trip, students learned how to properly pick and sort the apples for various uses: cider, bushels, donations, baking, etc. They also received a brief history lesson on the style of equipment used since the 1950s, the process for getting the apples to market, and the economics of running an orchard. They heard about concepts like efficiency, limiting waste, specialization and cost effectiveness.
“A worker on the farm made it a point to call us after we left to tell us the students exceeded expectations,” said teacher William VanWie.
VanWie said the students were expected to pick and bushel about 40 bushels of apples.
“They worked so diligently, they were able to pick 120 bushels,” said VanWie.
Apples picked by the students will be distributed to area schools.
“Seeing the students take their contribution so seriously was powerful,” said VanWie. “They were so careful to not bruise or damage any apples while working. “
Van Wie said the students were proud to see their 120 bushels labeled “Mohonasen” to indicate who volunteered and picked them.
“The students’ work was greatly appreciated by the farm and the students got to enjoy a few apples to go along with the knowledge they learned first-hand about the business side of the fall apple season we all enjoy in upstate New York,” said VanWie.