Bruce Steelman, left, assists Woodbury Pre-K students, from left, Grayson Mollinet, Kholton Melton and Miranda Rodgers plant an apple tree in the school’s new apple orchard.
Woodbury Grammar School students who want to provide an apple for their favorite teacher won’t have to go far to pick them in the future thanks to current Pre-K students in Paula Kyne and Lou Nave’s classes.
Students in Pre-K classes helped plant 30 apple trees adjacent to the Pre-K playground Monday (April 11). The apple orchard is this year’s community project for Woodbury Grammar Pre-K classes.
The apple orchard was made possible through a $500 Outdoor Classroom grant from the Tennessee Farm Bureau.
“We are certainly grateful to Tennessee Farm Bureau for the grant to be able to go forward with the orchard,” Woodbury Grammar Principal Bonnie Patterson said. “The students not only assisted in planting the trees, but they also have learned a great deal along with this. We are excited and look forward to growing the orchard.”
In addition to teaching Pre-K at Woodbury Grammar, Nave serves on
the Cannon County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and knew of the potential for securing a grant for the project.
“Tennessee Farm Bureau offers a $500 Outdoor Classroom Grant to schools to develop some form of a production agriculture project,” Nave said. “Knowing that apples are a crop that could be produced and harvested when students would be in school and that apples grow well in our area, I suggested our Pre-K class project should be the development of an apple orchard.”
Bruce Steelman, Cannon County Extension leader, and Heath Nokes, Cannon County 4-H agent, assisted in the planting of the trees and provided technical assistance, Patterson said. Gerry Nokes is the Cannon County Farm Bureau Board Member, and serves as orchard advisor. He selected and secured the varieties to be planted.
The orchard can also serve as an educational benefit to students.
“It can be used as an outdoor classroom for the study of plant growth and development, insect and animal life, math lessons about predicting, counting and graphing,” Nave said. “It will also be a pleasant place to visit. Within a few years there should be significant produce on these trees to provide fruit for the cafeteria or class projects. The trees will benefit the school by adding beauty year round.”
Students have already learned plants require soil, sunlight, water and air to survive.
“I feel it is immensely important for children to know where their food comes from and who produces it,” Nave said. “Allowing them to participate in this endeavor will be an experience they will not forget.”