Carthage Junior High students plant micro-orchard

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CARTHAGE, Mo. — Pears, cherries and raspberries are the focus for some Carthage students Tuesday – not for lunch, but a chance for a “stem” learning project.

Alma Chavez, 8th Grader, said, “We are outside and we are planting.”

Pear trees, raspberry bushes, and even some cherries. It’s a short trip outside Carthage Junior High – a good trade from normal classes, according to 8th grader Alma Chavez.

“I feel like this is fun. I wouldn’t like to be in a classroom.”

Nearly 20 students are working with a non-profit called The Giving Grove. This project is a favorite with the group, one they’ve done many, many times.

Matt Bunch, Giving Grove, said, “Almost 190 little orchards around Kansas City metro area.”

The Carthage micro orchard will have cherries and raspberries – two European pear trees, two Asian pears, two jujubes – also known as Chinese dates. And while they will harvest the fruit – the bigger goal is education.

“318 NEST curriculum – so we have nutrition, environment, soils. And the trees we talk about caring for trees and what they provide … soil biology, health of trees, then we do have the environmental component, not only provide clean air but mitigate storm water.”

A $1,000 grant from the EPA helped to pay for the project.

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