Reiche Community School Plants Apple Orchard
Reiche Community School has planted an apple orchard as part of an ongoing initiative to bring more nature to its urban school landscape. The orchard is part of an outdoor learning environment for students that also may be enjoyed by the neighborhood.
Reiche’s “Green Team,” a group of parents and interested community members, came up with the orchard idea last January to further the goal of educating children about sustainability and growing more local food.
The city of Portland’s arborist, Jeff Tarling, provided assistance. Three apple trees were donated by Waite Macklin, known as Pastor Chuck, and his wife, Christine Macklin; they are parents of former Reiche students.
Charlotte Maloney, a landscape architect who has overseen the design work on Reiche’s schoolgrounds, helped plan the orchard. David Buchanan, a Reiche neighbor and proprietor of Origins Fruit, made suggestions regarding apple trees.
Students helped plant seven semi-dwarf seedling trees on the Brackett Street side of the school, outside the kindergarten doors. Varieties include Northern Spy, Esopus Spitzenburg and Honey Crisp.
Three standard-sized apple trees will be planted in the area around the raised vegetable beds and blueberry and raspberry bushes on the Clark Street side of the school. In addition, two seedling trees comprised of three different varieties of apples grafted on one stock will be grown using the espalier technique. This technique involves training a tree to grow on a flat plane to save space as urban settings.
In the coming years, the apple trees will be integrated into the curriculum. The hope is that students eventually will harvest apples and learn how to use them in different ways.