On a beautiful day before Spring Break, students and teachers at PCMS planted an apple orchard adjacent the school garden known as The Living Classroom. Seventh-grade life science teacher, Nancy Bustamante, the sponsor of the garden, coordinated the orchard effort with Robby Astrove, an Environmental Educator and Fruit Tree Arborist. After Mr. Astrove taught the students the proper methods for planting the trees, the students enthusiastically dug the holes, positioned the trees, added compost, and finished with mulch. The large variety of apple trees will be a wonderful additional to the garden by adding shade, beauty, and of course, apples. More trees are planned for next year.
The PCMS Foundation provided the funds for the trees. The garden has been used in a variety of ways by the school. It includes a fenced-in area that has several raised beds that the health classes presently are using for growing vegetables. Sixth graders have used the garden to test anemometers calculating wind speed, and another class calculated the most efficient spacing of plants. Ms. Bustamante is now seeking certification for the Living Classroom as a Monarch Marking Station in order for students to track and study the butterflies.