Delaware Public Media

Penn Farm expands teaching opportunities with orchard

Apr 18, 2019

A historic farm used for education in New Castle County is adding an orchard.

Students, elected officials and volunteers planted forty fruit trees at Penn Farm in New Castle this week.


 Penn Farm is the only student-run farm in the state, according to Colonial School District Officials.

 

Farm-to-school manager Toby Hagerott says the new orchard will expand educational opportunities for students at neighboring William Penn High School.  “Since we haven’t had but just raspberries on the farm, the fruit will allow additional talk about apples or stone fruits or figs,” he said. “It adds another section to the farm. ”

Penn Farm currently consists of four acres of vegetables, a hay field, pollinator habitat and raspberries. William Penn students work the farm through their Penn Farm class. Produce stocks district cafeterias as well as local CSAs and farmers markets.

The new orchard is exciting to students like William Penn 11th grader Abraham Lopez-Juarez.

“I actually really wanted to do this because I’ve always really liked trees and the fruits that they produce,” he said. “And I was always interested in ... the certain level of stress that the have to be in to produce the fruits quickly.”

Lopez-Juarez says he wants to produce food for his family and community when he’s older.

Penn Farm’s new orchard is dedicated to Discover — which donated to support educational programming around it. The orchard planting was funded by a grant from the Delaware Department of Agriculture.