There are a variety of berry plants and apple trees here. Scroll through the website to learn more about each one!
Pollinator plants are essential for the orchard. Mary Scott has regional pollinating plants like the Milkweed. This plant has very unique blooms and attracts pollinator s like bees and moths to the orchard. The seeks look like small black dots attached to cotton strands. This helps them float on the breeze when the wind takes them.
Pollinating insects are just as important as pollinating plants. There are bees, hummingbirds, moths, butterflies and many more. Watch this video on the importance of bees and see.
Without pollinators, the trees and berry plants would never make it past the flowering stage and so would not be able to produce any fruit. A pollinator garden ensures that a lot of pollinators are around and that all the fruit-bearing plants are pollinated.
Plants take from the soil, but also give back to it through the materials that pass through them and into the soil. This is a complementary form of co-dependence that works better for everyone!
A prairie-style pollinator garden is as close to what nature would look like unspoiled, as is possible. Each of the plants chosen contributes something unique through a variety of features like height, water usage, wind protection, soil replenishment, and the list goes on and on.
Can you predict which trees are likely to produce the greatest yield? Does it depend on size, variety, other factors? Investigate and make a prediction.
The pollinator plants are located in one spot. What effect do you thihk this tight space has on how the plants grow? What percentage of the plants grow to full maturity each year?
Based on the observations of one or more plants, can you make a prediction for how many berries it would produce across an entire growing season?
The flowers in the pollinator garden are each unique. Each plant has its own symmetry. How many petals do you see on each flower? How do you think that helps the plant?
What can we do to better protect our natural world?
Write about your favorite thing that lives outside. It can be a flower, an animal, a vegetable, etc.
Pick a spot to sit in the orchard and just watch for a few minutes. What do you see happening? Imagine that as the center of the world. Tell us what is going on!
Write a story or poem in which nature is the main character rather than just a setting.
Throughout the world, there are many trees that have stood in the same place for hundreds of years. Write a story about all of the historic events and changes in society that one of these trees has seen.
Why an outdoor orchard and living classroom? Because the community and our kids deserve spaces like this to learn from and enjoy. Look below at the educational standards that teachers can use in a place like this and you'll be able to imagine just what can happen. Nature isn't just fun. It's also something that we can all learn from!
Indiana Science and Environmental Science Standards
1.LS.1 Develop representations to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
1.LS.2 Develop a model mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. Explore how those external parts could solve a human problem.
1.LS.3 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
1.LS.4 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.
2.LS.2 Compare and contrast details of body plans and structures within the life cycles of plants and animals.
3.LS.1 Analyze evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
3.LS.2 Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the basic needs of plants to grow, develop, and reproduce.
3.LS.3 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
4.ESS.4 Develop solutions that could be implemented to reduce the impact of humans on the natural environment and the natural environment on humans.
4.LS.1 Observe, analyze, and interpret how offspring are very much, but not exactly, like their parents or one another. Describe how these differences in physical characteristics among individuals in a population may be advantageous for survival and reproduction.
4.LS.2 Use evidence to support the explanation that a change in the environment may result in a plant or animal will survive and reproduce, move to a new location, or die.
4.LS.3 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction in a different ecosystems.
5.LS.1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
5.LS.2 Observe and classify common Indiana organisms as producers, consumers, decomposers, or predator and prey based on their relationships and interactions with other organisms in their ecosystem.
8.LS.9 Examine traits of individuals within a species that may give them an advantage or disadvantage to survive and reproduce in stable or changing environment.
Env.1.2 Understand and explain that human beings are part of Earth’s ecosystems and give examples of how human activities can, deliberately or inadvertently, alter ecosystems.
Env.1.3 Recognize and describe the difference between systems in equilibrium and systems in disequilibrium. Describe how steady state is achieved through negative and positive feedback loops.
Env.1.6 Describe the difference between weather and climate. Locate, identify, and describe the major Earth biomes. Explain how biomes are determined by climate (temperature and precipitation patterns) that support specific kinds of plants.
Env.7.3 Compare and contrast the effects of environmental stressors (i.e. herbicides, pesticides) on plants and animals. Give examples of secondary effects on other environmental components.
Env.8.4 Describe how agricultural technology requires trade-offs between increased production and environmental harm and between efficient production and social values.
Richmond is not the only community to take the 'orchard approach' to student learning. See what our neighbors are doing over in Bloomington, IN!