Dakota College Receives Large-Project Orchard and Garden Grant

SPECIAL TO DEVILS LAKE  JOURNAL

Bottineau– ND Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has awarded grants totaling more than $71,000 for five large-project orchard and garden grants. Dakota College at Bottineau was awarded $19,495 from this grant to install a community orchard on the Dakota College campus.

The community orchard project is a part of a larger agroforestry plan on the campus that will provide fruit, peace and tranquility, while educating students and the community on unique tree and shrub species and cultivars. Ninety-seven trees and shrubs of many different varieties are in the plan to be planted.

Dakota College has been working in collaboration with ND Forest Service’s Forest Stewardship Specialist Cody Clemenson, Dakota College’s Horticulture Instructor Amy Koehler and Farm Manager Apryl Mawby. The community orchard project is a part of a larger agroforestry plan on the campus that will provide fruit, peace and tranquility, while educating students and the community on unique tree and shrub species and cultivars. Ninety-seven trees and shrubs of many different varieties are in the plan to be planted:

  • Apple
  • Plum
  • Apricot
  • Juneberry
  • Pear
  • Highbush Cranberry
  • Mulberry
  • Currant
  • Hazelnut
  • Aronia
  • Cherry
  • Seabuckthorn
  • Honeyberry/Haskap

The orchard will provide Dakota College Horticulture program students hands-on learning opportunities in the care and management of specialty fruits. Local schools will be invited to get a taste of the orchard by not only learning about the special fruits, but also tasting the fruits to allow sensory learning. The fruit harvest will be made available to the community for personal fresh picking.  Community members will also benefit through surplus donated to the local food pantry.

contributed.

The community orchard project will be used to raise awareness and importance of fruit production. Several of the fruits planned for these spaces are uncommon. As community members learn about these underutilized fruits, they may be encouraged to grow the fruit trees themselves. “The North Dakota

Community Orchard Project provides educational opportunities and fosters community spirit by bringing people together to plant and tend these orchards and gardens,” said Goehring. “The fruits and vegetables produced will benefit communities, schools and those in need.”

In addition, Dakota College is also participating in the Tree Campus USA program through the Arbor Day Foundation. The orchard project will provide support towards fulfilling the Dakota College mission of maintaining a Tree Campus resulting in a cleaner and greener campus.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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