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Denmark High School now home to large-scale orchard

Grass will be planted in between the trees and students will eventually learn how to prune.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 1:28 PM CDT
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DENMARK, Wis. (WBAY) - A local high school becomes the first in Northeast Wisconsin to plant a large-scale orchard.

Dozens of fruit trees are now in the ground at Denmark High School, making for a busy couple of days for ag students outside the classroom.

“We’ve been planting an orchard with tons of different trees, like apple trees, peach trees, nectarines, pears,” says Cordell Komorowski, a Denmark sophomore.

Add to that cherry and prune trees, for a total of nearly 60 fruit trees now in the ground on district-owned property behind the elementary school.

Planting the orchard though is just the beginning.

Grass will be planted in between the trees and students will eventually learn how to prune.

There’s also special plans for some of the apple trees.

“They’re not going to just be full canopies, they’re going to be trained on trellises just to keep the size down and then just to learn about a unique opportunity because I travel to Europe a lot and all of their apple trees and orchards are planted where they’re on trellises to keep the size down and easy harvesting,” says Mary Handrich, Denmark Agriculture teacher.

The high school’s orchard will start producing fruit in four to five years, and when it does the entire community will benefit.

“If the Early Childhood Center or elementary teachers want to go out there or if the community want to go out there and check things out, or eventually harvest, it’s open to anybody,” says Handrich.

And while these students who did all the digging and planting won’t be around to see the fruits of their labor, they’re proud to have laid the groundwork for Denmark’s new orchard.

“A class project that we go to be part of that will be looked at for many generations after us and many grades after us, so that’s kind of a cool legacy thing,” says Denmark sophomore Dylan Propson.

The high school’s orchard will start producing fruit in four to five years, and when it does the entire community will benefit.

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