The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

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  • Sophomores Hayden Marchant, Samuel Loving, Tristan Hodson, Landon Mayhew, Leland Koiner, and Aaron Fairbanks listen to Fruit Hill worker’s talk to them.

FCHS Classes Collaborate with Fruit Hill Orchard

Eleven years ago, Fluvanna County High School started a mutually-beneficial relationship with the Fruit Hill Orchard in Fluvanna. FCHS Agriculture teacher Russell Jennings restarted the Agriculture class and FFA—Future Farmers of America—at FCHS. He trades produce grown by the Agriculture students for produce grown at Fruit Hill.

Jennings’ class grows around 6,000 tomatoes in the spring in return for 24 bushels of apples, or about 1800 apples. Jennings then uses these apples and makes apple butter in October, while the orchard uses FCHS’s tomatoes for their fruit stand that goes up in July.

“Jenning’s class is always super lively. We work hard everyday growing these tomates to be the best they can for the orchard,” said junior Samantha Wills.

The Agriculture class is not the only class with a relationship with the orchard. The Carpentry class, which is right next to the Agriculture class, has been making apple crates for the orchard. These crates have been in the makings for only a week and were dropped off on May 3.

“There are so many people and organizations that have helped us in our program that we want to pay them back with our graciousness and with what we can do best. My hope is that my kids connect to their community around them by making something for them,” said Carpentry teacher Paul Chirico.

The Apple Orchard gives FCHS wood, and in return FCHS makes appliances to help the orchard workers, such as the apple crates. The offerings make it so both the Orchard and FCHS benefit without the exchange of money.

“It feels good to help out the community and also learn how to make stuff too. I think what we’re doing is a great thing,” said sophomore Carpentry student Samuel Loving.

While making the crates, there were a variety of steps that had to be done throughout Chirico’s two Carpentry I classes. In some group projects, one student does all the work. However, in Carpentry I, many students collaborate, making sure every student has a job. Whether they are nailing in the sides or checking for any imperfections, all students are involved in the creation of the crates.

“I had a lot of fun building these apple crates. We had some problems, but also got through them. Chirico was a big help throughout the whole project. It was all a group effort and no one person would be doing something alone,” said Carpentry student and junior Jessie Dillon.

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