Pip to Plate
On Friday 26th September, Hadlow College, together with The British Independent Fruit Growers Association [BIFGA] held an educational outdoors event for local school students.
The objective behind the ‘PIP to PLATE’ event was to demonstrate and educate pupils about the history of apples, as well as seed science & genetics, propagation; grafting, planting, pruning, crop protection, harvesting, storage and marketing; which includes testing and sampling produce for sale. A key part of the day was aimed at showing the pupils the range of different career options open to them within the production horticulture and fruit sectors.
The event was held in the BIFGA-Huxley Orchards at Hadlow College; an orchard donated by The British Independent Fruit Growers Association and Theresa Huxley (Product Technologist at Sainsbury Supermarkets Ltd). The Huxley ‘Cheerfull Gold’ Orchard was planted in March 2012 at Hadlow College and at Pershore College, in Worcestershire, to trial different systems of crop plant management.
Local visiting schools included Hadlow Rural Community School, The Malling School, Hillview School for Girls, Mascalls School and Maplesden Noakes School. Each group travelled around the Pip to Plate circuit of learning stations, which included talks and demonstrations from East Malling Research, Hutchinsons [agronomy], Seabrook nursery, STS Refrigeration and Chingfords. John Guest, The English Apple Man also explained the origin of the sweet apple we know today.
Students on the horticultural courses at Hadlow College supported the professional presenters throughout the day, including demonstrations of planting, harvesting and fruit testing.
All in all, this fun and educational event achieved all its aims of enthusing the pupils and giving them a true industry insight into apple growing and the many related careers they could pursue in this expanding sector. A very positive response and feedback was received by all schools.