FFA plants apple trees at land lab

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos  by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Albion FFA planted 560 apple trees this afternoon, with some help from three local farmers. Sarah Millspaugh, the FFA president, is seated in the planter.

The trees cover about a half-acre of a 5-acre “land lab” that started two years ago along Clarendon Road. After using the land for corn, the FFA decided to diversify.

Sara Millspaugh is seated in the planter. Other members of the crew, clockwise from Millspaugh, include Megan Rosato, Vivian Rivers, Adam Kirby, Adam Krenning, Steve Nesbitt and Jayne Bannister.

They planted Honeycrisp and Fuji trees that were donated by Nesbitt Fruit Farms.

The trees are spaced about 2 1/2 feet apart. They will be in a high density spindle system. It will take about four years before they bear a mature crop.

FFA alumnus Adam Kirby disked the field earlier in the day, ot break up clumps of dirt and to get more air in the ground. Steve Nesbitt worked with the students to make sure the trees were planted at a 90-degree angle and the dirt was tamped down.

FFA Advisor Adam Krenning, left, and Albion apple grower Steve Nesbitt discuss tree planting strategy at a field by Clarendon Road. Barry Flansburg is behind the steering wheel.

Barry Flansburg drove the tractor and FFA advisor Adam Krenning also worked with the crew of students that included Sara Millspaugh, Megan Rosato, Jayne Bannister and Vivian Rivers.

Most of the land lab will continue to be used for corn. Some of the ground will be devoted to pumpkins.

The trees were spaced 2 1/2 apart. They should bear a full crop of apples in about four years.