Imagine… eating fresh fruit from heirloom trees planted over 200 years ago!
In “Rise of the Clones” discover how Manzo Elementary, Roskruge Elementary and Mission Gardens are working to preserve historic agriculture, promote sustainability, and celebrate culture through tree cloning and propagation in their community.
The heritage tree project teaches students how to cultivate clippings from Mission Garden’s heirloom fruit trees. The fruit trees, which have adapted to the Sonoran environment, were originally brought to the area by European missionaries in the 18th century and have provided a food source for inhabitants for over 200 years. After they develop roots, many of clones will be planted on the campuses to provide shade and add to the cafeteria garden, the remaining trees will be planted at Mission Gardens. Both locations ensure these heirloom fruits will be available for future generations to enjoy.
Wilson Produce, who supports the project through material cost funding, looks forward to the lasting impact on the community and culture. As James Martin, special projects manager, states “The heritage fruit tree project is about so much more than ‘simply propagating fruit trees,’ We [as a fourth-generation family business] are looking to the future; as supporters of the Mission Garden fruit project, we aim to respect the past.”
In the article, students share their experiences, like Maryna, who says “Being out in the Mission Garden was sort of like taking a step back in time. I learned about my past and how my ancestors got to taste the true fruit and eat not just processed fruit gummies that say ‘100 percent fruit.’ I also liked that we got to be part of the experiment”
The project, which is the first of its kind in the area, hopes to expand into more TUSD schools in the future.
Click the link to read the full story, learn more about the project, and see photos!