Farmers plant apple orchard for learning center - WNEM TV 5

Farmers plant apple orchard for learning center

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

The sunshine and April showers are growing a new business in Mid-Michigan.

Farmers planted more than 5,000 apple trees on Thursday.

The orchard will be a place for families to enjoy in the fall, but also a learning center for students.

"I think it will be a really cool asset for the community," said Isaiah Wunsch, co-owner of Wunsch Farms in Traverse City.

He is a sixth generation apple farmer. He is bringing his expertise to Buena Vista Township.

It is a project by Wolverine Human Services where about four acres of land will be turned into core orchards. Once it is in full bloom it will be open to the public.

"We are going to try to plant 5,370 apple trees. Hopefully our math is correct," Wunsch said.

Matthew Wollack, vice president of strategic development, said the orchards will enhance the community in more ways than one.

"When they come to life it is a new community centerpiece for you pick apple orchard activity, as well as vocational programming for our youth to better understand the apple economy and the agriculture economy that makes Michigan so great," Wollack said.

Wollack said it's called Core Orchards because just like the core of an apple the land represents the possibility of new growth.

Someone who knows about new growth inside and out is former University of Michigan running back Vincent Smith. Smith is a co-manager of Core Orchard.

"After my football career I wanted to do something different, something creative and also something sustainable," Smith said.

Smith said it is important for young people to value their well-being.

"To show the kids about like healthy eating and to build their strong bones and have some good energy and putting the right nutrition in their bodies," Smith said.

Core Orchards should be in full bloom by 2019.

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