Cherries, apricots, peaches, pears and apples are all part of Wayne County history. In the early 20th century, the school year in Fruita was even planned around the seasonal cycle of the orchards. Children attended school from the end of the fruit harvest in the Fall until Spring planting.
The 4H Spark Squad has been learning about our cultural heritage of fruit. Youth wove harvest bags using recycled plastic. Thanks to local families, Royal’s Food Town, and Loa Builder for donating plastic bags for the project.
On Wednesday March 13 at 6PM, a free community dinner will be held at the Wayne County Community Center in Bicknell. For the orchard theme, Kate Chappell will be serving dinner including an orzo and apricot salad, roasted pork loin with smoked apple chutney and maple glaze, grilled asparagus, and hand pies made with peach, apple, and cherry filling.
A representative from the National Park Service will be available to discuss the history of the Fruita Orchards in Capitol Reef National Park. The evening will also include demonstrations and exhibitions exploring our cultural heritage of orchards, jams, and fruit pies. If you’re planning to join us, please call the USU Extension/4-H Office at 435-836-1312.
We’re seeking samples of locally preserved fruit to share at the dinner in a tasting exhibit. Bring a jar to share. Or, bring other items for our historical exhibit.
Contact Project Director Annette Lamb at email@example.com with questions. This project is made possible through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, along with the Entrada Institute and Wayne County USU Extension. LIKE us at facebook.com/sparkinghumanities. – Annette Lamb
Fruita grade school children circa 1935. Courtesy National Park Service.
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