During the week of Oct. 17, more than forty-two students from UMass Amherst and Mount Wachusett Community College enjoyed an immersive expedition to Red Apple Farm, a fourth-generation family farm located in Phillipston, Massachusetts. On top of boasting some of the most delicious, award-winning cider donuts in the state, Red Apple is committed to integrated pest management (IPM), a holistic, environmentally-sound approach that minimizes the use of pesticides.
Students studying under Jaime Piñero, UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and George Locascio, Mount Wachusett Community College, are currently taking a course on IPM.
During their donut-filled visit, owner Al Rose gave a tour of the orchard and explained Red Apple’s history and inner workings.
Piñero and students from his laboratory have conducted multiple research projects at Red Apple Farm, demonstrating the farm’s commitment to sustainability. For the past four years, eleven research projects in IPM have taken place at Red Apple.
In the words of Al Rose, “Learning first-hand about IPM practices is critical to understanding the long-term care and sincere effort to ecologically and consciously grow fruits and vegetables.”