Red and Delicious! Campus Apples in Dining Hall
Yes, those really are apples you’ve been seeing when you walk by the tree-lined green outside Barone Campus Center. Of the Red Delicious variety, in fact. Yes, they are untreated (no pesticides), and yes--they are safe to eat!
For the second year, the student club LEAF (Leaders for Environmental Action at Fairfield) sponsored the Apple Fest on Tuesday, with apple cider and sweet snacks for students and others passing by. Alex Fylypovych ’14, president of LEAF, coordinated the activity with assistance from Todd Pelazza, director of Public Safety, and Jim Fitzpatrick, assistant vice president, to raise awareness of healthy, organic food and, of course, harvest the apples.
“This has been the best apple season in the past 40 years. I know several people that have orchards and they agree,” Pelazza said. “It was great seeing so many students get involved. Alex and the entire LEAF club did a great job!”
Students (Brittany Ferrara ’17 and Brynne Bartiromo ’17, pictured above, among them) stopped by all morning to try their hand at picking the mostly perfect fruit, using “flexrakes,” a very efficient tool with a long stick and wire container at the end. In the afternoon, a bucket truck came in to collect the fruit on the higher branches. Students were welcome to take as many apples as they wanted. The rest will be distributed in the dining hall. Damaged fruit was collected to go to a local horse owner and the Campus Garden compost.
The quarter-acre of apple trees on campus was once part of a large orchard before Fairfield University acquired the property in 1942. Fylypovych hopes the Apple Fest will become an annual event. “It’s great that a few trees from the once-orchard are still on campus,” she said. I love watching the satisfaction and smiles spread across students’ faces once they’ve picked their first apple. That’s how I know that they’re enjoying themselves. And my hope is that this event will let in a little environmental awareness. It’s all about baby steps.”