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Holmen School lunch program continues fresh food approach with apple orchard

Drew Kelly

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The Holmen School District continues with incorporating fresh food into their lunch program.

The district recently constructed an apple orchard at Viking Elementary, and the first signs of fruit have started to bloom.

Food Services Coordinator Mike Gasper says the project should provide a large cost savings

Gasper says, “The orchard should be able to produce more than 300 cases of apples per year once it’s in full bloom. Right now a case of apples costs us around 40 dollars depending on the variety and brand.”

The trees, donated for free to the district is just another way they are keeping fresh food a part of the school lunch menu.

Gasper says, “We’re raising our own chickens, last year we had 16 pigs, and this year we’ll have two cows. The greenhouse we have also gets a lot of use from our students.

Classes at Viking Elementary will be tasked with upkeep on the trees over the years.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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