One of the best ways to empower people is by providing them with knowledge. As part of our Velika Gorica Living Lab activity, we have shared this knowledge with over 300 children. Our goal was to give them a comprehensive understanding of our CRFS, so we decided to narrate the story of an apple to them.
We began by explaining how an apple starts its life as a seed that is sown in the ground. The seed needs water and food to grow into a tree that will bear fruit in the future. After three years, the apple tree will mature, and it will be able to bear fruits for all the apple lovers. But this is a continuous process, and we must take care of the trees daily. We prune them, remove some fruits to ease their branches and protect them from different worms and insects that can easily attack their leaves and branches and affect their growth. Once we have enough fruit, we will need to call our friends to help us pick them, using machines such as semi-automatic apple pickers, tractors, and boxes. After picking them up, we will load them onto a tow truck, carrying them to the distribution centre. There, the apples will be washed, sorted, and packed into smaller boxes before being loaded onto trucks and transported to local supermarkets for consumers to buy and eat.
We also explained the concept of bio-compost and showed them how we process not-so-perfect-looking apples into juices, vinegar, or snaps. The children grasped this information perfectly, and we offered them fresh juices, which they thoroughly enjoyed. They left our orchard with their minds expanded and their knowledge of the life cycle of an apple enriched.
We have also prepared a short questionnaire that 25 children filled in, and we eagerly await the test results, which will help us improve our approach to education in the future.