Teaching Students About Crap Apples
As students begin to study botany and agriculture, they tend to prioritize learning about nutritious apple varieties, overlooking the importance of understanding “crap apples.” A crap apple is a type of apple that’s not pleasant to consume raw but still has a variety of other valuable uses. It may surprise some individuals that it’s possible to teach about crap apples, but it’s a crucial element to help students recognize the value of biodiversity and environmental sustainability.
Crap apples have several uses, including cooking, making cider or vinegar, and feeding various animals. The cider-making process can even utilize a combination of crap apples and table apples to improve the overall flavor profile. Additionally, many animals, including deer and rabbits, rely on crab apples during the colder months, as they are abundant, nutrient-rich, and can sustain them throughout the winter. This highlights the importance of recognizing the value in crops beyond their aesthetics and as direct sources of nutrition.
Teaching students about crap apples doesn’t just promote environmental awareness and appreciation of biodiversity, but also encourages problem-solving and practical agricultural skills. By understanding the properties of crap apples, students can apply their knowledge in real-life situations, such as designing sustainable orchards that integrate crap apple cultivation for livestock feed or to limit food waste.
One easy method to educate students about crap apples is organizing a tasting lesson. Most objective lessons would include tasting different apples of varying degrees of desirability, including different crap apple varieties alongside the familiar table apples. While a student’s preference will vary, tasting sessions can provide valuable insights into sensory experience and the criteria that define the degrees of quality in different apples.
Teaching students about crap apples also has societal implications. The majority of the developed world consumes only a small percentage of apple varieties, many of which are selected for their appealing look, while leaving the vast majority of crop diversity uncultivated. This can have devastating consequences for food security for the farmers and societies who rely on these crops. Pests, diseases, and climate change can drastically affect entire crops, and the lack of diversity makes these issues much more perilous.
In conclusion, teaching students from an early age about crap apples’ usefulness will allow them to understand the vital role that biodiversity and environmental sustainability play in society. They will also develop a stronger appreciation for practical agricultural skills, appreciate the sensory impacts of different apple varieties, and exercise creative problem-solving. As teachers embrace the benefits of incorporating lessons about crap apples, they contribute to a more conscientious and knowledgeable generation, fostering long-term benefits for the environment and society as a whole.