Hiram, Ohio, September 2018


Apples hang from a tree at Monroe's Orchard in September 2018.

Baking and Composting with Apples

By Anna Krejci

September 2018

Rows of apple trees surrounded me at Monroe’s Orchard, an apple farm near Hiram, Ohio.  The warmth of fall permeated the air, which was also sweetened by the aroma of fruit trees.  I have been to the orchard several times.  Picking apples in the fall gives me great pleasure. Each season I anticipate making warm, apple crisp from the hand-picked treasures.  I serve it over vanilla ice cream.  It is a simple dessert that rivals apple pie a la mode.

I had just casually toured the nearby Hiram College campus in September 2018 with my boyfriend, now my spouse.  He attended there years ago. The college was a small, liberal arts school. The buildings looked stately.  It looked like a place to widen one’s experiences. After walking on campus, we stopped at the apple farm for enjoyment.  With visits to a school and an apple farm in succession, the tradition of giving an apple to one’s teacher came to mind.

While studying at school introduced me to new ideas, I still learned very valuable things from my mother.  In fact, she deserves an apple for being such a great teacher! Mom taught me baking techniques, such as baking apples, and how to compost scraps like apple cores.  Both things were possible to learn in our home.  I care about sending apple cores and other food scraps to the compost heap – and not to the landfill where they would generate methane, a greenhouse gas that adds to climate change.  People who put apple cores to good use in compost, where they break down into soil fertilizer and can be used to enhance a garden, are taking good care of the earth.

This responsibility has been accepted by the younger generation, as I found out years after initially touring the Hiram College campus.  According to the college’s website, students compost their food scraps from the on-campus dining room.  The large-scale effort has been led by a committee since 2020, and the organic material resulting from the compost is distributed to the school garden and James H. Barrow Biological Field Station.

Composting should be a part of my commitment to God and to Earth as well. I must tend to this world, God’s creation, that has given me so much. Johnny Appleseed – his name sounds like that of a legendary character - traversed great distances to plant an abundance of apple trees across the Ohio River Valley, according to Smithsonian Magazine.  He is also known as John Chapman, a clergyman, and he planted trees in Ohio, too, according to the same magazine.  As a young child, at mealtimes my family and I sang the Johnny Appleseed song as our thanks.  The lyrics say, “Oh, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord, for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me. Amen.”

I felt like such an enlightened person after visiting the campus and orchard.  I have not been a student for many years, but going back to a college campus in the beginning of fall and visiting an apple orchard reminded me that I value my learning opportunities.  I took a bag of apples home that day just in case I found a teacher on my way.  Then I would have something to give them.




Works Cited

Binkovitz, Leah. “Why Do Students Give Teachers Apples and More from the Fruit’s Juicy Past.” Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Sept. 2012, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/why-do-students-give-teachers-apples-and-more-from-the-fruits-juicy-past-26381703/#lOwfk2lIGLxV6ru8.9.

“Student Compost Program.” Hiram College, 2023?, https://www.hiram.edu/sustainability/student-compost-program/