Horticulture Field Trip – 18 May 2022

Another successful career exploration day for local Nelson Tasman High Schools, organised by Ange at NRDA as part of the Education to Employment programme.

First stop on the Field Trip was Golden Bay Fruit where students learnt about how our local fruit is grown, picked, packed, and exported with the assistance of extensive technology and engineering.  The students were blown away by the photography technology that identifies defects in the apples to separate them before being packed.

At Birdhurst, the science behind apple growing was explained and how it is referred to as pomology.  Also the importance of climate conditions, spraying and how to pick the apples at the right time and the different skill levels required with many opportunities to upskill.

Next location, Plant and Food Research, Motueka.  The research aspect of growing and sustainability of our apples, pears, and gold kiwifruit varieties and how it can be improved by technology alongside working with the natural climate.  Students took a tour of their orchards and did some fun and interactive activities.

There was a great discussion of the wide range of roles up for grabs in this fascinating industry.  Highlighting the entry level pathways which allow them to work their way, alongside opting to study before entering the workforce.

It was a stunning day, with great feedback from the students with many expressing their interest in working outdoors.