Integrating With Nature

Student activity based on the article “Integrating with nature” from the September/October 2011 Our Ohio magazine.

Academic Content Standard
(Science: Earth Systems:  Grade 10):  “Students will be able to describe the finite nature of Earth’s resources and those human activities that can conserve or deplete Earth’s resources, especially in the area of pest control.”

(Note: Key terms used from the Ohio Academic Content Standards, Grade 10 Science, 2002.)

Discussion points
o    Have students read the article titled “Integrating with nature” found in Our Ohio Magazine or on-line.
o    What are your expectations of the fruit you buy in the grocery store? Color, size, blemishes, insect damage, taste?  Explain.
o    Would you buy an apple with a brown spot on it? With a visible insect hole?
o    The following items are threats to growing a perfect piece of fruit. Please explain how these threats can damage fruit.

  • Pests
  • Fungus
  • Disease

o    According to the article, what actions can a farmer take to protect fruit against these threats so that consumers can purchase an appealing piece of fruit?
o    Before spraying chemicals on the fruit crop, what considerations to farmers Dan and Barry Bergman say they evaluate?
o    Use the article to define integrated pest management.  What is the goal of the IPM program?
o    Ted Gastier is an IPM field scout. What does he do for fruit farmers?
o    How does the consumer benefit from orchardists using the Ohio IPM program?
o    What time of year do fruit farmers begin to prepare for the perfect fruit crop and what do they do?
o    Explain four practices that farmers utilized to protect their fruit crop for damaging pests and disease?
o    As an example, what did Mr. Gastier suggest introducing to control the spotted tentiform leafminer? In your opinion, is this an environmentally friendly way to control and insect pest?
o    Diseases cause many problems for fruit farmers. What is the best host for disease?
o    Explain how pheromones can control insect infestation in an orchard.
o    According to the article, how do red ball traps work to protect apples and pears?
o    The goal for fruit farmers is to “work with, not against, nature.” Explain what is meant by this phrase in the article and give an example of how farmers accomplish this goal.
o    In your opinion, is the IPM program primarily beneficial or harmful to the environment? Explain.
o    Why do consumers want perfect, unblemished fruit? How do farmers deliver this to the consumer?
o    After reading this article, do you feel that producers are using research and technology to provide safe, quality food to the consumer? Explain.

Hands on at Home or School
o    How do you know where you fruit comes from when you buy it in the grocery store?

  • Do you have any information available regarding chemical use on the produce?
  • Who could you ask?
  • What is the most important thing for you to do when you bring store bought fruit home to eat?

o    Visit an orchard.  Find one at

  • Interview a farmer at the orchard about their use of an IPM program.
  • When you walk around the orchard, look for signs of pest management.

o    Read more about IPM at:
o    Do it yourself. Plant a garden and experience the obstacles to producing a perfect fruit or vegetable.
o    Visit to see what else the Bergmans have happening at their orchards.

o    The Ohio fruit belt includes Erie, Ashtabula and Huron counties (to name a few). Find them on an Ohio county map. Go to

This activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.