“Spartan apples” make their premiere on campus

While attending college in Massachusetts, Castleton State College Science Professor Helen Mango discovered “the perfect apple” on a visit to a local orchard. Its purple-red exterior and pure white flesh gives the apple the distinction of being a member of “an old fashioned and unusual variety,” Mango said.
The “Spartan” apple she discovered is a cross between a McIntosh and a Newton Pepin, though recent DNA testing disputes the newton Pepin origins.
The idea to have the Spartan apples planted at Castleton State College came to Mango when she visited an orchard in Shoreham, Vt. last fall. She thought the Spartan apple would be a perfect apple to plant on the grounds of the Spartans.
President Dave Wolk agreed.  
“I was intrigued by the concept of planting Spartan Apple trees when Professor Helen Mango told me about them.  I bought and had them planted for obvious symbolic reasons, but also because we are doing everything we can through campus beautification, logos, banners, and signage to imbue a strong and enduring sense of Spartan Pride.  I hope that it will be just one more way that students and alumni can identify with their alma mater.  It is certainly unique,” he said.
With Wolk’s endorsement, the facilities department contacted Skip Pratico. After about a month of searching, Connie Cavanaugh, the nursery manager from Praticos Landscaping and Fence in Rutland, found a company to provide the trees. The order consisted of 10 young trees, to be placed near the observatory. Cavanaugh was ecstatic when she got the news and immediately called boss Skip Pratico and said “You are not going to believe what I found.”   
The Spartan apple trees were planted and with patience and dedication they will bloom and fruit and provide snacks for those passing by. At convocation, President Dave Wolk spoke fondly about the trees.
“How many colleges get to grow their own mascot?” he asked with a smile.

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