MADERA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Every school at Madera Unified was able to enjoy lunchtime tangerines earlier this month – harvested by the students from Madera South High School FFA Farm.

School officials say that students and staff planted the tangerines in July 2015. They were eaten on March 7.

The Madera South High School citrus grove comprises approximately one acre of mandarin oranges, roughly the size of a football field, and was made possible by donated trees from Duarte Nursery, according to school officials.

In 2022 students harvested nearly 50,000 tangerines consumed by students within the school district. 

Nora Guillen, the principal at Madison Elementary School, says she has worked for Madera Unified schools for the last 23 years and enjoys getting to see the younger students grow up and get to be part of this program in high school.

“It’s just really neat to see it, and for the kids here to have that connection to our community, to the families, to be able to say “Wow, these were grown right here” down the street from my school is just amazing,” said Guillen.

Madera Unified School District officials say they will complete their project for 2023 later this week and hope to have 50,000-60,000 tangerines from this year’s crop.