||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 5 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||columnar, intercom, self-sufficient, transport, observation, mechanism, greenhouse, docking, lunar, ship, coincide, especially, freshener, fiber, fairly, natural
||Apple Festival Week
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Feedback on Lunar Apples
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 The transport ship pulled into the lunar docking bay, and Tim and Lori were eager to see the inside of the lunar colony. It took a few minutes for the ship to couple with the docking mechanism and establish the air lock. Then the captain told everyone they could depart the ship.
2 "Thank you for flying with us and enjoy your stay on the lunar colony," the captain said over the intercom.
3 One of the teachers from the school met Tim and Lori's class and escorted them to a little observation room just to the left of the docking bay.
4 "Welcome, class," the teacher said. "We are so happy to have you here with us for the next two weeks. I hope you will learn a lot about our colony, just as our class is studying your colony back on Earth." Tim looked out the large windows at the moon's surface as the teacher spoke. "You all have come at a very exciting time. We are observing Apple Festival Week here at the colony this week."
5 Some of the students started to giggle as the teacher mentioned the apple festival. Lori whispered to Tim, "That seems like a rather silly thing--to have an apple festival on the moon." Tim gave her a scolding look as if to say she should be quiet.
6 "I know what you are thinking," said the teacher. "An apple festival on the moon -- how strange," she winked at Lori as she finished her comment. "We like to keep our traditions and customs here on the moon just like you probably do. Our apple festival helps us, and especially the children, keep in contact with some Earth customs."
7 "I wonder how many apple trees they have up here," Lori said with a smile. Tim just gave her a nudge in the arm and told her to be polite.
8 As if the teacher heard Lori again, she said, "We are starting a new project this year in our greenhouse. We have worked with several varieties of fruits and vegetables that we can grow right here on the moon so that we can be more self-sufficient. This year we are working with a variety of apple trees that are columnar. They will not get as big as the trees you may be familiar with on Earth, but we hope our orchard will produce a fairly large crop of apples in a very small area since the trees have no side branches."
9 Tim thought about that for a few seconds. They grew a lot of their own food, but most of it was grown outside of the colony enclosure on the floor of the ocean. Apple trees wouldn't do well out there.
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